Can Umno Change or Cows Fly?

By Kee Thuan Chye

UMNO is beyond redemption. At its general assembly in December, the message it sent out was suspicion of others and hatred for them, and a desperate desire to win the next general election.

Its president, Najib Razak, once again proved what many of us have long suspected – that he is a dissembler. He exposed the ultimate lie behind his 1Malaysia slogan by saying things that would divide the races rather than bring them together. He set the trend for delegates at the assembly to harp on the threats to Umno from other races. It was disgraceful coming from the prime minister of the country. It was supremely irresponsible.

Worse, two days after the assembly ended, he appealed to the right-wing NGO Pertubuhan Kebajikan dan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Pekida) for support. This has to be the final nail in the 1Malaysia coffin.

To cap it all, Umno showed its partiality to cronyism by defending Wanita leader Shahrizat Abdul Jalil over the scandal surrounding her family’s business, the National Feedlot Corporation. One or two colleagues called for her to step down, but the overwhelming majority stood by her and castigated the Opposition for exposing the scandal.

This begs the question: Can Umno change? As the major party in the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, can it truly stand up for other races as well, and work for their well-being? Can it stay clear of corrupt practices? Can it stop dishing out favours and projects to party leaders and their cronies? Can it save Malaysia from financial meltdown or will it rather bleed our coffers dry?

The online news website The Malaysian Insider sums it up eloquently: “Umno looks set to win the polls in the next general election but yet looks woefully ill-equipped to lead a multi-racial country. … One expects delegates to articulate a vision to continue its previous success but that did not happen. Instead, delegates harped on age-old themes of having their culture and faith eroded by political foes taking over the country. That they are the only guarantee of faith and culture. What about the economy? What about the reforms? What about Malaysia ? … Everything is centred around Umno. … But they didn’t articulate the vision for continued success. … Instead, everyone is at fault except those in Umno.”

And yet Najib could tell Pekida: “If we miscalculate and choose the wrong side, our country could very much end up like Greece .” Surely, he must mean that the wrong side would be BN. The way it has been going – awarding projects to cronies who have no track record; continuing to allow overpriced purchases by government departments, despite what the Auditor-General uncovers year after year; giving out money like there’s no tomorrow in order to win votes, such as the substantial pay rise for civil servants – BN is more likely to lead us down that way.

The civil service is bloated, with 1.4 million employees, but Najib criticised Pakatan Rakyat (PR) for suggesting it should be trimmed. According to his top public service official, 1.4 million is “the right size”. How this is so puzzles me. Japan has a population of 127 million and its civil servants number just over a million. We have a population of 28 million and our civil service is as large as Japan ’s. It seems to me that trimming down the civil service is more likely to save us from going Greek.

And so I think we should not take any more risks with Umno. Especially now that we have an alternative. PR has shown itself capable of running the four states under it and earned positive ratings from the Auditor-General and a few others. It’s time to see whether they can bring reform to the country.

Najib of course insists that PR will lead us to our doom, but what are his words worth anyhow?

At the Umno general assembly, he presented a grossly untruthful picture of the DAP to strike fear into the hearts of the Malays. He accused the party of being anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-royalty.

But after PAS won Terengganu in the 1999 general election, who stopped the state that is 90 per cent populated by Malays from getting its oil royalties and substituted it with the lesser Wang Ehsan? Was it the DAP?

Who created a constitutional crisis in 1983 and curtailed the powers of the Malay royalty? Was it the DAP?

In 2008, who protested against the Terengganu sultan for not accepting Idris Jusoh as the menteri besar, and insulted His Highness with the word “natang” (animal)? Was it the DAP?

Who gave away citizenships overnight to immigrants, legal and illegal, in Sabah to ensure they kept Umno there in power? Was it the DAP?

So where is the truth in Najib’s warning that if BN did not continue to be the government, the Malays would be under threat? Who has proven to be the real threat?

But still, he called on Pekida “to defend the current government” – to guarantee the special position of the Malays, the dignity of Islam, the preservation of the Malay royalty. He thumped his chest and yelled, “We are warriors!” and “We will not surrender even an inch!” He led the crowd in cries of “Hidup Melayu!”

Someone was moved to comment on Facebook, “Listening to what Najib said, it feels like we’re at war.”

A knowing friend warns me: “Do you know what Pekida is about? They are like gangsters. They have secret codes, like particular handshakes or the way they hold their cigarettes. They have 2 million members. These are the people we should worry about.”

