Umno needs to rediscover its soul

— C.L. Tang
The Malaysian Insider
May 28, 2012

MAY 28 — Malaysia, or Malaya at that point in time, was fortunate that the pioneer leaders of Umno were a group of exemplary visionaries. It has the fortitude and humility to be inclusive and fair, mindful of the great urgency for all Malaysians of all races to be united as they embark on building a newly independent nation.

Not unlike the founding fathers of America who laid a strong foundation for the former British colony to thrive, Malaysia might have gone the way of other failed states had these Umno visionaries not forged a strong partnership among all its constituents, regardless of race and religion.

Indeed, it is no small miracle that we have advanced so much since independence. For a small nation made up of such diverse colours and ethnicity, we were the envy of many former colonies and new nation states that failed to replicate our stable, harmonious growth.

However, this golden age of Umno, and along with Malaysia, began to ebb and deteriorate along with the quality of its leaders.

The gentlemanly conduct, open mindset and non-confrontational nature, which was the soul of early Umno, is now replaced by a hawkish, non-compromising stance of Umno Baru “leaders”.

These so-called leaders preach moderation, democracy and fairness, essentially the principles upon which their predecessors built this nation, but ignore breaches of these concepts by their members.

A gentlemen’s party is now marred by thuggish acts of intimidation and at times violence. By condoning mock funerals, meeting disruptions, home invasions, stone throwings, car smashings, Umno is now causing the breakage of the very seams that are holding this nation together, the seams that its founders worked so hard to foster.

A party that has grown so arrogant that it thinks it has the exclusive right to govern Malaysia in perpetuity.

We now have a federal “democracy” where three million party members have a stronger say in the direction of this country than the 30 million citizens due to the party’s far-reaching influence and entrenched positions at all levels of federal government, agencies and institutions.

If the current crop of leaders has its early founders’ pedigree and moral standards, Malaysians need not worry too much. However, with so many scandals, corruption cases and abuses allegedly carried out by its associates seemingly swept under the carpet, it is no wonder there are so much scepticism and defeatism in the air.

From being the saviour of Malaysia to becoming the architect of its early success, Umno has now become a impediment to its further progress. True, PM Najib Razak has enacted a host of good economic initiatives and reforms which are far-sighted, but has not responded decisively to stamp his 1 Malaysia commitment when the principles are flouted by his party members and his government.

Umno and Malaysia’s fate are so closely entwined that the chains binding them cannot be easily broken without social upheavals and economic costs.

All is not lost however. We can only hope Umno can re-discover its soul, and find within itself the confidence to trust the people of Malaysia and respect their opinions and decisions. Until that day comes, unfortunately, Malaysia will struggle to reach its true potential, just as Umno struggles to discover its original calling.

  1. #1 by Loh on Monday, 28 May 2012 - 1:22 pm

    ///Dr Chua also challenged DAP to commit that if it were to come to power, Chinese leaders would head the finance, defence, education and international trade and industry ministries.

    “Can they promise to give these four portfolios to Chinese leaders if they came to power? If they cannot answer these questions, then they should not call MCA powerless because they are also powerless despite holding four states.”///–Malaysiatoday

    CSL of MCA is simply stupid to have missed the point that MCA started with a few important portfolios and they lost it subsequently. DAP has not been in power, and there is no point asking hypothetical questions. Besides, CSL cares about who hold what positions rather than whether the holders of the government positions would strive to promote national interests. UMNO’s racist policies are against the interests of the nation, and MCA has proven that it has been useless in preventing racist policies which affect national interests. MCA has certainly made some MCA members rich, at the expense of the non-Malays in the country!

  2. #2 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Monday, 28 May 2012 - 1:34 pm

    A certain soul came knocking on my bedroom window late last night claiming that it could not find its body for it has lost its way. “What body?”, I asked. And I further enquired without waiting for an answer, “How could you be outside my window when I am 25floors above the ground?” “I can float and I am looking for my body ‘kumno'” or that was what I thought I heard. You see the shut window muffled the reply. So what I thought was ‘kumno’ could well be ‘bumno’ or even ‘gumno’. I do not know for sure. But to float 25 flrs above the ground is no ordinary skill. And I could still recall clearly, I felt uneasy during the encounter. Not knowing what better to do or how to assist I uttered something in a haste which I could not for my life remember now. How odd. Whatever I uttered at that moment must have sounded muffled to that stranger too for he appeared to mumble after me “ask altan, ask altan” several times and he then vanished in the dark of the night.

    On hindsight, I think I could have done jib, umno & gang a big disfavour. In the circumstances described, it was obvious that I meant no harm and had no evil intentions. If at all it was a case of bad muffled miscommunication.

  3. #3 by tak tahan on Monday, 28 May 2012 - 2:38 pm

    Why not CSL asks,let say,which chinese leader will head porn star dvd when DAP and its allies come to power?Wakkaka.Doesn’t he know or realise that he is so inferior in quality,principle and dignity when compare himself with other chinese leaders?Which country has a party headed by porn star leader can claim it represents a certain community?Answer:MCA and porn star CSL(about to close shop after GE13).

    Back to the article,we can only see Umno re-discover its past glory is when it is booted out once in the coming GE13.Let’s focus on GE13 and ABU!

