Sunday, December 2, 2012

My Umno... Part 4 (a year later)

I took off from the Umno general assembly for the first time, partly to focus on the Palestinian bid to secure a non-member status at the United Nations (in which they succeeded), to avoid passing on my flu to those at PWTC and also giving the final touches to my latest book 'A Journalist at War'.

However, I did follow the progress - reading reports in newspapers, watching TV, the internet and pouring calls and text messages from friends like journalists, bloggers and some delegates who attended it.

So, I am not totally lost. (My blog was also hacked for 2 days. I am so naive about IT but luckily I got a journo-blogger who helped revived it).

I am still an Umno member. Since joining it in 1981, I never turned my back on it although there were times I felt flabbergasted, frustrated and annoyed with some of its leaders and at the manner in which it was and being led.

Having attended 31 of the GA thus far, I really didn't mind skipping the one just concluded. To me (I don't care what others think), its the same old story - rhetoric, showcase of power and popularity, shooting at the opposition, etc... etc - but none to admitting our own weakness and mistake.

I had written a series of articles during the previous general assembly...here... here... and here... mostly on how a grassroot member like me wanted the party to change, revitalise and listen to voices on the ground.

Excerpts from Chapter 3:
So, what does the party general assembly means to us, the grass root members? Almost nothing, except for the calls to strengthen the party, stand united behind the leaders and continue voting for BN in the next general election. While most of the members get old in providing undivided support to the leaders and the party they adore and love, upholding the Malay supremacy in politics and keeping up with 'ketuanan Melayu', this getting-old and hard-working members can only watch and listen to glamorous stories of how their young leaders got rich and richer.

Umno is a perfect party for the Malays but the leadership must revise its approach in dealing with the grass root members. Is there any tangible explanation to their assumption and perception that those who go all out to grab any party portfolios are actually going after the money and luxury in-store for them, and not really after the responsibility? It's difficult because the facts stand very loud and clear.

The grass root members do not need a luxury car or a new better house. They want to feel being close to the top leaders. As such, they need their respective division or branch heads to channel their woes to the top leaders. They want to be heard. Solving their problems is not everything about keeping close rapport with them. What's most important is the ears lent.
The only different from this year's GA as compared to the previous one is that, 2012 is the last GA before the 13th general election. That made it so heated up and very arousing.

The level of confidence was high, and that each and every member who attended it believed the party is at its strongest level, and nobody could deny the fact that Umno is the right party for all Malays and Bumiputras in the country... that the party will remain relevant, especially in the spirit of Barisan Nasional.

However, I personally believe 2012 is where Umno has reached a crossroad. Faced with some boiling issues such as scandals involving its ministers and Members of Parliament (MPs), its handling of some chronic and sensitive cases (politically and socially) and also fractions within the party, Umno needs more than just the strongest support ever.

It needs dynamism to the leadership, dynamic in the sense that they must be willing to listen to the ground and make changes wanted by the majority. As the party grows and gets older, the grassroot members find it more difficult to have their voice heard at the top. The gap gets wider and wider.

The attitude of some leaders have to change. They must stop listening to liars whom they themselves invented, created and encourage. As leaders, they consider themselves as 'Mr Right', that other should only listen and abide by their words.

Worse still is those who just cannot accept criticism. I know an Umno vice president who stops communicating with me just because I criticised his ministry's failure in implementing a policy. He also refuses listening to good advice because he thinks he is already perfect, as a senior leader and a minister.

Among his ministry's staff, most have to lie about many things, including the progress of certain policies. They simply lied to avoid being called 'failures' and inefficient. Each time a meeting is called with the minister, they have to lie since the minister does not like bad news!

It applies to Umno. Lying is the best avenue of cover up. So much so, many problems at branch and division levels were ignored because the top leaders were all this while fed with wrong information about the actual situation of the party.

This has yet to change. Those who attend a GA will usually feel his or spirit having flown over speeches by the leaders and dcelegates. However, that spirit fizzles out once the general assembly is 1 week or a month behind them.

Of course I would love to see Umno (and BN) retains its power in the next general election. Being the pillar of BN, Umno's strength must come with wisdom and trust. If top leaders can't take criticism and advise, members should throw them out in the next party election!

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear bujai,

Good that your latest book 'A Journalist at War' is in the final touches stage. Yes, there's a lot to go to war about. In Malaysia and in the world to day.

