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

Friday, 9 July 2010

Saving UMNO


Dr Mahathir retired in 2003. In 2004 his successor, our 5th PM took us through the GE11. UMNO won big. The period 2004-2008, can be said to be wholly Pak Lah's era. He took many measures. He carried out a lot of programs. He brought perestroika onto local politics. He gave too much room to UMNO people. They became critical and at the same time, went out of control.
The freedom given, tuned many lesser UMNO leaders into political fiends. Nazri Aziz was particularly fiendish when he continuously belittled and berated Tun Dr Mahathir. When he did that, I thought this is it. You are hitting at the great helmsman.
I find some parallels of what happened in UMNO with what happened in Tiananmen square. Zhao Ziyang was liberal and gave too much space to students and Chinese citizens. They were at first given freedom to agitate for democracy even though as admitted by many students, they didn't know what democracy meant, but wanted more of it anyway. But when the freedom spilled over to explicit criticism towards Deng Hsiaoping, that was it. The Chinese government sent in the tanks. Li Peng, the hardliner won the day and he was supported by Deng.
Nazri and his ilk did just that. You hit back at a former premier who governed for 22 years who gave Malaysians a sense of purpose and pride, you can't expect not to suffer consequences. Pak Lah wanted to be loved more than to be feared. By fear, I don't mean, he orders people to be shot or incarcerated indiscriminately. Fear as in firm and resolute and having a just do it attitude.
When GE12 came, the BN was severely mauled. The opposition won several states and got 82 parliamentary seats. Now of course the Opposition has less MPs as a result of defections. It also lost Perak when its members reneged and went over to the dark other side.
On all accounts, Pak Lah has been failure. He failed to win big in the elections. The losses incurred reflect what is wrong with the BN its policies. But it was also a reflection of heightened political and social awareness.
Pak lah's failure is also Dr Mahathir's failure. It reflected badly on him as far as picking choices is concerned. He has failed in this aspects several times already. Beginning with Musa, then Ghafar Baba and then Anwar Ibrahim. He wasn't able to bring in a good running mate. Pak lah was smart in the sense he kept his true self concealed. He later proved to be not docile as expected by Dr Mahathir
When he began dismantling many of Tun Mahathir's legacy and projects, that unleashed the master's fury. The unleashing proved fatal as it galvanizes moves to oust Pak Lah from office even before his tenure was completed. We can say, this was a palace coup. Orchestrated by people within UMNO leadership itself, drawing impetus from the attacks by Dr Mahathir.
Beyond the clash of egos, we can look at the politics in this way. We have failed to develop a system of self continuity in which the best and ablest can come forward. Much of the fault lies with Dr Mahathir too. Because he wasn't able to put in place a system that ensures self continuity which require space for the best and ablest. Instead he puts in place a system, where the second best and mediocre rise to the top to ensure the same system is replicated. In UMNO the quota system designed to prevent busybodies and crackpots from challenging the president's position. The system proved to be a hurdle for the emergence of credible leaders who can offer competitive values.
Instead we have a system, where self perpetuation is the driving force. The system breaks down, when it elevates people not up to their job. Pak Lah proved to be inadequate for the job. The jury is still out on Najib although he is showing dangerous signs of also being inadequate. Many UMNO people, deep in their hearts are not saying that Najib is doing a good job. UMNO may implode during his watch. Already the UMNO grassroots are thinking how to save UMNO.
It may because, we haven't put a system where the ablest and brightest can offer themselves to public service. We have a lot of cartoon characters yes. But the ablest and brightest are shying away from UMNO.
The problem with Pak Lah is- he wanted to be loved and not feared. He didn't study the Prince which postulates that it's better to be loved or feared or both. If one has to choose one, then to be feared is better. Not sure if he was loved. But certainly he wasn't feared at all. he lets loose all the Kraken in UMNO and in the BN component parties. MCA an MIC demanded so many things that people were saying, during Mahathir's time, these parties were all muted.
Look at the leadership of UMNO now. you have the 3 vice presidents. You have the Sabahan who always seem to be diffident and has a nervous energy emanating from him. You have the defense minister from Perak who says he is just looking at the papers passing through his desk. And then you have that ow, ow Minister of Home affairs.
….to be continued


Anonymous,  10 July 2010 at 00:10  


I have not watched "special" events on TV for ages.Love them during TDM's time >>gave me so much hope & spirit then..inspiring belief & optimism.
Then came PakLah fake and choreographed..and so sleepy.The trend continues with Najib PR rhetorics & big meaningless concepts of NKRAs,NKEAs can't get galvanised by geek need words from the heart.

