Winners and losers at Umno assembly 2011

The Malaysian Insider
Dec 03, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — In a few hours, the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) will be empty of the thousands of delegates, observers and supporters attending the annual Umno general assembly. The five-day meeting saw a slew of speeches that touched on the issues facing the dominant party in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

Here are the winners and losers.

WINNERS: Hardliners in Umno because the speeches and tone from this year’s assembly suggest that the party has moved further away from the centre. Umno used to be a broad church of opinions from the farmers, religious scholars to the teachers and businessmen and pure political animals concerned about social justice, economy, religion and race.

Today, race is the dominant theme and the supremacy of the Malay race is being used to bulldoze and shut out other voices in the party. The DAP was singled out as the main cause impeding unity talks between the Malay parties. Ironically, PAS was formed by the Umno religious wing in 1951 and both parties only worked together in 1973 to 1977 in the aftermath of the May 13 race riots.

But the DAP gets the blame for the lack of Malay unity and the race riots.

WINNER: Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil. Try as a few Umno delegates did, no one could shake the Wanita Umno chief off her perch because of the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal involving her family. She stuck to her guns, insinuated that the attack was meant to weaken the wing that is seen as the backbone of Umno.

It also proved that Umno defends its own no matter the degree of the stench. Shahrizat isn’t the first and won’t be the last Umno leader to be grilled over allegations of misconduct by family members. And she won’t be the first to be dumped by Umno immediately too.

She lives to fight another day. It is up to the party to decide whether Shahrizat is a millstone around the party’s neck in the coming general election.

LOSERS: Malaysians. Because Umno looks set to win the polls in the next general election but yet looks woefully ill-equipped to lead a multiracial country. Sticking to parochial sentiments to fire up its members is outdated for any party that has been at the helm of a country for more than 50 years. One expects delegates to articulate a vision to continue on 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?

LOSERS: Chinese, Indians, Kadazandusuns, Christians, Buddhists, etc. After five decades of contributing to the development of this country, Umno still views people from this group with suspicion. That they can only be good if they are subservient to Umno. Everything is centred around Umno. Malaysia fails when Umno falls.

But they didn’t articulate the vision for continued success. They didn’t talk about public funds being used wantonly in high-impact projects by those related to Umno leaders. Instead, everyone is at fault except those in Umno.

The party lost another chance to clean its stables and start winning the trust of those who abandoned them in Election 2008. And the party lost an opportunity to show they can work with, trust and treat other communities with equality and respect.

To be sure, the Umno annual general assembly this year is an event ahead of a possible general election next year. The party needs to rally its members. But it must also show that it can be a party acceptable to all Malaysians, not just the Malays.

  1. #1 by Loh on Saturday, 3 December 2011 - 7:31 pm

    ///A WINNING candidate is not defined by his age, position or religion, Datuk Seri Hisham­muddin Hussein said.

    A potential candidate, the Umno vice-president said, was assessed based on his track re­­cord, work ethics and the support he enjoys among the electorate.///– StarOnline

    Kerismuddin’s record shows that he waived keris in UMNO general assembly. He was therefore a racist, fitting the struggle of UMNO. His work-ethics included siding with UMNO demonstrators as shown in the cow-head protest. Whether he enjoys support depends on how UMNO wants the electorates to behave. If Najib is able to mould UMNO members to believe in 1Malaysia, then Kerismuddin would not be accepted even by Malay voters. Clearly when Muhyiddin does not subscribe to 1Malaysia since he is Malaysian at the last resort, Najib has failed to promote 1Malaysia. Perhaps Muhyiddin knows that Najib only paying lip services, or worse Muhyiddin had been asked to give signal to UMNO members that racism is UMNO’s core value. That was also why UMNO leaders always claim that they fight for their race. Curiously race has lost meaning since Najib declared that any Muslim is Malay in contradiction to the definition given in Article 160 of Malaysian constitution that Malays must be the issues of those who were Malays in Malaya or Singapore, at the time of independence in 1957.

