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Sakmongkol ak 47

Friday 30 January 2009

The Chairman Speaks or Squeeks?

It was Winston Churchill in 1941 who said: We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job.
Ku Din may have wished he had all the tools. Unfortunately he does not. Tengku Ahmad Rithaudeen is chairman of the UMNO Disciplinary Board. It looks into complaints about breaches in discipline and campaign ethics. It has been most preoccupied with complaints about money politics. Ku Din has also said that the majority of complaints were not able to be resolved. Perhaps only 10% of the complaints ever get to see the light of day.
The Disciplinary Board is more renowned for its failures than successes. Even its success in getting the biggest name thus far, that of Tan Sri Isa Samad was tainted with accusations of selective persecution. Isa Samad, the story goes, was a victim of political assassination.
In that sense, Ku Din can also be said to be a tired and beaten man. He is frustrated. The political will is there, the execution is absent. The tools by which he can enforce discipline and rules are not there.
I am not sure whether the board members who are mostly drawn from retired politicians have the technical expertise to carry out forensic investigations into complaints. Hence, Ku Din was more than willing to let the reconstituted MACC carry out investigations. The Board is also more satisfied to play the role of a final arbiter.
The board’s move to have the investigation part done by the MACC should be regarded as a complementary role sharing. Instead it is looked upon a sign admitting ineffectiveness. It wasn’t accepted supportively. The UMNO shock troopers are descending upon a few of Ku Din’s efforts like packs of wolves. 50 people were reported to stage a protest of sorts airing their objections at MACC. They want UMNO’s internal problems to be sorted out according to UMNO ways. And so we ask, what is the UMNO way?
They are asking Ku Din who is regarded as senile to desist trampling their rights. And pray tell what this right is? Is it the right to demand money for votes? Is it the right to sell votes for money? Or is it the right to accept corruption as a way of life?
It has to come out at last, UMNO people think different set of laws apply on them. If that line of thinking is pushed to the extreme, then one day, we shall see demands by UMNO people that Malay problems are dealt with the Malay way. And what is that? We have a different set of laws as opposed to the common law?
The more sinister implication is, in UMNO corruption is acceptable. It is allowed within UMNO and that is why common law against corruption are not applicable within UMNO.
The issues raised by Ku Din’s opinions are not given fair hearing;
(1) The abolition of Putera and Puteri wings
(2) The dismantling of Wanita and Pemuda wings
(3) The abolition of quota system
(4) The issue of money politics.
Instead our attention is diverted to questioning the wisdom of Ku Din’s scrap the puteri and pemuda wings. We are silent on the quota system and we are applying all sorts of qualifying tests on money politics. Sidetracking and the art of political obfuscation are at play here.
Ku Din’s Board may have gotten all but unqualified political will. The UMNO president and the entire MKT must put all their weight behind the crusade against money politics. Instead it seems to be succumbing to pressures from the very transgressors which the powers of the board want to weed out.
The crusade against money politics has taken a secondary role. The focus is now to denounce Ku Din for mentioning the unmentionable; disbanding the puteri and puetra wings.
His opinions are taken over-seriously by Puteri and Putera. They have submitted letters of protest even though, Najib has already said, that won’t happen. If Najib and other UMNO leaders have already said No! to Ku Din’s remarks, why the overkill? Allowing that to pass would imply the putera and puteri are sleeping. The actions were just advertisement of their weakening relevance. We haven’t seen letters and protest decrying money politics.
Their enthusiastic vehemence against just an idea from an old UMNO guard should also be matched with the same vigour with regards to abhorrence to money politics. Ku din’s opinions are the fabled Don Quixote’s dragons, while the real menace of money politics and what they do to the erosion of trust in UMNO is taken lightly. Hence all and sundry in UMNO pretend that money politics in UMNO has not reached alarming proportions. So, dream on you UMNO people.
But let us take a closer look at Ku Din’s suggestions.
Having been freed from that responsibilities, has allowed Ku Din a freer turf. He can for example, let fly a few trial balloons. I believe he has done that recently. He may be testing waters. Doing that has also reinvigorated tired UMNO minds. The otherwise inert minds of Muhyiddin, Hishamuddin, Noraini, Rafidah, and Azeez Raheem suddenly sprang into action.
The balloons I am referring relates to Ku Din’s thinking out-loud on several aspects regarding UMNO. He has given some thoughts on UMNO’s organisational structure. Perhaps he says, maybe it is our organisational structure that breeds money politics. Accordingly, he has proposed the following. Abolish the Putera and Puteri wings. He has also suggested that UMNO do away with the Youth and Wanita wings.
Ku Din has his reasons. He believes, having too many sub-organisations increases also the avenue of money politics. He proposes to amputate the wings. We disband them and absorb them into one UMNO. He thinks a consolidated UMNO is a better deterrent to money politics.
His calls for the abolition may in fact be a call of desperation and hopelessness. Ku Din is merely expressing what the general public has accepted, UMNO is almost beyond redemption. Denying that money politics has so ravaged UMNO, strengthens the idea that its business as usual in UMNO. I am afraid that optimism is misplaced.
There is a chink in Ku Din’s opinions. Let us offer a counter argument. It may expose the weakness in Ku Din’s trial balloon. As an illustration, let us suppose with all the wings of UMNO plus their parent body, we find 100 cases of corruption. Since there are 5 separate units under UMNO, we further assume that each has committed 20 cases of money politics. These 20 cases are carried out by elements within each unit.
Now, as Tengku Din says, we abolish the 4 wings and allow only the parent body, i.e. UMNO to exist. What do we have? We have a situation where all those who committed money politics offenses in the now defunct units, are co-opted into the main body. What happens then? That will mean the number of those who have committed the wrongs remains the same at 100. Except, they now exist under the principal organisation. By default, they regroup in another area. They become concentrated and therefore stronger.
Therefore, disbanding the Wanita, Pemuda, Puteri and Putera does not remove the corrupting elements. What the proposal does is to eliminate the organisational units hosting the cancerous elements. Disbanding the various sub units, gives Tengku Din the false promise that with the demise of these units, the cancerous elements are extinguished. I am not going to entertain the plebeian analogy of ‘if we clip the wings, how can it fly?’ UMNO is not an animal sunny.
For that reason, we are thankful Tengku Din is not a medical doctor. For, what he actually proposes is to transplant defective and degenerative hearts, kidneys, liver and other such organs into an already equally ravaged body. The cancerous elements will infect the larger body and will hasten its death. Then, there exists a real danger of allowing the cancerous elements to prosper within a more spacious body.


