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