    ///He urged Umno leaders aspiring to contest in the general election to go down to the ground to serve the people, saying that no one could stop them from being candidates if they won the hearts of voters.///–Star Online

    The greatest service they could do is to arrange for demonstrations like those wearing yellow demonstrating in front of Komtar, Penang. Najib is against demonstrating on the streets. Based on Police inaction, one could imagine that Komtar was inside a stadium. Or Komtar is a designated area where demonstration is allowed, without notice.

    ///”Barisan can translate diversity into unity and this is our strength,” Hishammuddin said on the sidelines of the assembly.///–StarOnline

    But UMNO chose not to value diversity; the racial composition of civil servants which have been more closely linked to Malays compared to 1970 when NEP was introduced to sever the link between race and economic functions. Of course NEP has been implemented in a perverted fashion, to borrow the words of Nasir Razak. But it shows UMNO abhors diversity in race and religion. Else how would UMNO fight for race and religion for purity whereas the strength in diversity could only come about from the strength of the components comprised there in?

    ///On having a two-thirds majority in Parliament, he said many Western democracies did not have this and some, like Britain, even had a hung Parliament.

    “It is only we who are used to having a two-thirds majority.///–StarOnline

    UMNO wants 2/3 majority so that they can perform institutionalized corruption with impunity. In the interest of getting to that target, UMNO not only went through gerrymandering in parliamentary constituency make-up, but it also conducted social engineering in the mindset of those who are members of the party. The core value is wealth. Work-ethic is ignored and UMNO members have been brainwashed into believing that working outside air-conditioned environment is beneath their dignity. Thus, foreigners have to be hired to ensure that we can still export rubber and palm oil. Half of those in the civil services outside teaching should have gone to the field to be productive. That will happen when Petronas cannot plough enough funds for the country, or worse if it experienced what BP faced in the Gulf of Mexico.

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 3 December 2011 - 7:41 pm

    I disagree. The biggest eventual losers – most Malays. What Najib is promising is a ponzi scheme – its based on lies. If Malays can’t stand people talking about Singapore comparison, they have not seen anything yet given Najib’s plan..

  3. #3 by Loh on Saturday, 3 December 2011 - 7:42 pm

    ///In his fiery speech the prime minister also urged his troops to ready themselves for what he said would be “the most critical” elections to date reiterating that it would be a “tragedy” should Pakatan Rakyat PR come to power.///–MalaysianInsider

    It would certainly be a tragedy for the ruling parties and their leaders when Pakatan Rakyat formed the government and MACC has to work professionally. Now the delegates who were in the hall were all in for it, and they have to defend their own personal and family destiny to ensure that the protective cover provided by UMNO remains. It is more like the meeting of a secret society than a political party who takes responsibility of the livelihood of the citizens rather than the pecuniary futures of the partners-in crime.

  4. #4 by Loh on Saturday, 3 December 2011 - 7:44 pm

    ///“When I started 1 Malaysia I did not say ‘let’s neglect the Malay agenda’ ” he thundered to thousands of delegates at the party’s general assembly at the Dewan Merdeka hall at the Putra World Trade Centre PWTC here.///–Najib

    When Malay agenda precedes other races, that 1Malaysia only meant 1Malays.

  5. #5 by yhsiew on Saturday, 3 December 2011 - 7:46 pm

    From the winner and loser analysis, it is predicted that BN will be rejected by many non-Malays and Christians, the Chinese in particular, in GE13.

    The main failure of Umno has been creating policies to suit only one race, namely the Malays.

  6. #6 by Loh on Saturday, 3 December 2011 - 7:49 pm

    ///The Umno president tramples all over Pakatan in his AGM winding up speech, calling PAS a ‘stupid’ party exploited by DAP.///–Malaysiakini

    Whether PAS stays or leaves Pakatan Rakyat is not of concern of another political party unless it is afraid of the present arrangement. Why should PAS not remain where it is and be in the ruling party? Has UMNO a monopoly in governing? Or is it because politicians in UMNO would know no means of livelihood, to earn a living other than living on wealth created in the past?