Indeed, when the film KL Gangster came out last year [2011], Pekida objected to its portrayal of secret codes and use of words like “abang long” and “ayahanda” that apparently cut too close to reality.

This prompted blogger Ibnu Hasyim to ask, “Apakah benar kononnya filem itu membuka ‘kod rahsia pertubuhan’ Pekida? … Terkejut kita, apakah pertubuhan dakwah itu pun mempunyai ciri-ciri pertubuhan bawah tanah atau gangster? Pekida adalah Gangster Melayu? Perlukah pertubuhan itu disiasat polis? Mana ada dakwah dan kebajikan pakai ‘kod rahsia’ pertubuhan?” (Is it true that the film apparently exposed ‘secret organisational codes’ of Pekida? … We are shocked, does this missionary organisation have the characteristics of an underworld or gangster organisation? Pekida are Malay Gangsters? Should the police investigate this organisation? Why would missionary and welfare organisations use ‘secret codes’?)

Najib’s appeal to Pekida and his words at the Umno assembly spell desperation. That’s clear to see because Umno has no case left to make for its continued rule. News of its corruption is bursting out. Soon after the general assembly ended, the Singapore Straits Times reported that ex-menteri besar Abdul Hamid Pawanteh was involved in the Alstom bribery case. He has, however, denied it.

Earlier, questions had been raised about Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi allegedly flying to Saudi Arabia for his haj in a private jet, and about “ridiculously overpriced” rural development projects in Sabah allegedly linked to senior BN politicians. The worms are crawling out of the can.

Umno cannot defend itself. So it lashes out at enemies. It fabricates untruths about its enemies. Sadly – and sickeningly – Umno resorts to rousing tribal emotions and harping on the issues of race and religion. After 54 years in power, it still plays those explosive cards.

As the blogger Sakmongkol AK47 puts it: “Umno gets on by making Malays believe that they are being besieged, attacked, assaulted and victimised. That’s how Umno can survive. How does it do that? By fabricating lies and manufacturing stories. The Chinese are going to eat you up. The Chinese are going to Christianise you. They are going to wipe out the sultans, ban the use of Bahasa Malaysia , and abolish Jawi and so forth. You feed on people’s irrational fear. You want to maintain stupid and mute people. Can you sustain whole people like that, turning people into xenophobes? I say this is a recipe for destroying Malays, not cultivating them to become self-confident people.”

Umno has been doing that for decades. It has not evolved. So how can it change? How can such a party still be allowed to rule multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural Malaysia ?

If we continue to vote for it at the next general election, what would that make us? Dumb and dumber?

  1. #1 by k1980 on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 6:41 am

    Vacancy Wanted: kopi-boy

    Salary: RM 5 a day only

    Speciality: Goes around with a tube of lubricant in pocket

    Preference: Work for any top Pakatan Rakyat official

    Qualifications: First Year University dropout

    References: Ah Jib Gor, Ah Moo Kong

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 8:07 am

    ///He thumped his chest and yelled, “We are warriors!” and “We will not surrender even an inch!” He led the crowd in cries of “Hidup Melayu!”///

    It is unbecoming of the Prime Minister to fan up racial sentiments in multiracial Malaysia. There are many things the Prime Minister can touch on to win support from the people. For example, improve public transport, building high speed Internet, bring in more foreign direct investment and create more jobs, etc. He hardly needs to play the race card to garner support for his party.

  3. #3 by Winston on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 8:45 am

    We all know BN will lead us to our doom.
    Because, any change to the right path, will lead to their doom.
    So, your doom is better than their doom.
    It’s in the hands of the electorate to thwart doomsday.
    Galvanize everybody to make it their doom.
    There’s not a moment to lose.

  4. #4 by boh-liao on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 9:25 am

    It’s not just DOOM, it’s BOOM, BOOM too!
    An UmnoB ex-minister oredi dropped a BOMB SHELL by telling d world dat UmnoB/BN r terrorists who BOMBed voters with CASH 4 their votes
    BOOM, BOOM – blatant use of $$$ 2 buy votes
    NO WONDER, everywhere NR n Moo go, they sing: U GIVE me, I GIVE U, C me 2molo, cek

  5. #5 by dagen on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 9:28 am

    Let me tell you people something. Umno pumped 100 billion into a secret project to make cows fly. Dont laugh! Yes it is true. To make cows fly. The objective of the project is two pronged. First, to prove evolution. Second, to show that it is possible for cows to fly one day.

