Archive for category UMNO
Oct 20, 2013
COMMENT The results are in. Despite the last-minute swing to Mukhriz Mahathir due to the sympathy factor associated with the false reporting of vote-buying and buoyed by his father’s support, the count clearly shows that Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s personal influence in Umno has waned.
In fact, when one looks at the election of the 25 spots for the Supreme Council, Mahathir loyalists have lost badly. The question arises whether this party election indeed spells the end of an era, a changing of the guard of sorts within Umno.
While personal loyalties may have moved on and Mahathir’s influence has been checked, his legacy persists within the party and given the competitiveness of the results, Mahathir’s own role will continue to shadow Najib’s premiership. Read the rest of this entry »
By Stuart Grudgings and Niluksi Koswanage
Oct 20 2013
KUALA LUMPUR- Internal voting for top posts in Malaysia’s ruling party at the weekend has proved Prime Minister Najib Razak to be a canny survivor – five months after a poor showing at national elections – but at a cost to his reform agenda.
In May, Najib seemed dead in the water to some observers after presiding over the long-ruling Barisan National (BN) coalition’s worst election result.
The internal United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) elections, however, confirmed Najib had seen off challenges from rival factions – including the son of influential former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Mukhriz Mahathir, 48, fell just short of snaring one of three vice president positions, all of which went to incumbents backed by Najib. Najib’s allies also retained their dominance of the 25-member UMNO Supreme Council. Read the rest of this entry »
by Jennifer Gomez
The Malaysian Insider
October 20, 2013
Umno is unable to bring change and just like the dodo bird, will soon become extinct, writes the former group chief editor of Umno-controlled New Straits Times.
The analogy of the now-extinct bird species from Mauritius is made by Datuk A. Kadir Jasin on his latest blog posting.
He writes that whether there were 2,000 or 140,000 delegates who took part in the just-concluded Umno polls, it is obvious that the party could not make the leap forward as it could not elect a fresh line-up of future leaders.
For Kadir, the only consolation in the Umno vice-presidential race is that those who accused of being involved in money politics have been rejected.
According to Kadir, while the status quo for the veep line-up was a good sign for Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the same could not be said for the party. This is because it could not vote in a new generation of leaders except for a few who made it to the supreme council. Read the rest of this entry »
– Ranjit Singh
The Malaysian Insider
October 19, 2013
The year 2013 will go down in the annals of Malaysian history for two important dates. First, May 5, when the Opposition won the popular vote in the 13th General Election, and second, October 19, when the second echelon of power in Umno will be decided.
While May 5 saw the incumbents retain power, October 19 will decide if they have enough firepower to ensure that they hold on to the power in the general election due in 2018.
The very fact that the candidates vying for the vice-presidents’ posts were not allowed to debate was a real missed opportunity for Umno members to evaluate the calibre of their future leaders.
Prime Minister Datuk Najib Razak’s seismic shift from 1Malaysia to the right, in a move seen by many as “playing to the gallery”, has actually undone all the ambitious programmes under his transformation programme and has sowed seeds of anger and distrust among the non-Malays. Read the rest of this entry »
– Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
October 18, 2013
We do not have to wait for GE14 to oust Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Barisan Nasional (BN). Nor have we reached a stage where conscientious lawmakers forget about being partisan and agree on a vote of no confidence against the PM. BN presently has the numbers and has the support of an equally partisan speaker.
Any motion of no confidence will be defeated. Jeffrey Kitingan’s talk about secession is super brave. It can be seditious or can be treated so. If the government wants to, it can treat Kitingan’s proposal as seditious. Umno and BN foot soldiers will likely do what they normally do – make police reports against Jeffrey and others dong the same brave talk.
If you look at point 7, it says there is no right of secession. What do Sabahans and Sarawakians want? Since secession is not possible, the next best thing is to kick out the Federal government which is the source of much of the East Malaysians’ discontent. Work with people who can make that possible. Read the rest of this entry »
NEWS ANALYSIS BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
October 16, 2013
Malaysians should disabuse themselves of any notion that the Umno elections are a battle between reformers and conservatives or the enlightened and blinkered, as the victors of last weekend’s Umno Youth and Wanita polls would like to see it.
It is really a battle between incumbents and challengers and nothing separates them in terms of ideology. It is me first, Umno, Malays and then the national interest.
Both Khairy Jamaluddin and Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil won because they had the power of incumbency, and were supported by a push from the top which wanted to keep the status quo.
And their challengers were minnows.
