Pakatan Rakyat / Politics in general / Socio-economy / Umno & Barisan Nasional

A prologue of a new beginning

Now that the Umno General Assembly is over, let us move on to a couple more serious and important events.

The first on the list would be the step by step plan to re-achieve economic prosperity of the nation. This is a very crucial objective of any government of the day. Second on the list would be the annoying fact that there are 3 by-elections getting in the way of achieving that very important objective.

By and large, the smaller things need to be taken care first before we could progress in tackling a bigger issue. Having said that, BN must show that it is serious in winning those by elections.

Nothing short of a victory in each seat will increase the perception that the people are warming up to BN again.

First and foremost, BN has to consolidate itself as a tight, formidable unit facing the loose alliance of opposition parties. MCA is more or less stable under the leadership of Ong Tee Kiat. It has the comforting hands of Ong Ka Ting in the background to be the voice of reason for any simmering conflicts. MIC is facing its election process in the upcoming Congress. And that would have been a dent in the BN’s guard should Samy Vellu was challenged by any presidential hopeful.

For now, MIC is relatively stable after Samy Vellu stamped his mark as the MIC President yet again till 2012.

The Sarawak BN components have the steady and powerful hands of Taib Mahmud at the helm. The opposition, namely PKR will surely be hardpressed to mount a victory in the Batang Ai constituency.  

Lastly, Umno. What can we say about Umno? Its Umno General Assembly was safely concluded. Since it is the biggest, and the most powerful political party in Malaysia, its future direction and election of leaders are closely monitored by all walks of life.

This has not always been so. In previous administrations, whoever Umno chose as the top leaders were treated as internal party matters by the general public.

Nobody cares about who Umno appointed as its vice presidents. No one even gave a hoot about who should be in the Supreme Council. Did they care who will become the Umno Youth chief back in the 80’s and 90’s? No they did not. Anyone can recall that Nazri Aziz was once an acting Umno Youth Chief before Zahid Hamidi? Name me 3 vice presidents that won in 1996 Umno General Election. Anyone?

Honestly, nobody gives a damn back then. It is all about strong and able leadership. Like what Demi Negara mentioned in his commentary section, even if the past governments were perceived as corrupt, they were at least endowed with splashes of brilliance here and there. But today, “we just have plain, lazy corrupted party parasites with a misplaced sense of self-grandiosity demanding to be respected and worshipped.” Those were the kinds of leaders that Umno was producing lately.   

As the result, the people became wary of who Umno is selecting. They had the misfortune of getting a half past six leaders in the 2004 Umno General Assembly. The performance of those leaders, from the Prime Minister all the way to the now non existent Parliament Secretaries and the government advisers were lacklustre at best.

So, it is not surprising that the people, be it the pro government, the opposition or the fence sitters had watched closely the unfolding of events in the past one week.  

As the dust settled, what was left was a mixture of the old and new, the ill-repute and the noteworthy.

In my honest opinion, it is a fair balance of a new leadership. Lets face it, we may not get the best out of everyone. So what if the delegates failed to vote the best from the buffet of candidates? What is more important is to get the best out of those elected crop of leaders.

Even the opposition have misfits in their leadership. Realistically, no political party in the world is free from tainted personalities. If they still persist in underperforming or acting against the laws of the country, then there are procedures that enable the members to remove them.

As the by-elections draw nearer, Umno have to regroup. It is actually an enviable problem that Umno has now. A dearth of its leader are new faces. Some have enough experience and clout to be in the cabinet. The new president will have a good time selecting the best out of the current crop of leaders in Barisan Nasional to fit in his new cabinet. And should he just limit himself to appoint only the elected leaders in Umno as members of his cabinet? I do not think so.

For instance, if he could find any other members of parliament more capable and reputable than say, Datuk Azeez Rahim,  then maybe he should appoint that person instead. There is no set guidelines or tradition that one must follow in appointing ministers.

Ministers he appoint will definitely be the catalyst in seeing through any rejuvenation process that is to come. 

With the impending changes he outlined in his speeches, we will see how these changes be effectively and immediately be implemented by the new leaders in Umno and the cabinet.

What Umno has now is something that has been missing for the past 5 years.

Sense of rebirth.

