Malay issues / Miscellaneous / Umno & Barisan Nasional

The faces at the Umno Assembly

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.

Thank you.

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.


42 thoughts on “The faces at the Umno Assembly

  1. your very last sentence really made me cried. sheer blood and tears, just to see and listen to the debate and to be there. my parents actually took the bus 300km away, own money just to see the convention since my parents not able to drive due to old age.
    may god bless you UMNO and the malays , wherever you are.
    jangan kerna nila setitik, rosak susu sebelanga.


    • Of all your brilliant posts, this one really touches me.
      I can relate it to my arwah rubber tapper grandfather.
      Thank you. We rarely see the leaders portray UMNO from this perspective.


    • Which UMNO are we talking about? UMNO Baru, or the original Onn Jaffar- led UMNO which really stood for Malay wellbeing. These people are duped for believing that this is the UMNO which was formed by Dato Onn. They have been led the pied pipers of UMNO who are rent-seekers, and selfish, with little sense of voluntarism. I pray that they will not be led to the rivers of death by UMNO Baru pied pipers.


      • Any suggestion what to do with UMNO, whatever the form, the inclination the organisation may be? Or about Malay unity? If you are a Malay, that is. I know sufficiently what the non-Malays feel.

        All you have said in the above are accusations, recriminations. Let’s here some concrete suggestions, old chap. You speak English well enough to know that there must be something good in anybody. If you do not wish to say the good, try to say how to make them better.

        Careful now, not just the negative, but also the positive-looking suggestions.


  2. JMD, this goes both ways. Not all nons are anti Malay rights etc. Many of us are common folk who are toiling to make a living. In our day to day lives we have to deal with people from all races and walks of life and from what I can see there is respect and trust there. And this is why it disturbs me when all Chinese are vilified as self-seeking pendatang, Indians looked down on as gangsters, Malays are deemed as incapable etc. I don’t know who keeps on perpetuating all this racists talk, but my wish is that it will cease and desist. Malaysia is the only country I know. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I was born here, it is my home. As I’ve stated earlier in your blog, I am not Chinese but if people keep on asking ALL Chinese to balik China does this include my wife who has the same view as myself, who attended a national type school, who has numerous Malay friends and who has no hesitation in speaking Malay? So do you see the dilemma faced by ordinary citizens? So in a way I agree with Khairy when he said we should empathise with each other.


    • Henrie,

      I do empathise with you and your wife – had to look up the dictionary for the meaning of the word (Oxfordian? Hope he did not use it at the UMNO Assembly!).

      I’m sure many other Malays also appreciate the fact that a big number of non-Malays are really worthy fellow citizens, fully respecting and abiding by the Constitution of the country.

      Please be assured that the ones that Malays find intolerable are those who do not respect the Social Contract, the Constitution which embodies elements of the Social Contract, those like the Dong Zong who insist on Mandarin as the medium of instruction in schools, who isolate themselves from the mainstream of Malaysian society, who want “a nation within a nation” and talk about a “multi-nation state” nonsense.

      And those in MCA who, belonging to a community that owns vast wealth, control the economy and occupy most of jobs in the professional field, still grudge the NEP helping Malays trying to catch up economically and educationally to satisfactory levels, who dastardly (the spelling is variable) called for the abolition of the 30% Bumi equity target.

      And those in DAP who hate anything with Malay dominance like the Government, the Police, the MACC, the Armed Forces. They look for and exploit each and every opportunity to criticise, including Lim Guan Eng accusing the MACC being responsible for Teoh Beng Hock’s death when the Police were just starting their investigations and the cause of death is not yet known right to this day.

      Those with questionable loyalty. Loyalty must be based on fully respecting and living by the Constitution of the country, not just saying I love this country, paying tax, etc. It seems to me it’s only fair that those not loyal to this country and may have placed their loyalty elsewhere should live in the country where their loyalty lies. The Sin Chew Editor only recently was complaining of those criticising him when saying things complimentary of the Government of Malaysia and defending enthusiastically when he criticized the Government of China.