Everything also points to the incumbents being returned as vice-presidents this weekend, no matter the strong challenge from the popular Tan Sri Isa Samad, Datuk Seri Ali Rustam and Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir. Read the rest of this entry »
― Koon Yew Yin
The Malay Mail Online
October 15, 2013
Oct 15 ― The last few weeks have seen the Umno Vice President candidate Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi pull out all the stops to endear himself to the Malay heartland. His campaign tactics have included:
1. Promoting a shoot first policy amongst the police aimed at wiping out suspected bad hats and criminals
2. Accusing the Chinese underworld of being masterminds behind criminal activities; Indians as hit men; and Malays as the primary victims
3. Implying that the Tiga Line Gang, a banned Malay gang, is actually misunderstood and quite harmless, and tacitly supporting the activities of the gang. The Tiga Line is believed to have links with Malay NGO Pertubuhan Kebajikan dan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Pekida), which in turn is strongly linked with Umno. The group is alleged to be involved in drug distribution, car-jacking and night-club protection.
Columnists from the mainstream media, notably from The Star, have tried to downplay his irresponsible and inflammatory and racially divisive speeches, claiming that he is simply burnishing his “tough-guy image” and linking his comments to the on-going leadership campaign for the three vice president positions in the party. Read the rest of this entry »
M. Bakri Musa
Malaysia cannot afford Najib Razak’s continued inept leadership. As UMNO has failed to terminate his leadership, and the next election is too far away, it is now up to Parliament to do the necessary. Najib, who is also Finance Minister, will table his budget on October 25, an opportune time for Parliament to pass a no-confidence vote on the budget – and hence his leadership – thus forcing the son of Tun Razak (TR-1) to resign. MPs have a far greater duty beyond loyalty to their leader, and that is loyalty to their country.
With the Will and Guidance of Allah, SWT, Najib can spare himself this unprecedented disgrace and simultaneously relieve his fellow parliamentarians of this distasteful chore by ceding the Prime Ministership to Tengku Razeleigh (TR-2). By gracefully withdrawing now, Najib could return later to lead his party for the 14th national election, and would be a better leader for this voluntary hiatus.
Should Najib contemplate being stubborn, he should remind himself of similar parliamentary practices resulting in the ejection of his contemporaries. In August, British MPs denied Prime Minister Cameron his motion to intervene in Syria. This defying the leader is also not alien to UMNO. TR-1 did it to Tunku Abdul Rahman, albeit in a soft, subtle way. The wise and sensitive Tunku readily saw the signals. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Inside
October 13, 2013
Three things we learned from this weekend’s Umno polls.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s influence in the party on the wane.
Yes, he is still the most recognisable name in Malaysian politics and a segment of Umno members yearn for a return to the days when he owned Putrajaya but there is a limit to what Dr Mahathir Mohamad can do these days.
We got a peek into his waning influence in the run-up to the general elections on May 5 when he could not alter the outcome in many places where he campaigned furiously. Remember Gelang Patah. Remember Shah Alam. Remember Pasir Mas. Remember Lumut.
For many younger voters, he was like a voice from another generation. For many non-Malays, he was the leader of the right-wing brigade and a reminder of all the excesses of the Mahathir era. Read the rest of this entry »
By Ida Lim
The Malaysian Insider
October 13, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — The return of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s “allies” Khairy Jamaluddin and Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abd Jalil back into their posts as Umno Youth and Wanita chiefs last night will cement the prime minister’s own position in the Barisan Nasional (BN) lynchpin, analysts have said.
According to analysts, Najib, who has himself returned unopposed as Umno president recently, now has his feet planted firmly on the ground, and has been given the green light to proceed with his transformation plans with the same team of soldiers.
Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani, a political analyst from Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), pointed out that both Khairy and Shahrizat already support Najib’s national policy of transformation.
“If they win, I think they will strengthen Najib’s position in Umno,” he told The Malay Mail Online when contacted yesterday shortly before the duo’s twin victories, after noting their appointments to positions within the Najib administration this year. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
October 10, 2013
This is what’s…
• Despicable about Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his ilk: They believe that the day after the Umno polls on October 19 they can wrap up their divisive talk and everything will be normal again in Malaysia.
These past weeks of cutting words and right wing rhetoric has set back race relations years, maybe even decades. The fighting words from Zahid and Datuk Seri Ali Rustam – one pitching Indians as criminals and Malays as victims and the other pigeonholing Chinese as power crazy – have reminded non-Malays that behind the cash handouts and 1,000-kilowatt smiles, an enemy looms.
A true test of a leader is his consistency and what he utters under pressure. Will he play to the gallery to score points? Will he sacrifice race relations to get voted into office? Will he speak with a forked tongue to win?
