Wednesday, October 15, 2008

GROUND ZERO - AN ANALYSIS OF UMNO'S NOMINATION WEEK 1



PREDICTABLE, UNBELEIVABLE AND OUTRAGEOUS! ALL IN ONE WEEKEND!

I’ve been asked to give my views on UMNO’s first nomination week by a highly respected gentleman of journalism.

Though I may not represent the majority on ground zero, here’s my take on it.

PREDICTABLE:

1. Yes when one person is preferred by the outgoing chief and that person is also the current Deputy President of UMNO, it’s a given that people will line up and slobber all over his hand and pledge loyalty. So it’s no surprise that Dato’ Sri Najib wiped the floor last weekend with the nominations.

2. Yes when a strong, experienced and senior political candidate for Deputy President was hauled up by the Presumptive Nominee for President and within 48 hours withdrew his candidacy, it is a given that the latter wants an easy path for a more deserving candidate whose tireless and risky effort has accelerated the impending departure of the incumbent President and will complement him with his support. True enough, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin later pledged his full support for Dato’ Sri Najib as President leaving Tengku Razaleigh out in the cold without really discounting him completely. No surprises with the majority of the nominations going to Muhyiddin.

UNBELEIVABLE:

1. When Dato’ Mukhriz Mahathir who was almost reduced to being a cry-baby for not being able to reach and meet members of the Youth-wing around the country suddenly had an explosion of nominations from the same, it raised eyebrows as the ones flying high prior to nomination week were Mr Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar and Dato Seri Mohd Khir Toyo. Could it be true that Mukhriz is indeed as popular as even he didn’t realize or is this a political illusion?

Note: I wonder if Mukhriz will be as vocal under Najib, now that they are in the same team. I wonder if Mukhriz was vocal before more because of his allegiance to the Nation or his loyalty and love for his father. I wonder if Khairy would play the reversed role of Mukhriz if he wins and doesn’t have his father-in-law as his guardian but the backing of the Youth to propel him. A usually concurring Youth leader serves no purpose. It is proven in the last ten years.

OUTRAGEOUS:

1. When Dato’ Sri Hishammuddin Hussein, perceived to be a non-starter due to his infamous ordeal with the Keris that should have stabbed him instead of the Party, obtained nominations in almost all of the divisions completed leaving more worthy politicians behind by double-digits, it looked obvious that he had a helping hand from a “concerned” relative. Either those who nominated him were (a) high on some mind altering substance, (b) easily forgetful or “mudah lupa” as Tun Dr Mahathir used to say or as predicted, (c) a hidden hand is in play.

Note: In the 90’s, I distinctly remember my Menteri Besar, Dato Abdul Ghani Othman and Dato Seri Panglima Osu Sukam garnering the second and third highest nominations respectively. They ended up in the bottom four ultimately. In Hisham’s case, they may be seen as obedient in nominating him if indeed there is a hidden hand or voice, but in the end, could common sense prevail?

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib, Dato Seri Ali Rustam, and Datuk Nur Jazlan Tan Sri Mohamed.

1. Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is facing an uphill battle due to the current scenario. Had the Prime Minister decided to contest with Najib maintaining his current position then my bet would be on TRH hands down because the PM has been deemed, with due respect, as damaged commodity. The culture manifested in UMNO today is of patronage. One dare not go against the person perceived to be next in line in fear of not being able to beg for future favours when he is anointed to his position. Trust me, if by the stroke of Allah, Tengku Razaleigh were to be made Prime Minister, in this case by technicality for instance, they’d have to close the road leading to his mansion due to the beeline taking their turn to kiss his hand. Such is the ways of UMNO leaders. Nominations will fall for him like snowflakes on a Christmas morning.

Note: Tengku Razaleigh is the man who should have been and could still be, but his campaign machinery leaves much to be desired. He is a bona-fide leader, but not many leaders of today’s UMNO know of his accomplishments. They only know his name unlike the leaders of the previous generation. He alone has sacrificed and given more for the party than all the members of the Supreme Council stacked together. IT IS NOT TRUE THAT MR BADAWI IS THE LAST FROM TUN RAZAK’S GENERATION OF LEADERS. HE FORGETS THAT TENGKU RAZALEIGH IS THE LONGEST SERVING PARLIAMENTARIAN AND WAS CLOSER TO TUN THAN ANYONE ELSE PERHAPS EVEN NAJIB, POLITICALLY SPEAKING.

