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Friday, March 30, 2012

Tokenism won't erase memories of UMNO's overbearing arrogance



No doubt Khir Toyo is commonly despised by Pakatan supporters but he has a point in his statement that many non-Malays have been turned off by UMNO’s overbearing dominance - see The Malaysian Insider’s Over-dominant Umno will cost Selangor BN, says Khir Toyo.

Mind you, bloke didn’t use the word ‘overbearing’ but rather ‘over-dominance’, but ‘overbearing’ it had been prior to March 2008. By ‘overbearing’ I mean ‘rudely arrogant’.

This remarkable characteristic of modern-day UMNO was brought into sharp focus in the televised UMNO party general assembly where (committed or just politically expedient) extremists used the occasion and opportunity of the televised event to demonstrate their ‘ultra’ credentials. They wanted to be ethnic heroes in the eyes of the heartland, and with that, more assured ascendancy in UMNO’s party hierarchy and consequentially appointment to lucrative official posts.

The individual's self promotion of 'ultra-ism' was in many ways due to a weak UMNO president then, AAB, whose seemingly lack of wibawa (unlike stern Dr M) encouraged a mad scramble for party positions and hopefully ministerial appointments.

Every man jack (and jill) in UMNO was striving to demonstrate his (and her) ethno-worthiness to defend the heartland – read my November 2007 post 'Malay 'sacrifice', Chinese 'sacrifice' when I commented on the lamentable behaviour of UMNO delegates at their party’s annual assembly, where ambitious delegates or those worried about their party positions would strive to prove their ethnic credentials, by hammering their favourite whipping boy, (usually) the Chinese Malaysians - to them, a suspicious group of non’s who still need to prove their Malaysian credentials despite 50 years of citizenship and more than 200 years of domicile. 

As a first-step solution to winning over the nons, Khir advocated giving MCA and MIC leaders more ‘face’ and apparent powers like allowing them to announce grants, funding, etc.

While I mentioned that Khir has a point in pinpointing a grievance among the non-Malays, he failed miserably to raise the real cause of BN’s loss of their support. Apart from an overbearing UMNO which allowed its leaders at even divisional level to insult the Chinese whipping boy every which way, and thus antagonized them, the marginalization of the nons (especially the Indians) could no longer be stomached.

Education scholarships, job opportunities in the MCS, Armed Forces and Police Force for the nons were only at token levels for window dressing.

While Malaysians could work around official corruption, as they had for more than 50 years, that perpetrated and perpetuated by modern-day UMNO was so overpowering (and worse, arrogantly and unabashedly displayed) that even the most accommodating Chinese and Indian could no longer stand its vile offensive stench.

Alas, today's UMNO suffers not only from thejinns of avarice released from its much-abused NEP Pandora Box but also from humongous expectations gleaned from examples of its leadership – an ironical reflection on Dr M’s prophetic ‘Leadership by example’ slogan in the ‘80s, including that exhibited by Khir Toyo himself wakakaka.

For an UMNO member, it was not just enough to get rich, but it had to be Croesus rich and acquired as lightning fast as Zeus' thunderbolt.

With such an attitude, the associated rot set in, where we witness lamentable examples in cracked road bridges, collapsed (newly built) stadium, unfinished contracts but more than paid up in full, substandard work accepted and/or covered up (or remained floating instead of submerging), rights to collect road tolls exceeding reasonable duration, public money financed bailouts galore, gaming licenses awarded to individuals or private companies instead of a non-profit organization (say, to support sporting or welfare activities), gambling by the nation's central bank in forex, etc.

Corruption in Sarawak is as big as the State itself and a classic case of rottenness yet to be addressed.

And worse, all above have been all virtually untouchable.

Thus, in the face of such massive corruption and financial abuses, the incongruity of hounding a young DAP man to his death on flimsy allegations of corruption of a mere RM2400 will continue to remind many Malaysians of sheer blatant injustice, and which consequences must deservedly haunt and punish the BN.

Today, we even hear allegations of the nation's two top law officers, the former IGP and the current AG being involved with the Malaysian Mafia, yet the Najib government drags it feet to investigate such a drastic accusation.

No sirree, it won’t help the BN at all by the mere tokenism of allowing the MCA, MIC or Gerakan to announce allocations of funds to some vernacular schools.

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