27 April, 2008

Too little, too late

The Batu Pahat Umno division has called for party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to speed up the transition plan.

It also wants the Prime Minister to reveal the plan to members before the party elections in December.

According to Malaysiakini:"Batu Pahat: Peralihan kuasa sebelum Dis"

Mesyuarat khas perwakilan Umno Batu Pahat mendesak pelan peralihan kuasa antara presiden parti Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dan timbalannya Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak dilaksanakan sebelum Disember ini.

Di samping itu, bahagian itu juga mendesak kepimpinan Umno mengkaji secara terperinci punca kemarahan rakyat terhadap parti itu dan bertindak segera mengatasinya, seperti tuduhan wujudnya penglibatan "keluarga" dalam urusan pentadbiran negara.

Di samping itu, ia juga mendesak Majlis Tertinggi (MT) Umno supaya menyediakan "pelan pemulihan parti" dengan segera untuk menarik sokongan rakyat kepada Umno berikutan prestasi terburuknya pada pilihanraya umum baru-baru ini.

Cadangan itu antara lima usul yang diluluskan dalam mesyuarat khas bahagian itu, lapor Bernama.

Ketua bahagian Umno Batu Pahat Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi berkata usul-usul itu diluluskan sebulat suara oleh 365 perwakilan yang menghadiri mesyuarat itu hari ini.

Katanya terdapat dua soalan yang perlu ditanya selepas pilihanraya umum baru-baru ini iaitu, apakah tindakan drastik untuk mengembalikan keyakinan rakyat kepada Umno dan mengapa rakyat begitu marah kepada Umno.

Pikat semula sokongan

Mohd Puad yang juga ketua Penerangan Umno Johor berkata Umno memerlukan formula baru untuk memikat semula sokongan rakyat bukan sahaja orang Melayu dan bukan Melayu, tetapi juga generasi muda yang semakin kritis terhadap Umno.

Katanya Umno tidak lagi boleh berlengah dan perlu bertindak segera kerana ia mempunyai masa yang singkat untuk menghadapi cabaran empat tahun yang mendatang.

Beliau berkata ahli Umno tidak memerlukan pelbagai alasan dan penjelasan yang tidak menjawab soalan yang sebenarnya iaitu mengapa sokongan terhadap parti itu merosot dengan begitu teruk pada pilihanraya umum 8 Mac.

"Apakah isu sabotaj, isu wang peruntukan pilihanraya dan lain-lain menjawab soalan sebenar tentang mengapa rakyat begitu marah terhadap Umno," kata Mohd Puad.

Selain itu, katanya, Umno bahagian turut meluluskan usul mendesak MT Umno supaya menggunakan bidang kuasanya seperti yang diperuntukkan dalam perlembagaan parti untuk memanggil segera perhimpunan agung khas Umno.

Katanya, mereka turut meluluskan usul meminta kepimpinan parti supaya mengisi dan melaksanakan perkara yang telah termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan tidak bertolak-ansur terutamanya berhubung agama Islam dan hak-hak orang Melayu.

Mohd Puad berkata beliau akan menyerahkan keputusan yang dicapai oleh Umno bahagian pada mesyuarat perwakilan khasnya kepada Abdullah di Dewan Rakyat minggu depan.


The motion was passed in an extraordinary general meeting (EGM), chaired by the division head Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi.

The Batu Pahat Umno division is the first in Johor to hold an EGM over the shocking results of Barisan Nasional and Umno in the recent general election.

Gua Musang member of parliament Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said yesterday it was not impossible for Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to form the federal government in the next few months.

He said the possibility of Barisan Nasional (BN) members of parliament (MPs) switching to the Opposition could not be discounted, especially in Sabah as many in the state were still unhappy with the situation there.

"This is not a joke and we can't say this will not happen. The Sabah people's love for Umno is not deep, unlike over here where we grew up with Umno," he said at a meeting with Umno branches in Subang Jaya yesterday.

"From what I heard they have not been getting what they had demanded, like having more representatives and so on. So this needs to be resolved."

He said many of the MPs were once strong supporters of PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and maintained close contact with him.

Tengku Razaleigh also said that Anwar was serious in taking over the federal government. "While on the way here, I happened to be on the same flight with Anwar and he told me he was serious about it," he said.

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, a former finance minister who once came close to toppling Mahathir Mohamad as UMNO president back in 1987, is poised to make a bid for the party's leadership during elections in December.

Meanwhile former premier Mahathir has added his own political pressure, saying during an April 18 interview on BBC World's Hard Talk that, "Abdullah must go now because it will take time to revive the party for the next election."


Abdullah has announced a series of populist moves and reforms in an attempt to win back lost popular support. For instance, earlier this month his government organized a dinner with the country's Bar Council to announce the establishment of a judicial appointments commission to look into the appointment of judges.

The checks-and-balances reform marks a departure from the previous practice of the chief justice recommending names for new judges to the prime minister, who would then screen the names before they were submitted to the country's constitutional monarch for formal appointment.

He also said the government would make an ex gratia payment to half a dozen top judges or their surviving families for their suspension or sacking back in 1988 when they stood up to Mahathir in a foiled attempt to preserve judicial independence.


Meanwhile, home minister Syed Hamid Albar said the Cabinet would soon consider a proposal to waive an administrative requirement for local newspapers to renew their licenses every year, a measure that critics say has led to self-censorship by newspaper editors.

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