27 November, 2006

Dealing With UMNO’s Childish Tantrums

Editorial lead: Today, Umno is the problem, for Malays, non-Malays, and Malaysia. Umno has long ceased being part of the solution.

It is heartening that with few exceptions Malaysians have learned to ignore the ritualistic childish tantrums that are now the standard staple at UMNO’s gatherings. The recently concluded General Assembly was true to form, except for the chauvinistic chanting and virulence of the racism breaching even earlier heights of vulgarity.

Child psychologists tell us that the best way to deal with unacceptable behaviors is to indicate your disapproval in no uncertain terms the very first few times the child engages in them. This may include punishment. (He he!!)

If the child were to persist, then other strategies become necessary. Continued disapproval or punishment would be counterproductive, as the child would perceive that as getting attention. We would thus be unwittingly reinforcing the pattern.

This is where UMNO leaders are today. The more angry and ballistic the responses from Malaysians, the more encouraged these infantile Hang Tuah wannabes become. The censuring remarks of the likes of DAP’s Karpal Singh, Gerakan’s Lim King Yeik, and other commentators merely feed on these UMNO leaders’ hunger for attention.

Fortunately most Malaysians have learned to ignore these attention-seeking antics of UMNO. I had to force myself to view the videotapes of the General Assembly; I was bored after the first few keris-brandishing episodes. The only redeeming feature this time was that they did not drip their kerises with ketchup; they probably could not afford the
laundry bill the last time.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Najib Razak, then UMNO Youth Leader, was the first to exploit this now infamous keris-brandishing stunt a few years back. Despite his evident clumsiness, he did not accidentally stab himself. Had that mishap happened, that would have been the end to this obscene choreography, and also to Najib. It did not, and Najib went on to greater heights, in UMNO as well as the nation. So, monkey see, monkey do.

This year we had Hishamudin aping Najib. Next year, if things go as planned, it would be Khairy’s turn. Being an Oxford graduate, he would want to prove that he is better than Hishamudin by trying to upstage him. Expect Khairy to perform the silat or some other equally silly act with his keris brandishing. Being not athletically gifted, watch him fall flat on his face with his keris inflicting a career-ending injury. Such theatrics have to end on a dramatic note.

Were that to happen, it would not be good for Khairy, of course, but it will be for UMNO, Malays, and Malaysia. UMNO members (and Malays generally), still steeped in their mystical beliefs, would view the accident as divine retribution, and we would then be spared further ugly taunting and displays of racism. Short of that happening, expect even more idiotic and obnoxious flaunting. What will they think of next?

Obviously it is much easier to come out with such stunts than it is to bring novel solutions to the intractable problems facing Malays. That would be too taxing intellectually for these folks, their Oxbridge education notwithstanding. Their preoccupation with trivialities matches their juvenile mindset.

At the recent UMNO Johore convention, its leader Ghani, who is also the Chief Minister, suggested that meritocracy was not suitable for Malays! That would unfairly penalize Malay pupils attending poorly equipped rural schools, he argued. That has been the lament since colonial times. I would have expected that after over fifty years of UMNO rule, they would have solved this long-standing problem.

To think that Ghani was once dean at the University of Malaya! Obviously, had meritocracy been practiced there, he would not have reached such academic heights; hence his defense of the status quo.

Breaking the Obnoxious Habit

As UMNO members have abrogated their collective “parental” responsibilities in not disciplining Najib Razak the first time he engaged in that obnoxious stunt (indeed they egged him on), it has now become entrenched. That such ugly behaviors are also career enhancing further reinforces the pattern. Consider that Najib is now Prime Minister-in-waiting.

The only way to disabuse UMNO of such behaviors is not to reward them. The only way to deliver that message to UMNO is in the language its members can understand: blunt, brutal, and delivered in no uncertain terms, as in not voting for them in the next election. This is not the time for subtleties or niceties.

Non-Malays are now the critical swing votes. Even PAS recognizes this reality; its leaders are consciously toning down their Islamic messages and trying to broaden their appeal. At its last Muktamar (convention), it even entertained fielding non-Malay candidates, a seismic shift in attitude and thinking.

If non-Malays abandon UMNO and join the many Malays already disillusioned with UMNO, its candidates would be defeated. The Barisan coalition need not be defeated to effect major change in UMNO. If PAS were to win more seats than UMNO, that would deal a crippling psychological blow. The ensuing blame game and infighting would implode UMNO.

The last time UMNO was threatened electorally in 1969, it triggered a deadly riot. If UMNO were dethroned today, there would be jubilations in Kampong Baru as well as Chow Kit Road. Then UMNO was seen as the defender of Malays; today thanks to the obscenely ostentatious lifestyles of the UMNOPutras, it is nothing more than the party of social and economic parasites. Then Malays were economically marginalized, today with a sizable Malay middle class, Malays have as much to lose as non-Malays should there be turmoil. If there were to be any riot, it would be UMNO members blaming each other and seeking retribution for their collective debacle.

