Posted by: raishussin | December 15, 2015

Deciphering the Olive Branch !

 

  1. The last six months have been unique in Malaysian political history. A massive well-spring of alleged wrongdoing by the top political leadership has been unearthed in full view of the local and global media, press, and public, and a resulting outcry of dissent has rippled through the rank and file of public servants and private citizenry.
  2. The democratic system itself has been held hostage, and parliamentary process discarded. The constitution has been compromised beyond immediate repair, and the economy, the currency, and the good name and standing of the Nation has plummeted to heretofore unseen depths.
  3. And yet, incredibly, the ruling faction has emerged “triumphant”, with a vice-like grasp over the mechanisms of state power as well as the public narrative. It’s a classic David and Goliath storyline, with the unhappy ending (thus far anyway) of Goliath trampling the underdog.
  4. These underdogs, by bravely staking the moral high ground, have dignified themselves in the public eye, and even amongst some of their political peers. As such, their gambit has been effective.
  5. However, having distinguished themselves, they are now called upon to reach for so-called olive branches and retreat to the fold. And, if they wish to play the long game, this may be advisable as the most practical way to preserve a relevant place within the political hierarchy.
  6. Relying upon public sympathy for protection is risky; loyalty (as we’ve already seen) can be fickle and the people’s attention-span short. Given the luxury of time, the administration will surely bide their time and strike at an opportune moment to clean-house of dissenters. Indeed, they have already signalled their intent on so doing by offering a last-chance “redemption” for wayward party members, or else.
  7. Yet the so-called olive branch offer and the accompanying threat of punitive action are both canards. They are merely the bark of a chained dog who cannot reach its mark – and while this is perhaps an insulting analogy given the sensitivities of Malay culture, there is also a line between remaining docile and running amok – of which the leadership is well advised to remind itself.
  8. A magnanimous person with big heart will never thump his chest saying that he is magnanimous with big heart. Rather he will show it in action by being tactful and circumspect. Najib was shouting his lungs out on the microphone playing to the gallery, while Muhyiddin sat there magnanimously and manifested his big heart by even shaking Najib’s hand. Now that is an unspoken magnanimity with humongous heart.
  9. In fact, the real insult is to assume that 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion donation fiasco will be swept under the carpet. And life goes on !
  10. The real insult is for Najib to proclaim that “whoever goes against the president also goes against the party”. This must be one of the most nonsensical philosophy that Najib tried to sell in UMNO. If ever this is bought and taken by UMNO, then it spells the beginning of the end of UMNO.
  11. Equally, the real insult is the cowardice of completely silencing your opponent while self-aggrandizing yourself with bravery, nobility and magnanimity. The Bugis community that has a proud heritage of bravery must have felt very low on this day when one of their own showed how low he can get to protect his own interest in the expense of the greater interest of the people, party and the nation. Shameful beyond words !
  12. And the biggest insult is the Emperor parading himself naked (not a pretty sight given the smallness of heart and everything !) in full view of 3,000 spectators yet applauded by his sycophants for his fine imaginary garments.
  13. The day before the General Assembly, Muhyiddin held a rally which drew more than 3,500 people, enthusiastically asserting the voices of the 3.5 million UMNO members ignored by the favored one percent. Not forgetting the remaining 26.5 million Malaysians who are holding a watching brief of hope. It served as a taste of the dissent that lies beneath the calm of the official narrative.
  14. And it has rung the alarm bells that something hot is threatening to flare up into full-throated dissent. They represented righteous men beset by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men, and any scholar of scripture should know that this ends badly for the evil ones. This perhaps accounts for the hailing of The Holy Quranic verses in the wrong and narrow context, at the Assembly; of courting PAS under the guise of Islam and One Shahadat, where Najib that is the One graced with the Creator’s blessing. Remember another of the “Anugerah Tuhan” rant. This is truly arrogance arrogated with impunity.
  15. Joceline Tan of The Star, a mouthpiece  of the Prime Minister(and so incapable of impartial analysis except sing the praise of Lord to Najib), never opined more aptly when she wrote that ‘Politics is a cruel game’. She conjured up a vivid image of Muhyiddin hobbling around with his leg cut off by the incumbent. Yet his head has been spared – a fate which it remains to be seen if it is afforded to his predecessor.
  16. Muhyiddin yesterday posted a photo of a message, written on a napkin or serviette, which read: “We are all for you and praying that your struggle is not in vain.” Amy Ho who wrote this even paid Muhyiddin Yassin’s breakfast that morning without even him knowing it. This is from a rakyat who happen to be there.
  17. It would serve the leadership well to take note of this sentiment, which is not that of one citizen but of all her citizenry as seen in Amy’s message going viral in social media !
  18. So what really is this olive branch being offered by Najib at the top of his lungs ?
  19. Is it an olive branch or stage managed act to create perception about being big hearted when no one except the sycophants of Najib believe that he is !
  20. Is it a slippery olive branch offered half heartedly by Najib just to please the assembly attendees and their demand ?
  21. Is it a calculated move to create a perception that Najib extended the olive branch (though no one really knows what the hell is the olive branch) and Muhyddin spurned it out of arrogance ?
  22. Muhyddin has reiterated umpteen times that he has diligently followed and supported Najib’s vocation in all spheres of his Presidency except on the national issues like 1MDB, 2.6 billion political donation that ended in Najib’s account, the lack of good governance and more importantly how it has impacted and impacting the rakyat ? Is Najib and his sycophants are too deaf, too dumb or too blind to see this ? Verily the rakyat is not deaf, dumb or blind.
  23. Islam means peace. All Muslims wants peace. Peace as being advocated in the Quran and exemplified in the Sunnah of the Prophet. Invoking Quranic verses or Hadiths just to support one’s parochial and utilitarian view is a very dangerous thing. What more when the Haditha was quoted as the Quranic verse by Najib ! Perhaps Najib’s speech writers are under the influence of Marijuana !
  24. 24 means sure die in Chinese. If it remains status quo at UMNO with scandal ridden Najib at helm, does that mean UMNO will also sure die in GE14 ?