satD 30 January 2009 at 14:45  

Salam Dato'

U said

"Ku Din was more than willing to let the reconstituted MACC carry out investigations."

I don't think that he has any choice actually in accordance to the powers of MACC which covers "badan awam" which also includes UMNO as defined under the Society Act 1966....

I really dont understand the protest of the so called "representative" of the Malays...

Do they even have a legal basis to complain?

Take Money Politics out of the scope of the "Tooless" Diciplinary Board...focus on other things internally...maybe even help set up "Legal Assistance Bureau" to assist the suspects (who may be kucirat small fish who do not know their legal rights guide them to get the BIG FISH!!!!!!)

Enough is Enough.....folks..

Anonymous,  30 January 2009 at 15:41  

Why on earth did Tun Mahathir allow the setup of Puteri? They should have gone along and be trained properly by the Wanita Wing! Instead the puteri leadership were given shortcuts to hold powerful posts without having enough mental maturity and basic training..all because they did not want to follow the laddersteps of Wanita Wing.

Azalina became a 'male' leader among the puteris.
And look at the puteris during campaigning..with or without tudungs, they are a boisterous lot!
I have even heard of cases of puteris having affairs with the older Umno menfolk, wrecking a number of marriages because men are men??Or some puteris homewreckers in disguise??
And many of them now think that they are more precious and more contributive than the Wanita wing! Bloody-hell!! Time mak2 kita takde pulak these puteri2 miang!

kuldeep 30 January 2009 at 17:02  

why are ppl willing to pay so much to hv a post in UMNO?Does the investment yield such great returns?
Looking lets say at a Ministrial post...the income potential over one term from salaries and wages shld be not more than Rm 2m..and the incremental value over potential earnings for the same person in a non political post maybe only 500k?Thus an UMNO top post provide decent ROI for a max investment of Rm 200k.
If u go down a bit further...non Ministrial post shld hv lesser values...and Ketua Bahagians can't be worth more than 30k...
Wonder why ppl willing to invest millions?U cut that potential returns...and u will be begging for ppl to want to hold top UMNO posts?

Raison D'etre 30 January 2009 at 17:29  

The rot in Umno is truly, really deep.

