Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Same old UMNO will never take us far.

Nowhere, actually...

The UMNO General Assembly concluded on March 28 with much buzz as Datuk Seri Najib Razak officially takes over as party president from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The former promised reforms within UMNO and also the country to undo the much damage being done as racial tensions in Malaysia is currently being pulled to a thread.

Whilst many observers a.k.a non-UMNO members are being pessimistic with the promises of Najib, the new party president and future Prime Minister has urged the public to 'judge him by his actions' [source]. One might already attribute the recent Perak constitutional saga as the basis for such judgement but the biggest concern for the future of Malaysia, I believe, lies not only on one man but the whole lot he would be leading into the future.

Double Standards

Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam was barred from contesting in the party polls when three of his "agents" were found guilty of being involved in vote-buying. Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin was handed a 'warning letter' by the party disciplinary board for money politics. If vote-buying is a form of corruption and thus a crime, the question mark hangs over the MACC's indecisiveness in taking the appropriate action against the two. [source]

The double standards were obvious. Ali Rustam was not allowed to contest for the vice-presidency but was able to retain his position as Chief Minister. And Khairy who eventually won the seat of Youth Chief was only 'cautioned' despite being found guilty of money politics. Corruption is corruption. There is no such thing as 'a little bit of corruption'.

Left: Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam.
Right: Khairy Jamaluddin

Same old racial rhetorics

Fear-mongering was once again the common theme. During the debate of the UMNO Youth assembly, some pointed out that the rights of the Malays, the position of Islam and the Malay culture, enshrined in the Constitution, had been questioned by certain parties [source].

The fear is unfounded as the only the thing that these 'certain parties' are disputing is the racial supremacy philosophy enshrined in the UMNO psyche and not the position of the Malays guaranteed in the Constitution, the position of Islam and the Malay culture. The problem balloons when some fail to distinguish the disparity in meanings.

Many also called for the party supreme council to restore the membership of Bukit Bendera UMNO chief Ahmad Ismail who was suspended for a racial slur in a by-election campaign speech. Perlis delegate Jafri Othman suggested that Ahmad Ismail did no wrong in defending the Malay rights and should not be punished so severely. He went on to say UMNO members must not stay quiet while watching the Malay rights being questioned.

Is undermining Malaysians of a different ethnic group part and parcel of the Malay rights? My understanding of the Federal Constitution says not.
"When we Malays speak about other races, we get suspended. But when others question our rights and hurt our feelings, they get away with it," Penang delegate Mohd Zaidi Mohd Said who said Malay supremacy should be safeguarded at any cost. [The NST Online, 26/3/09]
Mohd Zaidi believes both Penang deputy chief minister Mohamad Fairus Khairuddin and former Perak Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was being used by DAP for its own political agenda.

Hypocritical loyalty

UMNO Youth delegate from Kelantan Mohd Affendi Yusof took the opportunity to criticise ousted Perak Chief Minister Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin during a debate session for his famous quote: "Mohon maaf tuanku, patik mohon derhaka.” (Your highness, forgive me for I plead to commit treason.). [source]

He also said UMNO has been very lenient and patient towards Pakatan’s antics (in relation to the Perak constitutional crisis).

In English, that phrase would probably mean Nizar is defying the monarchy i.e treason. But an UMNO member like Mohd Affendi fails to understand that in his native language (which happens to be the national language) and Malay culture, "Mohon maaf tuanku, patik mohon derhaka" is a royal language or bahasa istana which a commoner like Nizar is compelled to use when speaking to a monarch. The former Perak Chief Minister was begging to differ with the Sultan of Perak's opinion. Does that amount to treason?

Going by that premise, UMNO is also guilty of defying the role of the monarchy. In 1983 and 1993, then Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad removed the royal veto and royal immunity by amending the law. With effect of this amendment, royal opinion and consent became irrelevant in the passing of bills by the Parliament.

In fact, the wise idea of having a democratic country could also be considered as treason to the monarchy. After all, having a written constitution limits the powers and role of the monarch. So why not just restore the feudal system and abolish democracy?
“In Islam, there is no forgiveness for those who commit treason against the sultan. We cannot be soft anymore. We must use force. And we will use it immediately after the annual general assembly ends,” Kelantan delegate Mohd Affendi Yusof said. [Malaysiakini, 25/3/09]
Use force ? Now where is the Internal Security Act when there is an open call for civil unrest ?

The future of a Malaysia for all Malaysians?

UMNO may preach they reflect the views of the entire Malay community in this country. However, I beg to differ as UMNO is not a race and therefore is not the sole voice of a particular community. Unfortunately for us, being the country's biggest political country would mean an ounce of err by UMNO is a pound of failure for all Malaysia. UMNO's words and actions now dictates where Malaysia would be heading in the next 50 years (whether we like it or not).

Despite the rhetorics of racial supremacy and fear-mongering arguments, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi still manages to remind UMNO that it must never adopt racist positions to undermine the other races. [source]
"Umno must never practise discrimination to the extent that non-Malays view it as a racist party. The rights of every citizen must always be protected, guaranteed and respected, as provided by the Constitution and as encapsulated in the Rukun Negara.The loyalty of every Malaysian citizen irrespective of race must always be appreciated in the spirit of power sharing and friendship. We must be conscious to the fact that we have already reached agreement that we would together bear the responsibilities of building our nation; that we would sink or swim together. Let us concentrate on the commonalities that unite us, rather than the differences that can divide us," he said. [The Malaysian Insider, 26/3/09]
Too late for him and rather unfortunate for us, the sweet preaching words of a united and equal Malaysia will continue to fall on deaf ears as the Malay saying goes "bagai mencurah air ke daun keladi" - unless UMNO loyalists from every fabric of society realise that we, irregardless of race, are together in this boat we call Malaysia. Sink or sail, that is entirely up to us.


  1. daeng_chelak said...

    Umno not only oppressed the living but as well as the dead suppressing even our history. They manage to manipulate the sultans heritage to suit their own need acting in cohort with the penjajah.
    For selangor till today the cannon is wrapt in yellow cloth fearing it might explode by itself since calamity has affected the true royal to the throne.
    A yearly event to extend doas and 'tahlil' with such grand ceremony seems like a ritual 'pemujaan' because the direct descendant is never invited and not in the know..
    Its haram in religion to mengaib kan cerita ini kan pada seluroh rakyat selangor dan malaysia am nye.

    pls view www.melayuberaja.org for daeng chelak's info from the perspective of the direct descendant.

  2. Anonymous said...

    Why am i not surprise, because it happens everyday in Malaysia. If the leaders believe that a great Malaysia will be formed by a single race, he/she is very wrong indeed. I am a Malaysian of chinese origin and i am ready to fight for a more prosperous and peaceful Malaysia. No race should be discriminated in this process. With the current crisis, what is the point of wasting time in your office thinking about the next racial remark you are going to make on the front page.

  3. vasantarao appalasamy said...

    I'm attracted with the word 'force' by the delegate from Kelantan in the UMNO general assembly..

    I think there will be a Ops Lalang 2 right after Najib take oath as PM... it's my prediction...