 

 

Posted by: raishussin | December 11, 2015

Blind Obedience Debunked !

  1. UMNO President Najib Razak talked about obedience and loyalty to leaders as a Quranic obligations and Prophetic tradition in his opening address at the UMNO GA. I came across the following article that clearly debunk blind loyalty to a leader, particularly in the realm of Islamic Leadership. Please read the following postings by Seyed Ibrahim before judging whether Najib Razak has misused Quranic text and Hadiths narration to justify his own misdeeds and indiscretion and demand blind obedience.
  2. The whole inaugural speech of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq (RA) fits in a paragraph. But, it was a classical & moving speech. It touched upon several critical elements, including Governance, Justice, relationships between the ruler and citizens, external & domestic affairs. It was an uncomplicated speech.
  3. The Prophet(pbuh) had just died and was not even buried yet. Muslims were in a state of shock. They convened in the courtyard of Banu Saa’idah to choose a leader. They didn’t want the state that was built over a period of 10 years to collapse. They chose Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq (May Allah be pleased with him) as the Khaleefa.
  4. The Speech – “O people, I have been appointed over you, though I am not the best among you. If I do well, then help me; and if I act wrongly, then correct me. Truthfulness is synonymous with fulfilling the trust, and lying is equivalent to treachery. The weak among you is deemed strong by me, until I return to them that which is rightfully theirs, insha Allah. And the strong among you is deemed weak by me, until I take from them what is rightfully (someone else’s), insha Allah. No group of people abandons military/armed struggle in the path of Allah, except that Allah makes them suffer humiliation. And evil / mischief does not become widespread among a people, except that Allah inflicts them with widespread calamity. Obey me so long as I obey Allah and His Messenger. And if I disobey Allah and His Messenger, then I have no right to your obedience. Stand up now to pray, may Allah have mercy on you” [Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah (6/305,306)]