Tonight,I happen to channel surf during Proton's 25 Years bash.And,I heard the speech by the was truly from the was sincere in delivering the message of hope,belief and optimism.It was a pledge to deliver & carry the responsibility.NO GEEK SPEAK..not a single "consultant's buzz word"..its all from the heart..and the sincerity shines through.I was hoping TDM will make a speech too..

But unfortunately,the First Lady had to take centre adios and back to Cartoon Network.

Dato..we need that spirit so bad now.We want sincere leaders who speaks from the heart.We want leaders who deliver results and not leaders who talks about concepts n KPIs.

We want to see & feel things..not to be told that its there by graphs,indices and powerpoints.

We want to have that self belief..with the confidence to be able to deliver great things internally..and not by engaging swarms of consultants.

Remember those days..

Thanks PROTON..tonight you gave me faith that there are still pockets not infested by the Khazanah GLC bullshit school of management.

Anonymous,  10 July 2010 at 00:15  

Plea to Najib...please do not allow the Khazanah bean counters to destroy the heart and soul of Proton.

You did it once with your 1 Euro sale.

Khazanah...have belief in your own ability.Do not shirk from hard work ..getting your hands dirty and looking under the hood.Don't do a Time on Proton please.

You have destroyed enough.

schenker78 10 July 2010 at 04:42  

As education minister, what did hishamuddin did besides announcing PMR and SPM results? Muhyidin is even worse, looks blur on education.

I dont see any vision.
The minister from the 70s on education i think did better on policy and future...''

Muydin looks like got no enough education himself to sit on such a portfolio.

Its time we get educated and smart people on cabinet.

Zahid as defence, does he knows warfare strategy to defend the country?or only thing he know is finding ways to replace MIG29 so can get some commission like Najib...If Indonesia ever fight, they will win ...

PANJI HITAM 61 10 July 2010 at 07:34  

"It may because, we haven't put a system where the ablest and brightest can offer themselves to public service. We have a lot of cartoon characters yes. But the ablest and brightest are shying away from UMNO."

Ha, ha , ha ...Very nice piece, Dato'.

In conclusion, TDM biggest failure was his sucession planning. He created a lot of cartoon sucessors.

Cartoons here, cartoons there and cartoons everywhere !


Quiet Despair,  10 July 2010 at 09:11  

Happy 85 Tun M.
May you live to see the 13 GE.
Everyday you are rewriting history.
In view of the sickening political situation now,I wish you still have the power to wield the big stick.
Some politicians need to be shut up and out.
I like your way of putting people in their places.
You have the courage which no one in UMNO has.
You made people want to please you and not you pleasing them.
Tengoklah sekarang, berapa ramai yang naik tochang.

Anonymous,  10 July 2010 at 09:11  

Najib is a flop... a charlatan, a liar,immoral, corrupted, disrespects the law, indecisive, lacking in confidence, not respected by his peers, mocked by the people yet unaware he is a joke, abuses the judiciary, monarchy, purchases renegade opposition law makers, persecutes Opposition parties.
No foreign investment will come to this country with such a PM at the helm.

Anonymous,  10 July 2010 at 10:01  


Your previous heading was The MIC Dilemma... This Piece should have been aptly named " The UMNO Dilemma" (aka. Malay Dilemma No.2).

Perhaps Age has caught up with him..Perhaps it's Alzheimer, Perhaps it's the fear that his son Mukhriz may not be able to weather the storm .....Maybe..Maybe. But Tun Mahathir seems to have gone haywire...
His High Profile Support for Ibrahim Ali, His push to have Non Bumi move into Kampong Bharu..His support for Sports Gambling etc etc..His CPU has been severely shorted due to the constant conflict in internal spiritual values...

Yes, he has at least accepted responsibility for passing the Helm to Badawi. Yes, Badawi was smarter than he thinks... Yet he is not ready to admit that pushing for DS Najib to take over may have been another mistake!
The poor Man has always been a Poor Judge of Character!! and yet he continues to do so with his current support for Ibrahim Ali!