Perhaps we share a common denominator - of "not being politically correct". I'm not even a member of any political party. I've always been inclined towards UMNO/BN, but I share your sentiment about the weaknesses of UMNO/BN.

However, having thought deeply about the matter on many occasions, I find that the Pakatan Rakyat is not, and may never be, a better alternative. Because, even just 1-2 years into power, they already showed that they have all the weaknesses BN has. I shudder at the thought of how worse they would be if they are allowed a longer period to rule the 4 states, or if they were to reach Putrajaya.

This is by no means excusing BN for all those weaknesses. This is an expression of hope that all of us must continue to expose all those weaknesses, especially corruption and cronyism (and nepotism that's quite rampant among Pakatan Rakyat parties).

And when exposing those weaknesses, we must do so ON BOTH SIDES - BN as well as Pakatan Rakyat. Only then will we appear to be fair. Only then will there be hope for those ills of society to be reduced and controlled.

Corruption, like prostitution, will never be eradicated from mankind. But we must aim for it to be drastically reduced, properly controlled. Again, not to say I'm excusing them, but to say that Port Klanggate this, Talamgate that will always occur.

And, while BN has brought PKFZ to the court though PR has not even admitted there's a gate to Talam, we must continue to abhor and denounce publicly all cases and all forms of corruption in this country, on both sides of the political divide.

Anonymous said...

A newspaper Editor once responded to my criticism of his newspaper by saying light-heartedly, "We print what the readers want to read!"

Yes, it's "what the delegates at the General Assembly want" that counts. Perhaps attempts should be made to influence the delegates. But that'll require discussion on the selection of delegates.

In China where they also claim to be democratic, a handful of the top Politburo members meet in secrecy, decide on the 7 most important ones to lead the nation every 10 years. Then they paraded those 7 on stage in front of the thousands of the Communist Party delegates who have no say at all in the choice of those leaders.

UMNO has its system of party elections. At branch, Division and national levels. Other than the President and Deputy, the Majlis Tertinggi or Supreme Council, are among the most important. Whatever these people think, say and do, goes.

But because of GE13 being in the corner, perhaps UMNO members who want changes in UMNO should wait until after the elections. To bring up those issues through the party channels, at Branch, Division or Majlis Tertinggi level.

UMNO has taken measures against corruption some time ago. Such that the UMNO Disciplinary Committee under Tengku Ahamd Rithaudin banned a few from contesting certain posts and censored others found guilty of money politics. But more needs be done. Let's find the right time and means to get those done.

And we need to also expose corruption done by Pakatan Rakyat in the states they rule.

a member since 1978 said...

jai,

retaining its power and its popularity are two different thing.

in retaining its power, umno must click with the rest of bn components while in getting popular, it has to convince its members that the party will forever be free of cronyism and nepotism.

if we take a look at umno office bearers today, including division heads, they are very well off, living in luxury. that makes them bitter if they lose their position or being dropped.

people are so politically-crazy nowadays, knowing that a position at any division will ensure wealth.

umno has to get rid on this stigma before it can tell others that the party is for malaysians to count on...

tauke lim said...

a good posting but too mild.

u should whack some party leaders who caused split among members.

u know who laaaa!!!!

that also u dont know aaar!!!

penangan said...

salam tuan,

kali ni banyak sangat yang hentam pembangkang. ada juga yang kata umno dipilih oleh tuhan.

ini semua menunjukkan keangkuhan sesetengah pemimpin umno yang nampak saja matang tetapi sebenarnya tidak berapa waras dalam politik.

umno juga perlu tapis betul2 calon untuk pru akan datang. muka2 dalam pemuda dan putera yang tidak digemari orang ramai mestilah dihalang daripada bertanding.

kita tengoklah nanti

Anonymous said...

ramai sangat kaki ampu setiap kali perhimpunan agung.

dah jadi tradisi agaknya.

harakiri said...

i agree with anon 8.37 that pakatan will never be a better alternative.

however, umno and bn should be well aware of the stiff competition awaiting them in the next general election.

yes, we are confident of retaining power but over-confident usually leads to complacency.

