Umno and the average Malay

By Cheong Suk-Wai, Senior Writer
The Straits Times, June 1, 2010


IT USED to be that whenever it came to election time in Malaysia, the country’s ruling party Umno would gets its community development workers to fan out to all the hamlets on bicycles and on foot to take the political temperature and assure villagers that Umno was the best doctor for them, taking care of their births, deaths and everything in between. But then village youth began migrating en masse to towns from the 1980s and Umno lost these rural forts.

Malaysian sociologist Maznah Mohamad recalls Umno’s women telling her how urban folk would shoo them away and even hurl insults at them if they tried to woo them. Dr Maznah, 54, notes wryly: ‘You can’t go knocking on doors in, say, Subang Jaya. People will just chase you away. There’s no community spirit in such neighbourhoods. Anyway, they’re urbanised, so why would they need you to help them?’

An alumna of Macalester College, Stanford University and the University of Malaya, Dr Maznah knows a lot about such matters, having studied Malays in general, and Umno in particular, in her 27 years as a don in Penang’s Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).

She retired from USM in 2006, and has since been a visiting senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute. Her husband, Dr Johan Savaranamuttu, is a visiting senior research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies here. They have two children.

She spoke to The Straits Times recently about her country’s New Economic Model (NEM) and where Umno stands today:

Who is the average Malaysian Malay today?
He is male, Muslim and has an excess of rights and privileges without too much responsibility, for he benefits from what I call a vulgarised affirmative action policy formally known as the New Economic Policy (NEP).

Why ‘vulgarised’?
Simply because it has veered from its original aim and has metamorphosed into a scheme that equalises rewards rather than opportunities… After a while, even a conscious policy like that is not necessary because it assumes its own dynamics – like people from the same ethnic group drawing their own (into workplaces), so you don’t even need racial quotas… But it is difficult to undo a policy that’s so entrenched.

So life is good for the average Malaysian Malay?
Besides NEP rights, Malaysia’s Islamic laws today are biased towards male rights, such as polygamy and the unilateral right to divorce. Even Jakim, the Department of Islamic Development, has had to set up a RM15 million (S$6.4 million) fund to assist single mothers who have not received maintenance from their children’s fathers. This is not good because the state picks up after these errant males… The average Malay male is treated with kid gloves.

Why so?
Well, there’s really a lot of disjuncture in the system. The (average Malay) has all these rights and privileges, but for a Muslim man who’s poor, that’s where the problem starts: Psychologically, he might think that he’s powerful and head of the household but, realistically, he’s not able to maintain it… That’s why you find many among them just leaving the family. You also have Muslim wives who earn a lot more than their husbands, yet are forced to be obedient and subservient. There is this whole entrenchment of a kind of politics and culture that does not actually assess (Malays) realistically.

So what is Umno’s attraction to them these days?
The attraction in joining Umno today is still that it’s a sure ticket to a plum appointment or business contract because there isn’t anything idealistic in Umno today. Sixty years ago, it was about wanting to help the Malays but that is not so today because Malay rights and privileges are already guaranteed in the Constitution… If Umno pays you RM300 a month to deliver letters to its branches, that’s enough to pay, say, the loan on your motorcycle. So Umno is more like a job than a party at the end of the day.

Which begs the question: Who wouldn’t want to join it?
Well, those who don’t need to, don’t have to, right? Also, those who join the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) have an idealism that has trumped even material benefits.

That puts Umno in quite a spot, surely?
Exactly. Umno’s lifeblood has been helping the Malays get to a certain level. So if the Malays are backward and not able to catch up, Umno would then be forever relevant… But now, what other language can Umno use?

So why are its leaders saying the NEM must replace the NEP?
In a way, it’s the right moment to do so because, on the one hand, Prime Minister Najib Razak isn’t exactly all that strong because he hasn’t gone through the baptism of elections and was endorsed by Umno when it was at its weakest. On the other hand, you have a growing Malay middle class that is clamouring for reform. This convergence of the weak and the strong makes Malaysia ripe for the NEM.

Having said that, it’s a misnomer to call the NEM a model. It’s really just a government wish list. Nevertheless, it’s going to provide a platform for some very important talking points.