Lessons

  • The right of citizens to scrutinize their leader & to hold him accountable. When Abu Bakr (RA) said “If I do well, then help me; and if I act wrongly, then correct me“, he affirms the right of citizens to hold their leaders accountable for their actions. Also, this makes it clear that the era of prophetic infallibility was over. From now on, the leaders are susceptible to make mistakes. These days, even in the western nations, the freedom of expression against the rulers is at best tolerated. In the Islamic caliphate of Abu Bakr, the citizens are expected (not just allowed) to correct their leaders
  • Truthfulness should be the basis of all dealings between a leader and his people “Truthfulness is synonymous with fulfilling the trust, and lying is tantamount to treachery”. Abu Bakr announced that truthfulness should be the basis of all dealings between a leader and his people. This needs to be the case if the people are to develop a sense of trust in their leader.
  • Establishing the principles of Justice and Equality. Abu Bakr (RA) said, “The weak among you is deemed strong by me, until I return to them that which is rightfully theirs, insha Allah. And the strong among you is deemed weak by me, until I take from them what is rightfully (someone else’s), insha Allah”. The most important foundations of a truly Muslim country are justice and equality for all. Applying justice is not a “nice” thing. Fakhr al-Razee says, “the scholars of this nation unanimously agree that it is obligatory for a ruler to establish justice in his realm” [Tafseer al-Razee (10/141)] The justice of Abu Bakr (RA) and other early caliphs won the hearts of many people, including enemies, and made them to embrace Islam.
  • Virtue of military expeditions / armed resistance. Abu Bakr (RA) said, “No group of people abandons military/armed struggle in the path of Allah, except that Allah makes them suffer humiliation“. Though Muslims had controlled the entire Arabian Peninsula at the time of Prophet’s death, there were internal and external enemies who threatened the Muslim nation. The importance of military ability, if not the supremacy, was not lost on Abu Bakr.
  • War against wickedness and shameful acts. Abu Bakr (RA) said, “And wickedness does not become widespread among a people, except that Allah inflicts them with widespread calamity“. He understood that the material well-being of his nation depended upon its spiritual well-being. Prophet (pbuh) said, “Wickedness does not appear among a people, to the point that they perform wicked deeds openly, except that plagues and diseases become rampant among them – plagues and diseases that did not exist during the lifetimes of their ancestors…” [Ibn Maajah (4019), Saheeh al-Albanee (2/370)] Also, please see Qur’an 17:16
  • Sources of legislation & a declaration that the leader is not above the law. He said, “Obey me so long as I obey Allah and His Messenger. And if I disobey Allah and His Messenger, then I have no right to your obedience“. This made it clear he is going to follow only the Qur’an and Sunnah, and that obeying the leader is contingent upon the leader following Qur’an and Sunnah. Prophet said, “There is no obedience when it comes to sinning; obedience is restricted to al-Ma’roof (good, noble and acceptable in Islam)…” [Bukharee (7140)] Also, please see Qur’an 4:105

Questions To ponder:

  • What are the characteristics of Leadership in Islam ?
  • What are the criteria of leaders in Islam ?
  • Does leaders of UMNO today fulfill these characteristics and criteria ?
  • Is it right for Najib Razak to demand absolute obedience to his rule ?
  • Does Islam condone blind obedience without any specific condition precedent ?
  • What say all the man of religion in UMNO ? Do they agree with Najib Razak call for blind obedience despite the many unexplained scandals rocking his leadership like 1MDB, RM2.6 billion donation, SRC’s CSR and many others ?
  • Did Najib Razak allow the scrutiny by fellow UMNO Supreme Council members, other UMNO members or citizen at large ? Did he or did he not ?
  • Did Najib Razak used truthfulness as the basis of all dealings between a him as a leader and his people ? Did he or did he not ?
  • Did Najib Razak establish the principle of justice and equality in his sphere of rule ? Did he or did he not ?
  • Did Najib Razak used good and ethical governance in his sphere of administration ? Did he or did he not ?
  • Did Najib Razak practice the sources of legislation (Quran and Sunnah) and  a declaration that the leader is not above the law ? Did he allow impartial, unimpeded and credible investigation on the alleged wrong doings of him ? Did he or did he not ?
  • Can UMNO members and delegates think and reflect on this ?