Kontraktor Kelas D said...

bro,

memang ada pemimpin yang tak suka dikritik dan tak gemar dengar nasihat. nak mengaku kesilapan, jauh sekalilah.

ini penyakit melayu. perlu dikikis dan dibuang jauh2. rakyat makin dewasa dan kian cerdik.

janganlah ada lagi pemimpin sebegini dalam umno. ia akan merosak dan menghancurkan masa depan parti.

sedarlah, takkan ada pemimpin tanpa ahli yang melantik mereka ke tempat mereka sekarang!

pro-Pakatan said...

alaaaa.a...

setakat umno ni, pkr boleh terajang senang2 je dalam pru akan datang. cakap berdegar-degar tapi habuk pun tarak!

gung daik bercabang tiga said...

why must we bashed up the opposition too much during the general assembly? why didnt we discuss the party's weaknesses instead of coming out with statements that we are the best, not worried of the opposition and that umno is much stronger now?

delegates are all kaki ampu like u said. none will issue remarks about keppincangan dalam parti.

u think the grassroot members are satisfied with the general assembly.

do u know that the delegates failed to deliver what the members asked them to?

a blogger too said...

bujai, who is the vice president who refuses u?

he thinks u are nothing. he has forgotten the fact that members appointed him to the chair. without members, he himself is nothing!

u should name him in this posting!

r said...

jai,

org macam kau ni sayangkan parti, berkhidmat untuk parti tapi parti tak suka orang macam kau sebab lantang kritik parti.

sebab tu la umno tak bagi kau apa2, betul tak?

sori ek...

this and that said...

sedih gak sebab umno ni dalam mencapai usia kematangannya, masih dihuni oleh segelintir pemimpin yang lebih kuah dari nasi. cakap pandai, seru rakyat dan ahli bersatu tetapi mereka sendiri sombong dan angkuh.

tak perlulah saya sebut nama mereka sebab ramai yang kenal, ada yang pernah berkhidmat sejak zaman pak lah lagi di tingkat 4.

kalau muka2 ni dicalonkan pada pru akan datang, bertambah meluatlah orang umno sendiri terhadap parti!

Anonymous said...

Sekarang UMNO ada 3 juta lebih ahli. Parti politik terbesar di negara ini.

Tapi PRU12 telah menggoncagkan keagungan UMNO dan BN. Tak dapat majoriti 2/3.

Sekarang nak goncangkan UMNO/ BN lagi, tak bertanggung jawab lah kita. Kalau Pakatan Rakyat menang, mampus lah kita.

Cuba kasi UMNO/BN majoriti 2/3 lagi. Bila UMNO/BN dah kuat seperti dahlulu, bahru lah kita goncangkan pemimpin dan Majlis Tertinggi. Minta tukarkan pemimpin yang tak mahu ambil tindakan lebih keras ke atas korapsi, pilih kasih dan sebagainya. Amacam, boleh?

Anonymous said...

umno memang kuat... pada mata kasar je!

di dalam masih banyak masalah, terutamanya puak2 dalam parti.

tapi seperti yang kau sebut, ramai jadi pembohong hanya kerana nak jaga dan bodek orang atasan, taknak bahagian masing2 membongkar rahsia dan masalah masing2...

apa nak jadi selepas ni?

Anonymous said...

does umno walk the talk?

u people in umno are good at criticising the opposition and others but not good at admitting your own mistake.

waddafuck!

pendeta said...

setiap kali perhimpunan agung, semua orang akan melaung-laungkan benda serupa - rapatkan saf, bersatu, kita kukuh... dan sebagainya.

abis je perhimpunan, semua balik kepada asal... tikam-menikam dari belakang dan depan, berpuak-puak dan sebagainya.

konsep dan aturan perhimpunan agung perlu diubah.

daripada mengulangi apa yang berlaku setiap tahun, eloklah dijadikan satu sesi muhasabah untuk semua pemimpin dan perwakilan.

selagi kita tak akui kelemahan dan kesilapan, selagi itulah umno akan terus dicabar... bukan saja dari luar malah dari dalamannya sendiri!

dahaga said...

jai,

actually najib is all alone. he is serious and sincere in expediting his duty as a pm and party president.

however, his ministers and the people around him are just opportunists, smearing his good image.

sorry to say, sometimes najib's wife too is not contributing...

Anonymous said...

umno memang relevan dan masih kuat.

cuma kita tak tau dalam 20 atau 30 tahun lagi umno kekal sebagai kerajaan ataupun pembangkang.

