Friday, October 29, 2010



New Straits Times, 29th October 2010

THE just-concluded Umno general assembly is one of the most memorable assemblies for me.

The closed-door presidential briefing to delegates, the speech by party deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at the opening of the three Umno wings’ meetings and party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s maiden and winding-up speeches set the path of the party moving forward. This year’s debates may be void of the witty speakers but maturity prevailed.

I initially thought Najib overreached in his approach but he presented himself to me as Umno president first before being the prime minister. I had great satisfaction listening to his winding-up speech before the end of the assembly.

He convinced me and other delegates that, while it is important to take care of the nation and the rest, the Malay agenda will never be forsaken as long as the party is in power.

Only Umno can interpret the spirit that rests within the Constitution vis à-vis the position of the Malays.

At the start of the assembly, most delegates agreed that the Malay agenda should be the main topic of discussion. Other matters meant nothing if we couldn’t even settle this most crucial part of the Malaysian story. They insisted that when racial harmony and the security of the nation were being threatened, no development plan in the world could be successfully implemented.
Najib responded positively but also sent a clear message to everyone, friends as well as foes.

It is time to bury the racial debate for good as nothing can be done to alter the position of Islam and the Malays unless consent is given by the nine Malay rulers.The open racial debate should cease after this, especially by those within the Barisan Nasional coalition, because it will be a huge stumbling block for all parties concerned with the general election in clear sight.

Najib had, in his speech, outlined seven points for members to adopt: place party interests above self, work as a team, win over the people, blend with the new media, capture the confidence of new voters, work towards zero problems in the party and live up to the “people first, performance now” rule of conduct.

He also touched on transformation in the party, which Umno has done recently, keeping to its word.

To recapitulate, it began immediately after Najib’s election to the presidency when Umno decided to amend its constitution, making it more democratic and easier for candidates to contest the top leadership position.

It also provided for more participation from the grassroots in deciding who they want to lead them.

In contrast to his predecessors, Najib actually made it easier for members to challenge him.

In the same spirit as their president, the Umno delegates too sacrificed their personal political strength for the sake of the party’s survival by transferring their power to elect to the masses.

With just one raise of the hand, they simultaneously relinquished their right to vote, while drastically minimising political corruption at their level, an accusation so frequently thrown at them in the past, sometimes by the very hands that spoiled them. But for their faith in the new president, this amendment would have never seen the light of day.

At the Federal Government level, transformation was seen in the steps taken to liberalise 27 services subsectors in our economy whereby the 30 per cent Bumiputera equity no longer became mandatory.

Component parties within BN should have embraced this with much contentment. Seeing the sincerity in Umno’s transformation should spur them to work even harder and tighter in explaining these moves to their respective communities; using it to win them over instead of demanding for more from their senior partner in the coalition.

It cannot be denied that Umno is truly the party that best represents not only the Malays but also the people of 1Malaysia.
I, myself, am much inspired and look forward to working closely with component partners in the coalition to ensure that we move forward as 1Barisan Nasional in the service of the rakyat who deserve good leadership.

The writer is vice-chief of the Pulai Umno division

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


New Straits Times, 20th October, 2010
I have been a delegate to the Umno general assembly for the past 15 years. I’ve witnessed many changes – from three Presidents to as many deputy presidents, the sacking for one deputy president, no less than nine vice-presidents including two suspended ones and the changes in the Constitution.

I’ve witnessed shocking announcements by two presidents; one as a politically minded student when the late Tun Hussein Onn announced his retirement during his winding up speech, aired lived on television, at the 1981 Umno General Assembly and the other as a delegate from within the august hall of Dewan Merdeka when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad rocked the nation also with his retirement plans.

I remember clearly to this day that my mobile phone did not stop ringing as acquaintances, stuck in the paralyzed streets of Kuala Lumpur, wanted confirmation on what they heard on the radio. It was traumatic for many.

During Dr Mahathir’s reign, the mantra for the day was Bersih, Cekap, Amanah. Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi brought with him Islam Hadhari while the current Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak propagates 1Malaysia.

