Long time ago, in times of war, being a messenger was surely the most unenviable job in the whole world. Messengers or emissaries were often killed if the messages were not to the receivers’ liking. Augustus Caesar used to chop the heads of his enemies’ messengers arriving at his court. Vlad the Impaler was more horrific. He impaled all the Ottoman messengers coming to his Romanian palace. Messengers were innocent mostly. After all, they were only conveying the message of their liege lords.
Is there a point to all this? Yes.
Mukhriz Mahathir, Tun Dr Mahathir, Syed Ali Al-Habshee and to some extent, Shahidan Kassim and Muhyiddin Yassin are merely messengers. Whose message are they carrying? The ordinary (and scared) Umno members. What is the message? Pak Lah needs to step down in order to revitalise and strengthen the weakened Umno.
Up till now, nearly 3 months after the great loss in the general election, Umno has not made any serious effort in charting a clear, reliable and viable action plans to strengthen the party. With Gerakan rebranding their image yesterday, and MCA held their EGM only days after the election, Umno is still running around like a headless chicken.
This party is running around like a headless chicken simply because its President is so afraid to confront his own party members! He would rather send his Deputy, the Vice Presidents or the Information Chief to face the grassroot members. Any direct face-off was quickly killed off with the absence of any Q & A session or very limited time to air grievances.
Isn’t it obvious there won’t be any action taken to rebrand the party because the infamous President is famous for his inability to listen to the grouses and his supreme sense of denial. Does he believe that only by getting some (forced) support of the Branch leaders and Division Heads and the MPs is enough to continue leading the nation without any form of self assessment? I wonder when was the last time he took stock of his popularity and performance?
The level of criticisms and hurled abuses those people received for conveying the message to Pak Lah are very unfortunate indeed. The staunch defenders of that weakling such as Zaid Ibrahim, Annuar Musa and Hishamuddin Hussein are fighting a lost cause to begin with. Firstly, they need to understand that those people who demanded Pak Lah’s resignation are only conveying an important message by the ordinary members. By getting themselves entangled with the momentum gained by the grassroots will only make them imbeded as part of the problems within Umno (if they are not part of it already). The grassroots will surely would not want people who are intolerant to criticisms be their leaders.
Secondly, they need to remember that the Umno grassroots of today are different from the grassroots of yesteryears. If they see a weak President at the top as compared to the predecessor they used to respect, then, any attempt to defend the weakling will be construed as the denial of freedom of speech. Simply reading from www.mykmu.net we can gauge the true sentiment of most Umno members.
Before Umno loses all respect from every quarter, they need to quicken the pace in rehabilitating it. Now, even the Mufti of Perlis had directly criticised Hishamuddin Hussein for his lack of principles and good sense. It should serve him right. A weak leader defending his equally weak boss. How appropriate!
In the end, if Umno want to stay relevant, they should not kill the messengers. Instead they it should heed their calls!