Contrary to Khairy’s naïve expectations, a weakened UMNO would not embolden its Barisan partners to challenge it. Their choice then would be to merge with PAS, not exactly a demure bride-in-waiting. Even if they were to flirt with PAS, it would not necessarily be bad for Malaysia. These non-Malay parties might just be the influence needed to moderate PAS. PAS is after all a political party, not a religious organization. If the price for gaining power is for them to tone down their Islamic message, they will. Currently PAS leaders are self-righteously rigid because they have not been given the political opportunity.

The implosion of UMNO would not be bad for Malays or Malaysia; on the contrary, it would be good. UMNO has long ceased being part of the solution. Today, UMNO is the problem, for Malays, non-Malays, and Malaysia.

We do not need divine interventions like Khairy accidentally falling on his keris to solve UMNO’s problems, it would suffice if voters were to instill a much-needed parental discipline to the party.
(Malaysiakini via Bakri Musa)

Definition of "UMNO" by "SANG KELEMBAI"

Untuk Melayu Nikmat Orang- UMNO

Untuk Memuaskan Nafsu Oportunis - UMNO

U Must Not Object -

MCA Youth head to meet Hishammuddin over kris issue ( To hand over the Kungfu Sword ?)

MCA Youth chief Datuk Liow Tiong Lai will meet his Umno counterpart to express concern over the latter’s use of the kris during the recent Umno Youth general assembly.

Liow said although Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had explained that the kris was merely a symbol to motivate Malays, people of other races were uneasy.

"He explained to the BN Youth why he used the kris after last year’s Umno Youth assembly. This year, when he used it again, there was also uneasiness among the other races, although it was less.

"Perhaps he needs to explain more. I still get calls from people of other races, especially Chinese, who say they are uneasy with the use of the kris.

"As leaders, we need to understand and consider the feelings of the people on the ground, especially the other races.

"If I hold a Chinese sword at a wushu function it would be different than if I hold one at a political event. This was a political function, so it is seen in a different context. It can create uneasiness," he said.

Liow was speaking to reporters at the Summit Hotel in Bandar Sunway after launching a new product, Pro Can, to fight early-stage cancer.

Liow said: "The general assembly was carried live on television so it is no more a closed-door event. Such a sensitive issue, then, was raised in public. But the National Agenda must come first. We are all Malaysians and we (non-Malays) are here to stay.

Malaysian police shot and wounded an Indonesian fisherman after he allegedly attacked an officer on a boat, reports Jakarta Post.

The incident in Port Dickson, 90 kilometers (55 miles) south of Kuala Lumpur, happened Saturday night after police detained the Indonesian boat and its four crew members on suspicion of straying into Malaysian waters, district police chief MazlanOthman was quoted as saying by the national news agency Bernama.

Two policemen, including team leader Rozie Abu Hasan, boarded the fishing boat while three others followed in a patrol boat, Mazlan said.

"Suddenly, the skipper of the fishing boat attacked Rozie with a machete," he was quoted as saying. "Rozie fired a shot in self defense."

The 34-year-old skipper, who name was not released, was injured in the abdomen and is reported to be in stable condition in hospital, while Rozie has been discharged after receiving treatment for slash wounds, the report said.

Mazlan could not be reached for comment.

Fishermen from neighboring countries like Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are frequently arrested in Malaysia for fishing illegally in Malaysian waters. Most of them are taken to courtand fined up to 1 million ringgit (US$275,000; euro210,000).

Meanwhile, Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to review their memorandum of understanding (MoU) on youth relations signed in the 80s with the purpose of enhancing it to achieve more meaningful bilateral relations.

Malaysian Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said and her Indonesian counterpart Adhyaksa Dault shared the opinion that the youths in both countries needed to strengthen bilateral cooperation and work together in a more organised manner for the benefit of both countries.

During a four-eyed meeting here recently, both ministers agreed that youth relations had to be intensified not only because the youths will be the leaders of tomorrow in their respective countries but also to enable them to share their skills and abilities in facing the challenges of the future and to grab the opportunities available.

"Before this, our relationship was on an ad-hoc basis and mostly between the non-governmental organisations (NGOs). But with the establishment of the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Indonesia two years ago, they now want a more systematic relations between government and government also," Azalina said.

She said Malaysia was of the opinion that this was much better because the government can determine the direction of the relationship which is part of the policies that were set and can be endorsed by the Cabinet.

"With the Youth Development Act which we want to table in Parliament in December this year, I can envisage that the relations between the youths (through) the ministries with government representatives abroad will be more organised.