Last Saturday, in his wind up speech, the outgoing president stated his last advice for Umno which was encapsulated in what he described as ‘Rukun Perjuangan’. They are:

  1. Rukun perjuangan adalah mencapai matlamat sejagat, agama dimuliakan, negara didaulatkan, bangsa dimartabatkan dan ekonomi dimakmurkan.
  2. Ia perlu berpaksi kepada al-Quran dan Sunnah, Perlembagaan negara, Rukun Negara, adab dan adat.
  3. Berpandukan kepada iman dan takwa kepada Tuhan, kesetiaan kepada raja dan negara dan keabdian kepada rakyat.
  4. Ia perlu bersandarkan kepada prinsip-prinsip keikhlasan, kejujuran, keadilan dan integriti.
  5. Menghormati hak sah semua rakyat dari segi memelihara kedudukan istimewa orang orang Melayu, Bumiputera dan menjaga kepentingan sah kaum-kaum lain.
  6. Memperjuangkan kehidupan dan masa depan yang lebih baik untuk semua rakyat.
  7. UMNO wujud bukan untuk memenuhi kepentingan diri tetapi sebagai wadah membolehkan ahli berkhidmat kepada bangsa dan negara.
  8. Kembali kepada perjuangan asal, membebaskan warga dari belenggu kemiskinan.
  9. Laksanakan keadilan kepada mereka yang lemah, memastikan kesaksamaan kepada semua dan menjamin kemakmuran rakyat jelata

It was such a good advice. Sadly, had he followed the above, we wouldn’t be in such dire straits for the past 5 years. 

Therefore,  BN needs to sail through all the 3 by-elections as painless as possible before the real work begins. A win would be a bonus. Two wins will make everything easy. Winning all three will make some BN leaders feel bigheaded even. Hopefully that will not be the case.   

In order to achieve victory, I implore Umno members to shed any divisive mentality and be united in facing these by-elections. Undivided support must be given to the two by-election Directors (Tan Sri Muhyiddin and Datuk Razali Ibrahim).

In the end, we shall see whether Umno members are united in this immediate test of fortitude and cohesiveness.

Only when this is achieve shall the nation has a chance in rebuilding what was lost. In alleviating the economy and sense of pride of the nation.  

What we see now is just a prologue. After 3rd of April (still awaiting Pak Lah’s confirmation), we shall see whether Datuk Najib will stick to his promises and offer a bright future for all Malaysians.

That would be the beginning. A beginning of what? That would be up to him.

_______________________________________________

A calamity happened to people very close to me last week. As you may have heard, two doctors died in a tragic accident in Melawati. Dr Haliza, together with her colleague went missing for 3 days after gone climbing in one of the hills in Melawati. Her body was found only on Saturday afternoon. It was a harrowing 3 day experience for the family. Search and rescue finally found her deep within the ravine. May God bless her soul. Al Fatihah. 

24 thoughts on “A prologue of a new beginning

  1. dear JMD,

    it was coincidental that my first and new born daughter was supposed to have her second checkup with Dr Haliza next week. Previously we had another pediatrician and we have just decided to change to Dr Haliza who was reputed to be very detail when attending to a child. My poor daughter was short of a week to have her first encounter with the dear doctor.

    Al-fatihah.

    regards.

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  2. Dear JMD,

    Sorry to hear of your lost. I did not know them in a personal capacity however she was the one that took care of my son moment he was born prematurely and he was suppose to take care of the snip snip of my son. Alfatihah.

    I will comment on your article later.

    Take care.

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  3. We live in the land of the bounty and blessed with all the natural resources plus plenty of lands that remain untapped in terms of potential development. We also forgot the fact that we are indeed experiencing the “Tragedy of the Anti-Commons”! Our political leaders too busy politicking and they just intentionally forgot the very purpose of the fact that the rakyat voted them in the state assembly or parliament. We should be ashamed of ourselves if we were to compare with our neighbour Singapore that has nothing in terms of natural resources except Human Capital…..

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  4. You writes well, I have to congratulate you for that. But I have to say that you have a misguided sense of reality. Honestly I don’t think UMNO is able to change in the manner you outlined.

    Just get the top leaders to do a full disclosure of their wealth – and how much money they staked in overseas accounts ‘just in case’ – you will know how incurably corrupt they are.

    They are incurable for one reason – for fear of being exposed. for fear of public outcry, and for fear of witch hunt once they are out of power. They will hang on to power at all cost.

    At this critical juncture we global crisis we need leaders who can truly serve for the benefits of all – not just their little pouch of ill gotten wealth.

