Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Crossroads And A Changing Umno...

I'm going to throw in a cliche -- our country is at a crossroads.

One knock, one whack in quick succession since March, have hit high profile political leaders -- stakeholders in the power game. And the political landscape of the country is forever changed.

When political titans are locked in battle, many "pelanduk" in the midst, get the stray bullets, the kapak kecik. We, the ordinary folk - though not such innocent bystanders -- have a choice to either be spectators or, simply switch off. Ignore. Be no part of it.
The reality, however, is that in the end, we are still affected. Whether we like it or not.

Since Anwar Ibrahim gained legitimacy to contest in elections, he seemed unstoppable in his quest to wrest the premiership from Abdullah.

Whether or not it is through democratic means is still an issue thrown wide open for debate.

Right now, Anwar is on a hiatus of sorts.

Now that the issue of power transition from Abdullah to his heir-apparent, Najib Abdul Razak has been resolved, we're focussed on Umno's heirarchy because Umno's hierarchy directly affects the power structure of the country.

Yep. Anything that happens in Umno -- the backbone (yes, people, it still is and you'd better believe it) of the BN which is (still) the ruling (federal) government -- will in no uncertain terms have a bearing on the direction the country will take. For now, of course.

We have been witness to the shenanigans of players from either side of the political divide.

And then there's Anwar's passionate politics and (broken) promises, the arrest and detention under the ISA of Malaysia Today editor and popular blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin , Pak Lah's exit plan and Najib's ascension. And now, the rigmarole of Umno elections.

I wish sometimes I can say that because I'm not an Umno member, it does not affect me. I wish I can say, "who cares?".

The truth is that the decision of these 191 Umno divisions as to whom they want to be Umno president and leaders, affects me -- and you. And this bugs me.

You wonder why there is any need for Najib to obtain nominations when the exit plan is already in place. An academic exercise?

In a way it's good (for Najib) to prove real legitimacy. To know that he has support.

So, the way is clear for Najib to win the presidency unchallenged after picking up 106 nominations.
His running mate, Muhyiddin Yasin who is contesting the deputy presidency, appears to be the favourite so far. But the contest for the number 2 post is pretty keen.

Muhyiddin who is International Trade and Industry Minister, was Johor Menteri Besar.

Over the weekend, two Johor divisions nominated Mohd Ali Rustam and Muhammad Muhd Taib. This has already set tongues a-wagging because Johor is Muhyiddin's home state.
Then again, many aren't surprised knowing the intrigue of Johor politics and the intense rivalry among the warlords.

(Johor Baru picked Mohd Ali while Kota Tinggi, Muhammad. Johor Baru is headed by Shahrir Abdul Samad and Kota Tinggi, Syed Hamid Albar.)

The three-cornered contest for the Umno Youth chief post -- a post vacated by Hishammuddin Hussein -- is , without a doubt, exciting .

Leading the fray is Umno Youth exco member Mukhriz Mahathir with 67 nominations. Not far behind are incumbent Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin and former Selangor Menteri Besar Khir Toyo, who each has picked up just about 50 nominations.

Over the weekend, Pekan nominated Mukhriz while Kepala Batas, Khairy.

In the wing's 2004 elections Khairy won the wing's number two post uncontested, much to the chagrin of some of the members.
Khairy being Pak Lah's son-in-law was a factor, coupled with his seeming arrogance.
He was booed in the begininng (of the assembly), lending him a kind of baptism of fire. But he remained unfazed throughout. But before the end of the assembly, he seemed to have warmed up to the delegates. His winding-up speech - displaying much humility -- earned him some brownie points.

Mukhriz garnered the highest number of votes in the Umno Youth exco 2004 elections.

Oh, he now has many detractors for sure -- notably among the Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's critics or the anti-Mahathir group(s) in Umno, which are probably the same group supporting Umno president and PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

You know...the "sins" of the father visited on his son. That sort of thing.

Mukhriz has endeared himself to members since the last (party) election (and general election). He tirelessly went around house-to-house meeting the grassroots.

Who wins the Youth leadership will define the role, and thus, the path the wing will take.

Meanwhile, much as you want to steer clear of wanting to know about Umno elections, you can't help but have some interest.

Indeed, we are at a crossroads as changes are taking place in Umno. Of course, many will question whether these are "real changes", in the first place.

As the power-brokers are hard at work, and the major players campaign, we are hopeful that better leaders emerge from this crop.

We, as non-Umno members, are of course, helpless.
Nonetheless, I am reminded of this: we get the leaders we deserve and we deserve the leaders we vote for.

So, here's looking at you, Umno.

17 comments:

My Raison D'etre said...

Kak Aina,

The worse part of all this is in knowing that some Amnoo members are using the elections to buffer their pocket with much moollah instead of thinking about the things you have said in your post.

And yet WE can do jack-shit.

Do these people even care about all these concerns of ours?

Nope. Not single bit.

My only prayers is that there are enough who do not fall into this particularly scummy grouping.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

"Democracy is the worst form of government - except for the others already tried" - Winston Churchill



Ehsanollah

Anonymous said...

