This is the second consecutive year that I am not at the Umno General Assembly.
Well, obviously, since I quit NST last year.
I'd been covering the assembly since 1978 when I first joined the newspaper and then took a break when I was in Boston, USA to further my studies and another time after the birth of my first child.
In the last 10 years or so, I'd usually take turns with Syed Nadzri to head the NST team in the coverage of the assembly.
Did I miss covering it? Yes and no. But, as they say, that's another story for another day.
Right now I'd like to say that I am appalled, to say the least, by the remarks by Puteri Umno chief Noraini Ahmad in her policy speech at the Puteri Umno assembly on Tuesday.
I don't know. Could it be that the printed/published version in the Sun was a drastically compact and condensed article of her very long speech?
Was it an oversimplification of her long speech?
I have not seen the text of her speech.
(ok ok.... this is one of the things that I miss about covering the assembly. We get many things way before the event. oh..embargo embargo embargo everything. I digress, sorry)
But...based on what appeared in the Sun and I think the Sun must have picked the salient (otherwise, current or newsworthy) points she raised, I'd like to give the lady a piece of advice.
Before that, let me quote from the Sun:
Negarakuku composer Namewee whose YouTube antics caused an uproar, came under fire from Puteri Umno chief Datuk Noraini Ahmad.
In her policy speech at the Puteri Umno assembly yesterday (Nov 6), Noraini said the wing would not accept his apology as he had gone overboard.
She also said the wing was shocked by a youth who burned the national flag in Kuala Tterengganu on Sept 8.
"We see this provocative act as the action of a traitor of the nation".
On the brain drain experienced by Malaysia, Noraini said if students fail to come back and serve the country once they completed their studies, they should be penalised with higher interest on her loans.
"To avoid brain drain, local universities must be strengthened to be on par with international standards."
On the increase of paedophilia cases, Noraini said parents should be responsible for taking care of their children.
She said other than meting out heavy punishment on criminals, parents should also be punished under the Child Act 2001, if they were found to be responsible for the harm that befell their children.
Noraini also commented on the abuse of information and communication technology by bloggers who insulted the King and Islam.
She said the Sedition Act, Internal Security Act, Officials Secrets Act and Printing Presses and Publications Act must be enforced to the fullest as irresponsible acts by bloggers caused tension among people of different races and religions.
She said as the majority race, the bumiputra's effort to defend their fate is a national mission and should not be seen as racist or an effort to benefit just one race.
I can hardly believe I am reading all this.
Here is the head of a political body of young people - young vibrant dynamic minds -- making a policy speech.
The content smacks of mediocrity and the tone is unnecessarily harsh.
I suppose mediocre leaders often try to make up their lack of intellect with a lot of loud noise. Shameful.
Ok. So she has the right to her opinion about what should be done to Namewee, to parents whose missing kids are brutalised and/or killed and to bloggers who insult the King and Islam.
I am aware that she was probably speaking to the gallery. Bad mistake because the gallery goes beyond the halls and walls of the PWTC.
I'd like to offer my views to counter hers on Namewee and on criminalising "negligent" parents, but that would be tiring. Enough said on these two issues. Perhaps at another apt time.
Here, I would like to touch on her call to invoke the ISA and the Sedition Act against bloggers who "cause tension among people of different races and religion".
Lady, ma'am, STOP threatening Malaysians with all these evil laws -- ISA and Sedition Act. Cease and desist.
The ISA is something YOU do NOT want to invoke, or use on any Malaysian unless he or she is a THREAT to the security of the country.
Unless you have proof that anyone, including bloggers, is/are a threat to the security of this beloved country of ours, you should be careful about any suggestion to invoke the ISA against anyone.
If I could, I'd make it unlawful for politicians and political leaders (or anyone) to threaten the citizens of this country with the Internal Security Act.
In fact, if I could, I'd sue any politician or political leader who liberally threatens to invoke the ISA on the citizenry.
Ok. What I'm saying is -- don't mess with the ISA. It's not a convenient weapon of fear to be used against any Malaysian.
Why are YOU going backwards?
What was it I was told when I was a kid --- if you have nothing clever to say, do shut up, darling.
But, I was not and never a politician.