Will FD Iskandar pay a heavy price for his folly?

 |Dec 14, 2016

Iskandar

The new Media Prima chairman, Fateh Iskandar Mohamed Mansor a.k.a. FD Iskandar, should take on someone his own size.

He may have bitten of more than he can chew by attacking Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim, a man who looms tall in Malaysia and someone of impeccable credentials that FD Iskandar cannot even come close to match.

FD should have chosen a person with a dodgy character to use as a scapegoat in his move to oust the TV3’s news and current affairs group managing editor Mohd Ashraf Abdullah.

I heard the New Straits Times Press (NST) group managing editor Abdul Jalil Hamid is next in FD’s hit list.

“Dato Seri FD Iskandar, has resorted to using me as an excuse to get rid of Dato Seri Ashraf Abdullah,” said Tunku Aziz.

“Worse still, he told a pack of lies and deliberately misled the prime minister on the morning of Nov 28 by saying that I appeared on TV3 for 12 nights in a row and this had caused the ratings of TV3 to take a dramatic plunge.”

Basically, FD alleged that TV3’s rating are down because Ashraf featured Tunku Aziz too many times – something like 12 nights in a row – over October and November 2016.

Actually that is not true.

First of all, TV3’s ratings have not fallen in October and November and, secondly, TV3 featured Tunku Aziz only three times and not 12.

Interference

Actually FD wants all news coverage to go through him and to get his approval first, a break from tradition where Media Prima has always allowed the news agencies under its stable to act independently without too much interference from the top.

But FD wants this to change and he wants to manage the day-to-day operations and decide on the hiring and firing.

FD, who is a businessman very closely associated to Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim of Tabung Haji, is not a media pedigree so he probably suffers from what most small people who try to act big suffer from: an inferiority complex.

Hence he is wielding his big stick and wants everyone to lick his boots.

But that has never been the culture of TV3, or any of the other media agencies under its stable.

That is why FD wants all the top guns removed: so that they can be replaced with more docile personalities who will jump and say ‘yes sir’ whenever he barks.

Waterloo

FD should have chosen someone else to slander and to use as the scapegoat.

Tunku Aziz is definitely a bad choice because this man has no skeletons or baggage which you can use to smear him.

Tunku Aziz is one man who will not cower or back down if you throw him a challenge.

I fear FD is going to find himself under heavy artillery if he does not issue an apology to Tunku Aziz.

FD needs to gain a few more years of experience before he takes on fights such as these.

Tunku Aziz is of royal blood and being someone of royal blood myself I can understand why Tunku Aziz will go all the way with this one and ensure that FD pays dearly for his transgression.

Unless FD can pull a rabbit out of his hat pretty fast, then I can already safely predict even before anything starts that he is a dead man walking.

This, in fact, may be FD’s Waterloo – and I mean, of course, FD as Napoleon Bonaparte and not as the Duke of Wellington.

Maybe FD should spare himself the misery ahead of him and put his gun to his head and pull the trigger.

Seeking a defence

I think FD himself knows he made a huge mistake and is not going to win this one because at 4pm on Dec 13, 2016 he called for a meeting of the top Media Prima executives at his Glomac office and asked them to defend him in the battle looming ahead of him.

Basically, he wants the Media Prima top guns to lie and say that what FD said is the truth and is no lie.

If they are prepared to lie for him then he might just be able to wriggle his way out of this predicament.

Meanwhile, he can put up the usual line of defence that someone who has no defence would normally put up: which is to deny what Tunku Aziz said.

So expect FD’s statement in a day or two denying what Tunku Aziz said in the normal ‘never admit and just deny’ defence strategy.

Take control

I can understand why FD wants full control of the media units under Media Prima.

Politicians, especially chief ministers, menteri besars and cabinet ministers need the media to highlight what they do and say.

If FD puts a media blackout on these people their political career is as good as dead.

As they say: even bad publicity is better than no publicity and if you get zero publicity you are a goner.

But then this publicly does not come cheap or free.

You need to pay for it and pay a lot.

FD, as a businessman, will know how to profit from giving politicians their much-needed publicity.

All FD needs to do is to point to a multi-billion project and tell the minister that unless he gets that project then he will order a total media blackout on that Minister.

Having control of the media is actually the best protection racket I can think off.

Pay me or else I will kill your political career through a media blackout.

You cannot even get arrested or get sent to jail for this type of protection racket.

In fact, you can even blackmail the IGP to make him look the other way and close both eyes.

Now you know why FD wants to be the chairman of Media Prima.

If you thought it is because of the salary and perks then you are more stupid than you look.

If you also have personal political ambitions that was the best vehicle to control.

Pretend

We all know FD considers himself the next menteri besar of Selangor.

FD has been telling anyone who is prepared to listen to him that he was very close to Sultan of Selangor and that His Highness wants him to be the next Selangor menteri besar.

That, of course, is a lie, just like the lie regarding Tunku Aziz.

He is neither close to the sultan nor does His Highness want him as the next menteri besar.

FD appears to be suffering from some sort of delusional disease or maybe he is not playing with a full deck of cards.

His favourite pastime is to sit in the backseat of his car and pretend he is speaking on the phone to Prime Minister Najib Razak offering Najib advice on what to do and how the country should be run.

His chauffeur must feel weird seeing his boss talking to himself on his phone and pretending he was the prime minister’s personal adviser and that without him the country would not be running properly.

The Selangor Palace is actually quite upset with FD.

As it is, Selangor is already in a mess because of Pakatan Harapan without FD adding to that mess by claiming that the sultan was his buddy who wanted him as the next Selangor menteri besar.

On top of that, FD playacts on the backseat of his car that he is the prime minister’s close adviser and confidante and that without him the country would fall to pieces.

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Raja Petra Kamarudin or RPK, cousin to the Selangor Sultan, is one of Malaysia's earliest online 'citizen journalists'. He started his website in 1995 before the internet 'explosion' triggered by the Reformasi movement in September 1998. Malaysia Today was launched as a blog in August 2004 and is one of the few pioneer blogs still active and posting articles on a daily basis 24-7. RPK, 66 years old, has been writing since 1990.