      • hashim,
        I agreed with you totally, eventhough i am not a malay ok all we want to see the umno must be firm and strong to make new rules etc. not talking history. Like e.g. making one school, one bahasa, one song, one dance and one malaysian 4 all than it will be PEACE for the next generation


        • Good to see your Malaysian spirit, akkhan. Hope there are more like you around. Malaysia wd be a happier place for everybody if all think of being fully Malaysian. Hope to hear from you more often.


      • To hell with your Malay supremacy. It is because of people like you that this country Malaysia belongs to all Malaysians. The moderate majority is growing day by day and will wipe all you frogs off this land slowly but surely.


        • I could easily say “To hell with you”, Pak Su. But then it’s not polite, is it? And you don’t sound Malay for “hell-ing Malay supremacy”, do you?

          I don’t even understand what you mean by saying “It is because of people like you that this country Malaysia belongs to all Malaysians”. Malay supremacy makes this country “belong to all Malaysians”? Of course this country belongs to all Malaysians. Where have you been all these years? Planet mars?

          You said, “The moderate majority is growing day by day and will wipe all you frogs off this land slowly but surely”. If you are moderate, why want to “wipe off” others? And why use the word “frogs”?

          Learn to be civil lah, man. You can criticize but use reasonably decent words, man. Comprendo?


    • Where have you been? Read the news lately? The fact is the majority still think that they are entitled to everything and priority must always be given to their race/religion. For heaven’s sake, please ditch that defeatist mentality. We the moderate Malaysians must stand up and fight for our own rights, just like how Black people in South Africa had persisted against the discriminatory Apartheid regime.


      • I think pak su has not read the constitution, let alone knew of its existence.

        Ketuanan Melayu means Malay Landlordship not Malay Supremacy. If someone had brainwashed pak su to think that it is all about supremacy, that someone should be charged for instigating and be brought to court for sedition.

        So avoid being USED by certain elements. Parah akibatnya.


      • Pak Su,

        Choose your word, old man, choose your words. I’m not wrong calling you old man, am I? You call yourself Pak.

        Saying “The fact is the majority still think that they are entitled to everything” is not accurate. The fact is: they are entitled to the Special Position under Article 153 of the Constitution – ada dengar, pernah baca, ada faham?

        And “priority must always be given to their race/religion” needs verification. That is true where the Constitution says or implies so. Do you know that Islam is the official religion of the country? Or you know but cannot accept. If you cannot accept the sensitive aspects of the Constitution then you deserve the suggestion to look for some other place where you can accept that country’s constitution fully.

        What “defeatist mentality” are you talking about, old man? The Constitution says it loud and clear. You are not “moderate Malaysians” when you talk the way you do. You should know that in Papua New Guinea they don’t like Chinese to do even retail shop business. In Fiji the Indians are the majority but the indigeneous Fijians won’t allow them to rule after winning elections – the military grabbed power.

        You talk about Apartheid but do you know what it is? Read about it, old man, then what you say may sound sensible.


  3. I could have sworn that these people were there sixty, seventy years ago. And they will be there again thousand years from now. They came to be assured that this land is safe for their children.
    And we the children will become them. We will make sure this land is safe for our children.


  4. Those were nice pictures JMD. It really took me way back down to the memory lane when I used to follows my dad to UMNO’s general assembly during my time at KL. You’re right JMD. Those were truly the true pictures of UMNO. Those people are true UMNO supporters and the only thing in their minds is to protect the agama, bangsa and negara.


  5. My aruah tok wan used to check in one of those rumah tumpangan along jalan raja laut & batu road in the old days of perhimpunan. He’s hard core Umno and a government servant by the book. Speak good English and no nonsense person. I believe there are more people like him in the grass roots. Even the current older generation of ordinary members in my cawangan are passionate about Malay agenda and speak loudly about it. And these are not kampung folks but mostly retired gov servants living in areas now considered posh. These are the people that have seen the development of NEP, gone thru the pahit getir and contributed their pocket money for the cause. JMD, those photos speaks the majority of Umno. Don’t think our current ex-Oxford KP can relate to all this. His contributed money just to buy votes and influence. And this sort is only minority giving Umno a bad name.


  6. “Umno suffers this kind of perception due to a few bad apples.” Many other parties also have their share of bad apples. But UMNO is vilified because they are in the throes of power, they lead BN and form the top echelons in government.