Joe Black

Anonymous,  10 July 2010 at 10:03  

Anon 00.10,

We damn knew that the nation leadership now is in shamble and has not delivered what the nation needs. DS Najib, please take note and revamp if not you will be like Pak Lah soon...We will get TDM to repair all these cartoons that he created in 22 years. TDM please do something before you go. The cartoons do not take your advise now.

Anonymous,  10 July 2010 at 10:24  

dont leave out your choice of ketua pemuda who turn out to be a disfunctional and shooter.

Yes, he is in the habit of shooting our own feet.

Anonymous,  10 July 2010 at 13:26  

Spot on about the part where the best ones are not picked.
Just recently at my workplace a total slimeball/scumbag of a "putar alam" par excellence breed was made a ketua jabatan in spite everyone inculding the devil knowing about it.
Now we have the scumbag@slimeball talking about responsibilty and accountability.Tahi kucing!

Anonymous,  10 July 2010 at 15:33  

"The more corrupt the state, the more laws " - Tacitus.

Anonymous,  11 July 2010 at 00:49  


About your review of the causes for the political tsunami of 2008, you forgot to mention the one person, I believe, who through his stupid and overzealous actions sabotaged Pak Lah's credibilty and indirectly the BN government of the day. He is our one and only Hamid Albar who, as Home Minister, abused the use of the ISA and later initiated the farce over the use of the term "Allah" in Sabah's christian publications.Thus I think he single-handedly paved way for the collapse of the BN majority government

Anonymous,  11 July 2010 at 22:03  

UMNO is beyond saving. It started as a noble party with noble objectives, as it was driven by the passion of the downtrodden and colonised Malays and other races at that time. Once independence was gained part of the motivation is gone. Then it was development of the populace, in UMNO's case the Malays. Over the years this took on a different tune as opportunists begin to oust honest members and patronage became the vlaue of their struggle. UMNO became a back door to success. Is it any surprise that many in UMNO has low academic qualification. The qualified, honest and proud Malays find the values of UMNO in conflict with their own intellectual values and honour. Mahathir was among the smartest of UMNO leaders but because he could not tolerate a strong willed succesor he finally surrounded himself with sycophant and weaklings either by design or inadvertently. After 22 years these are the type of people left in UMNO whoever you select. Sycophance and patronage became the current value of UMNO. Values are not easily changed especially if it has gained foothold among the members who have invested everything and hope to benefit from their career in politics. This problem can only be solved by the rakyat who are the real loosers. Some comment saying the Proton Chairman was speaking from the heart. Then why did he not be honest and acknowledged that to support Proton we had to imposed tax on cheaper imported cars and thus Malaysian had to fork out RM400 - 500 extra per month just to buy a Proton. Is this not a form of subsidy? This is one indication of UMNO's denial syndrome. Then there is the culture of the boss is never wrong - even when the facts are crystal clear. Is there not one UMNO member who has the self respect to stand up when something is clearly wrong? Like you? Only the rakyat can correct UMNO. UMNO under Najib, has made the Malays loose whatever self respect left if any. When he offered bribes to Malays they accepted and voted BN. But the Chinese had the honour to show him the door. This is how low the Malays have been depicted as a result of Najib. To cure a very sick party like UMNO one needs a strong antidote. This is nothing short of voting UMNO and BN out. Nothing less.

Anonymous,  12 July 2010 at 14:09  

UMNO is beyond any 'save' by even the Tuhan, not to mention by the morons and greedy punks in the Party alone!

The only way to save is to annihilate it and refore!

Anonymous,  12 July 2010 at 16:16  


The DNA of UMNO has evolved over the years since its inception.

UMNO was founded by people of vision, integrity and noble intention.

Sadly UMNO today is led by people lacking in leadership, honesty and transparency.

Perhaps only money and power can save UMNO.

s 12 July 2010 at 23:10  

The other thing is the lack of avenue for leaders to showcase themselves. MB's are appointed (more or less). City mayors are appointed, local council leaders are appointed. Even internally within parties, state chiefs are appointed. The only campaign is for federal position within parties and to be state assemblymen and MP's. Where is the avenue for potential leaders to show their capability?

I compare this with for example, France, US, Mexico and Japan, where popular mayors and governors are leading contendors to lead their party and country.

If the road is so narrow, then the characters that seep through will be those chopped as approved by the top

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP