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Sakmongkol ak 47

Saturday 31 January 2009

Money and Leadership Quality


Today, I read a report in the NST about the reluctance of UMNO delegates and leaders to attend briefings by MACC. This reluctance can only be an indicator that corruption in UMNO is endemic. It has reached such an alarming proportion, that UMNO leaders dare not listen to the truth. In the immortal words of Colonel Jessup in A Few Good Men, they can't handle the truth.

Only the numbskulled and belligerent UMNO leaders will deny that money politics are not widespread in UMNO. Every single post at the cawangan, bahagian and next, the MKT are won or loss on the battlefield of money politics.

But this general reluctance on the part of UMNO leaders is symptomatic of something more sinister. It reflects the fast diminishing quality of leadership. Over the years, there developed a relationship between the use of money and quality of leadership. Perhaps it can be used as an axiom with explanatory potential. The nature of the relationship can be written as: there is an inverse relationship between the use of money and leadership quality. Where more money is used, it is almost certain, the leadership quality declines.

There are rational reasons of such an inverse relationship. People with questionable character, lacking and shortcomings, will resort to using money to cover these weaknesses. The more weaknesses they have, the more money is used. Money is the universal language where even the illiterate and mentally challenged can understand. Money is the great leveler of the playing field. It allows the political moron equal chance with the political don. It sanitizes the morally depraved and passes them as political saints.

Once this inverse relationship between the quantity of money and leadership quality is established, it can be used to set up some policies. Less amount of money used indicates higher leadership quality. The man with character, determination and mental abilities will be less inclined to use money to advance his position. Instead he is willing to allow delegates to evaluate him on his merits. The better person will want to use less money knowing that he obtained them through his hard efforts. Frugality in the usage of money is also an indicator of personal discipline.

How then can the system be managed so as to provide ease for the more capable to rise? First we raise the difficulty bar for those with deep pockets but empty minds to contest. One of the ways is to make it exceedingly costly for even those with deep pockets to advance their cause. Selection of leaders can be made costly if we allow (a) all the delegates at cawangans to vote (b) the delegates at Bahagians to vote. The General assembly does not vote. Since money is taken out of the equation, this will force UMNO members to choose candidates based on their merits. No one, mindful of the cost will want to pay 2 million delegates at the cawangans to get elected.


Anonymous,  31 January 2009 at 21:07  


I support fully the idea that all members vote.

Even if the corrupt fellows have the money to buy the 2 million votes, the job of soliciting and paying out would be formidable and can become a strong deterrent factor.

The Party can then organise the elctions - based on PRU if necessary. The Party should have the funds - Dr Mahathir said in his blogs that RM1+ billion was handed over to his successor upon stepping down.

Btw, one wonders if the loans to build PWTC have been fully paid.
I heard from one banker a long time ago that about RM80 million (out of RM120 million) had not been paid at that time.

However, party election changes would also require a leader with the political will to do so because the corrupt fellows would raise objections as they would be be adversely affected.

So much has been said about delegates asking and taking money. Why don't people start talking about those who offer money. In a way, these are the bigger culprits.

Best wishes.

zorro 31 January 2009 at 23:14  

Datuk appreciation from one of my readers:

Uncle Zorro,

sakmongkol AK47 is indeed a gem. Thanks for unearthing it. I admit I had given up on most BN blogs before your post, which is not good since we should always hear both sides of any story. It is the he first UMNO blog I am reading which makes sense. Mo ranting on other coalitions, other communities or past members, just pure facts on corruption and other issues
(cf his latest postings:Money and Leadership Quality, The Rise of Moneyocracy in UMNO). I hope sakmongkol AK47 will be more widely read.
I hope BN and UMNO being the government of the day, and tomorrow's Opposition, will improve significantly under new leaders like him. This can only help the country and help build up pressure on Pakatan to improve too.

kuldeep 31 January 2009 at 23:46  

Pls provide some gauge of how wealthy the so called UMNO moneyocrats are?
in a bell chart..wat would be distribution like?is it 20 m with mean of 100m and tapering to 500m?
I am really curious as many of your readers must be...


Anonymous,  1 February 2009 at 00:24  

Another brilliant posting, Dato'. The sort that definitely will make entry into Zorro's much coveted apa nama, Friday Guest(?)column.
You wrote one recently that I thought was the best in all of blogsphere on the Kugan issue.
I don't think "Race Politics and Custodial Deaths" would see its way to the said esteemed blogger's column, will it?


Anonymous,  1 February 2009 at 06:08  

" all members vote." Simple but brilliant.

Toncet Biru 2 February 2009 at 18:50  


Please stop calling it money politics. Call it for what it is BRIBERY and CORRUPTION!!!.

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