Side Views

Umno’s problem isn’t perception, it’s the facts — Othman Wahab

November 10, 2012

NOV 10 — Umno has a perception problem, says Umno. According to Tengku Adnan Mansor, there is a perception that Umno is a party of cronies and elitists.

To be fair to this man, who himself has in the past attracted some fair amount of “negative perception”, he is not the only Umno leader who has contracted the perception bug.

Hishammuddin Hussein says that crime is not really a problem and it is only a perception that more Malaysians are being robbed and feeling  unsafe.

Those Umno politicians, who blame everything on perception, want us to distrust empirical evidence, our gut instinct and our eyes.

Let us look at cronyism/corruption. I don’t need the BN-friendly MACC to open files on any of our ministers, politicians to reach a conclusion that many if not all of them are living beyond their means. Even the younger Umno politicians will not be able to explain how they obtained funds to live in the lap of luxury and even have stakes in companies. And without holding a steady job!

Look behind any privatisation project in Malaysia and be sure that there is a BN politician on the gravy train. And that is the reason why there is a revolt against the AES. Malaysians are not against traffic cameras or summonses.

But we are dead set against the AES because it is a privatisation project. The government has outsourced a core function of policing to some private entity for no good reason.

Till today, the real owners of the project have not surfaced and they won’t. The Road Transport Department director-general cut short his haj trip so that he could defend the AES. But neither he nor the government owns the project.

The man behind it is very close to Putrajaya and you can bet that for supporting the project, some BN politicians are also on the gravy train.

Similarly, we have been told how the Negri Sembilan government awarded a large tract of forest land to a company helmed by an MCA warlord. This is not perception.

More recently we were entertained to the life of the rich and famous children of Shahrizat Jalil and Nazri Aziz. Million ringgit condominiums, luxury vehicles, etc.

As I see it, Umno’s biggest problem is their unwillingness to accept that their bad press and negative image is down to the real situation on the ground. And not perception.

Crime is out of control. Umno is a party of self-serving and corrupt individuals.

* Othman Wahab reads The Malaysian Insider.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.