Umno’s missed opportunity

Awang Abdillah | December 17, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

Issues of national concern were not discussed at the recent Umno general assembly. Delegates also failed to call on Najib to step down for Umno to rise again.


Frankly, the recent Umno general assembly was the best venue and probably the last chance for Umno leaders to show their sincerity in addressing party and national concerns.

Instead of adopting the Mahathir doctrine or rather its despotic policy, Umno president and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak should have discussed with the party leaders on how best to tackle the party and national problems.

Disgruntled members should have urged Najib to step down as one of the solutions for Umno to rise again. Personal leadership, party strength and national issues and problems are all inter-related.

Glaringly missing at the Umno general assembly were discussions on issues of national concerns.

Allow me to list it all out here.

(1) The national debt

The most prominent of the major national issues is the growing national debt which now stands at RM437 billion, dwarfing the expected revenue of RM186.9 billion for 2012.

A massive national debt is one of the main factors that can destabilise the economy of the country.

Such a gigantic problem can be seen from afar by financial institutions and fund managers, the Employees Provident Fund board, foreign investors, dealers and speculators in the Malaysian foreign exchange market, investors in Bursa Malaysia, trading partners and our neighbouring countries.

If this problem remains unsolved, a number of fallouts are expected: banks will hold on to credit outflow leading to higher lending rates; flight of capital out of Malaysia; panic selling of the ringgit leading to a free-fall of the currency; panic selling of stocks in Bursa Malaysia; foreign direct investment will be neglible; unemployment will rise; delays in public funding of development projects, and so on.

There is no reason for a country like Malaysia – blessed with natural resources, high exports of primary commodities and other goods valued at RM639.4 billion for 2010 – to become a net borrower for development funds.

We believe as much as 30 to 40 percent of the development allocations in the yearly national budget goes indirectly to Umno politicians and Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB), too, and its companies.

For 2012 , a sum of RM51.2 billion is allocated for development. As much as 30 to 40 percent of the amount may be siphoned away through marked-up prices of government contracts, maintenance of public projects and supplies to government ministries, departments and agencies.

Some of such practices are partly revealed by the Auditor-General Report 2010. Unfortunately, the Auditor-General made false reports on the Sarawak government’s public accounts for the last nine years, for reasons best known to him.

If Umno cares about the welfare of the rakyat, then Najib and his top party leaders should discuss ways during the party general assembly to reduce this serious national problem instead of pushing it aside.

For any country, if its national debt keeps on growing, it would mean that government development funds in the past years have not been properly utilised for productive economic projects, which can give good returns to the government. Instead, a big portion of it goes to the personal accounts of Umno politicians.

(2) Weed out corruption among the Umno and BN leaders

Under an undemocratic-despotic government where gross abuse of power is the hallmark of the regime, it is of no surprise then that no concerted efforts have been made by the government to tackle such malpractices let alone remove corrupt federal ministers, chief ministers and menteris besar.

Thus, we see these ministers and heads of state governments plundering and looting the wealth of their respective ministries and states without fear of being caught.

After all, they share the loot together. Our stepbrother, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), has been trained to be obedient to his master but ready to pounce on and attack those who are perceived to be his master’s “attackers”.

(3) Umno should rebuild good qualities of leadership

Right now, the leaders and delegates are shifting blame on the opposition, especially PKR and DAP, for Umno’s ill-fortune and the state of affairs of the country.

In fact, the Umno and national problems are the work of the Mahathir undemocratic-dictatorial government and the Najib undemocratic-despotic rule. Since 1981, Umno has wielded so much political power that it has become the de facto federal government.

In such circumstances, how can the opposition be the root cause of Umno’s woes? Umno leaders should instead rebuild the party through the good value system and abandon the Mahathir or Najib political doctrine. Umno is a failed party that cannot anymore protect the Malay interests, let alone the national interests.

The party should be rejected outright and the rakyat should look to Pakatan Rakyat, with other minority parties from the Barisan Nasional (BN) or the opposition, as the future federal government.

Awang Abdillah is a political analyst, writer and FMT columnist.

  1. #1 by Sallang on Saturday, 17 December 2011 - 9:59 am

    Hope this post is also available in Bahasa Malaysia, so that all the Malays will know the truth.

  2. #2 by boh-liao on Saturday, 17 December 2011 - 10:23 am

    Since when UmnoB concerned abt national issues?
    UmnoB GA always d time 2 demand more korek opportunities 4 UmnoB members (many of whom r pseudoMalays) n 2 hentam DAP, PKR, PAS, PR
    They demanded GLC posts 2 b given 2 UmnoB members, towkays, warlords, cows
    So, what missed opportunities?

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Saturday, 17 December 2011 - 10:42 am

    Poor Umno leadership quality is to blame for the party’s missed opportunity.

    It is now crystal clear that Umno/Bn is an exclusive club for the elite and the politically connected. The party’s aim is to enrich its cronies and patrons bearing no relevance to ordinary Malaysians on the street.

  4. #4 by waterfrontcoolie on Saturday, 17 December 2011 - 10:50 am

    I believe all the arguments on the wantonness of the BN Gomen over the past 30 years have been said and there is NO other option for ALL THINKING Malaysians. They have to act in unison to remove this PLAGUE! The Super-Ego had started this events of hoodwinking the people through his sly ploy of bring better efficiency through what should by now called PIRATIZATION of national assets. With him being created as a hero so that his modes operandi had been the ‘guiding light ‘ for BN. The only exception is he was able to pull wool over the eyes of Malaysians when communication was not as good as iy is today. And with lesswer brain following his footstep, they could only come out with Cow-gates and 9BIOS and submarine commission!
    So much for the saviour!

