Wednesday, January 28, 2009

UMNO and BN: Is re-invention possible?

It must have been painful for someone like Ku Li to write posts such as this one here. Being such an integral part of UMNO during the 1970s and being mentored by no less a leader than Tun Abdul Razak, one can imagine his thoughts on how UMNO has evolved or, more accurately, regressed vis-a-vis the Malay community and the larger Malaysian community.

The thoughts penned by Sakmongkol and Another Brick in the Wall also point towards the need for UMNO to re-invent itself.

Ku Li's recent offerings include the following extracted passages:

I have long said that UMNO and the BN must change fundamentally or become irrelevant. That change cannot wait, as one General Election and two bye-elections have shown us. The proposals I made last year to democratize and clean up the party were opposed by its leadership. I called for the Party to hold an EGM to reflect together upon the meaning of its losses at the Election and I proposed that we remove quotas for nomination, and scrap the delegate system in favour of direct election to key positions. I said that the party needs to be democratised, after which key party positions should be separated from government office.

We are told that all that has been done so far to effect change is to “compile all the proposals on renewal measures from an Umno retreat and several discussion sessions,” that is to say, not much. It’s nice to compile ideas, but change requires hard decisions and leadership.

It cannot have escaped the notice of many (I hope) that Ku Li directed his views not just at UMNO but, also at the other BN components.

The problems that confront UMNO is equally present in the likes of MCA, MIC and SUPP.

Ku Li's observation about the compilation of renewal measures apply to the other BN components too.

There is a strong sense of a crumbling empire. The leaders have vested and self-interests so deep that they refuse to consider the greater interest of the party and the ideals that the party was formed to champion.

The followers of these leaders are typically sycophantic. They do not oppose or offer contrarian views because they live off the largesse dispensed by the leaders.

Those that develop a spine are quickly marginalised and eliminated together with anyone that supports them. Many of these recalcitrants are also opportunistic about grabbing the spoils of war, having little real interest in the future of the party.

There is an embedded belief in UMNO and all BN component parties that money is still the only factor that will sustain their hegemony in Malaysian politics. This is how out of touch the leaders and the party hacks are.

For the other BN components, the sad truth is that they refuse to change until UMNO changes. One clear evidence of this attitude of BN component parties is my indictment of the MCA in a post entitled, MCA can't turn multiracial until UMNO does???

I have blogged about the need for BN to seriously look into changing its playbook in The problem with "Business as usual".

The portents look as bleak as ever. There is a continued pretense at sounding macho. Just read about the drivel that Ong Tee Keat still dishes out from the dusty playbook that probably dates back to Tun Tan Siew Sin's equally ineffective time. Read here.

At the rate things are going, the so-called tipping point that will engender a genuine re-invention (or demise) of all BN component parties will take place only after a debacle in the next General Elections. For the avoidance of any doubt, by debacle, I mean a situation where UMNO and BN has insufficient seats to form the Federal Government.


Antares said...

You're being far too kind in your prognosis on these BN invertebrates who had 50 years to steer the nation to its intended destination... but instead went on an unscheduled detour, lost their way, ate all the food & raped all the underaged passengers.

The only acceptable signs of positive change would have to include:

1) Release of the ISA detainees & abolition of the ISA.

2) Sacking of AG & IGP for general incompetence & criminal complicity in far too many scandals to enumerate.

3) Suspension of Zaki Azmi as CJ pending independent review of how the integrity & professional reputation of the Judiciary can be restored.

4) Arrest of Mahathir Mohamad, Ahmad Fairuz, Tengku Adnan Mansor, Vincent Tan & V.K. Lingam for conspiracy to defraud the public & destroy judicial independence.

5) Subpoena of DSP Musa Safri, Rosmah Mansor & Najib Razak as key witnesses in the Altantuya murder trial.

6) Negotiations between Abdullah Badawi administration & Pakatan Rakyat leaders to set aside partisan interests for the long-term public good & cooperate instead of compete.

7) However, this last point doesn't seem possible, given the sort of shenanigans KJ & Kamaluddin managed to get themselves embroiled in right under the nose of the snoring Denethor (who probably didn't understand any of the implications). And so, the best case scenario would still be a large-scale defection leading to Anwar legitimately taking over as PM.

AntaresPoryaKandi said...

Dear Sir,

I agree with Antares.

1) We should release also all prisoners currently in remand or in jail and abolish the Penal Code.

2) We should also sack the people who is suppose to sack the AG & IGP & PPP for not sacking these people earlier.

3) We should also suspend all judges and lawyers until Antares says the courts are OK.

4) WE should also arrest everybody in parliment for their trying to ridicule the public with their comedic debates.

5) We should also subpoena Antares who seem to have evidence to bring the case to a satisfactory end.

6) Agreed that 6 cannot be done, only a certified nut would ask oppossing parties to work together when the country voted for check and balance.

7) Anwar can be the 1st dude who becomes PM through "Legitimate...Defection".

Patricia said...

I think UMNO is BN and the rest of them in BN? Asleep or out the door already.

That UMNO needs to reinvent itself is a given. They need to get their heads out of their asses and make like nike and just do it. If they don't, it would be a shame.

I see nothing in black OR white. Everything has shades of grey. Nothing is all good, nor all bad. To see it that way is the way to grave folly.

I would like to see UMNO do something about itself, cull the dead and dying, and become a vibrant party again.

I would like to see a healty two-party system at work for Malaysia.

If I had my druthers, that's what would happen. I don't want PKR to rise and become our 'saviour' and get too big for it's boots. That would be history repeating itself. And I don't think we could survive another round of that.


Eric said...


Intelligent way of debating. Says a lot about you.