2. Tan Sri Muhammad is in the twilight of his career. He has nothing to lose but everything to gain. I can’t see him as getting enough nominations but he will certainly give a good show if the opportunity arises. It needs to be remembered that he only lost to Tan Sri Muhyiddin by a mere 45 odd votes for Vice President in the last round despite the fact that the latter was supposed to be a clear winner having missed the cut to be Deputy Prime Minister despite being the preferred choice of the PM at the time.

Note: His time is up as he is not well liked for doggedly protecting his boss instead of advising him on the truth from the ground.

2. Dato Seri Ali Rustam on ground zero was initially tipped to be “the One” to give Muhyiddin a run for his money for the Deputy Presidency despite being not deserving to hold the position. The behavior of the UMNO members of today is not one to support those who excel in their duties but to embrace those with human-relation skills. I’m told that a good number of divisions in Johor were ready to nominate him (which is not unusual due to the “cold war” between the MB and Muhyiddin) until a mysterious wind blew over Johor very recently. Now they’ve shifted and will be nominating Muhyiddin as should be. We shall see the outcome these coming weeks. If Ali Rustam gets the numbers to qualify, Muhyiddin had better be propelling at full steam ahead.

Note: Ali Rustam could throw a spanner in the works when the going gets tough if he announces that if he wins, he won’t accept the Deputy Prime Minister’s post but would like to concentrate on fortifying the Party. I’m sure the Vice Presidential candidates will pull all their support for Ali as they would be the next in line to be picked from to fill the seat if Ali wins instead of Muhyiddin. This is against convention, however all else but the word of God can be amended.

3. Datuk Nur Jazlan, well what can I say? He is after all my Division Chief. At first instance I thought he did well to steal the thunder from Datuk Zahid Hamidi and Dato Seri Ali Rustam. The media went after him ever since and left the latter two in the cold. At least for now he looks more matured than Zahid for holding to his guns instead of looking like a child who didn’t think thoroughly before acting. After all, he merely expressed his interest and willingness to be nominated. If he succeeds well and good but if he doesn’t, at least he gave us an alternative. Who are we to say who should and shouldn’t offer themselves as candidates? This is democracy at its best. Do we not trust the delegates enough to nominate and vote with a right frame of mind? Do they need to be nursed into nominating and voting who we think they should nominate or vote? Haven’t we learnt from the mistakes of the great Tun Dr Mahathir of force feeding the leaders of his choice on us only to see us all suffer and be ridiculed henceforth politically? It is time the leaders stopped playing God in UMNO and let the grassroots pick their choice without duress, without undue influence.

Note: Nur Jazlan may not qualify to contest the Deputy Presidency but from the ground, I have found that the affluent young Malays and of course others find him a breath of fresh air, even if it is but for a brief moment. It will be difficult to penetrate through since 75 percent of the delegates usually are of the same people and mentality.

Next weekend should be interesting. Let’s see if all the divisions who nominate Najib will nominate his cousin as well. Let’s also see if the majority of these divisions nominate Najib, Muhyiddin, Hishammuddin and Mukhriz as a package.


If so, and if it prevails come March, then we bid welcome to the Kennedys and Rockefellers of UMNO.

8 comments:

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam TPJ
This analysis is certainly the best I've read so far.
Congratulations.

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam TPJ
A question: Do you see a trend emerging among members in voting for members below the age of 60 for top posts in the party?
Those below 60 years of age are receiving more nominations than those above the age.

TPJ said...

Salam Cik Fauziah.

Thank you for the compliment.

Speaking from past experience, those above the age of 60 are getting less nominations because:

1) There is not much promise left in them.

2) Those who vote will usually vote for those who can bring benefit or profit to them and they will make their votes known to the candidates themselves.

Naturally, those who are holding high government positions promising favours are below the age of 60.

3) The delegates and divisional chiefs usually do not go for vitality Cik Fauziah, they look for the promise of a better life via projects and handouts.

Only a few vocal ones will get nominations without holding high positions in the govt to serve the conscience of the delegates presumably to have a check and balance effect in the Supreme Council.