Battle for leadership of UMNO Youth is hotting up. Mukhriz is leading in terms of nomination. He gets the chance now to match his father's feat i.e splitting & weakening UMNO. Mahathir did that twice (S46 & PKR).

frm: observer

Patriot Selatan said...

Puan,

And yet the Malays remain poor. The numbers of umemployed graduates are overwhelmingly Malays. So does the inmates at the Drug Rehabilitation Centers around the world...

Crossroads? Bah Humbug!

Pak Tuo said...

dear Kak,

off topic sikit and the topic off side sikit.

Could tou give me your magazine issue on the interview with Sheikh Nazim Haqqani of Cypress.Which issue was it?the one Wati or Mus did the interview on.
Do you still have a copy if its is out of issue?
How could I get one?What the name of the mag.please Kak

Udah 30 hari tepat hari ini ayahanda Kak pulang keramahtullah.
Moga allah melimpahi rahmat keatas rohnya.

Al-Fatiha

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

pak tuo:

if you are in the klang valley, you can buy the magazine at our office in kelana jaya: TELL Media Sdn Bhd, 1, jalan SS7/10 (one of 2 rows of shops facing the PKNS padang -- the block next to the golf shop).

thank u.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

pak tuo,

thank you for remembering Pak Samad.

Al Fatihah...

Elviza said...

K Ena,

Hah! What movie was that? "Here's looking at you, kid? Was it Casablanca?

But it s so true, all eyes are on UMNO now.

BaitiBadarudin said...

what's the real alternative then? even in the greatest democracy of the U.S. of A., the electoral college determined who becomes Mr Prez

Anonymous said...

None of these UMNO members remember the result of 08/03/08 general election. As far as they are concerned it is all over and that is none of their business. All they are interested is a position in UMNO which is automatic passport to kickbacks, commissions, inflated government tenders, etc, etc, Just listen to their bullshit and nonsense whenever they appear on tv or their stories in the print media ... Wali Kota

laimun said...

A lullaby of a Mother to her baby daughter in war and perilous times

Daughter
Daddy is in hiding
In guerilla war and perilous times
Don’t you get bored
Waiting for news or letters
Daddy will be home soon
The enemies will be defeated
Grow up quickly
Be a nurse of the Red Cross
The Red Cross of our country

When we talk and debate about party elections, intentions and implementations, my thoughts are of this song and the spirit of the true nationalist. My eyes bristle each time I take in the words and what it means. Why can’t we be like them.

Most of us know this song.

Racun Penawar said...

Dear Nuraina,

I do not know whether this is racun or penawar:
http://racunpenawar.blogspot.com/2008/10/pengkhianat-umno.html

mut said...

I agree, the UMNO AGM will have an effect on our lives, even though we want no part of it.

For all the rhetoric about Mukhriz and Khairy, they are both the same kind of scum. One is the son of a former PM, and the other is the son-in-law of the present one. I can't go any further, the kids and in-laws of Pak Lah made hay while his sun shone, as did Mahathir's offspring when he was in power.

I found that "stop cronysim and nepotism" bile from the old man so hypocritical. The names of Mukhriz, Mirzan, and Mokhzani were not exactly a picture of good governance and they had their fingers in almost every pie.

It doesn't make a difference to us one bit. Just remember this when the next UMNO operatives try to tell you kicking Pak Lah and Khairy out and installing some other in office would actually do Malaysia any good. There seems to be alot of that now.

MY New Dawn said...

Thursday, October 30, 2008
Is outcome of Munawar's appeal indicative of what we can expect from Zaki Azmi...new Boss of the Malaysian Judiciary
Chief Justice Zaki Azmi beginning to throw his true colours...


Will he be able to be INDEPENDENT of UMNO and his past friends, and be able to be concerned only with justice...

Will he be a progressive judge only concerned with JUSTICE - not fearful of developing the law so that justice be done...or will he just remain a tool of UMNO and his 'old friends'.

Also noted that Zaki Azmi was a businessman with involvement in a string of companies - and if so, he must recuse himself from any case involving those companies and/or related companies or even companies whereby his once fellow member of the Board of Directors or management is involved.


Website - http://mybaru.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Dear Nuraina,
The fact is this UMNO elections will not be a major factor in our lives if Anwar just get on with forming the government last Sept 16th.
Why is he delaying from delivering us out of UMNO's clutches only God knows.
Anwar must find it in himself to take lead and not depend on Dolah to give him a "peaceful transistion" or for the world economy to "recover" itself.

NikeJustDoIt!

Mr. Padedoh said...

Salam sejathera,
Saya bercanggah sedikit dengan pendapat puan. Kita mungkin terlalu taksub dengan pemilihan parti yang akan berlangsung pada bulan Mac 2009. Ini adalah kerana suasana di 2009 akan menjadi lebih teruk dari apa yang pernah dialami oleh negara, oleh kerana penurunan harga minyak mentah dan minyak sawit, ketiadaan pelaboran asing, kadar inflasi yang tinggi, penurunan ringgit berbanding dolar Amerika serta kadar penangguran yang mungkin mencecah 9%.
Oleh yg demikian, saya menjangka rakyat akan merasa meluat melihat politik UMNO yg mementingkan wang dan kuasa dan terus memilih parti PAS untuk mempertahankan hak hak orang Melayu.

