Najib and his tradisi.
Why does Najib not want to challenge Pak Lah for the president’s post? Because Mr Najib says he prefers the traditional way. Well, the traditional way of the French aristocrats making money was to force the poor peasants make money for them. In the meantime, the French aristocrats enjoyed their silk stockings and fancy dress parties. They want money to be handed to them.
Like the French during the reign of Marie Antoinette, Mr Najib of the Pak Lah reign wants power to be handed over to him. The traditional way means not having to contest for the post. Mr Najib further says that it is not a question of being a coward or otherwise. It is a question of core values. Now, it gets more interesting.
The tradition that is so very dear to Najib is the unquestioning subservience of UMNO members to accept his ascension to the post of UMNO president. It is a tradition based on meek and muted acceptance of what has been set by the UMNO leadership. Obviously, the continued muted acceptance is the bedrock of UMNO tradition. If that tradition is abandoned, his own position as deputy UMNO president and the prospects of being UMNO president, becomes untenable perhaps. Najib has no alternative but to continue pressing and hoping the UMNO masses acquiesce.
The issue before us is not whether Najib succeeds Pak Lah or not. The issue is UMNO needs leadership. Competent, dedicated, determined and resolute leadership. Mr Najib, because he is spineless cannot lay claim to adhere to tradition because, he has no understanding as to what is tradition. The true tradition of UMNO is not to be blindly loyal to transient leaders but a tradition of dedication of oneself to the principles held to be both permanent and universal. And what are these? These are the inalienable rights of the Malays by which UMNO has pledged itself to uphold and cherish. Malays are endowed with certain inalienable rights upon which UMNO was created to secure them deriving its powers from the consent of all UMNO members and Malays. Pledging itself to uphold and cherish requires leadership. Securing these require leadership. Leading the Malays by persuading requires leadership not retreating to some nebulous verbal contraption like Najib’s tradition and filial piety.
If Najib does not offer UMNO members the leadership required he is doomed. If we were to draw parallels to similar concepts during the cold war between the west and the soviet union, Najib’s strategy is like what the west adopted during the period of détente. It was assumed than that a particular action by the west led by the US would draw forth a parallel reaction from the soviets. Thus if we wanted peace, we should not prepare for war, if we wanted security we should not threaten and if we wanted cooperation we should compromise. Najib wanted peace so he wont prepare for war, he wanted security of his position so he wont threaten and he wants cooperation from the various groups in UMNO so he will compromise. He will not defend the enduring principles which we talked about above. Najib has no permanent friends only permanent interest.
Pak lah’s people know that Najib is spineless and once Najib adopted a retreating strategy, they will go after him after this. Najib’s strategy like that adopted by many US administration during the period of détente was entirely wrong. Writing about this strategy, Margaret Thatcher stated. When the united states were led by administrations which were intent on compromise with the soviets, the soviet union expanded its military arsenals and intensified its military interventions. But once there was an American president who openly proclaimed his aims of military superiority( read assertive leadership), systematic competition( read resoluteness) and the global roll-back of soviet power( read dismissal of certain personages in UMNO), the soviet union cooperated, disarmed and finally collapsed.
 Margaret Thatcher, Statecraft. Pp 14 Words in parentheses are mine.