"We hope that the bilateral relations will bring benefit to all, be they the government or the NGOs. This is a new chapter in Malaysia-Indonesia relations to emphasise the aspects which are more relevant," she said.

She said the new act shows that the government gives more serious commitment to the youths by defining them as those who are below 40 years of age and wanting all youth associations to register with the ministry.

Azalina said Malaysia's hope for the new chapter in the relations between its youth and Indonesian youths was to organise more youth cooperation and relations programmes in the aspects of volunteerism, economy, skills and leadership.

"There is so much that we can learn because we have so much in common in terms of culture and, for me, it should be encouraged so that we can learn from each other to give strength to the youths from both countries," she said.

According to Azalina, she was keen to learn how Indonesia, with a huge youth population from amongst its 230 million people, managed and controlled the grievances and problems of youths as well as the efforts of the world's fourth most populated nation in moulding its youths to become independent and be responsible for their actions.

"We can learn from Indonesia on how they deal with so much grievances from so many youths, how they govern the youths and create a more independent young people to take full responsibility.

"Maybe that's why their NGOs are very aggressive and they know what they want. I think this is something that Malaysian youths must learn here through a lot of exchange programmes," she said, and added that the role of youths in determining political stability in Indonesia was interesting.

Azalina also urged Indonesia to establish a Youth Index like Malaysia, which can be used as a strong platform to collect data and facts on the achievement of youths so that their strength could be combined with the strength of Malaysian youths to achieve a common goal.

Adhyaksa said he was happy with the views and suggestions of Azalina and fully supported efforts to strengthen relations between the youths of both countries because Indonesian had a large number of workers in Malaysia, a majority of whom are youths.

A Sarawak timber tycoon has offered to buy media baron Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King's entire stake in Nanyang Press Holdings Bhd and distribute it to the Chinese community.

Lau Swee Nguong, chairman of Sibu-based KTS Group of Companies which owns several newspapers in Sarawak and the peninsula, made the offer at a press conference on Sunday.

The reasons:

* To ensure the healthy advancement of the Chinese media's future development; and

* To respond to scores of requests from friends in the community.

The condition: buyers should not own more than 5% of the entire paid-up capital of Nanyang, which publishes Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press.

KTS Group owns the Oriental Daily News, See Hua Daily News, The Borneo Post and Utusan Borneo.


Nicol stops Natalie for crown - Congratulation !!

NICOL David became only the fourth player to successfully defend the World Women’s Open squash crown when she beat Australian Natalie Grinham of Australia in the final at the Ulster Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland last night.

It has been a grand year for Nicol as the World Open was her sixth consecutive title besides winning the her fifth Asian title in March.

The Asian Games gold in Doha next month will complete her total dominance on the women’s squash circuit.

Final: Nicol David (Mas) bt Natalie Grinham (Aus) 1-9, 9-7, 3-9, 9-5, 9-2.

Cheers, Malaysia Boleh !!!


Anonymous chot said...

I seriously think the writer is an obsessed UMNO-hater. It is a case of 'nila setitik', hoarding a few errant, overzealous, naive and stupid UMNO delegates into UMNO, the main political party, as the core of our government, which had brought us merdeka and developed our nation to what it is today. Given, that UMNO is not perfect but other parties are completely hopeless. PAS dreams of governing Malaysia but it shows nothing in its policies and visions to make Malaysia better than it is. Rules on women dressing, opening hight clubs where males and females have to sit separately and gender separation for paying of bills at supermarket may make PAS as upholders Islamic values. But these are not all required to govern a country, to uphold law and order and compete in the seamless world. I am not saying that that what PAS has practised to rule Kelantan is wrong, but the real world demands more than just being obsessed in trivialities in the name of Islam.

Keadilan Party, what has it got to offer if it is allowed to hold the rein of government. It is a smorgasbord of personalities without any defined concept, policies and long term vision. If they have the chance to hold the rein of government, they will probably ride on the bandwagon of tried policies of UMNO. Its so-called leader will turn out to be as corrupt he had been whilst in goverment and yet he has the audacity to throw stones at others when his own house is made of glass. DAP is just aping its brother across the Causeway and follow the footstep and dance to the tunes of PAP.

Granted that even I hated the sight of some hypocrite UMNO leaders who hold up the kris to the solemn pledge "challenge the Malay rigts over my dead body" yet in reality they will have no qualms to give non-bumiputera companies lucrative contracts despite knowing fully well (even suggested) under the pretext of bumiputera companies. Pleas ask the former Minister of Youth and Sports if this was not true in the case of IKBN Training Equipment contracts.

But these are some dark sports in UMNO but other parties are more likely to cast more gloomy picture if they are to run the government. It is not a case of being complacent about the weaknesses of UMNO but just that I see no ray of hopes in other alternative parties.

December 18, 2006 3:31 PM  

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