STOP BEING DR M'S ERRAND BOY: Save yourself, Najib - Umno Baru is beyond salvation

Written by  Joe Fernandez, Malaysia Chronicle
Three years after Mohd Najib Abdul Razak became the unelected Prime Minister under bizarre circumstances, he dropped a bombshell of sorts, too little, too late, last weekend.
It appears after all that he won't be able to bring about badly-needed changes in Umno and save it unless he gets his own mandate in a General Election. In any case, that's what he's claiming. He has virtually called his own bluff: from the Umno needs to change or will be changed mantra to Umno has indeed changed.
But the more things appear to change in Umno, the more they remain the same.
Errand Boy
In short, Najib was saying that former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has the Umno Supreme Council in his pocket and eating out of his hands. Najib, in Mahathir's eyes, was just an impotent errand boy. He's grinning and bearing the humiliations and insults instead of demonstrating that he's the Prime Minister and in charge.
What Najib has appealed for from the electorate is not the done thing. It's not in the people's interest to help save Umno, even if they could, from eventual eternal damnation brought about by Mahathir's self-serving policies fuelled by racism, prejudice and opportunism.
Umno, like any organisation, contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction. The 1987 High Court declaration of Umno as unlawful, over Mahathir's presidential victory through 30 illegal branches, has festered like terminal cancers in the successor Umno Baru Party which both Najib and his predecessor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, inherited from Mahathir.
No one can save Umno from eternal damnation in its present form
Umno is too far gone in its rotten state, multiple cancers, and there's nothing that Najib or anyone else for that matter can do to save a political party wracked by complications brought about by systemic schisms.
Najib would do well to forget about saving Umno and instead work for his own political salvation. He can do this by nominating only his people as candidates in the forthcoming 13th General Election. He needs to go for broke.
Those left out as candidates can either support him, and thereby live to fight another day, or perhaps go their own separate ways party-less. Such candidates would include Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Mukhriz, Mahathir's son; and the majority of members in the Umno Supreme Council.
The Opposition is unlikely to take those from among his people expected by Mahathir to be fielded by Umno but were denied the opportunity by Najib.
Most political pundits are also in consensus that Najib's best political strategy would be to focus on saving himself and not risk sinking into a political quagmire with Umno. Seat-wise, these pundits advocate that Najib aim for his faction emerging under the Umno symbol as the single largest block in Parliament and the state assemblies except for Sarawak.
Ironically, this would be possible through the estimated 300, 000 illegal immigrants allegedly placed on the electoral rolls in Peninsular Malaysia in an operation allegedly masterminded by Mahathir since 2008 while Najib looked the other way.
Mahathir is running Malaysia from behind Najib as Prime Minister
Mahathir apparently belabours under the delusion that he's another Deng Xiaoping who ran China for decades, without any official posts, as de facto leader.
The future of the embattled Prime Minister, under such circumstances, is up for grabs. However, on the plus side, if he shows some guts, he won't risk being ousted by Mahathir after the GE to make way for his undeserving son in a shameless display of nepotism and Muhyiddin as interim Prime Minister.
Again, on the plus side, the possibility of Malay turning on Malay after the GE in a new version of May 13 would be averted. The Malay-speaking communities in Peninsular Malaysia -- Bugis, Javanese, Minang, Acehnese, Indian Muslims etc -- are already politically split down the middle. One half is on the Umno side and the other half is with the Opposition Alliance (Dap, PKR and Pas), when not sitting on the fence.
If Najib doesn't play his cards well, he risks another May 13 as allegedly unleashed by his father in 1969 in cahoots with Mahathir and then Selangor Menteri Besar Harun Idris. Najib, in a way, has blood on his hands like Mahathir who was also alleged to be behind the killing of Indians in Kampung Medan from March 8 to 22 in 2001 by Madura illegal immigrants from Indonesia.
In Najib's version of May 13, hinted at recently by disgraced Wanita Umno leader Shahrizat Abdul Jalil under the prompting and instigation of Mahathir, Malay (Umno members, the illegals, police and army) would take on Malays from PKR, Pas, Dap and the fence-sitters in the wake of the 13th GE.
On the ideological side, there are fundamental reasons for Najib to abandon Umno in its current form and hijack the party name and symbol for his faction.
A vote for Umno is a vote for Mahathir and his rotten policies
Umno, from its inception in 1946 and later as Umno Baru in 1987, never had a political ideology.
The nearest that the party had to a political ideology was "Indian Muslim jealousy of the Chinese in business". It was this jealousy that led to the Malayalee Muslims from Kerala (southwest India) in Singapore to create the concept of Malay nationalism. All nationalisms are defined by what they oppose and in the case of Malay nationalism; it was ostensibly Chinese economic dominance. So, the Malayalees in Singapore set up the first Malay printing press and Malay newspaper to spread the idea of Malay nationalism, according to Professor William Roff's "The Origin of Malay Nationalism".
Malay nationalism became Umno's battle-cry in 1946 under Onn bin Jaafar, the Malay-speaking Muslim half-Turk, who led the Muslims in Peninsular Malaysia against British advisors winning the support of the Bugis Sultans for a Malayan Union.
In an ironic turn of events, Muslim immigrants mostly during the British Raj from Sulawesi, Java, Sumatra, India and other places and their descendants were against the idea of other immigrants, non-Muslims, being considered people of Peninsular Malaysia as well. Hindus from India were in fact the first people to settle down in Peninsular Malaysia after the Orang Asli, the Orang Asal (Original People) of the land. They went on to set up the Kadaram Civilisation in Kedah as a trading bridge, entrepot and half-way spot -- much like latter-day Malacca, Penang and Singapore -- between India and China. Kadaram had a sizeable number of Chinese traders.
