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Sakmongkol ak 47

Sunday 18 January 2009

And Now, Sobering Lessons for UMNO.(1)

We all know what has happened in Kuala Terengganu. RPK and his band of formidable new media practitioners will be emboldened. Anwar Ibrahim is emboldened. UMNO loses another seat in parliament.

The people of Terengganu have done the opposite of what Dato Najib wishes them to do. His pontificating about how to behave- humble, shake hands firmly, be folksy, wear a sarong, didn’t go down well. He has probably antagonised the Terengganu people, in sufficient number so as to cause them to go over the dark side.

Take his message to eschew education for back slapping camaraderie. The people of Pahang especially Kuantan will understand what I want to say in this example- Dato Najib would prefer the intelligent and hardworking people of Kuantan to elect a person like Hamid Mandela. No education but good with people skills- karaoke sessions, talk-cock sessions and so forth. Problem? These are the wrong people to be in UMNO in the first place.

He prefers UMNO with duds. The people of Terengganu asked- what’s worse than having education and awkward people skills? Answer: NO education and NO people skills. In other words, Dato Najib insults the KT people by asking them to prefer a dud than having a qualified person with awkward people skills.

What have the people of KT shown? They have shown that the qualities of leadership are more important. They have shown they want substance rather than playacting as enunciated by the PM to be. These messages should have a sobering impact on DS Najib unless of course he is insulated from this reality check by dim-witted advisers.

I have written a number of articles regarding UMNO and BN for the KT elections. These were preceded of course by my initial assessment of the situation. I chose to forget what I initially wrote and proceeded to defend UMNO/BN. That was my small contribution to the actual war at ground zero. So when my friend Smalltalk text me a message early on to say that we have lost, I could only manage a muted consoling response. I sent him a message to say I am sorry for the loss as I know he has been slogging since day one.

I remembered I wrote about KT being a Dunkirk for UMNO and then followed by a second uncomplimentary article titled Pomposity vs. Humility. But today, after the loss, I am not going to join some people responding with churlish statements blaming others for this defeat. It’s back to the drawing board for many of us.

Today, on TV Awani I heard the same crap about analysing PAS in terms of UMNO’s thinking. I have already said, it was UMNO who entered the ring as a house divided. There was this political analyst who kept repeating that PAS has its own divisive internal politics. I have discounted such perception by saying; PAS makes its decision on a common platform. Once decided, everyone’s attachment to Islamic ideology will prevail over personal and petty inclinations. In PAS the self is subsumed by the greater good of the party, reducible to everything Islamic.

UMNO hasn’t got that cementing element. It admits it has no ideology. Or more correctly, its leadership has failed to instil an ideology. What does UMNO have?


Anonymous,  18 January 2009 at 02:18  

Dear Sakmongkol, you are a scholar and a gentleman.

Jarod 18 January 2009 at 03:08  

Sir, from what you have said here, I believed you are a far sighted person that UMNO had for years. Sadly, they have been ignoring people like you. You are jewel among those MORON who had not been using their brain to think of what the people really want and need.

When the people eager to have a change for a better life, UMNO chose to IGNORE the people. This is only a small lesson. 308 Election was actually a BIG lesson, yet they fail to realize and improve on it.

Sir, I Would suggest that you consider putting UMNO down and fight for the people, not party. I also strongly believe that if any one of us stand on the middle line, we would see much better than the party it self.

Facing ignorant people would not bring you anywhere. It's time to let go and go to some where you will be able to serve the people.

research188 18 January 2009 at 06:12  

UMNO will one day be a great party again. The way forward is party rebuilding. It may yet remold itself into a better and attractive political party. But the way things are developing it is probably going to be prophetically speaking, after the next GE a phoenix rising from the ashes of defeat. It is critical now to put out the garbage. Ensure a democratic process for better leaders from the younger generation to rise ( and I am not talking about mukriz, khairy, hishamuddin here. they have had their chance and failed miserably.) Why should leaders be chosen from the elite ie just because their fathers were 'so and so' or previous PMs. Choose leaders on merit -that are intelligent, articulate, people with integrity- acceptable to all races, successful in their careers- that are whilst party loyalist also Rakyat conscious. Come on, can we not have people with stature and charisma. Look at Wan Farid. Get rid of baggage now and be prepared to be in the opposition soon. It can only get worse before it becomes better. SAKMONGKOL, be one of the agents OF change and FOR change please. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going- but resorting to dirty tricks and foul means will not go well with the rakyat as leaders cannot hide their deeds of shame forever. I expect when and IF the opposition takes over, all the corruption and abuse of power will come to light. If you can get the statistics, I will betcha that peopel are running now in droves to join PKR. BN is a sinking ship.

