Umno Baru is not invincible


Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Jun 17, 2013

A schoolchild knows that when conducting scientific experiments, a definite conclusion cannot be made if the analyses and observations are based on flawed data. In a post-mortem of GE13, it is a fallacy for experts or analysts to report on trends, when their assumptions are based on a set of doctored evidence.

Anyone who is foolish enough to believe that BN won 47 percent of the votes in GE13 is seriously deluded. If allegations of cheating have been recorded in one constituency, then doubt is cast on the entire voting process.

The rakyat has long been aware of wholesale fraud and blatant gerrymandering in previous elections, but they allowed Umno Baru’s intransigence to browbeat them into submission. Under pressure, Malaysians capitulated easily to Umno Baru’s weapons of apathy and fear.

Successive years of apparent electoral successes, won by blatant fraud and cheating, have given rise to the perception that Umno Baru is invincible. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Umno Baru cheats the rakyat before, during and after every election. The groundwork is laid to thwart the opposition with gerrymandering, the registration of foreigners as citizens, violent mob attacks on ceramahs and the denial of access to national media.

On polling day, vote-buying, intimidation, blackouts and low-quality indelible ink clinch the deal. Some voters discovered that their votes had already been cast, by an imposter.

After GE13, the Election Commission (EC) has continued to deny the allegations of cheating and refused to take responsibility for the mass electoral fraud.

The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister, Abdul Rahman Dahlan, claimed that “divine intervention” helped BN to win.

“… Pakatan has won the popular vote, statistically speaking, but BN has the support of ‘takdir’ (fate) that helped it won the recent 13th general election. In short, fate and God’s will determines everything…” (sic).

Who is Rahman Dahlan to express God’s will? Is he a self-proclaimed prophet?

A desperate Najib Abdul Razak, the Umno Baru leader who is himself facing a leadership challenge, is aware of the devastating impact of the ‘Black 505’ rallies. He has tried to refute the claims about the squadrons of aeroplanes bringing Bangladeshis to vote.

He said, “I, as the BN chairman, strongly refute that there was cheating by BN (in the GE13) as alleged. The general election was conducted in a fair manner and in accordance with the law and regulations.”

Umno Baru leaders have called for reform within their party to reflect the changing societal and political landscape; the Alliance party morphed into Umno and later became Umno Baru.

Mentality cannot be altered

Will Umno Baru politicians appreciate that the mentality of its leaders and their supporters cannot be altered, as easily as changing one’s underwear? You cannot just slap a clean nappy onto the bottom of a heavily soiled baby, without first removing the muck and stench from his posterior. A new Umno Baru identity cannot remove the rotten core lurking under the facade.

Law and order have broken down in Malaysia. As conditions worsen and the rakyat finds it increasingly difficult to make ends meet, only ‘people power’ will instigate change.

Large-scale public rallies get attention and maintain the rakyat’s will to improve. The ‘Black 505’ marches have highlighted the rakyat’s disgust of the EC’s role in perpetrating fraud.

Many powerful, ruthless leaders have been toppled by non-violent civil mass resistance. Countries which successfully replaced authoritarian regimes, like Chile, Philippines and South Africa combined mass rallies with other forms of resistance, like strikes and boycotts.

In apartheid South Africa, black South Africans refused to patronise the white South African shops. When the white traders faced financial ruin, they eventually became the blacks’ most powerful ally and lobbied strongly for change.

Boycotts work. Many people, including women and children are able to participate without risking violent beatings or arrest. The rakyat should consider a boycott of Umno Baru crony companies. Perhaps, a nationwide boycott could start simultaneously with the June 22 ‘Black 505’ rally in Kuala Lumpur and continue until the objectives are fulfilled.

In a boycott, no one is breaking the law. People are merely withdrawing their purchasing power.

People power successfully brought down repressive regimes in countries where people once believed that resistance was impossible. Umno Baru thrives on image, but the street marches and demonstrations portray a government which has lost control and is incompetent.

A combination of marches, boycotts and strikes will doubtless disrupt public life and cause mayhem. Sometimes, small sacrifices must be made for the good of all. Surely, giving up fast food is not too great a sacrifice to make. What would you rather have? A few chicken nuggets this year, or a better education for your children?