The answers are as clear as the ELEPHANT in the room. Hence invoking Quran, Hadiths and some scholarly statements, out of context, to justify one’s indiscretion and wrong doings just further worsen the circumstances and will incur the wrath of the people and ALLAH SWT.

Please think and reflect !

Posted by: raishussin | December 8, 2015

Unite in Profit

  1. Meek sheeps of UMNO, it is that time of year when your party is called upon to unite. Unite in profit!
  2. UMNO delegates, the annual General Assembly is all about getting what’s yours – namely, your share of the UMNO booty. Don’t be short-changed this year, when your Masters who call themselves your leadership needs you to toe the line more than ever before in your party’s history.
  3. After all, your President admits he took his share in advance, allegedly RM2.6 billion, directly into his personal account. Never mind that would be illegal under both the Nation’s penal code 165 as well as sections 16 and section 23 of MACC anti-corruption code. It is both illegal and morally reprehensible for public servants to accept gratuities without consideration, let alone billions of ringgit in “donations”.
  4. But if he can do it so can you – until such time you’re prosecuted in a court of law (but never mind, this can be fixed as well with draconian laws or lack thereof). The precedent is set. You must also demand your cut of the donation – if it really was a party donation, that is, and not just a personal handout. And if it was a party donation, then please use the discussion forums of the General Assembly to find out where the money went from his personal accounts back into Singapore and on to God knows where.
  5. After all, why should Singapore get your share of the booty? Please herd together to ask whether the money was sent back to AmBank in time for the AGM, and this time insist that it to be deposited in UMNO’s account so that you don’t have to wait for the Wall Street Journal to tell you where it is!
  6. Although, if some of you are not the thoughtless sheep that the Masters who are your leaders take you to be, then you may have figured out that there never was a donation in the first place, but rather money allegedly stolen directly from the people, bypassing you. Even the most naïve sheep amongst you will bleat that that’s not fair! If the people are allegedly being stolen from, and that too by your party, then you as the people’s representatives should get your cut before it’s sent on to the Singaporeans.
  7. UMNO delegates, the alternative is that for once you have to think for yourself, and stop being treated as sheep. Instead of being mindlessly following the herd even to your own certain death, speak up for what is right for your constituents who you represent as well as the Nation you serve.
  8. Do we need Singaporean think tanks to point out to us what’s obvious? “The only way UMNO can turn things around for itself is with a new leader, a new agenda and a new direction in leadership.” Of course when Ooi Kee Beng says this it is with the expectation that is exactly what you will NOT do.
  9. Still, we know that sheep only follow their leaders. So just do that. To start with, you can follow your own President, who has instructed you clearly: “Stop spreading and believing lies, and stop doing things that don’t bring any benefit.” This is true. It will bring you no benefit to end your Party’s rule. Make no mistake; that is exactly what you are doing if you don’t call for your President to step down or at least take a break until full unimpeded impartial investigations are completed on 1MDB, RM2.6 billion donation and SRC. That will be good start towards credible reform and change.
  10. Most importantly, listen to your Deputy President. He has openly warned you not to take for granted that UMNO will retain the Malay vote if you do not rid yourself of the money politics that has become a cancer in the party. And he has bravely called upon you to refocus yourself towards your grassroots and towards democracy. UMNO’s 3 million are following him on this, what about you?
  11. In your closed-door proceedings, you don’t have to answer to the people, only your conscience. Sheep don’t have a conscience, but human beings do. So stop being sheep and do the right thing.
  12. Will you ? The 3 million UMNO members are watching ! The 30 million Malaysians are watching ! The 7 billion world population are watching ! More importantly our Maker, Allah SWT are watching ! Avoid incurring Allah’s wrath !
  13. I have written critically, made impassioned plea, persuasively argued my case using primary sources of Shariah like The Quran and The Sunnah, presented historical events to emphasize the points, gone down on my knees, cried, prayed profusely to our Maker Allah SWT so that He will open up hearts and minds to save UMNO, to save Malaysia.
  14. Now it is your respective turns, UMNO delegates, to do your part towards ensuring UMNO reinvents itself, relevantize itself for the betterment of the people, ummah and importantly our beloved nation, Malaysia.
  15. You have no choice ! Do the right thing, you will gain the felicity in this temporal world and in the eternal hereafter.
  16. If you do nothing and be contented with stipend handouts, then nothing can save UMNO for its inevitable destruction.
  17. The ball is in your court ! Think and reflect. Do the right thing !
  18. Selamat Bersidang !

