UMNO Vice President Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today that UMNO cannot continue with it denial syndrome as it is now facing an erosion of trust and must find ways to stay relevant.
He said that UMNO must “clearly, courageously and sincerely” admit that UMNO is facing a test of trust as the new generation of Malays do not feel the sentimental connection with the party and they no longer feel like UMNO is addressing issues that concerned them.
Has Hishammuddin’s realization and warning that UMNO is suffering from denial syndrome and losing trust come too late?
This is because UMNO is not only losing the trust of Malaysians and the Malays population but also the three million UMNO members and 21,000 UMNO branches – and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM2.6 billion “donation” and the RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals are the major “lightning rods” of such rampant dissatisfaction and discontent not only among Malaysians and Malays as a whole, but even among the three million UMNO members and 21,000 UMNO branches.
The new Public Accounts Committee Chairman, Datuk Hasan Arifin has admitted that he has to “cari makan” as the reason why the Public Accounts Committee is not calling Najib to the PAC investigations into 1MDB although he is the real “star witness” in any meaningful inquiry into 1MDB.
Hasan’s reason may find resonance among the UMNO’s 300 chieftains who dominate the UMNO Supreme Council and the various UMNO divisional leaderships, but this must be a totally unacceptable reason not only among Malaysians, the Malay population but also the three million UMNO members and the 21,000 UMNO branches.
This is why what I had described as the battle of UMNO’s 300 chieftains vs the three million UMNO members is shaping up as a major political development in the country – not only from now to the UMNO General Assembly on Dec. 8 – 12, but from the UMNO General Assembly to the 14th General Election which must be held in 30 months’ time in 2018.
This is the reason why the UMNO Supreme Council meeting today is followed with such keen interest not only by the three million UMNO members and the Malay population but also the 30 million Malaysians.
However, there are no signs that the top UMNO leadership is coming out of their “denial syndrome” any time soon, or the UMNO Supreme Council would not have broken with tradition by barring the UMNO Deputy President, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin from addressing the UMNO Wanita, Youth and Puteri Assemblies on the eve of the UMNO General Assembly.
I was suspended from Parliament for six months because I do not want to be a “cari makan” Member of Parliament and want to raise issues which are close to the hearts of all Malaysians, including the three million UMNO members.
The question, “Mana RM2.6 billion?” is being asked by all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or even party politics – for I have no doubt that Najib’s two mega scandals are not only vexing ordinary Malaysians but also the three million UMNO members!
Even Najib’s twin mega scandals had haunted and hounded the Prime Minister’s major international events – the ASEAN and Post-ASEAN Summits in Kuala Lumpur last weekend.
I have no doubt that Najib’s twin mega scandals are issues which featured prominently to every ASEAN and Asian-Pacific leader who was in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend, receiving their personal attention and topping the special briefing from their officials, although not a single one of the ASEAN and Asian-Pacific leaders would have committed the diplomatic faux pax of breathing a word of Najib’s twin mega scandals in public.
This was why one commentator wrote a round-up of the ASEAN Summit with the heading: “ASEAN summit tarnished by Malaysian corruption scandal involving PM”.
After United States President Barack Obama’s meeting with Najib, Obama
said he had raised the importance of transparency, accountability and rooting out corruption with Najib, though he would not comment on investigations against Najib as he would not touch on ongoing probes even on the US soil.
It is most demeaning and degrading for the Malaysian Prime Minister to be “lectured” by the US President on the importance of transparency, accountability and rooting out corruption – something Obama would never dream of doing in his meetings with the Prime Ministers of Japan or Singapore for instance.
This is because the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe or Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong could simply shut up Obama by pointing out that in the 2014 Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Japan is ranked No. 15 and Singapore No. 7, while United States is placed lower at No. 17.
Najib could not shut Obama up, not only because Malaysia’s is ranked No. 50 as compared to the United States No. 17 in the 2014 TI CPI, but also because of the New York Times revelation that Najib is being probed by FBI under the US Department of Justice Kleptocracy Assets Recovery Initiative 2010 in connection with his twin mega scandals.
The 30 million Malaysians, and in particular the three million UMNO members and 21,000 UMNO branches, are entitled to ask whether Hishammuddin is being serious in his warning that UMNO is facing a crisis of trust deficit, when Najib continues to keep mum on the twin mega scandals and whether he as Prime Minister is being probed by US FBI as a kleptocrat.
Will Najib break his silence on the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals before the end of the current 25-day meeting of Parliament on Dec. 3 or will he wait until the UMNO General Assembly to allow for a full debate on the twin mega scandals?
(Speech at the Pakatan Harapan ceramah at Lembah Jaya, Ampang on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 at 10 pm)