All eyes will be focused on the UMNO Supreme Council special meeting today, as to whether Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will be the second Deputy Prime Minister to be sacked from UMNO, whether today or later shortly.
The Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s UMNO Presidential speech tomorrow will establish a record of sorts as attracting the least national anticipation, as nobody expects the UMNO President, apart from excelling himself in the past in breathing fire and brimstone on racial and religious rhetoric, to really address the important issues not only to the three million UMNO members but also to the 30 million Malaysians – Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals and his policy disasters like the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the midst of of the people’s economic woes of rising inflation and falling incomes.
UMNO Baru has indeed come a long way since the formation of original UMNO in 1946.
In 1950, the founder UMNO President, Datuk Onn Jaafar was too ahead of his time when he tried to open up UMNO to “non-Malays” to create a united nation and left UMNO in disgust.
Today, 65 years later, the present UMNO has become very regressive and exclusivist while at the same time become more corrupt and repressive, and one proof was the barring of non-Muslim journalists from covering the Puteri Umno launch of its programme “Daulatkan Islam Agama Negara” (DIAN) by the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi yesterday.
From a “national” party, the present UMNO is not even a party for the Malays or of the three million UMNO members but has been reduced to a party of Najib’s cronies and UMNO chieftains who dominated the UMNO Supreme Council and the various UMNO divisional leadership positions.
UMNO Deputy President and former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had been quite frank in his recent speech to 1,000 Barisan Nasional leaders in Pagoh that Malay support for UMNO is down to 30 per cent, while 78 per cent of the people are unsatisfied with the present state of the economy.
The corruption in UMNO leadership has reached an advanced stage, most vividly illustrated by Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals.
If Najib cannot convince the present UMNO leaders and members about his accountability, transparency and integrity in the twin mega scandals, having to sack the Deputy Prime Minister, the Rural and Regional Development Minister, the Attorney-General among others for not trusting him about the twin mega scandals, how can Najib expect to convince 30 million Malaysians?
Najib should have a smooth sailing at this week’s UMNO General Assemblies, with UMNO delegates singing his paeans about his integrity, accountability and transparency, although I doubt he would have passed the test with support from the majority of the three million UMNO members if they could vote on whether they approve of Najib’s role in the twin mega scandals.
As for UMNO today becoming even more repressive and authoritarian than the past, even putting the darkest years of Mahathir’s 22-year rule to shame, one need only refer to the comment by the former Deputy Prime Minister and former UMNO Deputy President, Tun Musa Hitam, who said that UMNO was slipping into a dictatorship worse than during Mahathir’s time when Muhyiddin as UMNO Deputy President is barred from officiating the opening of the assemblies of UMNO wings.
In tandem with this growing authoritarianism in UMNO, there is also a lurch towards dictatorship in general governance when the UMNO/BN majority in Parliament rammed through the National Security Council Bill usurping the constitutional powers of Yang di Pertuan Agong and the Cabinet with regard to the Proclamation of Emergency.
There is great merit in the comment of a civil society leader whom I met today in Petaling Jaya who observed that this monstrous and pernicious bill was in fact a “National Insecurity” Bill!
Will these concerns about the present UMNO becoming increasingly exclusivist, representing neither the Malaysian nation nor the Malay community but a coterie of Najib’s UMNO cronies and chieftains, as well as becoming more and more corrupt and repressive, be raised at the UMNO General Assemblies this week.
Not at all, as it will be like expecting the sun to rise from the west.