For the first time in ages, I went to the Umno Assembly yesterday and the day before.
It was quite fun.
I met quite a number of people I know from my line of work. I also met random people along the way.
I see all sorts of faces and people of various levels. Some of the readers here may think that all Malays are of the same background. But they aren’t.
You have the faithful, the brilliant, the passionate and the sincere ones.
You can also see the hangers-on, the wannabes, the crooked ones and the deadwoods.
Some people would think that all 3 million Umno members are the bane of Malaysia. The racist among them stated time and time again that all these Malay people are the most corrupt group of people.
Hate-mongers among them are telling their audience that those people who congregate in PWTC right now are nothing but evil bunch of people whose only aim is to destroy other people’s culture and will suck their tax money dry.
How many of the readers here believe that? Below are the faces of the majority of Umno members that came to be part of their party convention.
These are the pictures of Umno members in the truest form. The ones that asked nothing in return. The ones that would come all the way just to sit on the floor in front of the huge TV. They just want to listen to the delegates and hope that their suggestions and debates can improve their lives.
Some were so tired, they did not mind sleeping on the floor during breaks.
Obviously these are the common folks. The ones that the haters do not see in their everyday lives. Some of the women and men I met have jobs which the modern folks had took for granted.
Some of their children are honest and bright kids who in the future may excel in their careers. Some may become CEOs of any companies that they work with.
Too bad some of us here would think that all Malays leading the GLCs are corrupt and will in the end bankrupt the company.
Umno suffers this kind of perception due to a few bad apples. We see this kind of damaging reputation in both sides. In PKR for its barbaric and gangster-ish party election with its leader embroiled in sodomy trial and also in DAP with its dictatorial and corruption practices amongst its leaders.
And who gets the blame for these few bad apples? The common folk. The ones you see below.
They did not come to get multi-million contracts or tenders. They did not come to alleviate their political standing. They did not come to ask for anything. And yet, these people are stereotyped as the most corrupt people in Malaysia.
Please be more considerate.
All pictures above are members of Umno sitting outside the hall listening to the debates happening inside. Random talks with them indicated that they are the ordinary Umno members yet are enthusiastic and determined to witness the Assembly. These are the proud folks who had been members since the Tun Abdul Razak days. One granny I met was there in Padang Pahlawan when Tunku Abdul Rahman declared that Malaya will become independent. She has never hold any posts in Umno yet tries to be at the convention every year for the sheer love she has for the party that made independence possible for this country. The pride of being an Umno member is unmistakable.