  4. #4 by yhsiew on Monday, 28 May 2012 - 2:44 pm

    ///However, this golden age of Umno, and along with Malaysia, began to ebb and deteriorate along with the quality of its leaders.///

    The NEP has been a curse to the nation. Such deterioration in quality of Umno leadership was unheard of before the NEP era. After the NEP was implemented, we began to see the deterioration as Umno leaders were quick to capitalize on the NEP to enrich themselves and their cronies (what happened to the RM52 billion Bumiputra shares?). In the process of making themselves rich, there were corruption and abuse of public funds and people lost confidence in the Umno/BN leadership.

  5. #5 by sheriff singh on Monday, 28 May 2012 - 3:09 pm

    Did UMNO lose its soul? Maybe this UMNO Baru just inherited bad karma when it was born in the late 80s. Who should it blame?

  6. #6 by sheriff singh on Monday, 28 May 2012 - 3:22 pm

    ‘If the current crop of leaders has its early founders’ pedigree and moral standards…. ‘.

    Let us just not forget that our founding fathers were living in a different time and environment, which is very different from what it is now. They needed to do things and behave according to the conditions existing then.

    If they are still alive, who knows what they might do or what they can do or are able to achieve?

    Remember, the Tunku (and Hussein Onn) left UMNO with some frustration and died non-party members. They were in the Opposition.

  7. #7 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Monday, 28 May 2012 - 3:40 pm

    Sheriff is right. We increasingly speak of people who are “from the old school” as a reference to those who are generally better educated (under the old system), have sounder common sense and possess superior work attitude.

    In fact if the old bunch is still around today I think they would be one frustrated lot – very much like kuli.

  8. #8 by Dap man on Monday, 28 May 2012 - 3:41 pm

    Can someone who has lost the soul, rediscover it?

    UMNO is a lost cause. It is disintegrating. Let it be so.

  9. #9 by Loh on Monday, 28 May 2012 - 3:47 pm

    /// Malaysia, or Malaya at that point in time, was fortunate that the pioneer leaders of Umno were a group of exemplary visionaries. It has the fortitude and humility to be inclusive and fair, mindful of the great urgency for all Malaysians of all races to be united as they embark on building a newly independent nation./CL Tang

    Unfortunately, one of the first generation leaders, namely Tun Razak, has caused the downfall of this nation. Tun Razak divided the country by first confining FELDA settlers to only Malays, and then engineered the coup d’etat using NEP to cover his track. His next greatest sin was rehabilitating Mamakthir who later make this the most corrupted country in the world, so that constitutional Malays were able to exploit the true Malays by ensuring that Malays never acquired the confidence to feel that they are not the endangered species.

  10. #10 by monsterball on Monday, 28 May 2012 - 4:03 pm

    The crop of UMNO b politicians and ministers under Mahathir are totally different from the day he became the PM for 22 years.
    Talk about sincerity…responsibilities… conscience…dignity….they have lost all.
    They have become thieves and daylight robbers..with no fear…as Mahathir have said clearly to all….”Money is Power”….and thus to govern the country forever…steal …rob….cheat as much as they can to use money to buy up the whole country.
    Pawns and puppets like MCA and MIC Ministers never had it so good.
    The trial of Lin Liong Sik started with Mahathir being grilled for 2 hours.
    Details not put out….but commentators have all predicted that this Chief Rouge will say…
    “So long ago. I forgot”…will be his answers.
    Lets wait and see.
    If the prosecution lawyers did not anticipate that will be his reply…and can do nothing about it…they may as well give up the case and let Ling be freed.
    Malaysians do not believe Mahathir is so smart to con the whole country without his finger prints found and there.

  11. #11 by monsterball on Monday, 28 May 2012 - 4:37 pm

    Mahathir has sold his soul to the Devil and having ruled for 22 years…..his UMNO b party is corrupted to the core.

  12. #12 by Jeffrey on Monday, 28 May 2012 - 4:46 pm

    A few early UMNO/Alliance leaders might be good eg – Tunk Abdul Rahman (or Dato onn Jaafar before him), Khir Johari, Tun Tan Cheng Lock or Lim Chong Eu might have evinced from their statements/actions inclusive visions necessary for nation building but surely CL Tang cannot generalise all these pioneer leaders of Umno (or for that matter of allaince) were “exemplary visionaries.. with fortitude and humility to be inclusive and fair”, somemore “not unlike the founding fathers of America”. The founding fathers of America (George Washington & Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln?) Hello Puleez – there is no comparison here. Anyway amongst our early UMNO/Alliance leaders, and leaving aside Tun Razak (raised by Loh), would Tang include Syed Jaafar Albar as inclusive and fair in terms of political vision? And speaking of the “soul” of UMNo even in early days can CL Tanf define whats this “soul” all about ? Was this “soul” in early days inclusive and if so tell us in what way with specific examples.

  13. #13 by Indon Planter on Tuesday, 29 May 2012 - 9:19 am

    Mr Tang, what soul? The UMNO of led by Tunku is long gone, killed off by M (I refuse to address him along with those undeserved titles). In its place, a new dictatorial, plundering regime emerged. The UMNO today is Evil in its purest form.

  14. #14 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 29 May 2012 - 12:29 pm

    If you are lacking a soul, then you are a zombie. UMNO Baru is a zombie.

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