Anonymous,  18 January 2009 at 06:20  

One day we will have a leader of the composite of the following

1. The genorisity and warmth of the TUNKU
2. The intergrity of Hussein ONN
3. The cunning of Dr Mahathir
4. The oratorical skills of OBAMA
5. The determination of Tun Razak/ TUn Ismail
6. The courage of Karpal Sing/Lim Kit Siang

How's that for a start.

Instead what do we have
Lacklustre leadership, tainted leadership ... the people surely deserves better.

Anonymous,  18 January 2009 at 07:23  

I also foresee in a not to distant future a suruhanjaya will be established. that will add up as one more thing pak lah needs to do before he quits.
hope this lost could be a stoppage to LABU LCCT.

Pak Zawi 18 January 2009 at 08:15  

Dato' Sak,
All is not lost. UMNO/BN should learn a lesson from it. The top leadership must start a soul searching exercise beginning with themselves. If they themselves must go, so be it in order to save the party. They are now a liability to the party.

Anonymous,  18 January 2009 at 08:18  

If UMNO had more leaders like you - or are willing to listen to leaders like you - perhaps the outcome in KT would have been different.

Our hope is that leaders like you, men of substance who are truly transformational and not merely transactional, will be able to outlive the present leadership (and I use the word 'leadership loosely) of UMNO.

I know you tried your best, but perhaps under the present regime, a win in KT was simply not in the cards. However, in the future, thing may yet change.

Anonymous,  18 January 2009 at 09:09  


I've been following your posts about the KT elections but haven't been commenting.

What does it take to open the Umno leadership's eyes? What does it take for them to take real action to revive the party?. A stint in the opposition benches perhaps?

I'm not an Umno member but I'm not blind to what Umno has done for the country in the past either. With due respect to it -- and it has done well in the grander scheme of things -- we have not become Ghana, a country very similar to ours and which became independent in 1957. They were arguably better off at independence too.

So the achievements of Umno are not something to be scoffed at by any measure. But past achievements are not enough.

The problem is the people running it presently, not the party. These people, the overstayers, the opportunists and the greedy -- Umno members know who they are -- who place self above party, have to be prised away (by definition, they won't do it voluntarily) like a barnacle from a ship's hull before Umno can stop its downward slide.

The party is the same. The only difference then and now is the people leading it.

abunawas 18 January 2009 at 10:48  

The post election comments by BN leaders abounds but of the same tones.

That reflects a response in denial more than anything. That respond would make more sense had the campaign for the election was on a much sober mode and without any indication of desperation to win the election may it be on the issues raised, promises made, bounties handed, machineries mobilised, the big guns deployed, the collaboration of most media etc.

For as long as BN continues to live in the state of denial, support for BN will not improve but rather will shrink. The message is very clear indeed…..people want change. Not any change neither strictly change of goverenment per se. Both the opposition (should know since they are the ones who echoed this call) and BN (should know by now and stop living in denial) know the changes that the people are expecting.

Should there be any further loss in future by-election, that will be very detrimental. On the other hand, should this be followed by defections…regardless of the numbers, that could be fatal.
This result hopefully makes UMNO realised that attributing just a single factor for loosing should be ruled out. If the PM was largely and almost sole blamed on the March election result and consequently pushed out to relinquish the presidency and premier seats and that he practically now is not in control, it will be interesting to see who and what will be the scapegoat and whether BN attitude remains. As usual, the blame goes to others.

By the way, would anyone predict or belive that the outcome would be better for BN had the campaign be spearheaded by leaders that have impeccable clean image and UMNO is free from money politic?

What do we think of the people's feeling seeing what they see thus far and knowing without doubt that UMNO is deeply entrenched in money politic?

Wouldn't they think that this money politic in UMNO that can't be denied is only the tip of the iceberg of the real corruption nationwide?

Dread thinking about that!!!!!

Anonymous,  18 January 2009 at 11:13  


From ur post:-
What have the people of KT shown?
They have shown that the qualities of leadership are more important. They have shown they want substance rather than playacting as enunciated by the PM to be.

Thank you, yes, we Trg people do acknowledge leaders with substance. If Umno had put the right candidate, it would be a different ballgame. Another point, we were disgusted with all the UMNO people who came from nowhere, and their main intention to show support not for this KT election, but more to Umno election this coming march. U could just listen to voices "Kalah yg ni takpe, yg penting bulan 3 ni".