    Behind those charges of corruption (which involve a small percentage of members), there is the resentment that UMNO will uphold the special position which translates ino the proactive affirmative actions like the NEP and the bumi discounts.

    These affirmative policies are perceived as discriminatory practices which “penalise the nons”. Therefore the nons resent UMNO for prolonging the so-called unfair implementation of the special position at their expense.

    The photos should be shown to the top leaders in UMNO to remind them of their obligations. I am relieved that Najib has finally vocalised his conviction wrt the article 153.


    • There are also rotten apples at the Port Klang Free Zone project. Huge expenditure discrepancies in a highly bloated project. Good that old MCA leader Ling Liong Sik has been charged in court. The current MCA Youth Head Wee Ka Siong was alleged also involved and the recently defeated MCA boss talked about “fund raising” among MCA people and Wee was in the team that won despite Chua Soi Lek sex video.

      Those blaming UMNO should also blame MCA and even DAP which has been investigated in the Selangor Government leading to Teoh Beng Hock’s death and recently there was the scandal involving Ronnie Liu’s Exco letterhead.


  7. Dalam kesenangan mereka biasa dilupakan;
    Mereka tidak kesah
    Dalam kesempitan mereka biasa diperlukan
    Mereka tidak kesah

    Kerana doa mereka yang paling mereka rahsiakan

    “Ya Allah, ingatlah akan mereka
    Sebagaimana mereka ingat akan daku”


  8. At the sound of the motorcade dins accompanying the sprawling black limousine with a brand name too complicated to pronounce and imported from some western country they didn’t even know exist, the makcik and pakcik were startled from their 10-minute doze besides one of the grand pillars in PWTC waiting for the next speech in the grand podium. They had just finished their nasi bungkus that they bought at the warong in Putra Bus station for a little under 4 ringgit. 4 ringgits! That’s just the price of half a glass of the iced lemon tea they sell at Riviera, and they wondered what COULD one eat there — what COULD those delegates with shinied satin baju melayus and silk tudungs eat there that could cost an arm and a leg, for people like them. But the PakCik and Mak Cik were proud. They didn’t understand why they were proud—they just were. Perhaps it was just this … ambient atmosphere of her own people who could just … afford things. Afford lifestyles that they only read but never thought to exist for real. As they were mulling over these ponderings, they were yet again startled by another commotion. “Ketepi, ketepi”, a few bodyguards of the alighting YB yelled. The makcik and pakcik scurried off, as were the others nearby, lest the YB’s shadows were to be incovenienced by grazing over their pathetic persona. And there he was … striding along so majestically, so magnanimously, with songkok a little tilted to the left, face freshly shaved and concocting smiles and friendly countenance all along the red-carpeted floors. People were scrambling to shake his hands and camera flashes almost blinded the Mak Cik and Pak Cik. The delegates had already started to enter the hall and they were testing the loudspeakers. Boy! Were the Mak Cik and Pak Cik proud, for the next speaker to speak would be the YB, a native son of their own kampung.

    Outside, some cool winds blow, apparently from the direction of the Titiwangsa range in the South East. They say that if one were to listen hard enough, especially at dawn, one would hear the weepings of jilted princesses of old legends accompanying these winds.


      • Your mata masuk habuk bro mohamed?

        But that is impossible. Malaysian air is super sterilized by bro Anuar since he happily left the Govt.

        Most thousand-year-old Malaysians are looking forward to another thousand years forward.

        They want to be around to see that their anak cucu safely mewarisi bumi pesaka which they warisi from their nenek moyang.


  9. When I applied for the JPA scholarship, I clearly remembered my parents saying, ‘Tak payahlah, kita bagi orang lain, dia orang lagi memerlukan, kita mampu, kita bayar”. They, are my national and personal heroes, alongside our pahlawans, our bapa-bapa kemerdekaans and kemajuan. For whom they credit to, to be able to afford to pay for my studies overseas and our comfortable lives in general, and of course with Allah’s grace. Now, I’ve seen faces of new heroes, them who I aspire to be and them who I want to inherit the love for our country from.

    I thank you JMD, I really do, for this post (and all the posts before). I am greatly touched. And of course, you’re my hero too.