While I wasn’t around to witness the early stages of Cekap, Bersih, Amanah, which was really self-explanatory, I watched and listened to how Islam Hadhari was explained at several General Assemblies under Abdullah. A lot of time was spent to educate everyone including the ready Muslims on what it meant, many of whom were still unclear, well after his departure from office.
As for 1Malaysia, there are currently many different interpretations although there is only one, which promotes unity without distorting the Constitution.

I look forward to a crisp and crystal clear explanation of what 1Malaysia is from Najib so that everyone can understand, without the slightest ambiguity, once and for all in this General Assembly.

But in my many years of involvement in the General Assembly, none of the arguments were better prepared than the years that were accompanied by state conventions.

They make arguments and motions more serious and productive, in the form of presentation as well as action to be followed through by the leaders.

At these conventions, the Umno grassroots in each state usually deliberate thoroughly over two days to come with a collective resolution on what motion to table at the General Assembly.

This works well because even if the debates were considered guided ones, it would still be garnered by ideas and opinions from the mass as opposed to just a handful of members that meet on the eve of the assembly, flipping over the details for a decent presentation the next day.
This makes for a boring and unproductive three-day event that won’t really serve our purpose except to send out flashes of rhetorics.

Off late, we have not had these state conventions barring a few liaison committee meetings like that in the Federal Territory and Terengganu. I hope to see them revived especially when our political situation is left wanting in the face of a future General Election.

I also look forward to the New Political Model that the Prime Minister intends to introduce to Umno, perhaps in his maiden speech on October 21. In politics, serious measures need to be taken in time, well before a desperate situation arises to avoid irreparable damage.

I pray that by the end of the Assembly on Saturday, we can all proceed to believe with full conviction that Umno is still the party that best represents the Malays in a plural society while protecting the interest of all Malaysians at the same time.
The writer is the Vice Chief of the Pulai UMNO Division

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Defender of The Faith, Race And Nation

With only less than a week left before the UMNO General Assembly, I’m told that most of the State Liaison Committees are not having State Conventions to collect direct feedback from the grassroots and be tabled in the debate during the Assembly. Uncharacteristically, UMNO Johor is not holding one either. This is at a time when Malay unity is at its lowest ebb. What baffles me is that these Conventions were very popular during the times when we were at our strongest point. Unconventional wouldn’t you think? No pun intended.

I would think at this crucial time, when Malay unity is at its worst, UMNO Liaison Committees would hold brainstorming sessions and collect important feedback from the mass before the States’ best Malay brains can gather and consolidate them into one strong case for the debate at the Assembly to be held between 20-23 October. Alas, it is not to be. Despite the leadership’s call, it looks like it is still business as usual in UMNO where a small group in each State will sit down with their Liaison chief, probably the night before the Assembly to hash out the points they want to promote and try to turn it into a decent guided debate the next day.

Some states would appoint serious speakers to read a prepared text which they only receive on the morning of the deliverance, while others might appoint the funniest character that can hold court with inappropriate sexual innuendos in between, or a “ loose cannon “ that will just shoot his mouth off and cross all sensitive borders going off tangent. There are however the rare occasions where a delegate comes prepared with the important facts, and can hold the audience down, but it doesn’t happen often enough.

On the current, it looks like the party is afraid to hear from the ground, matters that touch to the core of our problems. What UMNO stands for is to defend Islam, Malay rights as enshrined in the Constitution and the security of our Nation. However, we seem to be leaving it to the Monarchy Institution and Utusan Malaysia together with a robust Malay NGO with a President who is beginning to get out of control to do the job for us.
“Keturunan Pendatang” Seeking The Review of The Malay Quota

The MCA had just finished their Annual General Assembly and while Prime Minister Najib Razak assured that the Chinese are no longer to be termed as “Pendatang”, which we will comply out of respect, the MCA still insists on harping on the 30% Bumiputera quota to be reviewed raising fury from the UMNO grassroots and Malays in general with no outlet to express their dissatisfaction prior to the UMNO General Assembly. Rightly so, “Pendatang” should no longer be used because the current generation was born here. However, “Keturunan Pendatang” would be a more appropriate and permanent term for them especially when they forget their place and demand for the abolishment of a Malay privilege.