I don't like to talk that much, instead i would like to give a proposal to UMNO since they seems lost. My proposal:-

1. After the March general election, whoever wins, discuss with MCA & MIC, to agree on some basis for racial unity. This is to strengthen BN again. Time line- 3 months, April to June 2009.
2. From this basis, make a public rally. Go from kampung to town on each states, to win back the heart of all Malaysian & listen to all the complaints. Get the politicians to join, make it easier for everybody to join Umno, MCA & MIC. Especially UMNO. Timeline - 3 months, July to Sept 2009.
3. From the rally, gather all the complaints and analyze what the needs. It will be breakdown into 2 separate list, 1 for federal and 1 for the state. Timeline - 3 months. By the end of the year, the report of the 2 list will be make to public, and the public must endorse it.
4. Then, we will give BN these 4 years to deliver. If nothing change, by next GE we vote to change to a new government.

My point is, people keep complaining that everybody is not doing the job. So, agree on the issues, give them chance to prove, if they don't perform, we go for other alternative. Tq.

"U cannot buy or ask for respect. Respect is something that u need to earn."

gram.kong 18 January 2009 at 11:56  


Like you, I have given UMNO the edge.

You say what's wrong with UMNO.There are plenty wrongs and the worst injustice is, is the one they did on themselves, they are still bloody arrogant. They think the rakyat owe them a living and must vote for them.

They learned a bitter lesson in KT, that's money is not everything.Not everybody can be bought.

There is very little talent left in UMNO, sometimes, it is very embarrassing to hear some of the ministers speak.Some are just nonsensical.Half of the cabinet ministers should be sacked and replaced with new and untainted faces.

At the rate they are going, it will be sayonara at the next GE, or sooner, if the rats decide to desert them.

abunawas 18 January 2009 at 12:14  

A lot of us may by now be wondering whether this is the beginning of the domino fall?

BN should not totally discount this possibility.

Would be interesting to hear your views and comment.

Greenbottle 18 January 2009 at 12:34  

as a person who has never support umno, let me try to explain why umno loses and i think will continue to lose from now on.

it's this. malaysians have moved on. but umno remains static. it continues to INSULT the electorates by all forms of bribes and handouts.

please stop this insult. do the right thing and stop this corrupting practises. but i think umno is incapable of doing this. it's a pity because some umno people meant well... but it's too late now. umno is too full of crooks.

awi.prt8 18 January 2009 at 12:53  

Feel free to read my comment on my website.


Anonymous,  18 January 2009 at 13:37  


This was what I was trying to point out. You brushed me aside, labeling being impolite and rude.

Another mencarut to me. But the goings on is for REAL, please open your eyes wider.

We have Adun’s who hardly visit our area, even upon invitation, would send representatives. They leave matters to people the likes of Hamba Allah who blanketly label “orang miskin as pemalas”?

No, we don’t want these attitudes to continue. Listen, I know lots of those who are in need of help.

By HELP, does not mean, having to hand out RM20 packets to the poors with kompangs and the frills that usually accompany this sickening occasion once in a blue moon. HELP means, to take the initiative to go around and see what and who needed to be HELPED.

I have people coming to me seeking for help. One example, a family of anak yatim piatu, eldest in College and having schoolgoing siblings.

And goodness, he just did not know where to turn? Why? We have the mosques committees, the UMNO committees, the so on and so on, yet why is that this boy is left so alone to figure out what next to do?


de minimis 18 January 2009 at 15:07  

Bro Sak

This first-part of your post-mortem already zooms in on a key issue, the talent pool for potential parliamentarians and state assemblymen. Pols with strong relationship skills are always a hallmark of politics, indeed, the lifeblood. But these types of pols should be left at the foot-soldier and branch levels.

For divisional, state and national levels, there must be a higher benchmark. Otherwise the ghost of Zakaria Mat Deros will haunt UMNO-BN to deeper depths of despair.

I look forward to reading more of your post-mortem thoughts.

Anonymous,  18 January 2009 at 15:50  

of course UMNO has an ideology.
It is called 'GREED'

Eyes Wide Open 18 January 2009 at 17:42  


I have visited your blog several times and I have come to admire you for the very intelligent and enlightened views you put forth. It is certainly a breath of fresh air hearing it from an UMNO man, compared to the trashy statements by other BN "leaders" we get in the news.

You are right on the money when you said that UMNO suffers from a lack of quality leadership. I am often disgusted by the shenanigans of many UMNO personalities (I hesitate to call them "leaders"). Yet, these people are allowed to rule our country with impunity!

I am not anti-UMNO, but my assertion is that UMNO - in its present incarnation - is unfit to lead this nation. Looking at the field of UMNO/Barisan MPs, it's hard to identify one that is not shrouded in controversy or rumours of dark secrets.