The trouble with the Umno politician today is that he stands for everything that is rotten about the state of the country. He is corrupt; he is a plunderer; he is vindictive; he has no understanding of the rule of law.
And he actually believes that hurt from a quiver full of verbal arrows fired at non-Malays can be forgotten. Read the rest of this entry »
By Kee Thuan Chye
9th Oct 2013
No run-up to any Umno party elections has been so notoriously marked with racist fervour as the current one. At least two of the contenders for senior positions have revealed their true colours by openly bashing non-Malays. In any sensibly-governed country with sensible laws, they would both have been arrested for provoking racial tension. But Malaysia is increasingly becoming the country where Umno is king, and anyone who is not Malay doesn’t count for much.
This is why someone no less than the home minister can say with impunity that because more than half of identified gang members in the country are Indians, and most of the victims “are our Malays”, the police are justified, if they have the evidence, in shooting to kill gang members before asking questions.
This statement from Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in front of presumably a predominantly Malay audience in Melaka last Saturday is not only racist; it is also something that in a civilised, sensibly-governed country with the right sensibilities would have resulted in his being sacked, without hesitation, as home minister.
His statement totally disregards human rights and natural justice. It encourages the police to take lives instead of bringing people to justice. It is telling the police to be judge and executioner all at once. How could it have come from a minister of the government? Read the rest of this entry »
Call on all Malaysians to reaffirm the Malaysian Dream which is not anti-Malay, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Kadazan or anti-Dayak but pro-all Malaysians
The UMNO party elections campaign have rocked the country with intolerant, incendiary, racist and even seditious pronouncements by contending UMNO candidates which run afoul of what former Deputy Prime Minister and one-time Deputy UMNO President, Tun Musa Hitam had cautioned UMNO candidates against in a recent interview where he said:
“… often times, to show one’s Malayness they become anti-other groups or accuse others of being anti-Malays. Only then they become heroes. This cannot be.”
Two UMNO politicians who had blatantly and irresponsibly played the race card utterly reckless of the damage they do to 56 years of nation-building in the country are Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in their campaign for the UMNO vice presidency on Oct. 19.
In a bout of Chinese-bashing, Ali Rustam blamed the Chinese voters for his defeat in the Malay-majority Bukit Katil parliamentary seat in Malacca, oblivious of the fact that he would not have lost in the May general elections if he had not also lost the support of the Malay voters in his constituency.
Is Ali Rustam going to blame the Chinese again if he loses in the UMNO Vice Presidential elections next Saturday?
Zahid’s racist, incendiary and seditious rantings are more serious as it compromised his high office as Home Minister. Read the rest of this entry »
Liew Chin Tong
DAP MP for Kluang
The Malaysian Insider
October 08, 2013
Falsehoods and pseudo-logic are being fed to Utusan Malaysia readers and the TV3 audience just to prevent the Malays from truly understanding the DAP. Here are some of the things that Umno, Utusan and TV3 ought to know about DAP.
First, is Umno’s electoral system superior to DAP’s?
It is comical to see Utusan and TV3’s recent tirade against DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng for not winning the top spot in the re-election of its central executive committee and why I, being the candidate who received the highest number of votes, should be handed the secretary-general’s post immediately.
Underlying this is the notion that DAP’s party electoral system is faulty and undemocratic. Systems that are dissimilar to Umno’s are not necessarily faulty. Each type of electoral system comes with its own reasoning which requires deeper analysis. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
October 08, 2013
If Malaysians are offended by the vile garbage being spewed by the likes of Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and other Umno politicians auditioning for the Umno party polls on October 19, there is more distressing news.
A recent poll of 600 Umno party members and their supporters by the respected Merdeka Center has revealed a disturbing picture of a party contented with itself and angry with just about everyone else.
A clutch of questions was asked to gauge the current perception about the ruling party by its own cadres. Read the rest of this entry »
Oct 4, 2013
QUESTION TIME In the wee hours of yesterday as most of Malaysia slept, the amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act were pushed through. This brought back the dreaded provision of detention without trial that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had rolled back when he dismantled the Internal Security Act and the Emergency Ordinance.
With that, out through the window went Najib’s self-proclaimed programme to promote civil society and get rid of legislation which curtailed human rights in order to restore the same to all Malaysians.
Najib had made this loosening up of tight legislation a part of his election campaign to try and capture some of the more liberal minded, non-bumiputera, and urban voters by at least giving the impression that the nation was moving towards greater freedom.