    The economic situation is going to worsen drastically very soon. Most of UMNO leaders are not even willing to face this stark reality. There will be massive public unrest and massive public outcry. I don’t believe UMNO is able to change itself. It will simply be changed.

    JMD : Thank you for the comment. This article was not intended to say that Najib will definitely make Malaysia a better place. It deals specifically with our hopes that Najib/BN will do good once he becomes the PM. That hope is based on reality and the feeling I generally get when interacting with people. Unless you’re a clairvoyant who can see in the future, I see no reason for you to elect yourself as the prophet of doom.

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  5. ان لله و ان اليه راجعون

    Alfatehah to both d late doctors,..and bro Jebat, ur writing as alwiz is a gud reading material & i’m bac reading blogs after a long hiatus but d blog conspiracytheorist is no longer accessible by me as d password has been change..till we meet again …heheh.. ciao fer now bro..

    JMD : Thank you for the comment even though I have to moderate it a bit. My apologies🙂

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  6. Dear JMD,
    Najib as the President of UMNO need to do the following in the months to come
    a. portray a new brand of leadership in comparison to the perceived lackadaisical and inept leadership that was shown by Pak Lah;
    b. To bring back to the forefront the many disenfranchised and disenchanted UMNO members that suffered during the Pak Lah era;
    c. To check on the “give me” attitude of some of the members where their loyalty is in relation to the number of contracts they can give;
    d. to ensure that UMNO has a succession plan whereby quality leaders that will be acceptable to the members and people at large are nurtured and not merely because they are popular or they just know how to talk;
    e. it must be stressed again and again that where UMNO is concerned their behaviour and demeanor must be constant and consistent and not merely during UMNO elections or general elections. The people are watching them;
    f. Activities from UMNO must also benefit the people at large. Being large they have the advantage of being everywhere thus is the best agent to check on poverty, development, quality of contract, corruption etc.;
    g. UMNO need to rebrand themself and must not be synonymous with greed and corruption. These people need to be weeded out;
    h. Lastly he need to check on the his new Youth Chief and mitigate the potential damage he may cause because of his lack of popularity to the masses.

    I will continue later. Seriously have to start getting ready for work.

    JMD : Thank you for the comment and suggestions. A food for thought indeed.

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  7. The fact that you think Ong Tee Kiat and Samy Vellu are ‘good’ for MCA and MIC shows our out of touch you are with the Chinese and Indian perspective.

    Typical UMNO talk.

    JMD : I was writing in the context of MCA and MIC as a respective unified units. A party with too much infightings and having two or more captains is certainly not good for the whole coalition. Better to have a unified component party in tackling and engaging the public than having a disjointed and divided party when facing them. I never said both of them as ‘good’ for the party. Please comprehend the meaning of the article before shooting. However, unless you’re an insider of both parties (which I doubt), please tell us what are the perspectives of the majority members of MCA and MIC regarding both leaders. Otherwise, it’ll just be another typical Pakatan talk. And it is not that great either🙂

    Thank you for reading and visiting this blog again.

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  8. JMD,

    “Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun” – Hanya Allah tempat asal kita dan kepada Nya kita kembali.

    Alfatiha.

    JMD : Thank you for the comment.

    Like

  9. Dear JMD,

    With all the politicking going on, the country is running on auto pilot and the Civil Service, in my opinion, is the most powerful body in the country right now. They are the ones making all the decisions. They are running the show.

    Maybe we dont need politicians after all.

    From what I can see, the Ministers are hardly in their offices these days as they are too busy with by election after by election after dinner after kenduri after teh tarik session after God knows what else. The Opposition dudes also are busy politicking around. Are they actually doing any work and have they fulfilled their promises made during the last GE for the 4 (or is it 5?) states they now govern?

    If there is a need for policital parties in this country, then I think all of them, not just BN, need a new beginning.

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  10. Hemsem boy,

    A profound point of views and brilliantly written as well. The 3 by-elections are indeed a hindrance at the moment for the politicians to focus more on the economy. But they don’t care about that for they will still pour in all effort and money into the by-elections.

    I am sorry to hear about Dr. Haliza. Saw her couple of times at pediatric ward in A Puteri.

    P/S: I love the noun picked for the title of the post: Prologue. Makes it sound like creative writing piece instead of political.

    JMD : Thank you for the comment Elviza..

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  11. Could also mean the beginning of an end…………

    JMD : That is true. But who can tell? It all depends on BN and how they will steer this country. Thank you.