Since 75% of the delegates remain the same every year, they are known to the aspiring candidates. Every year we are among very familiar faces in the Merdeka Hall, so much that the leaders know the delegates almost on a first name basis.

A clear example is Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Chik who has yet to get a nomination because he is out of office. Mat Taib has two because he is a Minister.

Of those who are above 60 sitting in the Supreme Council now are Pak Lah, Muhyiddin, Rafidah, Mat Taib, Syed Hamid, Rahim Thamby Chik, Syed Razak, Ghani Othman, Aziz Shamsuddin,Rais Yatim and Shahrir.

Rafidah, Rahim Thamby Chik, Syed Razak, and Aziz Shamsuddin hold no positions.

Even Rafidah could be challenged because of it. Rest assured Aziz Shamsuddin and Syed Razak won't see the light of day and Rahim Thamby Chik will have a hard time because he is vying for VP.

The rest are alive because they are ministers or Menteri Besar. Some will lose because only three seat are for grabs.

Shahrir will breeze through in the Supreme Council.

Common denominator Cik Fauziah is POSITION IN THE GOVERNMENT.

Col Roseli said...

Sdr TPJ,

I certainly agree with what you have said. The number of nominations from the Bahagian would never be the same as in PWTC. At Bahagian, the votes come from the 'akar umbi'. But PWTC is an auction center. It depends on the highest bidder.

TPJ said...

Col Roseli,

A small addition. While it is true that the bahagian represents the akar umbi, most of them (branch delegates at division level) do not realise that they have a say in who the division nominates at federal level. They think they can only vote for division officials and the G7. They usually endorse the candidates nominated by the division committee.

So the bahagian level is where the first bidding occurs, usually at a higher rate but to individuals of strength namely the chief and the G6(the super delegates).

The big auction is no longer confined to PWTC Sir. It comes to the confirmed delegates in their respective kampongs or city via gatherings and private meetings. It's like the saying goes "If Muhammad can't come to the mountain, the mountain will come to Muhammad".

This is the reason why Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah wants to change the system to allow all the 3.4 million members the right to vote in the federal UMNO elections instead of the chosen delegates to curb political corruption and to empower the grassroots.

ketam said...

Tuan sila gerakkan usaha menyedarkan bangsa melayu kerana DAP sekrang secara terang-terangan ingin menghapuskan hak dan keistemwaan melayu,Yg Di pertuan Agong dan Raja-Raja MElayu.. baca blog LIM KIT SIANG... bukankah hak melantik(memperkenankan) KETUA HAKIM NEGARA adalah HAK YANG DI PERTUAN AGONG DAN MAJLIS RAJA_RAJA MELAYU??? KEnapa perlu dipertikaikan lagi?? Walaupun PM yg mencadang tidak semestinya KEbawah DUli akan merestuinya.. cadangan penubuhan SURUHANJAYA PELANTIKAN KEHAKIMAN oleh ZAID IBRAHIM yg sebenarnya menjurus dan dipermainkan DAP.. cadangan itu seolah-olah KESEMUA KEBAWAH DULI RAJA-RAJA MELAYU BODOH dan BANGGANG..

Pertahankanlah bangsa dan hak anda...

TPJ said...

Sdr/i Ketam,

Pihak Kebawah Duli-duli Yang Maha Mulia Raja2 Melayu bukannya bangang tetapi hanya berhak untuk mengambil tindakan setakat mana yang dibenarkan oleh Perlembagaan Negara. Hanya pemimpin-pemimpin UMNO yg memerintah sahaja yang samada BANGANG atau pun boleh mengkhianati bangsanya.

Kami sedang berkerja keras dan telah pun Insha'Allah berjaya untuk menekan PM untuk berundur lebih awal kerana beliaulah yang bertanggungjawab diatas keadaan yg disebutkan oleh SDR/i tadi.

Sekarang, masalah kedua kami adalah menentukan bakal penggantinnya tidak memudaratkan rakyat lagi dengan angkara yang sama juga dengan Pak Lah iaitu dengan membenarkan campurtangan dari ahli2 keluarga didalam pentadbiran negara.

Naudzubillahiminaz zalik.

iskandar said...

I DO RESPECT NUR JAZLAN AND HOPE AND WISH ALL THE BEST FOR HIM IN THE FUTURE.. UMNO NEEDS BADLY PEOPLE LIKE HIM..