Malay nationalism a flawed concept latched on by Umno
Having no political ideology did not prevent Umno from using the flawed concept of Malay nationalism to wrest concessions from the British for itself in the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya.
The term Malay was defined politically in the Constitution.
Article 153, giving a Special Position to the Malays and Orang Asal by way of a reasonable proportion in four specific areas -- civil service, government-owned institutions of higher learning, government scholarships, and opportunities from the government to do business -- was inserted as well.
In 1970, the New Economic Policy (NEP) was introduced to eradicate poverty irrespective of race or creed; eliminate the identification of race with economic function and place of residence; and ensure that the Orang Asal -- Orang Asli, Dusun including the Kadazan or urban Dusun, Murut and Dayak -- and the Malays and/or Muslims own, control and manage 30 per cent of Malaysia's corporate wealth, i.e. publicly-listed, by 1990.
In reality, and thus raising the need for Umno to change for the better, none of the above -- Article 153 and NEP -- happened.
Oil and gas rich Sabah and Sarawak the poorest in Malaysia
Sabah and Sarawak, Nations in Malaysia, degenerated and acquired by Dec 2010 the dubious distinction of being the poorest parts of the Federation, an announcement made in Kota Kinabalu in the same month by the World Bank, using figures from the Economic Planning Unit, and the respective State Planning Units.
Sarawak was saved from being the poorest in Malaysia by illegal immigrants in Sabah entering the national figures on poverty through MyKads issued to them via the backdoor. By 2005, the 1.7 million foreigners including illegal immigrants in Sabah eclipsed the 1.5 million locals.
The Sabah Law Association has pointed out that the Petroleum Development Act 1974 is unconstitutional. This did not prevent the Umno Government in Putrajaya from forcing a so-called oil agreement on Sabah and Sarawak in 1976, amidst the tragic air crash that killed Sabah Chief Minister Donald Muhd Fuad Stephens, to take away 95 per cent of their oil and gas revenues from the inner waters and 100 per cent from the outer waters. Therein lies the roots of the grinding poverty of Sabah and Sarawak.
To add insult to injury, the Umno Government takes away most of other revenues in Sabah and Sarawak in a continuation of policies which can only be considered as internal colonization.
Umno unilaterally extended Article 153 -- claiming that the Malays now had Special Privileges -- and the NEP to every facet of life in Malaysia through administrative laws i.e. government policies in action inspired by Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany and the white minority Apartheid Regime in South Africa. All opportunities were reserved for the Umno Malays and any new opportunities created by non-Muslims were approved only if led by Umno Malays. The 2nd Prong of Article 153 – legitimate interests and aspirations of the non-Malays – was ignored.
Non-Muslims being converted by the National Registration Department
The Orang Asal were left out from Article 153 and the NEP.
The non-Muslim Orang Asal with a bin or binte in their names are being issued MyKads where their religion is listed as Islam. Those who protest are being brushed off with the ridiculous advice from the National Registration Department: "Get a declaration from the Syariah Court that you are no longer Muslim." When one is non-Muslim in the first place, why the need to get the "no longer Muslim declaration"? Non-Muslims are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court or Syariah laws.
Thousands of Orang Asal are stateless, temporary or permanent residents to keep them out of the electoral rolls. Ay the same time, the community is being further marginalized and disenfranchised by illegal immigrants entering the electoral rolls with MyKads issued via the backdoor. At least a third of the one million voters  on the electoral rolls in Sabah are illegal ommigrants.
Over 300, 000 Indians in Peninsular Malaysia remain stateless to be a source of cheap labour in the legal twilight zone and to keep them out of the electoral rolls and the official statistics.
Nearly 500, 000 people are bankrupts, having been declared mostly behind their backs i.e. ex-parte, and generally for paltry sums, because they were guarantors for loans or were the victims of fraudulent use of their personal documents. They are not eligible, under the Bankruptcy Act 1967, to vote. Like the stateless, they form a ready pool of cheap labour as they are not allowed to operate bank accounts without potential employers willing to certify on their behalf. Employers pounce on the opportunity to pay bankrupts in cash and exploit them.
An equal number have been blacklisted by financial institutions for being behind even once in their loan repayments.
Foreigners depressing wage rates of Malaysian workers
It has also been estimated by NGOs that a further two million illegal immigrants in Malaysia are being exploited as cheap undocumented labour to depress the wage rates of Malaysians even further. The Minimum Wage Act – a miserable RM 900 per month in Peninsular Malaysia and RM 800 per month elsewhere in the country -- further encourages foreign labour while discouraging Malaysians from entering the labour force.
There's no diversity in the civil service, teaching service, diplomatic service, Judiciary, police and armed forces or the Government linked Corporations (GLCs).
Government procurements, contracts, tenders, quotas, concessions, permits, licences and reservations are costing the tax payers anything from double, triple to ten times what it should actually cost them. The families, nominees, cronies and fat cats of the powers-that-be are pocketing the difference tax-free as the National Debt Burden threatens to spiral out of control, having crossed the 50 per cent of GDP mark.
Rotten to the core Umno Mahathir system needs to go
This is the rotten to the core system that the Umno Supreme Council, led by Mahathir, wants to preserve in perpetuity as a sort of caste system in Malaysia.
Najib has acknowledged the need for change and reform within Umno.
He has also conceded that Umno has neither changed nor reformed.
Either Najib has to abandon Mahathir, come over to the side of the reformists, demonstrate real remorse and root for change or he will be changed.
There are no two ways about it.
Malaysia Chronicle

1 comment:

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