 

Posted by: raishussin | December 7, 2015

A Citadel of Justice

“Against the floods & enemy horses, you have raised a goodly defense. But what protection have you built against those unseen arrows – the sighs & moans of the oppressed – which pass through a thousand walls and battlements, and sweep whole worlds to destruction? Go and erect a citadel of justice and equity, for that alone can ensure the peace of the world.”

– Baha Al-Din, spiritual advisor to the Seljuk ruler Anatolia Sultan Ala al-Din

  1. 300 Spartans blocked the pass at Thermopylae to save their native land from Persian conquer, and bravely gave their lives for their people’s freedom. 2500 years later King Leonidas and his men are still feted in song and dance. Words of praise still spill from the lips of those that remember them.
  2. In contrast, it would not be polite to repeat the words that fall from the Rakyat to describe their leaders today. And since it’s considered rude to speak ill of women we wouldn’t dare discuss what they think of their wives. But there’s little to be gained by adding one’s abuse to the festering pile.
  3. Instead, the question is whether there are any noblemen or women amongst the 5,732  UMNO delegates this week? Are there 300 amongst them who would put their Nation above themselves? For, if there are not, they must pay the price for their inaction for all eternity, not just 2,500 years. Remember Allah is Omnipotent and Omnipresent.
  4. Let them not plead ignorance; they know full well what harvest the people will reap from the seed of their deceit. With smiling faces and sagging conscience, they will barter away the future for a piddling sum. If such was their feeble nature, then why rise to the calling to their country’s service?
  5. Surely, it would have been better for all if they plied their corrupt craft in some small-minded enterprise in the back-street of the kampung and left the crucial chore of caring for the citizenry to more able-minded compatriots. From 30 million could we not have found but 5,732 sinless souls?
  6. “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.” Said Ezekiel, and he could have been talking about Malaysia today. Yet be reminded that it doesn’t end well: “And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.”
  7. Of course, there is a simpler solution, that being: DO THE RIGHT THING. Be noble, UMNO delegates, and do your job. Do your job as representatives of the Rakyat, not as henchmen to the head honcho; be responsible for the well-being of your constituents and not just yourself and your front-men.
  8. It’s really not that difficult. For once in your life, take a stand and make yourself count. You can do it. You have the power. It’s called Democracy. If you really don’t care about the grass-roots that you speak for, then at least for the sake of your own children and their descendants, just do what’s right.
  9. In the unlikely event you don’t know what the right thing is, it is this: Tell the Emperor he has no clothes and force him out. Save not only your own skins, but also save your Party, and, moreover, save Democracy. If you joined politics to save the World then guess what? You can do it next week.
  10. If you’re too busy to come to work this week, then better just stay home. That would be better than having your name go down in history’s annals as one who sold his beloved Nation down river. Just pick up your check from Putrajaya and drive down to Sepang and leave for London or Los Angeles. You won’t be alone. Half the boss’ family seems to be sitting in Beverly Hills or Astana these days.
  11. So would the 5,732 rise up to the cry for freedom ? Will the delegates be aroused by the conscience of doing right the right way ? Will the love for the party, people and nation overwhelm, the temporal giver of temporary projects, position, power, money and relevance? Will the truth finally reign in ? Will the integrity finally dictate the pathway for UMNO ? Remember Allah has an eternal watching brief !
  12. Selamat bersidang !