  5. #5 by dagen on Saturday, 17 December 2011 - 10:59 am

    190billion leaked out of the country last yr(?), according to a recent report. That makes a total of (wot?) some 1trillion ringgit – the money that left the country over the last 10yrs or so. This is terrible. Corruption is bad but if the money remained in the country at least the money will remained in circulation in our domestic economy. But if the money leaves the country there will be less money around to fuel the economy. Of course no one expects politicians’ ill-gotten money to remain in the country. So you see elsewhere notably US and EU member countries are talking of QE – quantitative easing – here umno does the exact reverse with “QC” – quantitative contraction.

  6. #6 by SENGLANG on Saturday, 17 December 2011 - 1:18 pm

    I am not a pessimist but what the writer’s wishes on UMNO to do was far more than a dream. It was impossible that UMNO will admit all their short coming. All their members and division leaders have tasted all the sweetness of being being awarded with all the lucrative government contracts with sky high prices. Most of them have just get use to it and will not give out just it is. It was impossible to change the spot on the leopard.

    Even as the assembly on going not a single members dare to voice up the cow gate scandal. This was the scenario of UMNO politic. They think issue like that is normal and UMNO members are reserve to that kind of reward. They have no shame and they have no moral value. While many Malays still much behind the development, UMNO members are just concern about their own pockets. They are only interested in making money for themselves.

    Never dream that UMNO will change. It will never come.

  7. #7 by k1980 on Saturday, 17 December 2011 - 2:09 pm

    For most of us,
    LIFE IS…

    Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

    Life is beauty, admire it.

    Life is a dream, realize it.

    Life is a challenge, meet it.

    Life is a duty, complete it.

    Life is a game, play it.

    Life is a promise, fulfill it.

    Life is a song, sing it.

    Life is an adventure, dare it.

    Life is luck, make it.

    Life is too precious, do not destroy it.

    Life is life, fight for it.

    But for saifool, Life is an A-hole, plunge the plastic in!

    And for shahreezok, Life is a RM250 million gift, no need to repay it!

  8. #8 by boh-liao on Saturday, 17 December 2011 - 2:21 pm

    “Umno/Bn is an exclusive club for the elite” – ELITE, my foot! Holy COW, WHAT ELITE?
    STOP beautifying UmnoB/BN CHEATS n THIEVES as elites: let’s call a SPADE a SPADE

  9. #9 by Loh on Saturday, 17 December 2011 - 4:50 pm

    ///In such circumstances, how can the opposition be the root cause of Umno’s woes? Umno leaders should instead rebuild the party through the good value system and abandon the Mahathir or Najib political doctrine. Umno is a failed party that cannot anymore protect the Malay interests, let alone the national interests.///-Awang Abdullah

    This paragraph tells the cause of the ills in this country. UMNO has been fighting for Malay interests in the past 54 yours that non-Malays had no say in fighting national interests. It is because national interests are at odd with Malay interests according to UMNO leaders. Had UMNO leaders decided that when the nation prospers, all Malaysians have their interests looked after, and that certainly includes the interests of Malays. But UMNO takes Malays’ interests as something non-Malays have to surrender. It has always been a zero-sum game. In the process UMNOputras can fool the Malays by telling them that because of the racial discriminatory policies implemented by UMNO, Malays have more rights and benefits than non-Malays and so it appears that UMNO fights for Malays’ interests. It is not apparent to most Malays that with the people polarized by race, UMNOputras have been able to plunder the country with impunity. Worse was the effect of the racial discriminatory policies actually made the country doomed in low-income trap.

    It is good that Najib has made the worst of UMNO exposed. The nation will have to chance to revive with new tenant in Putrajaya. Who knows Najib might have purposely sacrificed his reputation for that eventuality. Or are we mistaken to believe that Najib cares more for his reputation than his desire for power to do what he liked most.

  10. #10 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 17 December 2011 - 5:11 pm

    Mahathir said that Malays are divided not because of religion but politics. ITS NEITHER.. They are divided over CORRUPTION.. Like it or not UMNO is not about religion or politics, its about their version of NEP which is simply CORRUPTION today.. Its one and the same now. It may have been different long time ago but not anymore. NEP=Corruption in UMNO/BN. Its that simple..

  11. #11 by monsterball on Saturday, 17 December 2011 - 8:40 pm

    The adopted father ruled with an iron fist…then the adopted son try to copy to rule with all rules favoring him.
    They put fear out……but Malaysians are smart and fearless now.
    Adopted son vow to fight to the death.
    Is our country at war?

  12. #12 by monsterball on Saturday, 17 December 2011 - 8:46 pm

    It’s a war between robbers and thieve against the victims…and usually the victims will win as the robbers are grossly out numbered.
    13th GE to decide who win or loose have been delayed…the longest in history by an unelected PM …talk alot of nonsense with no shame.

  13. #13 by monsterball on Saturday, 17 December 2011 - 8:51 pm

    When you have a government keep defending themselves….that’s a clear sign of feeling guilty and plan all sorts of cowardly protections with no shame.
    Imagine….a crook like Najib talking about moralities and sins to the public.
    Are Malaysians really that stupid to believe in him?

  14. #14 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Sunday, 18 December 2011 - 8:59 pm

    UMNO’s missed opportunities is legion plus one.

    Should we continue to stomach such an abject failure in the mainstream of public life any longer?

    NO, no, No! UMNO out! UMNO out! UMNO Out!

You must be logged in to post a comment.