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  12. JMD,

    Very sorry to hear about your loss. Death seems so final but your dear close one has merely moved from one room to the next. Here’s a virtual hug from me – hug, hug, hug. Errr…boleh kan? Kan?

    JMD,

    In a way, I am envious of the United States right now although their problems seem more mammoth compared to us. I don’t envy their deficit that has surpassed the one trillion mark, their economic meltdown that has resulted in huge losses & untold miseries and the two ongoing wars that are taking a heavy toll on their country. What I envy the Americans most is the fact that they have a very steady hand at the helm.

    Barack Obama seems like the real thing. This Ivy League graduate has proven himself over & over how smart & savvy he is when it comes to politics. During his nomination and presidential campaigns, his detractors were hardpressed to find dirt that they could throw at him. They could only find faults with his colour, middle name, his priest & who he was palling around with in his salad days. Just goes to show that one just simply cannot go around faking a squeeky clean image. There’s always someone out there who will call one’s bluff. Why, this man even has a wife that further enhances his resume.

    But what strikes me most is his seriousness & tenacity to make changes for his country. His staffs are the creme de la creme and they had been vetted thoroughly before their appointments. One or two had to reject their appointments due to some issues that are not going to gel well with what Obama plans to accomplish.

    Well, since JMD’s writing is about hope, I hope Najib can emulate Obama in some respects. I hope he surrounds himself with people who are fine, smart, hardworking & law abiding. I hope he appoints people who are very serious about wanting the country to move forward & not get bogged down & distracted by scandals after scandals. In other words, they must be on the same page as the RAKYAT.

    I also hope our leaders learn how to speak well and if they have nothing thoughtful or useful to say, just shut up. This may save them from having to flip or flop later.

    Unlike Obama, Najib has only about 3 years before the next general election. With 3 tough by-elections, poor economy, numerous political detractors who are nipping at his heels, general dissatisfaction & disenchantment with the government, Najib can’t afford the so-called honeymoon or grace period.

    Wish Najib & his team all the best. They need it.

    Night, night JMD.

    JMD : Thank you Cempaka for the comment.

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  13. JMD,

    I think Najib has a huge task in hand. He has show real leadership to undo the damage over the last 5 years.

    He must be daring enough to make some tough and unpopular decisions.

    He must also somehow find ways to retire Samy Vellu. He is a great liability to BN, in terms of Indian Votes.

    Perception wise, I think MCA is fine but Umno must be seen as not arrogant, that’s very important.

    It takes time, but hope it will not be too late or Najib will end up as PM with the shortest reign.

    Otherwise, sorry to hear about the two Drs. Be strong..

    Regards

    http://balankumarpremakumaran.blogspot.com/

    JMD : Thank you for the comment.

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  14. Brother,

    So who is going to be in Najib’s new Cabinet? I truly hope the corrupt ones are left out. Takkanlah Azalina yang dah makan duit beratus juta nak jadi Menteri lagi. She should not only be dropped as Minister but should be charged in court and if found guilty, spend her remaining years behind bars.

    I heard a strong rumour that YOUR FRIEND Jamaluddin Jarjis is seeking a come back. If indeed Najib takes him in, that will be his first mistake as Prime Minister. Everybody knows that JJ is extremely corrupt. On top of that he goes around groping women. Takkan orang macam ni nak masuk balik ke Cabinet.
    Najib spoke about transparency, getting close to rakyat and so on. If he gets these goons into the Cabinet, he will fail.

    Penghuni flat PPRT

    JMD : You have the same hope as mine brother. Thank you.

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  15. I could not help but feel saddened by Pak Lah’s departure. Somehow, I feel the old man did not live up to expectations. Perhaps Dato’ Sri Najib should take precaution and not make the same mistake that the old man did.

    To the new PM, retain your staff. They have been with you through thick and thin and these are your loyalists, not those young upstarts opportunists that Pak Lah had the misfortune to engage. Forget about all these self-proclaimed brilliant youngsters. Engage them yes but not in an advisory capacity. Dato’ Sri Najib, you are the Prime Minister (if JMD had cleared this by then) therefore you must be one. After all, politics is about the art of convincing people. Be and act like a prime minister.