 

Posted by: raishussin | December 2, 2015

Saving Malaysia !

The call to action for saving Malaysia is necessitated by the current crisis of confidence which has permeated Malaysian society and international awareness in a way that is unprecedented in the Nation’s modern history.

The impact can be felt in all aspects, and amongst the key areas for immediate mitigation are the following:

1. Protect constitutional democracy and institutions that serve it:

Arguably the biggest concern is the erosion of the constitutional framework which protects and facilitates the functioning of democracy in the Nation. To all Malaysians, from those in Government in positions of power, to the Rakyat in the cities and Kampung, the responsibility to protect the constitutional democracy is of the utmost importance. Any patriot would place his allegiance to this above personal gain, office or other advantage.

By weakening the institutions put in place to ensure constitutional compliance, the current crisis has struck at the heart of the framework which allows democracy to function and that cannot be allowed or condoned, regardless of party, creed, race or other affiliation. Making this a rallying point will serve not only the interests of the Nation, but also align the interests of ruling and opposition political parties, intellectuals, moderates, and all citizens – who may well forgive excesses of a particular administration but not a compromise of the State itself.

The current rhetoric by UMNO party leaders in particular, whether those loyal to the administration or calling for accountability and transition, has largely ignored this subject, and we feel that by introducing a dialogue that addresses this paramount concern head-on one can speak directly to the concerns of the Rakyat, while at the same time fulfilling one’s highest duty to the State; and also staking out the moral high ground in the process.

2. Resume foreign direct investment and increase economic growth:

Foreign countries, global MNC’s, and institutional investors alike have stalled direct and financial investment, taking instead a wait and see approach for the dust to settle on the political front. Already year to date investment numbers have fallen by over $16 billion, and the potential for this trend to accelerate steeply is not only very likely, but inevitable as the footprint of this scandal grows beyond local borders into global perception.

This, taken in conjunction with the slump in global oil and gas markets, is an ominous indicator for economic decline, both on an absolute basis as well as in relation to our ASEAN neighbors and our international trading partners. To avoid joining the ranks of the poor cousins of Asia, aggressive corrective action and a corresponding shift in confidence is needed. Equally, we must equip large and small enterprise in the country with a ready and growing marketplace for their goods and services, in order to maintain a healthy economy.

Taking a proper account of the economic impact of the political crisis, it will be seen that its effects accrue across all segments of the economy, from government to private enterprise, to retail consumption and tourism. Given the long cycles for economic turnaround in large, diversified economies, this has every chance that it will translate into a major issue in 3 years in time for GE14, by which point it will be too late to try and fill the hole.

3. Protect Ringgit and halt and reverse declines from its historic lows:

The most transparent benchmark for confidence in Malaysia is the Ringgit Malaysia. The fact that the currency has broken 17 years lows against the US dollar is the clearest indication of a loss of faith both domestically and internationally, and not just in the Malaysian economy but also in its political stability and institutional credibility. To put it simply, those with a stake in Malaysia have spoken with their feet and are heading for the exit.

There is talk about pegging the currency as a means to stalling its decline. This is akin to sticking on a plaster to a severed artery. Instead of staunching the flow of capital, all that this will accomplish is the impoverishment of Bank Negara’s hard currency reserves, and a corresponding increase in the cost of doing business in and out of the Country. Besides, a peg is a short term fix and merely postpones dealing with the problem’s source.