Many people believe that Umno Baru did not cheat in GE13. Al David once said, “One lie has the power to tarnish a thousand truths”.

So, does the wife of a serial philanderer believe her husband when he says he is late home again, because of overtime? Will the husband of a compulsive gambler believe his wife when she demands more housekeeping money? Should the girlfriend of an abusive boyfriend trust him, when he says he will not beat her again? Can the kleptomaniac be trusted to handle money? Should Malaysia be encumbered with another 56 years of Umno Baru?

The young people of Malaysia are spearheading change and are not seduced by Rahman Dahlan’s simplistic and childish notion that BN’s win was ‘takdir’ and fated. Former PM Mahathir Mohamad has manipulated the Malays and used policies which have created a fatalistic and feudal mindset in Malays. He keeps reminding Malays that the government knows best.

A party which controls Malaysia with an iron hand, which alters the goalposts, which refuses to enforce the law, and which treats it natural wealth, its financial institutions and its people as tools to achieve its own ends, will never relinquish power. Not now, not in GE14.

The action of a united rakyat

Only the action of a united rakyat will conquer Umno Baru. This action should consist of marches, strikes, boycotts, pressure by NGOs and religious groups. We must engage the international community and foreign media to help the rakyat gain freedom. Violence by the rakyat is not an option, but persistence and commitment are.

Umno Baru will never agree to a re-election because they will then be scrutinised carefully. Moreover, their benefactors cannot squander more billions of ringgits on another election, when the last attempt failed so miserably.

The irony is that Umno Baru wants to keep the goose which lays the golden eggs, but they keep the goose in intolerable conditions, which will eventually kill her.

A nationwide, year-long boycott of a fried chicken firm could begin now and would not only hurt the crony owner but would gain media coverage in America. When even a small part of the American economy is threatened, they react!

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MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real-speak’, this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.

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  1. #1 by worldpress on Tuesday, 18 June 2013 - 9:24 pm

    They are always as liars as long as they are still claimed they are the Bapa Malaysia UMNO

    If not mistaken, Bapa Malaysia 1st PM and 2nd PM were refused to join this so called UMNO BARU

  2. #2 by cinaindiamelayubersatu on Tuesday, 18 June 2013 - 9:29 pm

    umno baru a ?

  3. #3 by mauriyaII on Tuesday, 18 June 2013 - 10:09 pm

    I read every one of Mariam’s thought provoking articles and every time she does not fail to amaze me with her open and incisive views about the dirty politics being played in the country to hold on to power.

    UMNO B is NOT invincible. Malaysians in general have woken up to the fact that they are under a dictatorial regime which is in power due to the PDRM, JUDICIARY, AG and a host of government departments working hard to shore up the crumbling walls of UMNO B’s INVINCIBILITY.

    All the corrupted members of the above will fight tooth and nail to stay on in power with the connivance of the corrupted leaders. The saying, ” I scratch your back, you scratch mine” has got a higher flip with the PM’s own ” You help me, I help you”. With such high handed and blatant vote buying who in his right mind will say that the 13th GE was clean, fair and above board? Only Najib, Mamak Kutty and their followers.

    The Black 505 rallies should go on indefinitely until the whole EC is cleaned up. The present EC has made a mockery of “fair and clean” elections. They have bend over backwards in their zest to please their political masters by gerrymandering and a host of other unethical means to help the incumbent government to cling on to power.

    BOYCOTT or HARTAL is a very effective way to make those business enterprises suffer. Not just the business enterprise concerned would suffer but those down the line would also feel the pinch.
    Not only UMNO B’s businesses but the products of all the others such GLC’s should be subjected to boycott. Only with the drop in earnings, these bloated entities would slowly crumble.

    Mariam’s example of the boycott of a local fast food company with connection overseas is ideal. Let us not confine to just one such company. We have a host of such fast food outlets. Let us all do without such fast food and it might just do wonders for our health.