    • Dear JMD,

      The problems stems from perception. The WRONG perception. When one is stereotyped because of one skin colour or creed. Why must we “judge a book by its cover”? before we know the person as an individual.

      I believe each of us presents some goodness in us. There are some poeple who does things without any expectation of any returns..i.e the pakciks and the makciks during the UMNO GA. We should learn from them.

      To my fellow Malaysian, please stop judging your neigbour just because they are different. No one is born greedy, lazy or incompetent. That is human trait which one acquires as one ages. But it does not apply to all. So, stop stereotyping and lets have a common stance for the benefit of the country.

      Let me start with this -One school for all


    • Good of your family and you opting to study on your own when you can afford it. But let’s keep urging the Government to give more scholarships to Malay students who can’t afford it. There are very many of them. Simply because there are vary many of us – we form the majority in the country. Them who are represented by those faces we see in the photos JMD put out.

      And we as a community have been left far behind by British colonial policies. I keep reading about no English schools for the Malays in the kampongs and schools only for 4 years of primary education all those years until even some time after Merdeka. Until MARA and such residential schools were built, only a smattering of Malay children had access to secondary and English schools, all of which were located in the towns. Such that for a long time until now the Chinese have been the majority in the professional field when the Malays are the majority of the population.

      And some one pointed out the MCA President proudly announcing to his party’s annual general assembly that this year the Chinese succeeded in getting 92% of their students gain places in universities. They have tremendous financial and manpower resources such that even the non-recognized Chinese schools’ United Examination Certificate holders get places in universities abroad secured by their promoters.

      For the above-stated reason alone, the Government should not recognize that qualification. What more on grounds that the Chinese schools do not conform to the Constitutional provision on Bahasa Malaysia – such schools do not use BM, but use Mandarin, as the medium of instruction. And if they are recognized, they’ll probably secure 110% of placing in universities for their students. Whereas the % for Malay students is far from satisfactory. Yet we need to catch up with them economically and educationally.


    • @Student in Perth
      I hope that my children will say this about me…way in the future.
      As someone who benefited (and is very grateful) from NEP before, I feel that the least I could do is to pay for my own children’s higher education. I hope that they will be as humble and contribute to this blessed nation successes in the future and make Malaysia proud.

      JMD, I remember that a long while back you proposed that parents who decline any scholarship for their children and pay it themselves, should be eligible for some tax deduction. I love this idea.

      Looking at those pictures reminded me of my mom. She’s one of the little people that helps around when it’s GE.


  10. Well, honestly i’m quite touch by looking at the pictures & reading the last sentence of your article. Sometimes we all forget what its all about for makcik & pakcik during this Perhimpunan Agong UMNO. They represent the true soul of ‘ahli UMNO’ & the true spirit what should members of UMNO have.

    Their faces shows not even a glance of awkwardness & dissatisfaction on having to sit down leaning on the strong pillar of UMNO PWTC. They show how will they stand with UMNO while some other leader which being elected by them starts to question & strip of what they stand for & cherish for.

    Those people, those in the pictures & others in PWTC (typical mkcik & pakcik) is the true Perwakilan which represent many of them at rural areas & grassroot. The present speaks louder than any other talk of wakil2 perbahasan during the assembly..



  11. were you at umno general assembly as a member, or as an affiliate member of umno i.e. kimma, although nowadays it is very difficult to tell the difference. the nep as was implemented by the government, can be related to our car industry i.e proton.
    the bumis got the job and market share at the expense of “others” due to non-level policies which distort markets. but proton, until today is unable to compete globally. the latest model inspira, goes to show that proton is indeed a failure, if it had not the support of the government.
    thailand, on the other hand, allowed market forces to reign in the car industry, and it is booming with over a million vehicles exported annually.
    we can conclude that over zealous implementation of nep will not lead to progress, but will deteriorate over time. only the private sector economic activities are holding back the impending doom.


    • mas,

      Just one word against your attempt at pooh-poohing the NEP and proton – balderdash.

      Will write more when time becomes available.


    • If you talk about cars, the chingkis own the car market before proton. They buy and sell cars that’s all. They were not manufacturing or even value added to the car industry. They just rake in the profits. Proton at that time was there to make sure the public have a choice other than nissan, honda or toyota. Different text structure? Of course.

