Johan Arifin Mohd Ropi says it takes more wisdom to defend the government than to simply criticise it


JOHOR BARU: It has become too mainstream to be part of the Opposition front these days, said Johor Bahru Umno division committee member Johan Arifin Mohd Ropi.

The 37-year-old entrepreneur said “it’s not cool anymore, man” to join force with the Opposition despite the nature of youth to be rebellious against the establishment.

“The job is too easy to whack here and there… it’s an easy game and anyone can do that,” Johan said in an exclusive interview with Berita Daily.

He said it is ‘cooler’ for youths to defend the government and to have the aspiration and ability to reform the government.

“Out of nowhere, a young guy who has an ability to communicate can become the number one… it’s very easy to whack (and climb the ladder).

“But if you can demonstrate your wisdom in defending (the government), and has the aspiration to reform the governance, I think that it is far sexier than whacking and criticising.

“To me, (whacking and criticising) is just a childish mentality,” he said.

Johan, an architect by training, is said to be among a handful of young Umno leaders being groomed by Johor Bahru MP Shahrir Samad to be the next big shot.

Johan, one of the youngest GLC chief executive officers in Johor, said he opted to join Umno because he believed it has the best to offer the people.

“Of course after I looked into the options when I decided to join politics, I believed that Umno has the best to offer, has the best vision.

“Because it is very clear; for me I don’t think the other side has the right vision for the country. The other side has always said that they reject corruption but what is their game plan? I don’t see that,” he added.

He said the Opposition rejected and criticised the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) introduced by Prime Minister Najib Razak but failed to come up with an alternative plan.

“You criticised TN50 but why didn’t you come up with a 30-year game plan before the government did?”

Johan said Umno is not exclusive for the older generation as the party has demonstrated its ability to promote young leaders to the top echelon of leadership, like Shahrir and Johor Menteri Besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

“You can say that the other side constantly brings up a new crop of leaders and is dynamic but the fact is they have never won and always change their line-up and squabble among themselves.

“They keep changing leaders every now and then; where is the continuity?” he said, adding that leaders needed time to implement their vision.