    You see. Cows graze from the ground. This is the starting point of the project. If the feeding point is raised slowly by 1mm every 5 years then in 10,000 yrs the feeding point would be a good 2 metres above ground. At that point those cows, well actually the decendants of the decendants of the decendants etc etc … of the original test cows, would have learned to stand upright at the least. “Perhaps not quite like humans” opined Tun Tan Sri Dato Seri Dato’ Datuk Prof Dr Apapunboleh bin Similanchiaupunok, the CEO of the NCCFP. “But I would expect them to be able to stand like chimps”, he added. “Some may even have develop rudimentary body anatomy that are appropriate for flying”, stressed the learned Tun Tan Sri Dato Seri Dato’ Datuk Prof Dr Apapunboleh bin Similanchiaupunok.

    It is a very important project. It will spearhead malaysia to the forefront of evolution. The knowledge gained could be used to produce the supreme umnoputra race. If successful, then 20,000 yrs from now elite umno members could have little wings to flap. So given its significance, the 100 billion initial budget is justifiable. The yearly running costs for the project is expected to be about 50billion.

    … dagenli talking cows. BTW NCCFP means National Cows Can Fly Project.

  6. #6 by Bigjoe on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 9:29 am

    UMNO/BN can’t change and the reasons are actually simpler than people think.

    1) UMNO today or UMNO B is NOT the original UMNO. Tunku Abdul Rahman and Onn Bin Jaffar, the key ideological founding of original UMNO was never part of this party. The UMNO today true ideology is hegemonist, racist, the end-justify-the-means AND the real end is greed and power far and above all else. Its not the party of moderation, of respect for law & order, of others, Its not even the party of Malay agenda – the Malay agenda is secondary compared to their greed and power.

    2) Mahathirism is wrong. The ends rarely justify the means and he got away with doing it for a while and now dominates everything the party does. The perspective is perverted, the ideas are perverted. LKY proved it by 8X the amount of wealth created using literally nothing when it should be Malaysian 8X wealtheir than them when we are so abundantly endowed and no lesser. In other words Mahathirism should only be allowed only 10% of what he got away with instead its 150% of what UMNO B is.

    3) There is not enough talent to turn things around in UMNO/BN. Look up and down the organisation and you see there is just simply too much mediocrity. Its a party of mediocrity because it takes short-cuts and easy ways and hence attracts the mediocre who goes to great length to perpertuate and raise their mediocrity. Even those who are good within UMNO admit they are the minority in the party. You can’t reform mediocrity. The mediocre don’t change because its too hard for them and its too easy to stay the same. Only the process of natural selection does that, creative destruction – of fall and rise or new empires and new order.

  7. #7 by boh-liao on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 9:32 am

    YES lor, UmnoB MUST CHANGE
    4 a start, UmnoB 2 listen 2 a current member, an ex-minister:
    “You must give d opposition d freedom 2 have TV, radio n newspapers,” he said. “For 50 years, PAS has been asking 4 a newspaper licence but none given — d government is a big bully.”

    Barisan Nasional, he said, should not be making use of d Ministry of Information, Felda, Felcra, d Special Branch n other federal agencies 2 support their campaign.

  8. #8 by boh-liao on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 10:44 am

    BUT again, Y would racist UmnoB CHANGE when we hv ppl like Ceylyn Tay 郑惠浓 of Gerakan n por no CSL of MCA, willing n dying 2 b SERFS of UmnoB, scrambling 4 crumbs
    CTay alluded dat minorities could not expect equal treatment: 真昰一世奴才, 一生一世心甘情愿被牵奴鼻, 要生生世世感恩污桶
    不知不再以种族来思考问题, 不知多元种族及人权, 不知人民力量能推翻污桶/国阵政府, 改朝换代

    We should all take this Lunar New Year period 2 spread d UBAH/ABU message 2 our folks n frens – 4 d SAKE of OUR NATION, TERMINATE UmnoB, MCA, Gerakan, BN in d next GE
    It’s NOW or NEVER!! B bold like DRAGONS


  9. #9 by Godfather on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 12:20 pm

    The more we charge them with corruption, extremism, incompetence, selective persecution, etc, the more they clamp up. It’s because the charges are true and they have no counter to these.