How fresh are these points?
There are three which have not been stated explicitly before: The first links corruption to the faltering economy; before, corruption was there but it wasn’t considered a moral evil… But now the NEM has made that connection, albeit with the fancy-sounding term ‘rent-seeking in economic practices’. The second is trying to get rid of affirmative action, using the code phrase ‘affirmative action that is friendly to market policy’ – which is an oxymoron, right? The third – and this is very important – is how they’re going to stimulate the economy by bringing back ‘talented Malaysians’ which, again, is a code phrase for non-Malays… I don’t know if that’s possible under the present circumstances, but at least they’ve identified that as what they’ve to do. So let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.

These three things are good because a good policy has something which people desire commonly. So the NEP was very successful because it was made out to be something that could prevent future ethnic conflicts and also eradicate poverty – and who could quarrel with that?

But hasn’t the NEP rendered Malaysians uncompetitive?
Yes, but it never hurt the economy – until now – and so Umno became complacent and mixed up short-term necessities with long-term realities.

Can Umno change?
The only way it can change is if it loses… That’s because nothing has changed in Umno, not even its rhetoric. Has money politics changed? No. Histrionics? No. Keris-waving? No.

Is this Umno’s darkest period yet?
There are two ways of looking at it. If you view it in terms of election performance, Umno did very badly in 2008. But if you’re looking at Umno versus PAS, Umno is still ahead of PAS by a long shot. In Umno’s worst years, 1969 and 2008, it won 35 per cent of the parliamentary seats. PAS’ best year was 1999, when it won just 14 per cent of the parliamentary seats. See the gap?

So who or what is Umno’s biggest threat now?
Fence-sitters. The 2008 election was really about them; a lot of seats were won very narrowly and that was when the fence-sitters mattered.

Hard talk
SOCIOLOGIST Maznah Mohamad is an avowed feminist known for her incisive and perceptive views. Here she is on:

What the average Malaysian Malay wants out of life

‘Nothing much, really – well, except maybe pride and dignity – because he has too many rights and privileges but too few responsibilities.’

Malays and affirmative action

‘Many Malays increasingly do not feel comfortable about continually receiving handouts – unless they have political ambitions, then it’s tied to that.’

How she feels about being Malay

‘In Malaysia, it is about being inadequate culturally; in Singapore, it is about being inadequate professionally. So Malays like me feel neither here nor there.’

How she lives with that

‘Actually, I’m quite comfortable because it’s good to be in a category where you’re able to confuse people.’


‘Umno doesn’t want to promote a Malaysian Malaysia because that’s associated with the People’s Action Party. And then you have this peach of a slogan which means the same thing.’

The ruling coalition

‘They’re pandering to race and religion and people don’t need that. They need good food, good jobs, good education, good transport and good health.’

Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad

‘He was neither maverick nor Machiavellian; he was actually mainstream. He did bring radical change with Vision 2020 and he tried to create a Bangsa Malaysia. But he wasn’t forceful enough…and instead perpetuated race-based politics.’

The opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)

‘Many of its members were from Umno and so expected the same gravy train to come their way. But they’ve waited and waited and PKR is still not the government, so you can expect them to leave it.’

Malaysia’s future

‘We can still go out for hawker food; it doesn’t matter that the buildings are falling apart.’


Dr Maznah Mohamad – PROFILE

Dr Maznah Mohamad joined Asian Research Institute (ARI) of the National University of Singapore (NUS) as a Visiting Senior Research Fellow in 2006. Concurrently, she is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Southeast Asian Studies Programme, NUS.

Before joining ARI, she taught at the Universiti Sains Malaysia and also held a visiting chair appointment (ASEAN and International Studies) at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto.

Dr Mohamad obtained her Ph.D. in Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Malaya and her M.A. in International Development Education at Stanford University. She also holds a Bachelors degree in Sociology (cum laude) from Macalester College.

Maznah’s publications include, The Malay Handloom Weavers: A Study of the Rise and Decline of Traditional Manufacture (ISEAS, 1996); Risking Malaysia: Culture, Politics and Identity (co-edited, Penerbit UKM, 2001) and Feminism and the Women’s Movement in Malaysia (co-authored, Routledge, 2006). She has also published articles on Malaysian politics, Islam, democracy and human rights.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Sunday, 12 September 2010 - 11:42 am

    Some interesting insights fr MN, excellent
    “vulgarised affirmative action policy formally known as the New Economic Policy (NEP)” = basterdised NEP
    “The only way Umno can change is if it loses” – best, so vote Umno out 2 change it

  2. #2 by vsp on Sunday, 12 September 2010 - 11:48 am

    UMNO has been in power for a long time and they have become fatigued. To continue in this state would be harmful to the country because when anything becomes fatigue it’s no use to put on a new coat of paint to cover up the weakness.

