At best Umno should try not to be ‘Chinese hunters’, says Zaid

By Ida Lim
The Malay Mail Online
September 1, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — Former Umno leader Zaid Ibrahim today said that the party would be unable to flush out those joining the party to enrich themselves, but said it should at least refrain from hunting down the Chinese.

Zaid’s comments this afternoon appeared to be aimed at Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s call for Umno to shed its corrupt image, where its leaders are viewed as allegedly lining their pockets.

“Umno surely can’t clean themselves of fortune hunters. At best they should try not to be Chinese hunters,” the former de-facto law minister said on Twitter today, likely in reference to Dr Mahathir’s column in Utusan Malaysia’s weekend edition today.

Dr Mahathir had today written in Mingguan Malaysia that the injection of new blood into the Umno leadership this October through polls would counter views that it is corrupt.

Dr Mahathir, who himself led Umno for over two decades during his tenure as prime minister, said the best way to do this is by removing the older, entrenched party leaders in favour of the unpolluted youths.

“Today, many think that Umno is very corrupt. It is even assumed that Umno leaders at all levels had not joined the party to fight for race, religion and the country, but to enrich themselves,” Dr Mahathir wrote in Mingguan Malaysia.

“Only by handing over the Umno leadership to the young and unpolluted can this cleansing of Umno become reality, and will be accepted by the community,” Dr Mahathir added.

In a series of tweets earlier this afternoon, Zaid also took aim at controversial local film “Tanda Putera” which depicts the May 13, 1969 racial riots and the administration of Malaysia’s second prime minister and his deputy.

Zaid blasted comments that described the film as “well-researched” despite its fictional nature, saying that the truth of the contentious 1969 events should instead be established through an inquiry.

“Tanda Putera is fiction but well researched and true.

Another of many stupid statements coming out of my country.”

“In other countries they have public inquiry to find cause of national tragedy. In my country they do film. Another stupid thing,” the politician-turned-businessman said when expressing his frustrations on Twitter.

Zaid also appeared to mock MCA, a Chinese-based Barisan Nasional (BN) component party, for not responding to minister Datuk Seri Nazri Azri’s remarks linking “a few Chinese individuals” to the May 13 riots.

“The Chinese in MCA must have agreed with Nazri on May 13, from their silence. In which case we need more films from SB on other issues,” Zaid said, likely referring to Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba, the director of “Tanda Putera”.

Yesterday, Nazri said the Chinese community should not feel slighted over the controversial film Tanda Putera which allegedly portrays the former as having sparked the May 13 riots in 1969.

“The Chinese community as a whole is not responsible for what happened in 1969, only the individuals, they are the ones who should feel guilty.

“I personally feel that there are many Chinese Malaysians who are very Malaysian and they will not (be) involved with this and they should not be blamed because of a few Chinese individuals who were involved,” the minister of tourism and culture told reporters.

Nazri, who said he has watched the film which premiered on August 29, said it was “well-researched” and reflects the “reality” of the turbulent period in the country’s history.

But Shuhaimi had last week said the film was a work of fiction despite earlier vouching for its “historical accuracy”.

Shuhaimi also explained that “Tanda Putera” is essentially about Malaysia’s second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and his deputy Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman — “two men who gave up everything, including their lives for the country”.

“Tanda Putera”, which was originally slated for release on September 13 last year, was produced at a cost of RM4.8 million provided by FINAS and the Multimedia Development Corporation (Mdec).

  1. #1 by rjbeee on Sunday, 1 September 2013 - 10:15 pm

    This is where they waste money by giving to some Baba to produce films… Another mamak gang

  2. #2 by tuahpekkong on Sunday, 1 September 2013 - 11:00 pm

    Of all people, Dr Mahathir talking about shedding UMNO’s corrupt image. Did he suddenly get enlightenment from GOD? MCA President Dr Chua Soi Lek has come out in support of the screening of Tandas Putera in cinemas. He blamed the DAP for objecting to the film’s screening. He subscribed to the democratic right of the film director to propagate lies.

  3. #3 by Noble House on Monday, 2 September 2013 - 4:25 am

    “Well-researched and historical fact” you say, Nazri?

    Well, we also know for a fact that wayward son of yours is not all innocent of the killing of a student in Hartamas years back; that he is one big bully in beating up people for doing their jobs; that he drives around in a RM400K Hummer!

    Should we then blame the Malays for not feeling slighted over your son’s behavior and conducts? Or should it be the father?

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Monday, 2 September 2013 - 9:32 am

    ///Former Umno leader Zaid Ibrahim today said that the party would be unable to flush out those joining the party to enrich themselves, but said it should at least refrain from hunting down the Chinese./// Within prevailing ethnocentric political culture of the party structured around vigorous Malay nationalism rather than Malaysian nationalism, the two ie. hunting for wealth based on political patronage/largesse on one hand and keeping minorities (esp Chinese subdued and in place in deference to Ketuanan ideology) are inseparable and integral part of political formula, one reinforcing the other, for the party an its advocates to stay in power. With The Umno election imminent even a relatively moderate UMNO minister like Nazri must be seen leaning a little to side of ketuanan in order not to be voted out. This is real politik. Those openly committed to principled politics of reform (even at the helm of the party) like Pak Lah had been ushered out by apparatchiks within the party and those outside wishing to benefit from the system. Likewise current PM needing to protect his position can’t move his 1 Malaysia platform beyond rhetoric stage. Zaid can say this because he was prepared to leave UMNO and political position.

  5. #5 by waterfrontcoolie on Tuesday, 3 September 2013 - 10:03 am

    Nazri, his parent had an inkling when they named him immediately after WWII. Predicting him to bear similarity to a horrible event just past! Once in a while he will challenge the Siapa-nama for publicity as both of both really needed each other to maintain the head-lines in UM with the UMNO GA in mind! Oh! Malaysians! I cry for you!

  6. #6 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 3 September 2013 - 3:48 pm

    At best? UMNO WAS at best making excuses and not much else. Mahathir himself is STILL making excuses of ‘needing young blood to stop corruption’ and his prescription is his son and getting the Fed govt to pay for his state projects and his own rise up the party..

    Chinese hunting? Many of us, won’t even bat an eyelid if they come with everything they got..However, what we fear is that if we fight, it will be for nothing because Mahathir has taken or destroyed everything while we are fighting..

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