On the rounds with Umno — Sakmongkol AK47
FEB 23 — I have written many essays about Umno. I have written about the dangers of feeling superior. It breeds arrogance and complacency. That feeling seems to have been nourished further by Umno’s recent wins in some by-elections.
Galas was won basically by the figure of Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. In Tenang, those who actually went there — if they take “the presented facts’ with a pinch of salt — know how we won Tenang by-election. We did it the old fashion way — mostly paying our way through.
Some people say the win in Tenang bears the hallmarks of Tan Sri Isa Samad’s modus operandi. We all know how he won the Umno vice presidency. Somehow Umno people seemed to think, if the wrong is committed by an Umno man, that wrong is forgivable. How stupid.
I am surprised at the recent stout defence of Isa Samad when a corporate leader provided some adverse remarks of Isa. Why the defence? If Umno people can’t get rid of this destructive idea of stubbornly defending actions and behaviour that can make Umno weak, Umno hasn’t got a chance to defend itself in the court of public opinion.
Because Umno will be seen as standing on the side of the wrongdoer, the fornicator, the corrupt, the wrong side. It stands opposed to the people. Look at Egypt. Look at Tunisia.
I have said it many times, and I say it again — I want to save Malaysia.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim isn’t the only one with ideas to save Malaysia. But if Umno leaders shy away from debating and engaging Anwar, Umno loses by default. Our refusal to debate him on the way to manage the economy only serves the widespread perception, that our ideas are just empty rhetoric.
We have our ideas to save Malaysia. But the way to do it is to place Umno under capable hands. Those who are committed to democratic ideals, the rule of law and economic and social justice.
Those who are committed to good governance. Umno should condition its mind, that it governs not 60 per cent of the population but the 100 per cent percent of Malaysian citizens.
If Isa Samad does indeed cause the stock market to react adversely, let that young ciku, however obnoxious he sounds and acts, say his piece. If he is wrong, then let him suffer the end of the big stick. Already he was made to eat humble pie by being directed to say sorry to Isa.
Meantime, Isa spends RM 2 million refurbishing his office suite at the 11th Floor Felda building. Each week he sits on his imperial throne, dishing and dispensing wisdom from his short physique. Some of us would be fools to delude ourselves this is the kind of leadership that can save Umno and save Malaysia.
So much of the Felda resources were committed to winning the Tenang by election for Isa Samad. Felda vehicles were placed at the disposal of Felda settlers in Tenang. Cars were filled with fuel and were literally handed over to settlers to do as they wish.
Other resources were used mainly for the benefit of our kind of voters. Our kind means those voters who think they owe us a living when we give some form of consideration. Ballot boxes were literally on army trucks without anyone guarding them. Who would when flood waters were neck high? Everyone would be more interested to save their lives and property.
So, to the Umno people, the recent wins must not be fodder to our exuberance.
As regards, Kerdau and Merlimau by elections, I have no doubts that Umno and BN will win. We don’t know who the BN candidate in Merlimau is. But with resources and concentration already channelled to Merlimau, no opponent to BN can stand a chance.
As for Kerdau, the candidate is personally known to me. I wrote an earlier article about his impending candidacy. It has been proven right. I don’t see any real threats to him becoming the state assemblyman there. With only 28 Umno branches in that division, there will be little room for Umno backstabbing. Kerdau is a sure bet.
Bu these are specific instances. Overall, the picture is not that upbeat. That will be in the next article. Meanwhile, maybe I can be categorised as a declinist. Because I see the decline of Umno.
Let me touch briefly the scenario as a precursor to the next article. Penang is a gone case. Lim Guan Eng is simply a good leader. He is a good person. Penang is well managed. Ignore the staged protestations of the street hawkers who have not been paying the rates. Ignore Rizal Merican. The majority support LGE. Penang stays opposition.
That thamby in Perak is just there warming the mentri besar’s seat. Support for him in his own constituency is dwindling. Perak will be returned to the opposition with a vengeance.
In the meantime, we hear Datuk Seri Zambry Kadir is making hay while the sun shines. Umno people are saying, “kita salah rampas”.
In Kedah, even the Umno people like Ustaz Azizan. He says he now sleeps better when Najib appointed Bashah. Because Najib appoints a person he trusts more than a person he knows can work. Kedah will stay opposition.
In Perlis, let the warring factions in this land the size of an ape’s straddled legs fight it out. There, even the Umno grassroots want to punish Najib.
Selangor? Even the Auditor-General says it’s the second-best financially managed state after Penang. Who wants to be MB of Selangor? Noh Omar? Zain Badak? By the way, where did PLCE (passed LCE) Satim Diman get his doctorate from?
Kelantan? What can we say about Kelantan? Except that every Umno leader will one day become the president of the Kelantan FA. They will then fight out who gets to manage the team and who gets to build new stadiums.
In Terengganu, there are signs it’s going to the opposition.
Pahang, in the meantime, will stay under BN but question marks hover over the fate of at least seven parliamentary seats.
Johor will remain BN. Negeri Sembilan can go either way unless Mat Hassan is jettisoned fast.
New leaders must come to rescue Umno. — sakmongkol.blogspot.com
* Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.