Copyright Notice

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the author, at the address below.

Sakmongkol ak 47

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Trends in UMNO Leadership

The hermit from Bukit Tuku has spoken again!. Tun Musa Hitam, is the mythologised sage of Malaysian politics. He is looked upon in awe by people such as Shahrir Samad. Shahrir Samad as many of us know, is an outspoken leader as well as an intelligent person. Well, more intelligent than most of the UMNO leaders, at least. He has an MBA from INSEAD. He calls himself, first among equals.

But Musa Hitam was his mentor and intellectual master. Musa Hitam is the master Po to Shahrir’s grasshopper Kwai Chang Caine. hehe.

Tun Musa says, the younger generation must be given positions of leadership in the party. He means the MKT leadership.

Tun Musa is reputed to be very perceptive of politics. He has been dubbed as a political animal. Ascribed as having extraordinary political prowess. The myth was somewhat shattered when he cried like a little baby losing his lollipop when Tun Mahathir outmanoeuvred him.

Tun Musa’s myth refuses to die. Because he has adherents to his strange brew of political wisdom. Rais Yatim once said, he hasn’t read the political bible that Tun Musa read.

Our present PM is his fan. And perhaps, the only factor that gives credence to what Tun Musa says, is his overshadowing influence on the PM. Otherwise he has done nothing except serving as a rallying point, where the anti Mahathir group converges. And we know, the principal vocation in Shahrir Samad’s life and maybe his lifelong political obsession, is to debunk Tun Mahathir.

So before the great sage and hermit of Bukit Tunku speaks, Shahrir Samad says he is too old for top UMNO leadership. Then, Tun Musa says, the young must be given leadership positions. As between master Po and the grasshopper pupil, Kwai Chang Shahrir, there is continuity.

What’s wrong with this statement? Because it is just a political carpet bombing statement long in generalities only. It must therefore be qualified.

Between Muhkriz’s Dare to Change and Khairy’s Keep our loyalty and esprit de corps,which will Tun Musa support? Mukhriz’s slogan encapsulates the want to change while Khairy’s rallying call is to preserve the status quo. Or could it be- with Mukhriz, you have nothing to loose but your mental chains while with Khairy, it is I have given you, so keep your promises?

Tun Musa equates being young with ideas of wanting change and transformational ideas. Only true to some extent. The young is energetic, willing to change and daring. Provided they are imbued with progressive values.

But master Mus, what if the younger generation of leaders en bloc are already culturalised with the present UMNO values? Years of cultural immersion within the UMNO cultural milieu have created younger generations of UMNOniks transfixed with the idea that the only way to move forward is to pay your way through. The young generation got where they are today, in the same manner the seniors did. By and large, by machete-ing their way through the UMNO jungle with money. And the greatest past master at this miraculous shortened way to success is Anwar Ibrahim. And equally adept master is the man from Rompin.

Lets leave Master Mus in his political wilderness.

Consider this. This idea must take root first of all. The quest for a good party and good government must begin with wanting good men, with ability, integrity, commitment and character. Otherwise, it will be a party like sakmongkol said in his earlier essay- a party where the poacher becomes the gamekeeper.

When people like Muhyiddin says, its time to elect capable leaders at a time, when he is offering himself for the number two, sakmongkol is very cynical about the whole thing. Why didn’t he make as his principal agenda, champions it, a continuing process to infuse UMNO with a culture that permits the emergence of quality leadership? He should have started this much earlier on to convince people that he is serious about wanting capable leaders.

But let us suspend our judgment for the moment, even though Muhyidin himself doesn’t project himself as sharp or capable. In fact, his facial features can even induce a feeling of anti climax, politically that is. ( no disrespect to his missus- a nice lady).

Saying it now and enjoined by others who parrot the calls for re-engineering UMNO sound so farcical. Are we convinced of UMNO’s sincerity of wanting to build a party based on capabilities, when the party is infested with second and 3rd generation politicians? Not taking anything away from the offspring of earlier leaders- UMNO is awash with sons and daughter of these. They get into UMNO because of bloodline. Najib, Hishamudin, Mukhriz, NorJazlan, so on and so forth. This would imply that entry into UMNO and one’s subsequent promotion within UMNO are dependent on one’s lineage, not capabilities.

So UMNO now grapples with the main issue- what makes it a good party? Or what must it do to be a good party? Sakmongkol’s question should be simple enough to answer- can we have a good party without good men?