    Tony Pua asked Zahid how come in the space of 9 months, the cost of the ships escalated from RM 6 billion to RM 9 billion. Oh, now they claim RM 6 billion is for this Malaysia Plan and an additional RM 3 billion is for the next Malaysia Plan. Why don’t you increase the amount to RM 25 billion, and claim that this will be spread over the next 3 Malaysia Plans ?

  10. #10 by sotong on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 12:25 pm

    What to change?

    In their minds, they have done a great job and should be properly rewarded.

  11. #11 by dagen on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 12:45 pm

    Another malay to join DAP? Check it out people. Visit FMT. News abound that Hata will join DAP. That is welcoming.

    Now look at something else but related to this piece of news. The response section at the bottom of the FMT coverage showed an overwhelming (yeah) “HAPPY” response. The same overwhelming “HAPPY” response was also shown when two ex-umno men joined DAP. These are indications that the people in general are not adverse to having malays in DAP. In fact they welcome that! So watch it umno. Your DAP = racist = communist = chinese equation is obsolete.

  12. #12 by monsterball on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 1:14 pm

    Dumb and dumber we are if we keep voting for UMNO b..Najib was never voted as PM anyway.
    Let him talk as much as he likes…for his 3 years performances are merely promotional work to get votes…like living advertizing voice…for anything..and everything…UMNO b..and not like a PM speaking speaking at all.
    It’s UMNO b chosen … “His Master Voice”

  13. #13 by k1980 on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 1:16 pm

    Why is Ah Jib Gor so popular among university students? First they wanted to bomb his heli, then they want to bomb his plane.

  14. #14 by k1980 on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 1:24 pm

    Vacancy Wanted: cowshed cleaner

    Salary: RM 5 a day only

    Speciality: Likes to work with million-ringgit cows

    Preference: Would like to get another RM300,000,000 soft loan from Ah Jib Gor (to rear goats this time)

    Qualifications: Can’t distinguish between a lembu and a kerbau

    References: Ah Jib Gor, Ah Khai Buah Pala, Ah Bad Awi

  15. #15 by monsterball on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 1:28 pm

    Ah Jib Gor and his gor gor will get what’s coming.
    Cows are flying…living in condominiums…only in Malaysia.
    University students have enough of this bloody nonsense..letting Ah Jib Gor and his gor gor steal not enough…must shame our country too.

  16. #16 by Godfather on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 1:41 pm

    Our gor gor wants us to give him more time to steal the country blind. He pleads with us not to change horses in midstream – please please give him more time to [email protected] us royally.

  17. #17 by boh-liao on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 1:42 pm

    Foto referred 2 in #14: Is it SemiValue wrapped up in scarf? Looks same same

  18. #18 by monsterball on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 1:42 pm

    Ah Mamak Gor have cow brain disease.
    Ah Naz Gor shivers declaring assets.
    Ah Kris Gor cow bell got lost..roaming like a lost soul in the woods.
    Ah Moo Gor…is the closet to become a cow completely…without reincarnation.
    Ah Tiab Gor dot dot doting….a young cow .
    All waiting for Judgement Day.

  19. #19 by Godfather on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 1:52 pm

    Ah Jib Gor says UMNO has done so much for the country. Yup, they did make our country self-sufficient in chickens. They imported chickens from Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and China. The rakyat should be grateful.

    Shahrizat’s family was tasked with increasing self sufficiency in cows. Now we need entrepreneurs who can improve self-sufficiency in goats and rabbits. Wait…only UMNOputras need apply.

  20. #20 by boh-liao on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 3:27 pm

    Never say Never and Never believe in d outcome of a court in M’sia until …………
    Now d LION (or is it TIGER?) KSingh ordered by d Court of Appeal 2 enter his DEFENCE
    Don’t celebrate too early, AI …… even your lawyer got 2 look after himself leh

  21. #21 by monsterball on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 7:07 pm

    The Dragon is coming.
    By land…sea and air.
    In East Malaysia…Hornbills from Sarawak joined in strapped with DAP rockets.
    In Sabah….soldiers of REFORMASI will clean all the filth and dirt left by Taib Mahmud.
    The results from this Mother of all Battles???….Bangsai,, ..Bangsai …Bangsai….Victory….Victory…Victory.

  22. #22 by jus legitimum on Friday, 20 January 2012 - 9:51 pm

    Let the Year of Dragon finish all the” thieves and robbers” who have plundered and squandered the wealth of our nation for the past 54 years.

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