Anonymous said...

Bukan UMNO saja yang ada "nak jaga dan bodek orang atasan, taknak bahagian masing2 membongkar rahsia dan masalah masing2..."

Lihat lah Karpal Singh. Dia Chairman DAP, tapi bodek Tokong Lim bukan main lagi.

PKR begitu, PAS pun begitu. Nak senaraikan tak cukup ruang.

Kita kena bagi hujah yang boleh membantu lah, camna nak baikki parti.

Anonymous said...

pendeta,

Ingin nak dengor camna sebenornya nak ubah "konsep dan aturan perhimpunan agung" tu.

Camna nak "jadikan satu sesi muhasabah untuk semua pemimpin dan perwakilan."

Cuba lah bagi butiran lanjut camna nak wat. Terimo kasiiiih.

Anonymous said...

i noticed that many umno veterans and former leaders were not there during the general assembly.

were they not invited or they refused to come?

dah cakap banyak kali dah! said...

memang kita sayangkan umno, kasihkan pemimpin.

bagaimanapun, sikap sesetengah pemimpin yang ada sekarang amat memualkan. mereka menjadikan umno sebagai wadah untuk membuat kekayaan peribadi dan rakyat hanya alat untuk menyokong dan mengundi mereka.

saya tetap ahli umno tetapi saya tidak akan menyalahkan mereka yang keluar parti dan menyertai pembangkang. mereka lebih tahu.

seperti yg sdr kata ada naib presiden yang sombong, bongkak, tidak boleh menerima kritikan dan nasihat... ya, saya setuju sangat kerana saya sendiri orang SEMBRONG!

masih di BH said...

jai,

cant wait to read your new book.

hurry up, will u!

heheheeh!

Manifesto Melayu 2012 said...

Manifesto Melayu 2012

Manifesto ini bertujuan menentukan hala tuju bangsa Melayu yang
kini dijadikan pengemis di negara sendiri oleh Presiden UMNO mahathir

1. Membuat kiraan semua assest negara Tanah Melayu dari Petrolium, getah,
bijih timah dan emas, pasir, kelapa sawit dan lain-lain.

2. Meningkatkan pendapatan golongan orang Melayu kepada tahap 3000 sebulan
minima

3. Meningkatkan perolehan kaum petani dan peladang Melayu melalui kawalan
pertanian dan bekalan benih dan baja.

4. Meningkatkan pendapatan perikanan dan sumber alam Tanah Melayu

5. Menghapuskan lesen-lesen sumber alam seperti frekuensi yang di monopoli
kaum pendatang Cina dan India.

6. Mendakwa orang-orang Melayu yang memperkayakan tokey judi Cina dan India.

7. Mengawal sumber kewangan Tanah MElayu supaya tidak digunakan untuk orang-orang Tamil
dan Cina sahaja.


8. Memastikan kekayaan dan bisnes Tanah Melayu diagih sama rata dengan
80% untuk bangsa Melayu dalam 5 tahun.

9. Mengawal penggunaan budaya arab untuk memperlekehkan orang Melayu.

10. Memperkasakan sains dan matematik untuk orang Melayu.

11. Memastikan jawatan Ketua Setiausaha Negara di jawat orang Melayu bukan Tamil

12. Memastikan jawatan Setiausahan Kewangan dijawat orang melayu bukan Tamil.
bagi mengelakan ketirisan kepada orang Tamil sahaja.

Anonymous said...

Ini apa mengarut punya Manifesto Melayu 2012 ni.

Nampaknya tak waras pemikiran nya mengatakan "bangsa Melayu yang kini dijadikan pengemis di negara sendiri oleh Presiden UMNO mahathir" - tak sedar ke dia Tun Dr Mahathir dah lama tak menjadi Presiden UMNO lagi.

Tak tahu apa yang di maksudkan nya "lesen-lesen sumber alam seperti frekuensi yang di monopoli
kaum pendatang Cina dan India."

Pelik dia menginterpretasi sumber kewangan Tanah MElayu digunakan untuk orang-orang Tamil dan Cina sahaja.

Bodoh pula dia tak tahu definasi Melayu dalam Perlembagaan. Menyindir mereka yang ada darah India itu bukan Melayu.