The problem is good men is becoming scarcer in UMNO. They are turned away by the corrupt culture. The system within UMNO that allows only those with deep pockets to advance. The party that has as its culture, where the fellow with more cash to grease and slithers his way, gets ahead while those with shallow pockets and unwillingness to part with hard earned money gets left behind. A party with a culture that allows the dopey with money to get ahead of the clever with no money. In the end what happens? The party is led by people without ability, flaccid commitment and shady character. They in turn perpetuate the same degenerative culture that stultifies the party.


Anonymous,  23 October 2008 at 11:10  

the culprits remain the kapitan. they will sponsor you if they think you have a big chance of winning. they are not keen in politics. it’s their business that matter most. they are the ones who chart your political course. you use their money to lobby. otherwise you can’t even dare to hang around at the hotel lobby or warung. to use your own money? maybe quarter way.supporters are always hungry and thirsty when seeing your face.

prebet adam

Zahar 23 October 2008 at 16:17  

Parti politik lain ada didunia. Kita tak payah nak reinvent the wheel, kata omputih. Apa salahke kalau kita ambil pelajaran dari macam parti lain overcome problem macam ni?

Macam jedyoong ada pernah kata, di US pun ada main duit, cuma cara dia lebih kehormat. Malah ada peruntukan pulak, mereka panggil campaign contributions. McCain tu bukan nya pandai sangat, tapi pasal campaign fund dia tinggi, boleh lah dia menunjuk nunjuk pandai.

Sesuatu menjadi rasuh apabila dia dibikin dibelakang tabir. Kat US dia orang buat depan2. Hang mahu support aku, hang bayaq! Lepas menang, kita belakang kira.

Atau tengok macam pulau kat selatan tu pun dah cukup. Kenapa mereka boleh lepas gejala rasuah, kita tak boleh?

Tetapi apa pun, saya rasa semua mulai dengan yang atas sekali, sama ada nak take action atau buat derk aje.

Dan satu lagi, perlu independent body yang in charge to take action against the perasuah, bukan dok harap orang berkepentingan macam TAR yang jaga biro rasuah dalam parti sekarang.

Anonymous,  23 October 2008 at 18:43  

eh why u dun like musa hitam?
ok-mah. i dunno inside story but yeah he does come across as some grand sage of msian politics...

Omong 23 October 2008 at 19:19  

age should not be the KEY criteria in determining leadership

the ability to debate ideas and the person's integrity should be the main considerations

a young, intelligent and highly qualified person with zero experience and raw wisdom may resort to experimentations that might result in irreversible damage

an elderly person with highly critical thinking faculties and vast experience should also not be sidelined due to his age

there are more vital factors than age in deciding leadership

msleepyhead,  23 October 2008 at 21:18  

interesting contrast down south:

Jeffrey Hardy Quah 23 October 2008 at 21:22  

It's pretty ridiculous how Malaysia's future could depend on a single, dysfunctional party like Umno.

Anonymous,  23 October 2008 at 22:01  


if u dont like umno/bn just vote for opposition until they can lead the country. must respect people's choice. if not just find other country of your choice.


Jeffrey Hardy Quah 24 October 2008 at 08:55  

Anjun: I'd feel a lot better about Umno if they were, you know, COMPETENT. To pretend otherwise just because the majority voted them back in is just stupid.

Anonymous,  24 October 2008 at 09:33  

"And the greatest past master at this miraculous shortened way to success is Anwar Ibrahim."

There were quite a number of things that he did that was questionable when he was in UMNO. The usurping of Ghafar Baba was done very shrewdly and one can't imagine him succeeding without greasing the palms of many through his "ma chai".

I would like to hope and think that his incarceration had helped him to see the light and now more committed to removing corruption at all level.

As they say "hope springs eternal in a youthful heart" regardless of age.

Corruption is everywhere and the practice of pork-barrel politics in the US is not a good justification for us to do the same. The US political environment is very different from ours. There are laws and organisations and individuals who would monitor a lot of the going-ons there and when corruption was exposed there are institutional safe-guards to prevent the culprit from escaping the consequences of his action.

Malaysia do not have the necessary checks and balances and this somehow had allowed corruption to be carried out openly and unashamedly.

Anonymous,  24 October 2008 at 10:01  


It happened 21 years ago. most of our pemuda members today were in primary school. How could they remember what anwar did then. Remember the exposure by the ex-melaka chief minister who admittedly receiving tons of money from anwar? Ironically anwar was seen championing the anti-corruption bill when he was about to be discharged from his post. Then he said that was one of the reasons for his sacking. Can u trust this guy?

Tipah Tertipu

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP