I had lunch with an old friend and his wife yesterday.

Lovely couple.

We had bento sets at a very nice Japanese restaurant near Mount Kiara.

My friend used to be my team leader during the defence of Johor in 2013.

He and his wife are now living a rather peaceful life, spending their extra time writing books and pampering their grandchildren.

We mostly talked about those good days in Johor and a bit of the present.

Then, out of the blue, my friend’s wife popped a question to me.

“Do you know what they made him?”. the “him” she was referring to was former Johor menteri besar TS Abdul Ghani Othman.

I told her I didn’t know what’s the latest about Ghani.

My friend’s wife nudged him and said “She doesn’t know. Tell her la.”

I think my friend was a bit embarrassed as he hesitated before saying to me,

“They made him Umno’s disciplinary board chairman.”

I laughed when my friend told me that. I just can’t help myself.

“See, she’s laughing,” my friend said to his wife. I think he’s a bit annoyed with my reaction.

But his wife was laughing too. The couple know Ghani very much more than I do. I believe she also felt that it’s too weird for Ghani to come out of his retirement from politics like that.

“Why can’t they let Ghani retire in peace? Do you think he will take it?” I asked.

My friend said Ghani will take the responsibility.

“There’s no way for him to decline. The supreme council had decided on it,” he said.

My friend is right, Ghani is a loyal party man, and he will do the job.

From the bit that I know of him, he will do it as according to the book, the same way he did when he was the Johor MB.

The guy is just like that.

Well, the post is actually quite important. Making sure there’s no nonsense going on in the party.

Things such as money politics.

I know, many of you would say there’s no way that Ghani can do it.

But I’m confident that he will try his best.

He’s retired and has nothing to lose anyway.

Ghani will do it without fear or favour. That I’m very sure.

Of all the Umno leaders that I know, he is the one who have absolutely no fear to say “NO” to anyone when it comes to doing the wrong things.

Not even to the most powerful people.

I know that he did so when he was the Johor MB and more recently as the Sime Darby chairman.

What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. Ghani doesn’t talk too much but that’s just the way he is.

He rather not have the job than having to do the wrong thing.

In fact, that’s why he decided to retire from politics in 2013.

Ok, he looks younger than 70 but I still think they should let him rests.


If not for the request by PM DS Najib Razak for him to contain Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah, he would not have contested in the general election that year.

Everyone knew that it’s a suicide mission.

He contested a Chinese majority constituency (the first Umno leader to do so) against the biggest DAP leader at the height of the Chinese tsunami. What’s more suicidal than that, right?

But he still did it the best that he could because he’s a loyal party man.

I was there at Gelang Patah to witness it, and I saw him and his team tried their best.

That’s why I’m sure he will try his best too with this new appointment.

In a way, the Umno supreme council actually made the right decision to appoint him as disciplinary board chairman.

They need someone with his credibility to do that job.

Ghani doesn’t belong to any faction or owe anyone in the party, so, he’s the right man for it.

I’m confident that he will do the right thing.

Nonetheless, I do pity him for having to get involve in all the mess again.

He’s past 70 and by right should be allowed to rest.
What to do. Back to work for Ghani.

At least they are not asking him to contest in elections and such. Alhamdulillah for that.

Well Datuk Ghani, in case you are reading this;

All the best.

And don’t stress yourself too much.