Dissent no longer allowed in Umno, says Abdul Kadir

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider
Aug 02, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir laments Umno’s present disdain for dissent and open debate, charging it as a “regression” from the eras of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj and Tun Abdul Razak.

The former Umno minister and supreme council member told The Malaysian Insider he was “worried” about the Malay party’s current political culture, saying it starkly contrasted with the Najib administration’s push for transparency and openness.

“Unfortunately things have changed a lot within Umno since the times of the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn. Back then there was a lot of freedom to voice out our opinions, a lot of room for dissent and open debate..

“But now you don’t have that kind of environment,” Abdul Kadir told The Malaysian Insider, citing the current circumstances has pushed him to join Angkatan Amanah Merdeka (Amanah) where he can voice out issues that could not within his own party.

The former tourism minister cited the backlash to Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah’s stand on the Bersih 2.0 rally, where the deputy higher education minister disagreed with the way the government had handled the July 9 event.

“It was just a comment, it did not mean he was going against his party or the government, but now there are calls within Umno for him (Saifuddin) to be sacked.

“This never happened in the past,” added Abdul Kadir.

He also compared the present Umno leadership to the past ones, and used the case of former Umno Youth Chief and Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Harun Idris to illustrate his point.

“Most of us in Umno Youth did not agree when Datuk Harun was charged with corruption. We became witnesses against the government back then. We went against our own government to campaign for Datuk Harun around the country…but no action was taken against us, even though there was a difference of opinion.

“It did not mean we were going against BN or the government, it was just a difference of opinion,” said Abduk Kadir.

Between 1975 to 1977, the late Harun was found guilty on various charges of corruption and was sentenced to six years’ jail. In 1981, Harun was pardoned by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on advice of the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, after serving three years of his sentence.

Despite his lament about the party’s current mood, Abdul Kadir said that he would remain with Umno and work for the party.

“My whole adult life, I have been with Umno, I am still holding positions within the party…there are a lot of things that I agree with Umno, with some of its other policies,” said the veteran politician who is currently treasurer for the Kulim Bandar-Baharu Umno division.

Abdul Kadir is now one of three deputy presidents of Amanah, led by former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah who remains Gua Musang Umno division chief and the Gua Musang MP.

  1. #1 by k1980 on Tuesday, 2 August 2011 - 10:04 am

    Kadir, go and form your very own umno (united mamak nasional organisation). It will be a great party once you get mamaktir to become its president. When it wins the 13GE, you can become the deputy pm. ( The big mamak’s son becomes the pm, of course)

  2. #2 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 2 August 2011 - 10:21 am

    Team A
    Team B
    Team T
    Team M
    Team what again ?

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 2 August 2011 - 10:34 am

    If dissent is badly treated and not allowed in Umno, wouldn’t it be many times worse for dissent outside Umno??

  4. #4 by dagen on Tuesday, 2 August 2011 - 10:36 am

    Hmmmm. Hv you been sleeping Qadeer?

  5. #5 by tak tahan on Tuesday, 2 August 2011 - 11:18 am

    Abdul Kadir,why then still remain in Umno leh?
    If like that ar..apa guna maksud Amanah?Semua cakap tak serupa bikin…lu olang!

  6. #6 by Ray on Tuesday, 2 August 2011 - 11:36 am

    Who is the Ownership of Utusan TV media etc..>.””Umno Najib >>Umno prodigals totally hopeless and gone astray now since Tunku Rahman era. They can only survive thro PR agencies to help Spining ,influencing Rakyat by distortion thro Apco .
    How the world look at PR?? what all this Crisis finanacial,political, economy social,security etc sprouted becos of Greed/corruption and in reality its lack of good humancharacter leadership, resources management skills and wisdoms??What kind of human breeds>>>genes origins of gilahallah??
    Its absolutely distrust and absolutely Loss faith in any of their Uglyness and Wicked Misdeeds past history of Damned Umno BN administration.
    In Sarawak, likewise Peh moh taib also engage International PR agencies to spin his billion dollar mukah corridor project on his behalf after sqandering maasive state soveriegn saving funds into his Bank UtamaTaib.

