KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 (Bernama) -- The Umno divisional meetings which will be held over one month will discuss the proposed amendments to the party constitution, including changing the election process.Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor hopes that the divisional meetings would proceed smoothly and become a platform linking branches to the party's higher level.
"With the amendments, the mandate to elect central leaders will be given to more Umno members at the grassroots," he was quoted as saying on the party's official website umno-online.com.
1. WHAT IS THE REASON FOR THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS, PRIMARILY THE ONE
PERTAINING TO THE GRASROOTS VOTING THE TOP BRASS?
COULD THE MAIN REASON BE TO CURB POLITICAL CORRUPTION?
Common sense will dictate that the hand that corrupts or gives is less in number than the hand that receives in any UMNO election. That being said, why then are the delegates being humiliated and insulted to the maximum by having to change the constitution implying that they are the main culprits when the authorities in UMNO should find it easier to punish the lesser number who are the corrupters themselves trying to buy their seats into the Supreme Council?
We should never think for an instance without proper analysis that widening and lengthening the field in the process of the UMNO elections will eradicate corruption in the party. It may be a little more difficult but if it at all exists, it will only spread wider the “wealth” to the mass indirectly introducing political corruption albeit in a smaller scale in value per head straight to the grassroots. Crooked minds will find many ways to skin the political cat. If indeed this system of election is to be adopted, one most obvious way to skin it is by introducing the pyramid system like in the direct selling business to UMNO politics. The local leaders will be their distributors while the 74,000 odd voting members will be the “down-line”. Naturally, the candidates will be the products they’re trying to push, and like all pyramid schemes, the system will collapse at the end bringing the whole UMNO party down with it when corruption seeps through the very foundation of the establishment, the grassroots.
We have witnessed the beginning stages of this method in last year’s divisional meetings where agents were sent through the length and width of the Peninsula and Sabah to get delegates representing their branch to nominate their respective benefactors. Never in the history of my involvement in the party have I witnessed so many people in my Annual Divisional Meeting racing up to the microphone one after the other to nominate as many as 7 out of 9 candidates for Vice President and scores for Supreme Council positions. I was told that there were meetings held between these agents and branch leaders and actually witnessed several of these cluster meetings at a favourite food outlet in my area prior to our delegates meeting.
2. WOULDN’T THIS SYSTEM OF VOTING ALTHOUGH WIDELY SEEN AS THE MOST DEMOCRATIC WAY OF SELECTION, ONLY FAVOUR THE CABINET MEMBERS AND INCUMBENTS? IS IT SERVING THE MASS OR THE BRASS?
YES! Without a doubt! Ministers and Deputy Ministers who are vying for Supreme Council positions will exploit their ministries and their allocations to the maximum by organizing programs in the various states and making headlines in the news and print media. Naturally, having much publicity, the majority of the voting members will eventually choose them over more hardworking regional leaders who have sacrificed their own finances to build programs who want to contest at the federal level but fail to get much media coverage. Instead of being a political election, it will turn out to be a popularity contest.
If this system prevails, then most often than not Government officials will have the edge in the election because it is a fact that grassroots members look at them in awe as opposed to the normal 2600 odd delegates who know the leaders and their eccentricities like the back of their hands and can make a more qualified decision in the election process.
In conclusion, the Disciplinary Committee should be strengthened and remain without prejudice or bias. If someone is found guilty of political corruption, then the person should be SACKED from his position in the Government and EXPELLED without appeal from the party. Trust me if this is upheld, then no one would dare flash their money around buying delegates in fear of being handcuffed in public and being incarcerated.
A fickle decision like finding two guilty candidates for corruption but allowing only one to contest while not the other shows the weakness of the board and creates a valid suspicion amongst the members in general towards the judgment.
Going back to basics, we would find that it is easier to curb corruption by punishing heavily the corrupters who are fewer in number then the potentially corrupted (receivers). If not even one political candidate pays for his/ her seat in the Supreme Council, the delegates would still have to vote and in the absence of money, only the true and loyal workers will get elected.
We shouldn’t call the delegates a corrupted bunch when the culprit corrupters are the leaders vying for positions in the party themselves.
Letting 74,000 odd people vote will only potentially corrupt 71,400 more odd people than usual in the UMNO election process. The means may be different but the end remains the same.
There is also the proposal that nomination and voting dates be required different than the dates of the divisional election meetings causing the cost of logistics to balloon, and more people with busy lives will eventually decide to refrain from participating. They’ll be tired of the party because of the tedious process requiring them to lose their quality time with loved ones too often for one objective, politics.
The message and solution to this is plain and simple;
AMPUTATE THE HAND THAT CORRUPTS AND THERE WILL BE NO MORE CORRUPTION IN UMNO. THE SPOTLIGHT AND FOCUS SHOULD BE ON THE CONTESTING LEADERS, NOT THE DELEGATES!