  7. #7 by Ordinary on Saturday, 3 December 2011 - 8:02 pm

    Malays should think why Ringgit is far away from Singapore and Brunei dollar.

    Now we see Singapore is least 5th corrupted country in the world:

  8. #8 by Ordinary on Saturday, 3 December 2011 - 8:08 pm

    Have they talked about open tenders and disclose Mahathir and UMNO deals which are covered by Official Secret Act? Have they reformed Anti Corruption Agency and reformed Judiaciary Independence and how to investigate about RM888 billion taken out from Malaysia illicitly from year 2000 to 2008 ? see

  9. #9 by yhsiew on Saturday, 3 December 2011 - 8:08 pm

    It is clear from Umno Assembly 2011 that Umno has decided to give up hope on non-Malay support.

  10. #10 by yhsiew on Saturday, 3 December 2011 - 8:29 pm

    It is not difficult to see from Umno Assembly 2011 that 1Malaysia is only a hollow slogan used to fish non-Malay votes.

    It is obvious that 1Malay is the hidden agenda behind 1Malaysia.

  11. #11 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 3 December 2011 - 10:01 pm

    ///LOSERS: Malaysians. Because Umno looks set to win the polls in the next general election but yet looks woefully ill-equipped to lead a multiracial country///-TheMalaysianInsider.

    The fact that hardliners’ voices were loudest – and Shahrizat was not grilled and appeared to have deflected the NFC’s scandal- in UMNO Assembly does not necessarily support the conclusion that Malaysians are losers. Let the GE decides this point. Even if BN wins, but performs worse than 308, Malaysians would have won. In what way were the hard line voices on supremacy of race not as strident or loud in the UMNO Assembly just before the earlier 308 GE? Consider the following: more younger Malaysians will be enfranchised to vote or the coming GE than the last; as PM said in the assembly, we have 17.5 million Internet users, and according to research, Malaysians have the highest number of friends on Facebook, at 234 per person.

  12. #12 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 3 December 2011 - 10:01 pm

    [Continuing] – That’s why the PM has been concentrating on the social media scene and trying to interface with the younger voters. They are aware from the Internet/alternative media the shenanigans of NFC. Instead of giving a satisfactory account of NFC, UMNO is perceived to have swept this issue of misgovernance under the carpet and deflected attention to attacks on DAP, its Christianizing influence etc which only (post the blowing up of the Al Kitab issue) serves to alienate even more non malay voters and Christians whilst at the same time not being really assured of having won greater support from malay votes from such racist cant and rantings that in the Assembly pre 2008 did not exactly help UMNO do well in last election. This has not even taken into account the effects of mishandling of BERSIH and the proposed electoral reforms if partially implemented before the next election. One can guess either way but only th results of next GE will be arbiter whether from the just ended 2011 UMNO Assembly, UMNO/BN or Malaysians are losers!

  13. #13 by monsterball on Saturday, 3 December 2011 - 10:15 pm

    I see no winners and losers in all the speeches made.
    I see childish sour grapes and low class politics speeches.
    I see Najib and his ministers are trying very hard to make PR angry….especially to DAP.
    It is clear,,,many Muslims are supporting DAP..while PAS Muslims stay loyal to PAS.
    Muslims run to keDAILan…DAP.
    Where did they come from?
    Especially Muslims supporting DAP….Najib simply cannot stand the sight of it.
    So he says…DAP fool Malaysians…DAP…anti Malays…hoping all leave and go back to support UMNO b.
    He feel no shame at all …under his leadership…UMNO b supporters are sick of him.
    That’s how smart Muslims have become..and Najib is still trying to fool his own race….day and night.
    His foolishness…hypocrisy… has come to a full circle.

  14. #14 by monsterball on Saturday, 3 December 2011 - 10:19 pm

    I see no winners but all talk like… sour grapes.
    Najib’s foolishness…hypocrisy…lying…double talks…have come to a full circle.
    He will go round and round….like a wind mill…blowing air.

