When I read that UMNO elders are against open debate, I regard that as signs, UMNO really does not want to change. By March 2009, it is the still the same old party without any substantial changes. But Pemuda can change all this.
That is why I have supported an open debate on the issues affecting our country. I am not altogether convinced that by having open debates, would expose UMNO’s problems/weaknesses to the opposition. The opposition already knows what’s wrong with UMNO just like
It is precisely this addiction of choosing to be buffeted and claustrophobic in mind that made UMNO believe it its own infallibility. It believes its own hype that its untouchable. That insularity has made UMNO lose touch with reality and that has caused it to lose heavily in the last elections.
Let’s sanction a debate. Because this will be a step in dismantling the insularity that has incapacitated UMNO in th efisrt place. Let us resolve to see the emergence of a know-how leadership. We don’t know who are the better of the three. We cant say beforehand that KJ can out-articulate the others. Sometimes people are more convinced by the quiet reasoning fellow than the agitated guy. For example, I am more inclined to believe what TDM said though his factual presentation than say Anwar Ibrahim’s heavily padded rhetoric.
The party elders lay the ground rules. Set questions that test the candidates personal intelligence, vision, commitment and connectivity with the UMNO members and the public at large.
In the debating ring, leave all other incidentals aside. Personal life, father in law, father. Don’t inflict collateral damage please. Fight it out using your convictions. Sell them to us. Although we are not voting, we can still counsel our Pemuda delegates.
So I want to ask, what is the cause, these contestants want to sell to us? What do these contestants want to offer Pemuda? Will it be moulded into a highly principled and visionary organisation? Will it be willing and ready to counterbalance the main UMNO body? It is time to kick out the laggards, the political laybouts, the know-who generation. Let us now have the know-how generation.
Look at the next generation. In a few years, we who are talking now, will be fossils. The next generation is something else. The new generation is better informed and being better informed breeds criticality. The level of criticality is increasing such that, the new generation is looking out for explanations on current issues relating to nation-building and race relations that will shape their future.
What will that mean?- it means that old and amorphous leadership selling snake oil solutions will be rejected. The traditional rhetoric must not only be modified but must be replaced altogether with reasoned solutions. The thirst for answers for their analytical and Internet influenced mind must be quenched by laying out the facts, toning down the spin.
So can UMNO youth think not only of a Malay agenda and start thinking about making a generational quantum leap in their thinking. The failure of the Malay agenda, whatever that means now, because I am sickened by the ever-changing agenda landscapes, was a result of a insular UMNO.
Now, can the incoming youth leadership, whoever they will be and who ever becomes the ketua pemuda, sell this agenda to us? We are watching you.