    UMNO needs to be decommissioned for a while. UMNO needs to be reconstructed; old, useless and rusty parts need to be replaced from head to toe, and be refurbished and improved with present day reality in order to be relevant again. So losing power temporarily would not be a bad thing. This the only way for UMNO to be revitalized.

  3. #3 by HJ Angus on Sunday, 12 September 2010 - 12:26 pm

    When UMNO gets into reform, it might even become a more potent force to upseat the PR government in 4 or 8 years but the voters really need to send it for treatment.
    So far the leaders have been pleading for the gradual process but I don’t believe in any cure except COLD TURKEY.
    Malaysians should realise that voting in a new government is a normal practice and for us it will part of the maturing political process.

  4. #4 by vsp on Sunday, 12 September 2010 - 1:20 pm

    PKR is a reconditioned UMNO car. It has the same framework, the same model of engine and the same mechanism in order to run. While it has been slightly upgraded with a few cosmetic changes like new tyres, bumpers, absorbers and sound system, essentially the body, engine and transmission are still the same. The PKR recon will suffer the same fate as the decrepit UMNO car. PKR need to quickly get a new car suitable for present-day realities. They need new drivers and new supporting teams without the old UMNO way of doing things. The old UMNO car might be ditched in the coming days but PKR must change its infrastructure quickly before UMNO get a better car.

  5. #5 by k1980 on Sunday, 12 September 2010 - 1:22 pm

    Imagine the pm saying, “Me Jibbie. Me handicapped. Me need affirmative action.”

  6. #6 by DAP man on Sunday, 12 September 2010 - 1:32 pm

    NEP – first Nazir said its bastardized and now Maznah says its vulagarized.

    And UMNO wants it till eternity!

  7. #7 by negarawan on Sunday, 12 September 2010 - 1:43 pm

    UMNO cannot be trusted at all. It is very common for UMNO politicians and leaders to deny any wrongdoing, crime, corruption, racism and failure even when the bare facts reveal otherwise. The recent “banning” of Perkosa by UMNO is yet another false facade put up by UMNO. UMNO has no sincerity and intention to unite the country. Biro Tatanegara and NEM are some of the many ways UMNO is trying to isolate the non-bumis in the name of their so-called “Ketuanan Melayu” policy.

  8. #8 by Loh on Sunday, 12 September 2010 - 2:56 pm

    ///Can Umno change?
    The only way it can change is if it loses… That’s because nothing has changed in Umno, not even its rhetoric. Has money politics changed? No. Histrionics? No. Keris-waving? No.///Maznah Mohamad

    UMNO should be defeated before it would ever change, if at all it wishes. If PR becomes the government after GE 13, and we can expect the racial opportunist to answer the call of God during that time. After that UMNO will have nobody to stop them from reforming. We will then see a two party system. Hopefully by then MCA and MIC would have been dissolved, and UMNO will have the alphabet M refers to Malaysians rather than Malays.

  9. #9 by DAP man on Sunday, 12 September 2010 - 3:45 pm

    “The only way it can change is if it loses…”

    As I see it, UMNO will disintegrate if it loses. The members will flee the sinking ship to join the winning team – PKR.

    Why would they remain in UMNO when there is no material benefit from being in it?

  10. #10 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 12 September 2010 - 6:54 pm

    Question: “So who or what is Umno’s biggest threat now? Dr Maznah Mohamad’s answer: “Fence-sitters. The 2008 election was really about them; a lot of seats were won very narrowly and that was when the fence-sitters mattered.”

    Perhaps it is with the decisive swing votes of the “fence-sitters” for the next general election in focus that UMNO secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s publicly dissociated UMNO from Perkasa and telling his BN component party counterparts that UMNO would not back Perkasa.

    In response Tun Dr Mahathir (TDM) warned that Umno could lose further support in the next general election if it snubbed Perkasa. Perkasa’s chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali further threatened that “he might give “guidance” the pressure groups’s 300 000 members — 80 per cent of whom are said to be Umno members — on how to vote in the next election!” (Reference: TheMalaysianInsider Report by Yow Hong Chieh of September 12, 2010).

