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Sunday, November 30, 2014

UMNO: A Tale of Two Faces

UMNO: A Tale of Two Faces
UMNO has two faces. The general assembly shows it all.
Let’s start with Khairy Jamaluddin, the UMNO Youth Chief. This man occasionally speaks sense and has an outlook that can easily convince the public that he is indeed progressive. Not many would disagree with him when his tweeted "Somebody should arrest those magic carpet bomohs. Memalukan,” which earned him a warning of “crocodile slaps” from the self-proclaimed Raja Bomoh. His decision of replacing the National Sport Council director-general after Malaysian contingent failed to deliver the targeted number of gold medals in Commonwealth Game and Asian Game was a progressive one.
But he is anything but progressive in UMNO General Assembly. I have to admit that until now I still can’t get Khairy’s logic in linking the complaints over the sudden road name changes in Kuala Lumpur to challenging the position of Malay rulers. And of course, I also cannot fathom how a person that sees himself as reformist and progressive can speak of retaining the elements of Sedition Act or the country will be “in ruin”. Just how exactly we’ll be “in ruin”?
Next, let’s have a look at UMNO Wanita Chief, Sharizat Abdul Jalil. She earned standing ovation at a conference in India recently while she spoke about women empowerment and Malaysian women breaking the glass ceiling in various sectors. But she stands for anything but women empowerment in UMNO General Assembly. Just when female politicians in Malaysia become victims of frequent sexist remarks and are working hard to prove us equal to our male counterpart in competency and compassion, she actually talked about burning bras and lubricants! I feel ashamed as female politician reading such statement. Such sexual remarks will only reinforce the general stereotype of professional women in the country. What has sex to do with our ability to serve the country?
UMNO’s tale of two faces will not be complete without the party president, Najib Razak. Enough have been said about how he preaches moderation abroad but allows religious extremism at home. But none beats his speech in this UMNO General Assembly, of which he made Malaysia’s U-turn of the century by announcing that Sedition Act is not only to stay but also to be strengthened.
Yes, UMNO is expecting Malaysians to believe in both of their faces. Good news to us is no government can survive long based on people’s ignorance of their other side of the face. In the mean time, fellow Malaysians, let’s be patient and work on.
Yeo Bee Yin
State Assemblyperson for Damansara Utama

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