Along with this Najib sought to become a prime minister for all Malaysians with his 1Malaysia programmes and efforts to get the non-Malay votes by targeting them specifically in ad campaigns and through the English mainstream media.
But post the elections, the tone of changes has taken a completely different complexion. The moves have been to help bumiputeras almost exclusively and to reverse the changes towards greater liberalisation. Read the rest of this entry »
by Eileen Ng and Mobhd Farhan Darwis
The Malaysian Insider
October 04, 2013
Umno incumbent vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi appears to be gaining ground among the party’s 191 divisions in the run-up to the October 19 party polls, say Umno insiders.
However, the Home Minister’s two running mates, incumbents Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, are believed to be trailing in the six-man race.
The trio is facing a stiff challenge from Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad and former Malacca chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam.
The Malaysian Insider understands Ahmad Zahid has garnered pledges of support from about 130 divisions as he travels across the country in his quest to keep his party post. Some 146,000 grassroots delegates will vote for their leaders in the polls, as opposed to the 2,500 delegates that previously voted in the triennial elections. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malay Mail Online
October 4, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — The chief minister of the rural Malaysian state of Kedah has a familiar face, even if he lacks the charisma, provocative rhetoric and razor-sharp political skills of his famous father.
Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir is the youngest son of Malaysia’s longest-serving leader, Tun Mahathir Mohamad, whose often authoritarian rule transformed the economy into a developing powerhouse while winning a reputation for cronyism and dubious “mega-projects”.
Ten years after his father stepped down, Mukhriz has stepped into a battle for the soul of the long-ruling United Malays National Organisation (Umno) in a test of 88-year-old Mahathir senior’s still-powerful influence over the party.
If Mukhriz succeeds in snaring a coveted Umno vice presidential post later this month, unseating one of three seasoned cabinet ministers, it would be seen as a further blow to the flagging reform agenda of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The ruling coalition’s weak election victory in May undermined Najib’s attempts to forge more inclusive policies in racially diverse Malaysia, empowering Umno conservatives who want to strengthen policies favouring majority ethnic Malays.
The elder Mahathir remains a potent figure through his towering reputation and leverage within Umno. Victory in the party elections for the son would give rise to suspicion that he would act as a proxy for his father.
Both father, who has previously scorned political dynasties, and son have denied that. Neither responded to Reuters’ requests for interviews.
Nevertheless, Mukhriz Mahathir’s election to a top party post would be seen as bolstering the conservative wing of the party. Read the rest of this entry »
Sep 30, 2013
Mention the word Umno Baru and people will think of the 3Cs – corruption, cheating and cronyism.
Thousands of miles away, Najib Abdul Razak told the UN General Assembly that “the greatest threat to Muslims today, is not from the outside world, but from within”. His words are poignant and have some gravitas, for they reflect the conditions at home.
Thanks to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the public has become extremely mistrustful of politicians. Thanks also to Mahathir, the biggest challenge which Najib will face at the next Umno-Baru elections, is ironically, within his party.
Many factors will affect the battles during the upcoming Umno-Baru election, including wit and financial considerations. The two men, president Najib, and deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin, ‘won’ their seats unopposed. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
September 29, 2013
Najib addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday. – Reuters pic, September 29, 2013.Najib addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday. – Reuters pic, September 29, 2013.Here is one reason why Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak enjoys being outside the country so much: it is only in the rarefied air of the United Nations assembly or in meeting rooms at the swanky Waldorf Astoria in New York that an audience still buys his talk about Malaysia being a model of moderate Islam.
Back home, here in Malaysia, with the right wing very much in ascendancy in Umno and with religious and racial intolerance at red flag levels, any mention of the word “moderation” is met with cynicism. Or worse yet, disdain.
It was revealed in Parliament that the Prime Minister spent a staggering RM44 million on travel abroad between March 2008 and May 2013.
It is a fact that has raised eyebrows even among Umno politicians. Some of them wonder why attending the UN assembly or opening the Khazanah Nasional office in San Francisco is so important, or why it was necessary to go to Thailand for his second break after the May 5 general election.
Actually, there is a simple explanation why he enjoys being outside the country so much. He needs a diversion from the daily mess that is Malaysia, a mess compounded by his willingness to allow shrill, fringe voices to dictate the tone of this country. And his inability to tackle the laundry list of issues from endemic corruption to the breakdown in law and order.
A laundry list that also includes: an increasingly right-wing Umno; an inept Cabinet; a combative opposition; fractured and irrelevant BN component parties; a widening budget deficit and the insatiable appetite of businessmen and cronies; and, not least, the hulking presence of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Read the rest of this entry »