Even people like YB Shahrir Samad, who previously enjoyed a reputation for integrity and outspoken courage, has been reduced to being a talking head for farcical, piecemeal government policies. Whether he was forced into the role or he grew into it, I have no idea.

And the race-baiting as practised by the UMNO-led BN is disgusting to the extreme to anyone who considers themselves a true anak Malaysia. The racial divide-and-rule policy as propagated by UMNO/BN has dealt our nation a far-reaching death-blow that will take generations to heal.

My own personal experience of it was when I tried to engage a Malay-centric blog. The moment I reveal myself as a non-Malay, the personal attacks were fast and furious with nary a mention of the issues raised. How did I deserve such vitriol? I merely suggested to see things from a colour-blind perspective.

The sad thing is, such racial hatred and stereotyping continues to be nurtured by the BN, while independent voices working towards a more understanding society (such as film maker Yasmin Ahmad) continues to be suppressed.

I hold the BN government, helmed by UMNO, responsible for this. And, as I wrote in my blog:

"Like poison is vomited from the human body, UMNO's racialist poison must be expelled from the Malaysian body politic! And they must remain removed from the Malaysian political scene until they are able to provide real visionary leadership for Malaysia again!"

Dato', if you have time do visit my blog and leave a comment. I would love to engage in a discussion with you on building a Malaysia we can all be proud of again.


Anonymous,  18 January 2009 at 19:10  

The problem is UMNO thinks the country belongs to them and their existence is based on rewarding their supporters through money/contracts.

You just have to observe how they use rakyat's money. Practically no planning and to their whims and fancies.

...there was one time even the PM just wantonly announced 600 million to be divided among all the UMNO divisions... for their projects. Imagine that? If you guys do not comprehend the implication of such actions using rakyat's money.. I dont think we are mature enough to talk politics.

Only third world countries like Zimbabwe does that and today they have 10 trillion dollar notes.

ajip 18 January 2009 at 21:38  


please ask umno to get rid of najib

this is the first step

replace him with kuli or mat sembab or any other leaders with less problems

then umno can win the people hearts

dont listen to che det....he wants najib for only one reason.

najib hanya melengkapkan kekalahan bn di PRU akan datang.....

even mat sabu yang datuk perli tu pun dah cakap terima kasih kepada umno kerana letak najib sebagai presiden....ia akan mempercepatkan kekalahan parti umno sahaja.....

najib hanya ada 2 option.....lakukan perubahan sepenuhnya (memecat dirinya dan pemimpin korup umno) atau guna kekerasan seperti ISA ke atas pembangkang....
lu fikirlah sendiri

Anonymous,  18 January 2009 at 22:14  

I don't care that umno lost. But do you know there is an campaign now going on in earnest to ask our slumbering PM not to go in March?

Ladyhawke 18 January 2009 at 23:23  

Ha ha! Eyes Wide Open is still alive. The Malay-centric blog you were referring to must be Demi Negara's blog. Oh ya. You kena lanyak habis-habis there! Please lah. You can't even rebut his arguments intelligently. Not even remotely intelligently. Your invitation in Demi Negara's blog to visit your blog tak laku, you still ada hati nak invite Dato' pulak to your blog. You are not in the same league as Dato' or Demi Negara la.... Perasan!

Apocryphalist 19 January 2009 at 07:39  

Dato' Sak,

Thomas Campbell once wrote, "Victory has a hundred fathers. But Defeat is an orphan". Dato's post-election scrutiny is something only honorable politicians are made up of. Echoing the many in here, I say the nation would be far more beneficial if our Dato' here is in the forefront rather than the goons currently taking helm.

Seems like that "a hundred fathers" thing is clearly manifested in the KT elections. "The Rakyat has spoken" they say. "Malaysians want a total change in Leadrship" they say. While that may all be true, I stand entertained at how everyone from DAP to PKR to Kit Siang to .... perhaps some Get-rich-quick-scheme proprietors are using PAS' victory to prove their points, promote their cause and prove BN's "irrelevance". This ... "perasan" belief (thanks LadyHawke) that they can speak on the behalf of the "Rakyat" is equally comical.

THEREFORE, a good, strong BN is detrimental to the cause of these people. By Cartesian logic, a BN helmed by Dato' Sak should also be something not good for them.


Eyes Wide Open 19 January 2009 at 09:41  


I'm too polite to argue with you on another person's space. If you want, you can come and argue with me on my space, or I could go to your space - it doesn't matter either way.

But what I would like to know is how exactly did Demi Negara "lanyak" me? You mean personal attacks on my race, bodily functions and intelligence count as quality rebuttals to the points I raised?

I'll let the good Dato' be the judge of that...

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