Backstabber’s guide to Umno polls

Mariam Mokhtar
Sep 30, 2013

Mention the word Umno Baru and people will think of the 3Cs – corruption, cheating and cronyism.

Thousands of miles away, Najib Abdul Razak told the UN General Assembly that “the greatest threat to Muslims today, is not from the outside world, but from within”. His words are poignant and have some gravitas, for they reflect the conditions at home.

Thanks to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the public has become extremely mistrustful of politicians. Thanks also to Mahathir, the biggest challenge which Najib will face at the next Umno-Baru elections, is ironically, within his party.

Many factors will affect the battles during the upcoming Umno-Baru election, including wit and financial considerations. The two men, president Najib, and deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin, ‘won’ their seats unopposed.

The three hotly contested vice-presidential positions are being challenged by six men – Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Hishammuddin Hussein, Mohd Shafie Apdal, Isa Abdul Samad, Mukhriz Mahathir and Ali Rustam.

The following is a backstabber’s guide to the race.

Najib, the Jekyll and Hyde character: Abroad, he preaches moderation and is praised for his over-reaching and inclusive views.

At home, he is timid and panders to the extremists and ultra-nationalist factions. He appears to undergo a personality change as soon as he steps onto Malaysian soil.

If the characterisation of Najib as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is too harsh, perhaps, Humpty Dumpty is more apt. Having reached the pinnacle of his position (the top of the wall), Najib’s fall from grace could not be reversed by all the king’s men or all the king’s horses.

Muhyiddin Yesman: This veteran politician is allegedly taking instructions from Mahathir, to pave the way for his son Mukhriz to be a future PM.

Most will remember Muhyiddin for his “Malay first, Malaysian second” remark.

In his version of unity and reconciliation, Muhyiddin once said that anyone had a right to form their own Chinese or Indian version of the Malay extremist group, Perkasa, provided the association was formed with good intentions. What are Perkasa’s good intentions, critics wondered?

Anyway, full marks to Muhyiddin, for wanting a harmonious and multiracial society, based on intolerance and bigotry.

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi: In the game of ‘cabinet musical chairs’, Zahid swopped roles with Hishammuddin Hussein as home minister.

An abrasive character, who lacks tact and diplomacy, Zahid is inclined to tell anyone who disagrees with him, who is displeased about the cheating in GE13 or who is worried about the political system, to leave the country.

When a Singaporean Muslim opened his heart and his premises to a Buddhist group, Zahid stripped him of his permanent residence permit and charged him with insulting Islam.

Zahid has amazing ‘new broom sweeps clean’ powers. Within days of assuming his cabinet post, he found 250,000 Shiite Muslims hiding in the country and 260,000 hardcore criminals terrorising the streets. He is prone to incoherent rages.

Hishammuddin Hussein: Critics wonder if this self-deluded macho man, who allegedly fashions himself after the children’s action figure, Action Man, was given the post of defence minister because he allegedly likes to be seen in leather jackets and dark sunglasses, staring through powerful binoculars looking at boys (with their toys).

His fondness for using binoculars meant that he missed the 510,000 hardcore criminals and Shiite Muslims that Zahid found with ease.

Mohd Shafie Apdal: The only defining feature of this Sabahan is the infamy he gained as a result of the allegation that he gave out RM1.5 million to his mistress, at a time when the BR1M payments of RM500, was deemed sufficient to keep the rakyat sweet and willing (to be shafted repeatedly by Umno Baru).

The alleged affair had been an open secret and was exposed when the actress’ driver, lodged a police report after he had been accused of absconding with some of the loot.

Isa Abdul Samad: If only the government of Umno Baru could recycle rubbish as well as it recycles its veteran politicians.

This recycled politician was once the target of Mahathir’s ire, when the former PM moaned that Umno Baru should not condone corrupt politicians. Isa was stripped of his Umno Baru vice-presidency and suspended for six years, later reduced to three, on appeal.

Isa was rewarded for his years in the wilderness by Najib, who made him the chairperson of Felda, a gold mine for those who know where to look for the treasure.

Mohd Ali Rustam: Another recycled politician who was disqualified in the 2009 Umno Baru elections, after being found guilty of money politics.

As the former chief minister of Malacca, he used the trappings of power to fund his son’s wedding, claiming that he wanted his adoring rakyat, around 130,000 of them, to share and partake in his personal happiness.

Following allegations of corruption, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission launched an investigation and said: “We are going item by item, to see how much money was spent and who paid for it.”

Presumably, they are still going through the list, because we have heard nothing.

Anyone who has ever wanted an adventurous ride in a cherry-picker (the machine which Tenaga wiremen use, to lift them to the tops of overhead poles), can have one at the end of the ride in Ali’s RM16 million monorail, which travels two feet before stopping dead in its tracks. The stranded passenger will be plucked from the monorail and deposited on land by a cherry-picker – Malacca’s own version of a thrilling theme park ride.

Mukhriz Mahathir: We will have to wait for his father Mahathir’s next press release to learn about Mukhriz’s good works and future aspirations. Whenever Mukhriz starts talking, people glance at their watches and say they have to rush for an appointment.

Mukhriz may have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but he is tainted with the Mahathir brush.

His dad is a bore with a capital B, when he reminds us that Umno-Baru must inject young blood and elect smart people into the party. It is possible that Mahathir was referring to Khairy Jamaluddin.

Najib’s predictions about the internal threat are coming true. His party has decided to deploy the police, to protect the ballot papers to be used in the party election.

This speaks volumes about the state of affairs within Umno Baru. The cheating in the Umno-Baru elections will make GE13 look like a model of a fair election!

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO).

  1. #1 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 1 October 2013 - 11:11 pm

    Hishamuddin might just give everyone else his rusty kerises so that they can back-stab each other Brutus-style and end all competition ?

  2. #2 by Noble House on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 - 2:10 am

    Khairy J, what say you? Isn’t it time to put your years in Oxford to good use? No?

  3. #3 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 - 5:12 am

    Netanyahu says Rouhani is “a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a wolf who thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community.”

    You may or may not agree with this but here is something Malaysians cannot disagree:

    Najib isis “a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a wolf who thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community”. He goes to New York with his bleating rhetoric but is such a pain in the a*** in Malaysia with his racial politics.

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