    But seriously how real is this threat?

    Firstly, would endorsing Perkasa’s chest beating on race help a recovery of Malay votes that had already been lost to PKR and PAS in last election? There’s neither evidence nor any serious analysis to suggest that it would! There is however evidence that UMNO’s acquiescence with Perkasa’s strident race rhetoric has placed Barisan Nasional (BN)’s component parties (eg MCA & Gerakan) in greater stress, if the overwhelming support of Chinese votes for the Opposition in last 2 Hulu Selangor and Sibu by elections were any indication.

    Perkasa is driving a wedge between UMNO and BN’s other Non Malay component parties. For so long as UMNO still requires to maintain the façade of multi racial power sharing front, and not prepared to go alone, any accommodation of Perkasa has a distinct downside!

    For however way one slices it there is little doubt that Perkasa’s agenda is diametrically opposed to Najib’s more inclusive nuanced platform of 1 Malaysia, GTP & NEM, which is the last straw clutched by BN’s Non Malay component parties if they ever entertain fading hopes of recovering in the next GE whatever traditional support they have had.

  11. #11 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 12 September 2010 - 6:57 pm

    Continuing from preceding post:

    Giving material goodies to members of civil service (given bonuses) and Felda settlements and rural households will go an extent to help preserve many of UMNO’s traditional vote bank but what about the new voters – the ones that Dr Maznah Mohamad described as the “fence sitters”?

    These are the pivotal target market aimed at. Their 10% swing votes may be decisive on the fate of BN itself in next GE. The young voters, exposed to education, urbanization and the Internet, are perceived favouring change to which Perkasa’s agenda is against!

    Perkasa has also held claim that it is a pressure group to keep UMNO within its raison de etre of fighting for Malay rights.

    This creates a contradiction. For if Perkasa becomes popular, it logically implies UMNO (that Perkasa checks) is not protecting Malay rights adequately – an unacceptable inference.

    On the other hand if Perkasa were not popular, then there is also no reason for UMNO to accommodate its demands when it drives a wedge between UMNO and its other BN’s component parties!

    And even if it were true that 300 000 Perkasa’s members — 80 per cent of whom are said to be Umno members – were to be unhappy with UMNO going the way of 1 Malaysia, GTP & NEM and not with Perkasa’s demands, what is expected to really happen then?

    More specifically for whom will these disgruntled Perkasa members vote in the next general elections?

    They cannot vote for Perkasa as against UMNO because Perkasa is not a registered political party contesting in the next general election.

    Would they then vote for the Opposition parties? I don’t think so as Opposition is also pushing for the same change that Perkasa opposes.

    So unless they spoil the votes or don’t vote, they will in all probability still have to vote for UMNO. After all UMNO is not jettisoning NEP. 1 Malaysia, GTP & NEM are only tweaking the NEP’s implementation to make perceived a bit more market friendly, merit based and need based with benefits broadening down to more average Malays than the privileged few.

    So TDM’s threat of UMNO’s loss of Malay vote if Perkasa were not accommodated is not as real and urgent as, on balance, the more real risk of greater loss of votes (and maybe even the loss of the general election, if the 10% swing votes go solidly to Opposition) by Barisan Nasional as a whole if the alternative of continuing to placate Perkasa were pursued…

  12. #12 by Loh on Sunday, 12 September 2010 - 7:37 pm

    ///And even if it were true that 300 000 Perkasa’s members — 80 per cent of whom are said to be Umno members – were to be unhappy with UMNO going the way of 1 Malaysia, GTP & NEM and not with Perkasa’s demands, what is expected to really happen then?///– Jeffrey

    UMNO claims to have 3 million members, so only 8% join Perkasa. These are the people who cannot let go ketuanan Melayu out of greed rather than ‘love’ for the race. I would guess that one-third of them are government servants, one-third are contractors of government projects with the remaining representing family members of these two groups. By racial breakdown the percentage of Mamaks in Perkasa would be higher than those in UMNO.

    The three hundred thousands would certainly not vote for a change of government, and being interested to gain from their connections they would be more concern about getting UMNO re-elected to do their bids. UMNO will not lose a vote going against Perkasa simply because Perkasa members are more calculative than other Malay voters, and their aim is to preserve UMNO’s hold of power.

