Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Whither UMNO?

I was really hoping that DS Najib Tun Razak (NTR) would go head to head against Dolah Bedawi and get rid of that buffoon once and for all. Unfortunately NTR decided against a challenge and accepted a protracted transition deal for Dolah to hand over in 2010. So that's that.
I was angry and frustrated at first, but when I heard NTR's explanation as he told them to his loyalists and supporters, I realized that he really had no choice but to accept the deal because of the way things are in UMNO.
Who can blame him? It is a well known fact that Bedawi has resorted to meeting division leaders one-to-one and after such meetings those division chiefs take a complete u-turn and do the "Saya Sokong" dance. Consider, for instance, the alleged UMNO Maverick from Cheras, Syed Ali Al Habshee. The man was vitriolic in calling for a change in leadership after the March 8th General Elections. In April, he loudly said he wanted Dolah to go by December and not later. He wanted to change the quota system in UMNO so that UMNO members can force a leadership change, and he wanted to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting to affect those changes.
One month later, in May, this very same person who appeared almost daily in the newspapers calling for Dollah to go, suddenly says people should stop calling for the PM to resign.
Huh??... What happened? Sudah tukar ka? It couldn't have anything to do with his extension as (GLC) CTRM Chairman by the MOF could it? Or is it the result of a hush-hush meeting rumoured to have taken place between him and Dolah?
Well I don't want to dwell on Syed Ali , because this posting is not about him. But it's about the proliferation of people like him throughout UMNO. Syed Ali is just one example. There are many many more. In fact I think 99% of the delegation to the UMNO GA will be of the Syed Ali ilk or worse. From the lowest levels to the highest, UMNO is crawling with unprincipled politicians, ready to sell their souls to the highest bidder. Is it any surprise therefore that a seasoned UMNO man like NTR refuses to place his political fortunes on the flimsy pledge of support from UMNO ketua Bahagians? Honestly, how can he hope to win against Bedawi, the most corrupt UMNO President ever, when the old fart is not above doling out government money to shore up his own political position?
Remember 2006? That was when Tun Dr. Mahathir had launched his first round of attacks against Dolah Bedawi. At the UMNO General Assembly that year, the Ketua Bahagians who were hitherto still fond of Tun Mahathir were quite furious with the manner of disrespect with which the old lion had been treated by certain UMNO leaders (read: Nazri Rottweiler, Mat Taib and Tajol Rosli). They were determined to make a whole lot of noise about it during the 4 day convention. They simply will not allow anyone to treat Tun this way!! (kononnya...)
Then what happened? At the Taklimat Khas Presiden the day before the Assembly began, Dollah announced that every Bahagian will receive RM 3 Million to spend before the end of the year. Watching the tape of Bedolah announcing this abuse of public funds, you hear someone trying to correct him by saying "Setiap kawasan Parlimen". But the the genius that is Dollah would not accept this correction. "No" he said. "Setiap Bahagian". Applause applause. RM3 million from Treasury to each ketua bahagian to spend on his kawasan (yeah. right.) in a span of about two months! Damn it's like winning the lottery!
Surprise surprise, all the fire that was raging in anger at the abuse of their once revered former President went out like a light. No more. Not a peep from any of the Ketua bahagians ... their tune was now sokong sokong sokong....They could only manage a loud round of applause at the mention of Tun Mahathir's name. Nothing more than that.
So there you go... UMNO's middle management can be bought, and Bedollah bedawi has proven this point very very well. The President of UMNO himself became an icon of money politics on that fateful day in 2006. And from then on, for UMNO, it has been a steady slide to the pits of hell...
Today UMNO has no credibility at all. At the mere mention of UMNO, people feel disgusted. they are sickened by the dirty and manipulative ways of UMNO stalwarts. The promising ones like Mukhriz Mahathir will probably not get ahead. Mukhriz has said as much, pointing out that he may not even get enough nominations to contest the Ketua Pemuda post although at one point in April, he was by far the leading contender. Now, in August, many millions of dollars having been spread amongst the Ketua Pemuda bahagians by certain parties eyeing the post, Mukhriz's chance looks slim at best. It's likely he'll be forced to try his luck for a seat on the Majlis Tertinggi, although even that is a challenge for him because he refuses to play the pay-out game. Which proves my point again: in UMNO, no money, no talk. So how can you expect anyone to respect such a party? it's like when you are a card carrying member of UMNO, you are a person not averse to corruption! You may not outrightly indulge in it, but you know it happens and you let it happen and you just turn a blind eye, because, hell, you might just benefit from it!
UMNO VP (and until very recently a Deputy President hopeful) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also knows this and feels that UMNO is fast sinking. One suspects it is also the reason why he has decided not to challenge any top position in UMNO and just defend his Veep post. He, like Najib, knows only too well that the expressions of support and loyalty in UMNO mean diddly-squat and that in the end, to the Division Chiefs and the power brokers in UMNO, it all comes to the question of dollars and cents. And as such you can never beat the power of the Incumbent President, especially a President well proven to be not above buying support directly and indirectly.
So whither UMNO? Is it really now just a party of pirates and thugs, of people caring only for themselves and their bank accounts? Is it a party that is still slavageable if indeed Dollah Bedawi hands the reigns over to NTR come mid 2010? Will it still be worth saving by then? UMNO members... no... the UMNO Perwakilan to the coming GA must ask themselves these questions about the Party they supposedly love. Will they try and save it or will they just make hay while the sun shines?
Maybe they should just think about this: Since March 8th 2007, UMNO has not moved forward one tiny bit. UMNO has not shown that it has learnt its lesson, and things are exactly the same as it was before March 8th, with the endless mistakes and stupid moves by Paklah, shamelessly supported by UMNO stalwarts even when they know it's not right. UMNO and BN lost 6 (SIX) states on March 8th 2008. If the elections were held again tomorrow, how manyof those states does UMNO think it can seriously hope to regain? Or perhaps, the more realistic question is how many more states is BN likely to lose?

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