  7. #7 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 2 August 2011 - 12:44 pm

    What dissent U want 2 raise 2 NR, A Kafir?
    C4? Immigration record erased? Baginda innocent? Handbags? Diamond ring? Y no YELLOW? U give me, I give U? Bersih 2.0? Allah issue? TBH forced suicide? PSM EO6? …….

  8. #8 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 2 August 2011 - 3:06 pm

    Angkatan Amanah Merdeka (“AAM”) shouldn’t be a skin on back of anyone here. Its just an NGO by sidelined and past UMNO stalwarts disillusioned with its present leadership & infighting. Promoter Ku Li at AAM’s launch said, “Righteous Malaysians should no longer remain passive in the wake of rampant misconduct, corruption, cronyism and racial crisis” – which is something AAM is actually accusing present UMNO’s leadership of. To add to the criticism, Kadir Sheikh Fadzir adds present leadership does not heed contrary opinions dissent or encourage open debate..

  9. #9 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 2 August 2011 - 3:10 pm

    Angkatan Amanah Merdeka (AAM) basically identifies still with UMNO, wants it to reign and not be replaced by PR, but to do that UMNO has to restore governance, be more democratic to listen to dissenting voices within that will guide it to more rational ways of doing things so that it would not be evicted by the people via ballot box. That’s basically AAM’s object. It should not be a skin on anyone’s back here because of two reasons: (1) AAM makes claims and evinces potential to be a more moderate counter-weight NGO to UMNO in counterbalance against the more extreme Perkasa; (2) AAM signifies internal dissension within UMNO, the first stage of disintegration where Centre will not hold – and from Oppositions’s viewpoint, a favourable development as it tends weaken UMNO as it now has to fight not only Pakatan Rakyat but also AAM and in the process get confused as to which to listen to, when AAM conflicts with Perkasa for influence over UMNO.

  10. #10 by goldeneye on Tuesday, 2 August 2011 - 4:05 pm

    What does Abdul Kadir mean by “dissent no longer allowed?” It has never been allowed in Umno from day 1. The case against Harun was the govt vs. Datuk Harun and has nothing to do with the party. Another goon who cannot distinguish between govt and party.

  11. #11 by Joshua on Tuesday, 2 August 2011 - 8:13 pm

    I am ready for the PM in IGGG.


    some people scared I takeover soon.

  12. #12 by tak tahan on Tuesday, 2 August 2011 - 11:37 pm

    When one bad apple spoilt the whole basket of its kind,what you mean you have better clearer eye than goldeneye..

  13. #13 by monsterball on Wednesday, 3 August 2011 - 12:11 am

    Once in a while…you get one cracko talking nonsense in this blog.
    Not interested to talk about Harun Idris.
    It is history and that man is dead.
    But if any Malaysian thinks he was a non corrupted politican…..he/she must be NUTS.

  14. #14 by raven77 on Wednesday, 3 August 2011 - 12:16 am

    The evidence against Harun was crystal…..he had committed clear CBT…..the government of the day, (Hussein Onn)….did the right thing…although the political expediency is open to debate….

    Kadir should not think that two wrongs can make a right…..UMNO and the BN is lost primarily because of this culture……please explain how Chua Soi Lek is MCA President, the Datok Ts, TBH, Altantunya deaths, Sarbani, Scorpene deals, etc etc etc….

    Come on Kadir….do you really think all these things would have happened during Hussein Onn’s time…the rule of law was supreme…

    Mahathir destroyed the law so as to enable him to be above the law…like Nixon and Harun, Mahathir should at least been jailed during his tenure itself….

    The country is in tatters today….its education gone and its economy now in no man’s land…

    We are what we are today because we didn’t act collectively to put a stop to this nonsense…Do you Kadir, Tengku Razaleigh, etc etc..have it in all of you to put a stop to this or is there going to be more pussy footing…..

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