    Mamakthir is a mainstream opportunist and he argues that government policies should be based on popular support through divide and rule rather than based on the the benefit to the nation. We shall hear how he saved money for the nation on land purchase for PKFZ when the minutes of the relevant cabinet meetings are declassified.

  13. #13 by Loh on Sunday, 12 September 2010 - 9:13 pm

    According to Murkriz there are Malays in the rural areas who feel neglected. Assuming he is right, UMNO should seek out all those Malays in the rural areas and take care of their livelihood, till they die. It is cheaper than wasting government funds on the vultures. Urban Malays should stop to be passengers on the so-called affirmative actions.

    Mamakthir claims that UMNO would lose power even if they lose 200 votes from among the Perkasa members. So Najib’s majority in the election of 10 million voters comes down to 200 persons of Perkasa members and so for 200 votes Najib has to embrace Ibrahim Ali, so it seems. Murkriz said that the declaration by the Secretary General of UMNO distancing UMNO from Perkasa was his personal opinion. Since when was not his father Mamakthir’s opinion even as UMNO president not his own personal opinion?

    /// Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad

    ‘He was neither maverick nor Machiavellian; he was actually mainstream. He did bring radical change with Vision 2020 and he tried to create a Bangsa Malaysia. But he wasn’t forceful enough…and instead perpetuated race-based politics.’///–Maznah Mohamad

    Mamakthir did not intend to create Bangsa Malaysia but used the term Bangsa Malaysia to fool non-Malays that they had a place under Malaysian sun, and with that he diverted people’s attention away from the continuation of NEP and its further vulgarization. Mamakthir’s involvement in Perkasa proves that he only wanted bangsa mamak to be bangsa melayu.

    Mamakthir removed a generation of UMNO leaders or prevented a generation of them who could have been a better Prime Minister than he ever was from active politics. Mamakthir institutionalized racism and he equates the demise of race-based politics to his own demise.

  14. #14 by undertaker888 on Sunday, 12 September 2010 - 9:38 pm

    umnonites are evil. vote them out.

  15. #15 by Jeffrey on Monday, 13 September 2010 - 12:43 am

    Initially rejected by PAS, and now even publicly repudiated by UMNO for raising race rhetoric to a decibel where an average Malaysian can hardly separate the demagogue from the truly inspired, Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim is now considering, by way of retaliation, a political pact – including teaming up with non malays – for the next general elections (Ref TheMalaysianInsider Sept 12th).

    It appears that he is digging himself into a bigger hole here that may back-fire big time on his Cause.

    Firstly, how could he maintain the consistency of purpose – and credibility of fighting Malay cause – when the moment, the cards appear to have fallen, he now seeks an about-face-turn to co-opt Non Malay assistance?

    Secondly, after being perceived to have bashed Non malays to the extent that even UMNO feels queasy, which Non malays will collaborate with his agenda?

    I really wonder.

  16. #16 by hangtuahreturn on Monday, 13 September 2010 - 1:28 am

    Lets be fair and honest here….

    Will there be a possibility that a westerner rule China even though he is born in China?
    Is there a possibility that a Chinese man rule India?

    here you talk about human rights but neither Indian nor Chinese practice human rights in their own motherland..
    So, what human rights are they talking about when it is not in their nature?

    It is clear that DAP is trying to create racial tension, unstable economy and divide the malay community (to win votes) rather than helping Malaysia economy to move forward.

    So one day, DAP will overthrow BN, drove out the malays and indians, import more chinese immigrant from China to increase their percentage population and make malaysia a chinese communist country where Chin Peng failed.

    Malays sometimes can be naive
    to be used as a tool for their political agendas…
    haven’t we learn our lesson?
    Singapore is an perfect example
    To date, there isn’t a country that enjoy such freedom and democracy when the Chinese rule the government..

    bear in mind that DAP has affliction with PAP

  17. #17 by dagen on Monday, 13 September 2010 - 8:54 am

    Malaysians (notably penny wong) good enough to serve the australians as her majesty’s finance minister. But back home they were never good enough for umno and were threatened with may13 and asked to leave the country.

    I seem umno as the root of all problems in the country. But seriously cintanegara is a good guy. He just wants his rambutan tree.

  18. #18 by undertaker888 on Monday, 13 September 2010 - 9:53 am

    //here you talk about human rights but neither Indian nor Chinese practice human rights in their own motherland..//hangtuah

    another btn educated guy. are we talking about malaysia here or china and india? what motherland are you talking about? what are you going to say next? Balik negara asal?

    with your same logic, how about the muslim countries then? should not they be shunning vices, corruptions, ..etc as what is being taught by Islam.