    I have always believe that had Pak Lah retained his old staff and supplement them with the new ones, things would have been different. Alas, he succumbed to family pressure, he was gullible enough to believe that the young ones know better much at his peril. Now, Pak Lah may just resort to pottering around the garden with his grandchildren. This is definitely something that I could not envision him to be. Pak Lah, the gentleman farmer? How sad.

    I am rambling and I am sad but I hope for a better future for the country. Now that those who wanted Pak Lah out had got what they wish, I hope what they have not bitten off more than they can chew. Salam Jebat and my sympathies over your loss. Dr Haliza was my daughter’s pediatrician and I too was shocked over the news of her death.

    JMD : Thank you for the comment. Really appreciate it.

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  16. Sorry to hear about the loss, JMD. I am sure the family and you and your family are able to cope up with it.

    As for this write up, as I write, Datuk Seri Najib is being sworn in. So much has been written about him, the good, the bad, the dark (hah! you thought I’d say, “ugly” didn’t you?) and the light, and the grey side of him.

    Until things are proven, he is our PM and he has work to do and he has to do it well, because he knows well why the former PM left.

    I’ll say this to Najib: get rid of the dead skins in the coalition, yeah you know who I mean, that smug combover artist you have in the only Indian party. Right now there is a lot of discontent all over the country, and you have the right parties in your coalition to address all the segments of the society, use them and use them well.

    Well, JMD, that is all that is in my semi-literate mind.

    I am sure your blog too will take a different direction (and it doesn’t mean that you should stop writing about Anwar, please we need entertainment too).

    Take it easy, take care, and keep commentating. I am sure THEY are reading your work.

    JMD : Thank you for the comment. I do hope the MIC will sort out their own problems without jeopardising the BN as a whole.

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  17. penghuni,

    groping? wouldnt that be construed as an attempt to “get close to the rakyat”…

    on a more serious note, whatever the reservations about the man, he is now in charge, and deserves the chance to demonstrate his leadership capabilities. BN has the oppurtunity to reinvent itself aided by the less than stellar job of the opposition in managing its own states (c’mon, didnt you expect the ruling party to try to pull the carpet out from under your feet, quit whining and make the most of your remaining term to get the job done).

    The cabinet will be a critical milestone for assessing the PM’s commitment. One hopes that he doesnt follow the practice of our esteemed law organisation in picking the same persons every year and somehow “democratically (?) and tranparently(?)” rotating the leadership amongst themselves and moves away from the current bunch most of whom are tainted by conduct or association.

    He may not be obama, but he has the oppurtunity (much like the one pak lah spurned) to bring hope back to this land. Putting aside stigma and baggage, for the sake of my country, i hope he grasps it fully and gives us our own watershed.

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  18. p.s. dude, MIC is largely irrelevant at the moment in the national context so the leadership is inconsequential. Still, I’d rather we see the last of that man.

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  19. Dear JMD,

    I hope you are wrong in your commentary, “This has not always been so. In previous administrations, whoever Umno chose as the top leaders were treated as internal party matters by the general public”

    I, for one had always looked forward to most of the UMNO GAs. Honestly, it was only since Tun AAB administration and UMNO Presidency that I had lost interest.

    Prior to Tun AAB’s Presidency, I closely followed to see the rising stars, lively serious and lighthearted speeches by delegates,which Minister/Mentris Besar had reached the highest positions and received the highest votes and the President’s address.

    Prior to Tun AAB’s Presidency, you could expect and see true and capable members rising thru the ranks and their calibre exemplified by their positions in the Vice-Presidency and Supreme Council.

    Prior to Tun AAB’s Presidency, you could see the confidence and experience the feel good atmosphere in the Assembly.

    And most importantly, prior to Tun AAB’s Presidency the closing of ranks after the contests between winners and losers. In fact there were no losers.

    During Tun AAB’s tenure I had lost interest and do not even know who some Ministers are. What more their positions in UMNO except the top 4 posts.

    Hopefully, Dato Seri Najib will be able to get the members to close the ranks not only for the by-elections but also to prepare for GE 13. Time flies.

    His priority is a closer rapport thru the proven formula of consensus with the senior partners, MCA and MIC and also the other component parties of the Barisan.

    Dato Seri Najib and UMNO must and can breathe new life in the coalition.

    Regards
    Freddie

    JMD : Oh dear, through your comment, I see that Pak Lah’s leadership was very lethargic indeed. Hopefully this new leaderhip will pique your interest once more.

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  20. Pingback: My Malaysia: Two Elephants and RAKYAT « On Da Street

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