How do you stop money politics when it is accepted as the norm?

All we here are lip service and yet the very same leaders would have their largesse.

Public condemnation of money for votes is but a sham when Umno members couldn't care less except for getting their share.

And you're right, SM.

How convenient that the MSM steer the discussion away from more pressing issue to something more easily excitable like abolishing the Wings.

Perhaps Ku Din is thinking of allowing meritocracy to rule instead of moneyocracy?

Alas, the rot is way and far too deep.

Anonymous,  30 January 2009 at 18:28  

Syabas Dato'

If more UMNO members write in the tone you do, those responsible might get stirred into tougher action and there's a chance for the party to survive.

Strange this species called human beings. Even retired and old ones want to cling to whatever position that gives them any semblance of power or self-importance. Otherwise, why can't the Disciplinary Board or Committee members readily take whatever tough measures necessary to resolve those "unsolvable cases".

If they really can't get any witnesses, why can't they just hand over the files to the ACC, irrespective of which camp those people belong, irrespective of threats of "buka pekong semua orang".

Are they still hoping for favours from the powers-that-be? Are the top-rung leaders pinching the Board members' thighs upon mention of names of some of their strong supporters?

There was this theory that the
politician(s) holding the prosecution button did not press it on the party big wigs because of their own skeletons in the cupboard. When desperate during his corruption trial, former VP/Youth Chief/ MB Harun Idris blurted out the fact that Party President Tun Razak maintained a secret party fund. Dr Mahathir has said in his blogs about the RM1+ billion (presumably UMNO fund) handed over to Abdullah Badawi when he stepped down, asking where the money was. Hence the very few top guns being prosecuted.

UMNO members like you Dato must try to get like-minded others to campaign the voting out of the corrupt leaders. It's an uphill climb but some members must start it and we wish you all the best of luck.

zorro 30 January 2009 at 19:34  

Salam Datuk are brutally honest, yes? UMNO sidelined a thinker technocrat.

Apocryphalist 30 January 2009 at 19:35  

Dato' Sak,

Geronte: It seems to me you are locating them wrongly: the heart is on the left, and the liver is on the right.
Sganarelle: Yes, in the olden days that was so, but we have changed all that, and we now practice medicine by a completely new method.

- J.B. Poquelin,
"Le Medecin maigre lui".

That as much summarizes my take regarding your final paragraph of Tengku Din as a medical practitioner.


Anonymous,  30 January 2009 at 20:12  


Bloody hard-hitting.
UMNO would regret one-day and your postings may be retrieved by them as referrals.

Anonymous,  30 January 2009 at 22:34  

I agree with Anti-Corruption Fellow.

This thing called greed for power has been the basic motivation for human existence. It had existed since the second human being was created; corruption, prostitution etc emerged soon after the third fellow showed up on the face of the earth.

This greed led to lies, deceits, intrigues, connivance, collusion, wars and destruction. Greed and corruption create havoc and may lead to UMNO's destruction.

There was a time when politics was a vocation. Now it is an occupation, a lucrative one at that. In fact, more than that, it's an obsession. It brings huge rewards. It's a business; they raise capital to "invest" in party elections, "recoup" when they get coveted positions.

Competition becomes so stiff that they have to buy delegates to party conventions. Money politics was born.

Who started money politics may perhaps be traceable but it may not be productive to do so. Suffice to say that when the quota system was started in UMNO, it became tougher for those with meager means to "campaign" for votes to even get nominated, let alone elected, to important posts. There then started a competiton to make money to ensure getting more votes.

It therefore appears that abolition of the quota system is an important step at reducing money politics and corruption in UMNO.

Money politics and corruption became rife since about a decade ago. It's now so pervasive that it needs not only a strong leader but also a leader of high moral principles and, most importantly, having the POLITICAL WILL to eradicate it.

Do we have such a leader(s)? I think we (even non-UMNO members have an interest in this) must identify potential candidates, analyse their character, study their past records, debate them - perhaps openly, putting them up to public scrutiny. Until we do these, we will end up with leaders who only pay lip service to the idea of ending money politics and corruption. He will want to continue to stay in power and his votes comes from delegates who are so used to money politics. UMNO will rot and the Malays suffer.

Once reliable potential candidates are determined, UMNO members have to do their job of voting them in.

If not, chances are that UMNO will face its demise.

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