    So what is our umnopordah doing then? the opposite of their religion? Is that not mockery and hypocrisy.

    //To date, there isn’t a country that enjoy such freedom and democracy when the Chinese rule the government..///

    go write this article in china for the chinese there. The only thing you write right is “Singapore is a perfect example.” Yes perfect example for striving for zero corruptions. the only people we see dividing the country is umno.

    //rather than helping Malaysia economy to move forward.///

    why help, when those putras are helping themselves stashing millions and billions in offshore account. Can you go ask Taib to help the malaysian economy?

    //So one day, DAP will overthrow BN, drove out the malays and indians, import more chinese immigrant from China to increase their percentage population and make malaysia a chinese communist country where Chin Peng failed.///

    well, to date we have 750,000 malaysians out of the country. so what’s your point? we dont have to be communist to do this.

    getting rid of corruptions is chinese chauvinism.
    transparent govt is chinese chauvinism
    equal opportunity is chinese chauvinism

    what else hang bodoh? meritocracy is what to you? maybe you want to parrot the mamak.

  19. #19 by Bigjoe on Monday, 13 September 2010 - 9:56 am

    The only reply that surprised me was that she said Mahathir was not a Machiavellian? The idea that its mainstream Malay to be good enough to take advantage of conflicts the way Mahathir did. Can’t agree with that.

  20. #20 by Loh on Monday, 13 September 2010 - 10:30 am

    The complaint has never been that only Malays are the PMs. In fact none of the PM is pure Malay, anthropologically speaking. If the PM serves the nation for national interests, he would be supported by the people, the citizens. The problem Malaysia faces lies in the fact that the political party in power pretends to practice democracy by going through election but it refuses to be judged by its performance. Thus they devise a scheme to make use of the ballot boxes to ensure that they get the majority votes to remain in power. That is divide and rule where the winner takes all. UMNO government since May 13 days made use of NEP to ensure that a majority of the population get preferential treatment, and that turn to majority votes for them to remain in power. The talk of defending one’s race makes it appear as though it was out of love for the community. Love it was but not for the community as evidenced by the fact that Mamakthir who was proud to list himself as Indian while at the medical college claims now that he has 100% Malay blood. Clearly he has deserted his Kerela Malayia origin to become Malay and now said to be fighting for Malays, of his kind. Thus racism sets in since May 13, but it is not a defence for the pride of the race rather than defending for the continuation of the system where unfair advantage has been accorded respecting brute force or the ability to call up people to run amok.

    If the politicians respect the role they say they want to uphold in democratic election which is to serve those who represent, it would not matter from what race the elected representative came from; so is the Prime Minister. That is the reason why in USA a black man could be elected President.

    Buddhism is widely practiced in China. Buddha was Nepalese, or more correctly Buddha was born in where Nepal is. Buddha is accepted as a teacher and Buddhism can be said to be Buddha thought. Buddha could certainly have been accepted as Prime Minister of China if there was such a system and Buddha had been in China.

    It would not matter whether the PM was a Chinese or Indian, just like it would not matter whether the Chief Justice was Malay so long as they perform their duties expected of their role.

    Racism has now been entrenched in Malaysian politics not because politicians in Malaysia have special affinity for the race they belong but because the political set-up has been race-based. Politicians hate to be losers but more importantly if was the prize of winning which comes with instant wealth that makes the battle fierce. If it was just the right to serve and to be remembered in history, the incentive for winning might not be that urgent and intense. It was the wealth and the opportunities to achieve it through political posts that make politics in Malaysia the most lucrative occupation that have ever been created. That was made possible by corruption and better still corruption with impunity when it has been institutionalized by Mamakthir’s design.

    The lesser beings practice racism such as non-Malays pay a higher price at Pasir Tani. The institutionalism racism ensures that Malays get a discount on home purchase. The worst racial opportunist wants the PM of the day to practice racism so that he could get 200 votes more from Perkasa members to stay in power. Imagine how democracy has been trampled in Malaysia.

  21. #21 by Godfather on Monday, 13 September 2010 - 11:28 am

    You own a piece of land in Kedah or Perlis and for years your ancestor did nothing but plant padi. Then you mix around with UMNOputras and you dream of doing something more productive with the land. You realise that you can get gas cheaply through UMNO, so you apply to put a fertilizer plant on your land. As an UMNOputra you get all the approvals in no time, and then you start to worry about your financing. Equity ? OK, we can inflate the construction cost by 50 pct, and the kickbacks from the contractor will be your equity. The bank is coerced into lending to your fertilizer project.

    Your product is too expensive because you can’t compete with China ? Don’t worry, UMNO will raise tariffs on imports of fertilizer from China so that you can be competitive. Oops, isn’t there a bilateral agreement with China that says we have to reduce, rather than increase, import tariffs ? Oh OK, UMNO will give you a concession to exclusively sell your fertilizers to rambutan farmers like cintanegara at market price, and allow you to claim subsidies for each ton of fertilizer that you sell. What ? Farmers like cintanegara don’t need such a huge supply of fertilizers ? Don’t worry, let’s encourage them to on-sell the fertilizers in the black market. Hence for each rambutan tree, we actually sell 5 times the fertilizer that it really needs.

    So now I’m a millionaire, and I marry 4 wives, and have 11 children. No worries, all my kids go to MRSM schools, and then they all get scholarships to either local universities or foreign universities. Every year, I go for holidays in Paris, Florida, London, Auckland. All thanks to UMNO’s generosity.

    Now why would I ever want the NEP to end ?

  22. #22 by Loh on Monday, 13 September 2010 - 11:40 am

    Those who get to own fertilizer plant type of projects might number a few thousands and they are naturally members of Perkasa. They naturally want Najib to continue with NEP. The other members of UMNO suffer too in paying a higher price for Proton yet they continue to vote UMNO. What is wrong?

  23. #23 by Godfather on Monday, 13 September 2010 - 11:49 am

    They don’t know any better. Why do you think that UMNO is dragging its heels on the high speed broadband project ? Keep the rural folks in the dark and feed them with sh!t – and let them continue to reproduce like mushrooms.

  24. #24 by cto on Monday, 13 September 2010 - 2:57 pm

    hangtuahreturn on Monday, 13 September 2010 – 1:28 am asked

    Lets be fair and honest here….

    Will there be a possibility that a westerner rule China even though he is born in China?
    Is there a possibility that a Chinese man rule India?


    I do not think that there is a Chinese citizen of caucasian descent. Likewise, there are extremely few chinese with Indian citizenship. So the answer to your questions should be obvious and in my frank, fair and honest opinion your questions are irrelevant.

    A better question – Is there a possibility that a Black man becoming the President of US?

    In addition, I do not understand the relevance of your comments on the human rights record of India and China.

  25. #25 by cemerlang on Monday, 13 September 2010 - 9:01 pm

    Next time you see a flag, know that it is a territorial flag. Just like a family with spoiled children and one of them wakes up and says daddy, mommy I do not want to be spoiled any further. But the rest still enjoy being spoiled. And how can you be spoiled if you want to look east ? Koreans are the most hardworking. They are very expressive too. Can you be like them ? Self dignity with worth. Not dignity with no self worth. That is why the Japanese have this kamikaze thingy. Know yourself. But it is not easy to move out from the comfort zone. It takes a whole lot of courage.

  26. #26 by waterfrontcoolie on Tuesday, 14 September 2010 - 3:16 pm

    She painted the reality of a scenario, the like of which Ibrahim Ali would flap his wings in glory.Let take a Malay Male just after Form 5. He has the choice of furthering his education., maybe for a degree in Malay Studies and join the Civil Service; all in all he will have to spend another 4 to 5 years to achieve that. If he were to start an UMNO branch, within 4 years, he could be the head of the youth section with a voice to select the Divisional Chief who is empowered to cast a vote or a bunch of votes on the next President of the Party where everu vote counts and is more important that the support of even a Member of Parliament!!! Which path would you take? Power with cash without any need to burn the mid-night oil or slog your guts out just to feed your family ???
    The choice is obvious and so simple! why is there a need to compete???
    Over the years, the effect may slowly ebb away, but the feeling of being a King-maker remains forever!

  27. #27 by hangtuahreturn on Wednesday, 15 September 2010 - 1:55 am

    All over the world, theres corruption….
    Even America ….
    and You believe that SIngapore doesn’t practice corruption?

    Do a research on SIngapore Politics and society before believing only things that what you wanna hear….

    Use common sense!

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