    We must do everything within our means to support all endeavours taken by NGOs and others to see that the present corrupted government is not left to ride roughshod on us for another 5 years. Any form of dictatorship or a police state masked in a veil of democracy is not what we, the electorate, voted for.

  4. #4 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 18 June 2013 - 10:54 pm

    Mahathir says we are civilised people. I am not sure if he included himself!

    Mahathir also says there should be restricted internet freedoms. Well, so that UMNO and cronies can plunder at will and impunity? Mahathir, Mahathir, sampai bila lagi nak terus ternag dengan Rakyat jelata. Let the internet expose all those who seek to hide in dark corners and do shady deals – maminco, BNM et. alii.

    Aiyoyo, Mahathir…bila lagi…. bosan-lah lagu ini.

  5. #5 by ablastine on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 - 12:49 am

    It is almost certain that the UMNO mafia who have grabbed power will not initiate any change or embark on electoral reform because doing so will mean making it more difficult for them to cheat in future elections. Without cheating they know they cannot win. On the other hand It is essential for Pakatan to apply certain leverage of power to force electoral reform because without a free and fair election it will never be able to set foot on Putrajaya. The next election is fought now and not in five years time because PR chances depend entirely on whether the especially severe gerry meandering has stopped. Mariam has a good prescription on how to apply these leverages of power by a majority opposition and especially so when the majority are urbanites with great purchasing power. Recurrent rallies especially if spaced too closely together is not only very strenuous on participants but also that its novel effect may wear off with repetition. I personally think that the boycott should start immediately after the 505 Rally on 22th June. PR leadership should identify the companies to boycott and give good reasons for doing so. To start with I think the companies which have provided BN money to buy votes in GE13 should be identified first and orders given to the mass population to boycott it for a specific period.

  6. #6 by Noble House on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 - 3:42 am

    Our problem is not with civil disobedience but more to do with civil obedience. Our problem is the numbers of people who are neutral in situations of injustice, and have remained indifferent to the dictates of the leaders of this government and allowed them to commit crimes and turned our society into one that is run by insane people for insane objectives.

    Who really has the power? Well, UMNO, looks like the Rakyat have wised up and are gathering to take back the country!

  7. #7 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 - 8:04 am

    UMNO B will fall, it simple the law of nature. At the core of the problem is their foundation of power is a lie or lies. They can’t reconcile their plans with their fundamental lies that is their origin.

    The truth is UMNO B dream-spin, the fantasy they paint to their zealots was just that – a dream and fantasy that was never sound in the first place. The lie they spin worked because no one else offered anything else to the marginalized that was the vast majority.. But now, their lies are the CAUSE of the marginalized and majority. Now, the alternative on the table IS BETTER than the lies they offer..

  8. #8 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 - 9:00 am

    Umno wants to keep the goose (to collect her golden eggs), Mariam said. And umno keeps the goose in intolerable condition, she added.

    Actually, the truth is more drastic and much more incredulous than that.

    Yes, umno certainly wants the goose under its perpetual and monopolistic control and ownership. This has in fact gone on for a long time already. It is no longer an unknown fact. What is emerging over the last decade or so is the consequence of umno’s super-size greed and undersized brain. Umno is now competing directly with the goose for food and space.

  9. #9 by buylower2003 on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 - 12:58 pm

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

    So much of the history of the struggle between good and evil can be explained by Edmund Burke’s observation. Time and again those who profess to be good seem to clearly outnumber those who are evil, yet those who are evil seem to prevail far too often. Seldom is it the numbers that determine the outcome, but whether those who claim to be good men are willing to stand up and fight for what they know to be right.

    • #10 by buylower2003 on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 - 12:59 pm

      Note – quote by Wayne Greeson, not moi.

  10. #11 by Winston on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 - 8:59 pm

    No, the corrupted ruling party will never give up the gravy train willingly.
    For Malaysians, there is no choice at all!
    Either they boot out these corrupted leaders or the country will be finished.

  11. #12 by isahbiazhar on Thursday, 20 June 2013 - 12:03 am

    Since the opposition got the most votes, the idea of boycotting American goods including KFC might work and wake up the Americans to put pressure to seek redress.A lit bit of sacrifice might help to redefine the course of action.

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