      Proton became a hit with the Malays.


  12. JMD,

    Thanks for the photos. As mentioned by our friends, UMNOs image had been demonized by the minorities who used UMNO as a platform to boast their wealth rather than to fight for Malays and for the people of Malaysia.

    If UMNO is racist, we would have done what Zimbabwe did to the whites. If it was not for UMNO, other races, albeit all the condemnation that UMNO only looks into Malays, live in a prosperous life. Just look around us, we have chinese and indians living in luxury homes and driving luxury cars (with malay drivers). I doubt the same can be accorded if they were to live in australia or UK or US despite we see them searching for ‘better’ livelihood and life there.

    As malay, i dont envy of my non-malay friends’ wealth. Yet i am HAPPY as it showed that UMNO has been fair to all races. UMNO does not stop one from accumulating wealth at the expense of malays.

    What UMNO need is a cleansing…it has been said before and need to be done. Its the minority few that been hurting UMNO image to be removed for the sake of we, the normal supporters of UMNO.


  13. Well said JMD, its true and nothing but the truth. But sadly for the ultra-kiasus, these real faces of the Malays represent only weaknesses, fragility and subversion.

    Will these kiasus reciprocate this kindness? They will not, not now and not in the future…sceptical? The May 13 ‘incidence’ (just 12 short years after merdeka and gaining their ‘independence’ too) perhaps should teach us not to be too ‘kind’ for the sake of muhibah. Umno must be tough to be kind instead.

    What we see happening today may perhaps be the prelude for the reccurence of the tragedy. But like Tun M said..”Melayu mudah lupa’ sad..



  14. sayu lihat pejuang UMNO yang ikhlas mempertahankan agama Islam dan bangsa Melayu, UMNO dirosakkan oleh manusia macam Khairy aka Kitol . . . sering dikatakan, UMNO sebenarnya mulia, tapi dirosakkan dari dalam, ya Allah ya Tuhanku, Tuhan maha berkuasa, Tuhan maha Tinggi dan maha kaya, berilah kekuatan kepada orang Melayu Islam dalam UMNO untuk berubah, kembali ke pangkal jalan yang engkau redhai, Amin


    • Tuah Must Die,

      Are you dyslexic, or just plain stupid? Here are some more extrapolates from your kind of argument:

      (i) Najib gives a speech about Carbon Reduction.
      “So is that it? That is BN’s efforts, just Carbon Management?” -TuahMustDie

      (ii) BN affirms the need to make history a compulsory subject:
      “So that’s all BN’s perjuangan is all about? History?” – TuahMustDie

      (iii) Rosmah hadiri pesta Busana Fesyen Muslim:
      “Is that what the First Lady is good about? Only to attend Busana functions?”
      – TuahMustDie

      (iv) Rosmah resmikan anak Yatim di puchong:
      “Is that the only thing the PM’s wife is good about? Attending anak yatim functions?” – TuahMustDie

      Actually, if you are stupid and would like to broadcast it, that is OK. BUt can you not drag the Tuah name together with you? It’s demeaning. Carilaa something more sesuai, like IluvKanYew ker, AmGuanEngFan ker whatever.



      • Tuah Must Die and GuanEngFan,

        You are being seditious, aren’t you? You know that sedition is intentionally creating ill feelings among the other communities?

        Tuah was a Malay hero. Unlike Jebat, who was also a Malay hero but did things in the wrong manner, Tuah did not. Saying “Tuah Must Die” or quoting such an insensitively named character, and doing so repeatedly, plainly and clearly creates ill feelings among the Malays. Would you not feel the same if Malays say the same of your heroes, be it Lim Kit Siang or Lim Guan Eng, attaching death to their names?

        I have a lot more to say on your utterly insensitive and stupid statements but the above is sufficient for now.


  15. 2 all umnos, i am sorry, what are you talking about when u cant even dare to transform this country MALAYSIA into one…… school…one bahasa…one song… one dance…i mean the lovely beautifull malay culture where you cant find it elsewhere, not the dragon dance or the veil veil where we can find it original in their mainland ok……


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