IT is wonderful to be the Prime Minister’s fixer on the ground.
Every word that you utter is taken seriously and you are accorded great respect and deference, far beyond your official position, appearance or educational level.
And even if senior politicians, senior civil servants or other power brokers in Malaysia do not really like you, they know that ultimately you speak for Najib Razak or Madam, as Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor is known as in PM’s circle.
The flip side to being a powerful fixer on the ground is that every other individual in the PM’s camp also covets that position of closeness and influence and would do pretty much anything to bring you down.
One day, you are flying high and seemingly untouchable. But on another day, even your heavily-accented Malay or the fact that you are fluent in Tamil is held against you.
The PM’s political operatives and their bloggers smell blood. They believe that Abdul Azeez’s ties with the first family are fraying and not as strong as it once was.
As a result, there have been a cache of articles about him.
Most of these articles are on Malaysia Today, run by fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin who has apparently turned pro-government after several years of supporting Anwar Ibrahim when the latter was sacked from the government in 1998.
There is talk among Umno circles that Raja Petra, better known by his initials RPK, is in cahoots with another Najib advisor but it remains just talk until today.
“Wasting my time,” said Abdul Azeez at the Parliament lobby yesterday when asked to comment on the articles by Raja Petra.
What is clear is that Abdul Azeez, who is the Tabung Haji chairman and head of Putera Umno, is being pilloried now as Najib’s circle of advisors jostle to be the main point man for the prime minister.
They want to be in the same position as Abdul Azeez, to even know what the PM is wearing the next day, and his programmes. To be able to walk into the PM’s house at any time of the day and be part of discussions, even if they involve confidential state issues.
There was a time when the point man was those in Najib’s cohort rising through the ranks in Umno. But today, it is these operatives who lurk in the shadows but see it fit that they are known to be the point man in the Najib administration.
One of them was even slated to be featured in a BBC interview during the hubbub about the identity of MO1 – the top Malaysian official that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) said had had a hand in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) kleptocracy.
But the BBC found him unimpressive for a global audience, and the government then nominated EPU chief, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan who then confirmed MO1’s identity.
Najib once said he values loyalty over intelligence. These fixers, including Abdul Azeez, are that loyal but each one has knives on each other’s back to prove that they are the ultimate loyalist in Camp Najib.
Unfortunately for Abdul Azeez, who has executed everything for his party president and prime minister, that loyalty and efficiency has put a huge bullseye on his back by his rivals for Najib’s affection.
–THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT