Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Umno's Burden Of Change And To Change

Today begins the process of change for Umno. Transition, transformation. Clean-up even. Call it what you like.

When leaders and delegates of Umno wings -- Wanita, Pemuda and Puteri -- gather for their joint opening ceremony at the PWTC this evening, they will listen to what Umno deputy president and the country's Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has to say in his opening address, because as is customary, his speech will set the tone for their election and (respective) assembly.

They will go home tonight and mull over the future of not just their wings, but the party, and yes...the country.

This year's assembly during which the party's election of all top posts is being held is most defining because it is a test for the party, after the Barisan Nasional's devastating/dismal performance in the March 8 general election last year.

It is a test - for the rest of the country to witness - whether Umno is prepared to change or to make that change. To transform, from whatever "diseased" and rotten state it had shamelessly been in.

(We all know that Umno, being the backbone of the BN government has to take the blame for the poor performance, although overall in the general election, Umno won more seats than its coalition partners.)

We all know why Umno must change -- or be changed as Najib had warned.

There is no luxury or privilege of option here. It's now or never. Do or die.

Umno has been too complacent, in denial and resistant to the urgent need to transform and reform, to be relevant -- for far too long. Umno is what its members want it to be. It's a two-way process. You want a clean party, you elect clean leaders, or those seen to be clean.
Umno must also remember that its leaders are also leaders of the country. You elect corrupt leaders, the country gets corrupt ministers.

I have no say in the choice of Umno leaders. If and when Umno decides that Umno members can (directly) elect the party's top leaders, I'd be the first to sign up as a party member.
(By virtue of the existing practice in the country in which the Umno president is, by convention the Prime Minister and the deputy president is Deputy Prime Minister. Also, Umno vice-presidents and some of its supreme council members are appointed ministers and/or deputy ministers.)

Tomorrow, Wanita, Pemuda and Puteri Umno delegates go to the ballot box to choose their top leaders -- chief, deputy chief and exco members.

For the Wanita top post, the bitter and intense fight is between incumbent Rafidah Aziz and her deputy, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil. (There is no contest for the deputy chief post as exco member Kamilia Ibrahim won the post uncontested.)

Both are going for broke.

The contest is three-cornered for the Pemuda chief's post -- exco member Mukhriz Mahathir, Khir Toyo and deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

There are six aspirants for the Puteri Umno chief post. They are deputy chief Rosnah Abdul Rashid, Shahaniza Shamsuddin, Ismalina Ismail, Bibi Sharliza Mohd Khalid, Saarah Ali Basha and Ida Rahayu Mohd Noor.

Azalina Othman Said, Puteri Umno's pioneer/founder member and erstwhile chief, has been a hard act to follow. Her successor Noraini Ahmad is a disappointment, so pale in comparison. She failed to pick up where Azalina left. Azalina is contesting for one of the 25 elected supreme council seats.

Undoubtedly, this is one of the party's most crucial elections, emerging so badly bruised after the general election.
When delegates choose their *deputy president, **three vice-presidents and 25 supreme council members, they have not only Umno's future in their hands but the nation's.

I fear. I quiver just thinking about this.

Will they break the cycle (of all that's bad in Umno)? Are they capable of doing that? Will they have the nation's interest at heart when they cross the ballot papers because we, the people will have to live with their bad and wrong choices.

Will they do the right thing?

Ultimately, Umno delegates deserve the leaders they choose.

But do we?

*Two contenders for the deputy presidency -- Muhyiddin Yassin and Muhamad Muhd Taib.
** Eight contenders for the 3 VP posts -- Zahid Hamidi, Hishammuddin Hussein, Rais Yatim, Khaled Nordin, Syed Hamid Albar, Shafie Afdal, former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Isa Samad and former Malacca Chief Minister Rahim Thamby Chik.


Anonymous said...

Well Noraini is a major dissapointment..I hope she doesnt win the MKT post as this would lead to an incompetent leader...

She is more worried on her self-image than to work for the rakyat since becoming the Deputy Minister....

No To 41

Rockybru said...

Shahrizat or Rafidah?

Rafidah's problem is that she is tainted. The AP issue has eroded much of her good reputation as a very capable Minister under Dr Mahathir. Of course, her problems started after she decided to go after her old boss, at a time when Dr M was being demonized by Kalimullah's NST and Pak Lah's Tingkat Empat. Because of that, she is seen as "tidak mengenang budi".

Shahrizat is timid, which is the problem with people who are too nice, non-confrontational. It's probably the result of being too long under Rafidah's rule.

Rafidah called Shahrizat an ingrate for challenging her for the Wanita post but in view of Rafidah's own treatment of Dr M when he no longer was the PM ..

Anonymous said...

Your last statement is indeed true: UMNO members deserve the leaders they choose, but do we?

How can we when we play no part in choosing them. But like it or not we have to endure their policies and (mal)practices


Bukit Selambau anak tiri pembangkang, baca di sini


Anonymous said...

We just need leaders who Serve the people. And not the other way round. Ie. patronage. Cannot for a moment think of any that fits the bill. We do not require egoistic wannabes but people who can work, and do they work without fear or favour or bribes. Simple but not in reality.

K L said...

Whoever is elected later on, must have the rakyat and nation above all and beyond self interest. This is just a simple wish of all !

mantra-indeeptots said...

Who so ever among the candidates are as clean as the 'SUPER BREEZE'?

Between Rafidah and Shahrizat, Ill go for Rafidah... simply because Wanita cant afford another parrot who will stand still and hope to play safe at all times...

Well, I heard some whispers among the delegates, they are thorn between the decision for 'BANGSA' and 'WANG'... (I will not elaborate further for you know and I know)

Im confident, if the delegates fail to choose the best, Najib will not fold his arms too long...

Pray to Allah... among us certainly can play our role at this critical moment...


Unknown said...

change in UMNO??? you must be joking???


anon@12:24PM (No To 41),

when azalina brokered Noraini's easy path to succeed her, many Puteri leaders were quite upset but they accepted because their pioneering and founding leader wanted it that way. Many people had different interpretations of her action. but basically, Azalina had hoped that Noraini could work on her success. Her disappointment is on record.

I think any one of the six can do better than Noraini. And that is no compliment really. Although I must say of the six, a couple are heavyweights and can really do a good job.

this election is also crucial because i was told that money politics is alive and well, an kicking in Puteri Umno.

so...what else is new, huh?

that is really very sad. but what can we expect..they learnt from the best.

to me...if umno goes on and exist as tho nothing is happening, then we should punish them all.

indeed, they know nothing about integrity and pride.



i was interviewed by a reporter about my take on the Umno elections. and then, specifically on Wanita.

you know that i know both Rafidah and Shahrizat well.

He asked who I thought would win. i said this is tough because both have got strong support within the wing because beore all this hullaballoo over the challenge and contest, Rafidah and Shahrizat were a good formidable team. each complementing the other.

i said it is up to wanita to decide who they want to lead them, who is a better leader....and so on...you know both are strong, bnoth have weaknesses...



i'm glad that Umno will be making some changes to its constitution with regards to election. i'm not sure what is going to be done but i hope it's got to do with the election of its office bearers.



not all Umno leaders are corrupt. there are honest people there, i'm sure..:-)



Hear hear! I so agree!



sorry. i should have addressed you as K L.

thank you!



hello hello....how are you? bila nak get-together lagi?

the contest between rafidah and shahrizat is really intense. so many kecoh kecoh on the ground.

i'm glad i don't have to make a choice. it is sad that it had to come to this...but that's politics and nobody is a loser here.

so...i suppose it is a case of teh best woman wins.



i understand your pessimism, your cynicism.

but, we'll have to give them a chance, won't we?

Donplaypuks® said...

UMNO has become a burden, period!

And like all burden which has passed its shelf life, it should be consugned to the landfill.

Awang Maya said...

Awang Harap nama berikut akan menang:-

1. Tim. Presiden - Tan Sri Muhyidin Yadin

2. N.Presiden:- Hishamudin, Rais Yatim dan Syed Hamid Albar

3. Ketua Pemuda:- Mukhriz Mahathir

4. Wanita:- Rafidah Aziz


Awang akan seal pintu hati Awang untuk menyokong apatah lagi mengundi UMNO jika nama-nama berikut menang:-

Muhammad Taib
Khairy Jamaludin

UMNO akan hancur jika dua nama diatas menang.

Awang tidak akan teragak-agak menyokong dan mengundi serta berkempen kepada keluarga, saudara mara dan sahabat handai agar menyokong PAS jika dua nama diatas menang.

Itu sahaja harapan Awang.

Anonymous said...

My Dream Team Lineup:

President - Najib
D.P - Mat Taib
VP - Isa Samad, Thamby Chik, HH

Wanita - Rafidah

Youth - Khir Toyo

Puteri - Rosnah

Here comes UMNO!

Anonymous said...

but, we'll have to give them a chance, won't we?"

Sorry Kak, datuk i dah bagi chance dari merdeka lagi ... NO MORE UMNO!

To Ketuanan Rakyat!

The Phoenix Foundation said...

Va'anakum & Sa'alam!
Do you realize that in a very strange sort of a way,
This UMNO event has mobilized/galvanized all of us?
I mean , all Malaysians are watching{albeit with bated breath}
all Malaysians are talking commenting - whether right or wrong, whether defamatory or not , is not the issue - we are engaging with each other!
That NAS I believe is the phenomenon that is taking place in this BUMI of ours!
Finally we are linking our consciousness as ANAK BUAH MALAYSIA {warts & all}.
Thank You NAS, & Godspeed.

The Phoenix Foundation said...

Sorry , NAS !
Wanted to comment on a comment by Rocky here, wherein he says that "...Sharizat is too timid, too nice, non confrontational.."
I TOTALLY DISAGREE, simply because I know Sharizat since 1975 & she is simply a decent person,who has found it quite difficult to be nasty - that's her nature private & public.
and i believe that as this nation is cleansing itself,
such a "decent human being" is what we need in PUBLIC LIFE!



a lot of people think so too. but, i believe that umno definitely has a role to play. reform is therefore not an option. it must be reformed. and cleaned up.

thank you.


Awang Maya,

line-up yang bagus...


i hope your team remains a dream sebab teruk jugak satu-dua-tiga anggota pilihan anda!



i wouldn't dismiss them like that. Umno, of course, has itself to blame for all that's gone wrong. umno leaders worked hard to achieve Merdeka. that you cannot deny unless you are re-writing history. umno has contributed a lot to the country and to the development of not just the malays.
umno's problem is certainly with the way some of its leaders have been portraying and conducting themselves and the fact that, yes, it has been in power for that long.


Phoenix Foundation,

yes, indeed that is true. but that is to be expected because Umno is a ruling party and the major partner in the BN.

on sharizat...i know where Rocky is coming from in his assessment of Shahrizat as a political leader. That's how he sees Shahrizat her, I suppose. But that does not mean, I don;t think, that he has no regard for her.
In fact, they have mutual affinityn for each other. they get on like a house on fire, if they meet up.

Certainly, I do agree with you. Kak Ijat is a lovely person.

Anonymous said...

i truly think najib has the political will and intellect to make the necessary changes. Calibre is not in question. We'll see a new committed agenda and he'll see to it that it's actioned. Malaysia will have two darned good alternatives in the new BN and PR.

Donplaypuks® said...

It's refreshinh when you respond directly to some of the individual comments.

Makes it a more interesting debate. Keep it up!



let's hope he can do it! but you know...he cannot walk alone. he needs support from umno leaders.

thank you..



thank you..
i try.

Anonymous said...

What ever is said about Rafidah, she is one tough lady that has done much for our country,much more than many of the more senior Ministers and she can hold her own in any interview or dialogues with her foreign counterparts.
Lets see what the newie can do.

Saraw Akia