  15. #15 by digard on Saturday, 3 December 2011 - 11:28 pm

    ///LOSERS: Malaysians. Because Umno looks set to win the polls in the next general election but yet looks woefully ill-equipped to lead a multiracial country. ///

    Not exactly. Watching the show, they are ill-equipped to lead any country, except of some Sub-Saharan fiefdom. And that shows on all corners, in all fields.
    I cannot fathom how actually more than 5 or 10 percent of the population can actually seriously ponder voting for this kind of people that we had the dubious pleasure to watch and listen to during the last days.

  16. #16 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 3 December 2011 - 11:34 pm

    Najib likely grasps UMNO’s predicament better than the other warlords and delegates when he mentioned about “game changers”. Chest beating to champion race is not a game changer. They did that in every UMNO General Assembly including the one just preceding the last election in which BN lost 2/3! How will raising race rhetoric by several decibels in 2011 Assembly substantially improve the situation compared to 308? Besides the entering into electoral roll of many young voters and the inability of the Govt to explain satisfactorily the Cattle Gate NFC scandal mentioned in preceding posting one other important “game changer is the clamour for democracy and proper governance in large swathes of Middle East otherwise called “Arab Spring”. How will developments there affect Muslim votes here in the face of governance issues highlighted by Cattle Gate? No doubt the decision might likely to have been made by UMNO at highest level to give up on Non Malay votes in the next GE and in absence of alternatives to go all out for Malay votes instead.

  17. #17 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 3 December 2011 - 11:37 pm

    This may well be the only option available to UMNO from its perspectives in sense that it does not expect it could ever recover Non malay support no matter what (since it is not willing to dismantle the NEP). However whilst such an approach may secure more Malay voting support – whether that greater support will be only marginally greater or represent a significant shift avourable to UMNO/BN becomes the decisive factor whether it will fare worse or better in 13th GE than 308. This is because this all out approach to concentrate on canvassing Malay voting support will inevitably alienate even more Non Malay support. Will the gain of Malay votes if marginal be sufficient to set off against another round of the remaining section of Non malay/ Christian or even East Malaysian voters (that in 308 supported BN or wasn’t with the Opposition) deserting BN in next GE? Also one is not sure what’s the effect on BN if Non malay component parties like MCA & Gerakan are totally annihilated in next GE! This something difficult to calculate. It’s therefore too soon to say whether the unabashed race baiting in the recently concluded UMNO Assembly will, in light of “game changers” outlined earlier still be a winning point for UMNO at the coming national polls and not the opposite.

  18. #18 by good coolie on Sunday, 4 December 2011 - 12:32 am

    PAS is a solid pillar of the Pakatan. Sure, there are some matters of controversy (Hudud, for example), but there is no need to worry as PAS can not find the support to implement Hudud or other Islamic Law without the cooperation of the other partners. Remember that PAS is much needed because their members, like that of the DAP are honest and sincere people. Will PAS and DAP become dishonest and corrupt when they become the Government? Well, if they do so, we the Rakyat will kick their you know what. Meanwhile give PAS and DAP a chance.

  19. #19 by k1980 on Sunday, 4 December 2011 - 6:53 am

    Dei aneh, even though I have RM250,000,000, I will only give you RM50 in aid. Long live 1malaysia and remeber to vote bn or your RM50 will be taken back

  20. #20 by k1980 on Sunday, 4 December 2011 - 7:54 am

    LOSERS: The rakyat (except the cronies)
    it will be mandatory for all Malaysians earning an income to pay premiums to the NHFA if they want medical treatment in private and government hospitals and at private clinics.

    Despite paying the premiums, they will have to fork out more money because the premiums only cover basic treatment. What will happen to people who do not have an income or no longer have an income? Where will they get their medical treatment?

  21. #21 by k1980 on Sunday, 4 December 2011 - 7:59 am

    LOSERS: Oh no, Umno
    Overall, the whole Umno assembly, the speeches, by the president, the deputy president and the delegates, we can sense that they are worried that this is probably their last Umno general assembly as the party in power and that’s why they have resorted to very desperate politics of fear and to create scare among the Malays

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