Until They Cease To Step Beyond Their Place Of Propriety While Living The Dream Here Like No Other In This World, They Should Live With That Term. And If Any Of The Speaking Delegates Is Worth The Pint Of His Malay Blood, This Issue Will Seriously Be Taken Up. That Is What The Rest Are Thinking Of While Hoping That Telepathy Is Strong In The Merdeka Hall, In The Absence Of State Conventions Coming Into The General Assembly.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Shakespearean Politician

Finally, Prime Minister Najib Razak tells the MCA at their 57th Annual General Assembly, just like it is, ie. Stop bitching and start working! Well actually those were my words, but it sure sounds better doesn’t it?

His words were: "Every time election comes, you ask for big allocations. Don’t expect the federal government to solve all your problems when in fact you have not been working. You think if you bring in big projects, the people will support you because you give them money?"

The Barisan Nasional Chairman continued, "Leaders have to work for the party, be loyal and committed. If they are not loyal, please leave the party. Make way for others who believe in our cause."

This Message Is Short And Sweet (Too Spicy For Some Whose Agenda Has Slowly Been Uncovered) Coming From The Bona Fide Prime Minister. It sounds like a Shakespeare recital with Bach in the background to my ears! I Should Leave It There In all Its Serenity And Say No More!

Friday, October 8, 2010


Man of The Hour

YBM Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (TRH) the gentleman statesman returns from abroad early Saturday morning to what will be a warm welcome from his supporters and curious onlookers who’ve been invited to receive him. For the next few weeks, the politician Prince will be the flavor of the month considering there will be a by-election in his constituency of Gua Musang, namely for the State seat for Galas after the passing of the Assemblyman, whose name if you noticed have not been mentioned ever since TRH was said to have accepted the position of Operations Director for the by-election which is by tradition a post usually held by the Deputy Prime Minister.

The Patriot would like to pause and offer our deepest condolences to the family of Al-Marhum Che Hashim Sulaima and thank them for their unselfish sacrifice in allowing him to serve and spend time with the Rakyat as State Assemblyman for Galas. May his soul be placed amongst the righteous. Al-Fatihah.

It is rather refreshing to see that UMNO leaders have finally learnt some manners since the first day of Aidilfitri. Showing respect especially to an elder statesman, who presented his own piece of land to the party, where we now make our fiery speeches, meet and dine for one another at the yearly UMNO General Assembly, shows that we are a cultured lot. Allowing TRH to take the reign and decide for a seat in the Constituency that he has served as Member of Parliament for nine terms is an unorthodox yet brilliant move by the top brass. Now all they have to do is give him the necessary tools and get out of his way to ensure a comfortable victory. Flooding Gua Musang with “foreigners” may backfire since speakers and politicians from outside of Kelantan may adopt the wrong approach and style and are not usually welcomed. Even State UMNO leaders should stay away and let TRH and his machinery work in peace. It’s an open secret that Kelantan leaders don’t see eye to eye with each other which gave birth to the local term “Cah Keting” meaning self-sabotaging the team out of spite for one or two personalities. By taking that approach, TRH’s team will be working harder and possibly smoother at it to ensure a victory as the total onus will be on them to deliver without the others taking the glory for a win nor having to take the blame for a loss. I strongly believe that BN will win as I was told that previously, disrespect was shown to the elder statesman by the federal government led by Abdullah Badawi by nominating an unfavorable candidate without even consulting with him. With the will of Allah we will prevail this time.

Despite what has been said and done about TRH, it was personalities like him and Tun Dr Mahathir from outside while Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim and Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (during the Johor State UMNO meeting with the then PM) from inside who shook the incompetence out of former Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi’s chair resulting in his early retirement, and for that we owe them our gratitude.

I would place a wager against Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah recommending himself as candidate to run for the Galas seat as unlike in the case of Tan Sri Isa Samad, he would have more to lose than to gain. I would bank all my chips on him giving his full weight of support to his nominee whomever it may be to ensure that BN wins with a bigger margin than the last won by PAS.

Finally, If Anyone Were To Think That TRH Will Fall Back In Line After That And Not Press On With The Oil Royalty For The Kelantan People, Then They Should Have Their Heads Examined. Tengku Razaleigh Is His Own Man. Let Us Just Capitalize On What He Can Deliver For Us For Now And Let The Chips Fall Where They May Until We Cross That Next Bridge.