Trust the people's wisdom - Shahrir Samad
The message was so clear, crisp and deep that members of parliament in Dewan Rakyat, including Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, was dumbfounded.
It was Johor Bahru member of parliament Datuk Seri Shahrir Samad’s simple explanation as to why politicians and political parties should stop blaming the whole world if they are rejected by the electorate.
Shahrir, a seasoned BN elected representative, said politicians should stop fault finding and hurling all kinds of accusations against institutions like the Election Commission or the Police when it comes to elections.
Citing himself as a clear example, Shahrir said he was a living testimony to prove that elections in this country were free and fair.
“I contested against BN and won as an Independent candidate (in 1988). At the end of the day it’s the people who decide whom they want to vote for,” Shahrir said.
Wan Junaidi who was presiding the afternoon session of the sitting quipped that even he was dumbfounded by Shahrir’s thought provoking statement.
Shahrir was born in Kuantan, Pahang, and attended local primary schools. He later attended the Malay College Kuala Kangsar for his secondary education. He went on to gain a B.Ec. from the University of Malaya in Statistics, and a Masters of Business Administration from the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.
In 1973 he became the youngest political secretary in the country when he became political secretary to Musa Hitam, later Deputy Prime Minister. After his tenure expired in 1975, he became political secretary to Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak till 1976. Shahrir first ran for public office in the 1978 general election, when he won the Parliamentary seat of Johor Bahru. He was initially appointed Deputy Minister, of Trade and Industry, but later became minister of welfare, youth and sports, and in 1987 took up the post of Federal Territory Minister. He also served as political secretary to Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn from 1983 to 1986. Shahrir was sacked that year in the events leading up to the 1988 Malaysian constitutional crisis and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah's challenge to Prime Minister and UMNO President Mahathir Mohamad. In 1988, Shahrir resigned from his Parliamentary seat, and ran for reelection in the resulting by-election as an independent. A year later, he rejoined UMNO, while Razaleigh went on to form Semangat 46.
More of Shahrir Samad HERE