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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Is this the party that gave us the Tunku, Dr M?

A delegate walks past a portrait of Umno leaders during the party’s general assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, today. – The Malaysian Insider by Najjua Zulkefli, November 29, 2014.A delegate walks past a portrait of Umno leaders during the party’s general assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, today. – The Malaysian Insider by Najjua Zulkefli, November 29, 2014.
Umno has been the party that moved for Malaya's independence and later the formation of Malaysia together with Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore.
Back then, Umno was a party of civil servants and intellectuals that advanced the cause of the Malays.
But if after the first couple of days of the Umno general assembly, Malaysians still believe in this party that gave us such giants such as Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Tun Hussein Onn and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, they must be: a) suffering from permanent brain damage b) illiterate c) recent "citizens" d) Umno members e) all of the above.
It is the ruling party since Merdeka, that is some 57 years ago, and yet it talks of an economic jihad for the Malays and Bumiputera as if the government it controls has done nothing.
It is the ruling party with access to all security information and yet one leader can brazenly say a Quran has been burnt in Kedah without any proof, and with a denial from no one less than the Kedah menteri besar.
It is a party obsessed with trivial issues such as the girth of its members rather than the shrinking wallets of Malaysian citizens – be it the urban worker or the smallholder facing a crunch from falling
commodity prices.
It is a party that should discuss ideas for the future but yet it still wants to talk about the past or show slides of the May 13 riot.
How has this grand Malay nationalist party sunk to be a caricature of itself where intelligent debate has given way to shrill laments and calls for unity? Isn't it ironic that these calls for unity are for a party named the United Malays National Organisation?
Dr Mahathir urged delegates to criticise the leadership for their missteps while Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi warned that laws such as Sedition Act is no guarantee to keep Umno in power forever.
Yet, was any of this discussed or debated?
Instead, it has turned into an orgy of blame against everyone but themselves over issues such as the economy and the drift of young Malays to other parties.
The reality is simple. This is Umno Baru: a pale shadow of the real Umno that had everyone's respect and support in first few decades of Malaysia's existence.
And in today's Umno, jokes get recycled, and some get elected too.
- TMI

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