Side Views

Umno boleh? — George Sinnathamby

September 16, 2011

SEPT 16 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will rightly have a spring in his step this morning and so will his people in Umno, thanks to his decision to propose to Parliament to repeal several draconian laws.

He will have a glow on his face (not because his wife is away on some jaunt in a private jet) because after months of flip-flops and fumbling, these moves to do away with the ISA will give him a breather. The Umno boys and bloggers will once again believe that Najib is the man (in the last few months, his stock tanked even with his strongest supporters, including Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) to deliver Umno a strong performance in the elections.

And what about the rest of Malaysia? My take is that the rest of us should take time today to go to mosques, temples and churches and thank that our prayers have been answered and to reflect on the fact that even the most dastardly and evil people will have to bend to the power of people backed by God.

We should also remember that the fight is not over. It still has to be anything but Umno in the coming elections. Najib is hoping that we will think about him and not the party of racists and money-grabbers he leads when we go to the ballot box.

But we cannot divorce Najib from Umno. We cannot divorce Najib from this party of corrupt, divisive, constitution-busting, double-standard individuals. He is a product of this party, through and through.

A day after the police used force to break up the Bersih 2.0 rally, Najib did not go before Malaysians to explain his action, he played to the gallery full of Umno officials, ridiculing the rally goers and threatening to unleash Umno’s street power.

He and Umno are one. How can we forget his deafening silence when the Umno lackeys dragged a cow’s head in Shah Alam in protest against the building of a temple?

How can we forget how he spoke to an Umno crowd on his return from his PR trip to Rome and told Christians to respect “the Islamic leadership” of the country or how silent he was when Umno bloggers and Utusan Malaysia created a story about a Christian takeover of this country?

The party which once said it delivered independence for the country now says the country was never colonised. It threatens and character assassinates anyone who does not agree with it.

Malaysia, the land of milk and honey, blessed with resources beyond compare. But the oil-producing states of Sarawak and Terengganu are being given pittance and Kelantan is being denied its legitimate right. Only a select few from Umno have been on the gravy train, getting obscenely rich while urging Malaysians to live within their means.

We choose a government or a group of leaders on the basis of a few criteria: integrity, law-abiding, competent, fair and just, inspirational, honest, brave and courageous, consistent.

Umno does not meet these conditions. Added to this is the fact that Umno’s interests always come before the country’s interests.

* George Sinnathamby reads The Malaysian Insider.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.