Wenger Khairy

pistolair said...

Mukhriz Lantang Biadap, Bodoh Macam George W Bush ~ Malaysiakini

Dalam wawancara bersama akhbar The Star yang dipaparkan hari ini, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir mengeluarkan beberapa kenyataan yang tampak agak janggal. Barangkali sungguhpun menjadi anak Tun Dr Mahathir, Mukhriz belum cukup ilmu politik kerana sesetengah keterangan dan jawapannya menonjolkan seorang yang kurang matang dalam pemikiran dan rumusan terhadap sesuatu fenomena mudah, inikan kebijakan politik mahupun intelek untuk memimpin pergerakan Pemuda UMNO Malaysia.
Pertama sekali, Mukhriz menyatakan bahawa orang yang memberi wang atas namanya sebenarnya bukan ejennya, cuma orang yang mahu memburuk-burukkan namanya. Masya Allah, kamu ingat bodoh sangatkah kita ni Mukhriz? Di Ipoh Timur di mana Khir Toyo berjaya mendapat pencalonan KP Malaysia, Tun Amar (adik kepada Tun Faisal, antara penyokong Mukhriz yang kalah di Putrajaya kepada Dato’ Zaki Zahid) telah memberi ‘peluru’ kepada para perwakilan, tetapi malang buat Mukhriz, peluru Khir lebih hebat.
Dan di Tanah Merah, ejen utama Mukhriz, Sazmi Miah berbuat sepertimana Tun Amar di Ipoh Timur dan berjaya mendapatkan pencalonan untuk Mukhriz. Mukhriz adalah anak Mahathir, darah daging Mahathir, dibesarkan oleh Mahathir, dan ramai memberi sokongan kepadanya pun sebab Mahathir. Dan Mahathir inilah bapa kepada politik wang UMNO. Manakan logik Mukhriz ini bersih?
Yang peliknya, Mukhriz berani mencabar sesiapa sahaja membuktikan bahawa dia ada terlibat dengan politik wang dan jika terbukti beliau akan menarik diri. Wah, lantang sungguh. Tapi lantang yang angkuh dan biadap. Umum mengetahui politik wang memang wujud dalam parti UMNO, tetapi memang amat sukar membuktikannya kerana calon akan menggunakan proksi atau ejen untuk menghulurkan rasuah kepada para perwakilan. Maka sebab itulah Mukhriz berani berkata sebegitu. Yang selamat dia berani lah, isu yang ada risiko sedikit kepadanya, Mukhriz tidak berani - debat pun tak berani! Slogan Mukhriz wajar diubah dari Berani Berubah kepada Berani Bertempat.
Kenyataan janggal kedua dalam wawancara adalah apabila Mukhriz berkata bahawa jika beliau kalah di Mac nanti, maka suara akar umbi tidak akan tercapai kerana “jelas sekali akar umbi memang nakkan saya, ”. Mentang-mentang mendahului pencalonan, Mukhriz sudah cukup bongkak. Kini Khairy sudah 52 pencalonan, dan Khir Toyo 62 pencalonan, adakah bagi Mukhriz lebih seratus bahagian yang tidak mencalonkannya bukan merupakan ‘akar umbi’? Mengapa Mukhriz begitu sombong cuba mengatakan beliaulah suara sebenar akar umbi?
Dan jika pun orang yang mendahului pencalonan itu adalah suara sebenar akar umbi, Mukhriz sendiri mengakui bahawa ada orang yang memberi rasuah atas namanya. Jadi sudah pasti kalau pun orang-orang tersebut bukan ejen Mukhriz - yang memang kita tak percaya - keputusan para perwakilan di peringkat Bahagian sudah dicacatkan dengan politik wang atas nama Mukhriz Mahathir. Jadi, apa maksud kau Mukhriz?
Mukhriz perlu banyak belajar lagi. Sudah lah SPM dulu Gred 3, hujah dan pemikirannya seakan-akan budak sekolah. Hujah yang tak konsisten, yang tidak masuk akal dan tidak selari antara satu sama lain wajar merisaukan para perwakilan. Ketua Pemuda UMNO sekarang ini perlu hebat dan bijak, bukan yang penakut dan kelam kabut. Tapi bagi kami seronok pula baca wawancara Mukhriz ini - macam seronok tengok George W Bush sebab kelakar.
Tempoh hari, Mukhriz ada ditanya soalan “Apakah pencapaian anda yang boleh dibanggakan?” Jawapannya, “Saya ada kilang fiber optik; semua fiber optik di Malaysia ini kilang saya punya”. Sudah la jawapan itu tidak ada kena mengena dengan perjuangan politik Pemuda, jawapan Mukhriz itu juga ‘mengkantoikan’ dirinya sendiri. Sebab bapak kau PM dulu la kau dapat monopoli bisnes macam tu! Kah kah kah.