There is no assurance that the decline will settle at any particular acceptable level either. What may now seem like a reasonable forecast can change literally in hours or days. One needs only to look at our neighbour Indonesia for this lesson to be illustrated in all its force. The knock-on effect of a rampantly deteriorating currency are comprehensive across the board, and can have extreme fallout including social agitation.

4. Minimize further damage to UMNO brand and begin its rehabilitation:

On whose watch will UMNO cease to rule? As confrontational a suggestion as that may be, it is an openly debated question on the streets of the Nation today. In fact, it is now taken as a given that power must inevitably change hands eventually, which itself was an inconceivable notion just some years back.

It is the responsibility of each and every member of the Party, and especially its leaders, to leave the brand in better shape than when they inherited it. Who can say with all honesty that they have done that in this term, and that they will do that before the next. GE14, less than 3 years away, will be a watershed for the Party one way or other. Either as the milestone in which it lost the Rakyat’s mandate, or that in which it recaptured it.

To ignore that the ruling coalition has been critically wounded is simply to ignore reality in the way that an organ whose nerves are severed from the whole may elect to do. To not feel the pain either means you are no more part of the body or that the body itself has ceased to exist. This then is an existential issue for UMNO. Actions are the only balm for this injury, and no amount of rhetoric will compensate for the hard slog of rehabilitation.

5. Ensure that BN has enough runway to prepare a new front for GE14:

The extensive scale of the current crisis, arguably unprecedented in our Nation’s history, presents a logistical challenge. Mapping out the mechanism for dismantling, fixing, and reconstructing the institutions in question, including the highest office of administration, is an herculean task. Not only does it need our best intellectual capital and dedicated hard work, but also demands the luxury of time, a resource that we do not have.

The better part of this year has seen an escalation of accusation, disclosure, and denial that has created a complex web of deception and confusion, which must now be unraveled strand by strand. Please do not labor under the delusion that in time the storm will blow over. No one has a crystal ball and no one can tell where the trajectory of this hurricane lies. Instead, every Party hand must work on the laborious task together.

UMNO owes the public a reconciliation of past accounts, and a new narrative, in advance of GE14. These two necessities for winning a fresh mandate are not mutually exclusive, but are in fact inextricably intertwined. Meaning which: one can be accomplished via the other. Only if there is a robust and credible clearing up of open questions, can there be made the space to talk about a new future. The urgency further impresses itself upon the fact that this must be accomplished ahead of the national debate that will preview the next election. To run out of runway would mean the loss of all the best intentions and effort, to the harsh hindsight of history.

6. Reverse the narrative of negative coverage in foreign press and media:

The international press has smelled blood, and they are going for the kill. While it’s true their intentions may be far from pure, they have the ammunition they need and the target in sight. The time for debating their agenda will come later, now is the time to rescue the brand of the country from the field of the hunt. It hurts every nationalistic Malaysian to see their country ridiculed and their highest office openly questioned. It compromises our ability to act as an equal on the world’s stage, and it allows others to take full advantage of our weakness.

Our approach towards foreign media has been flawed for decades, not just now. It goes back to Noddynomics and before. We should recognize we are simply fueling the fire with our attempts to shut down the discourse. Leaving aside the fact that these actions lack teeth in its bite – and therefore make us look even weaker – one must realize that drama sells stories. Instead of confrontation, collusion is the answer. Give the impression that we have learnt the lessons these so-called pundits are teaching, and there is no longer a dramatic conflict.

As any story teller knows, this removes the essential ingredient for a compelling tale. Take for a moment the notion that a stronger and more independent local press means a more direct control of the narrative, which helps achieve this essential control once and for all, instead of falling into a repetitive pattern and a mutual feeling of suspicion and mistrust. Even leaving this aside, one cannot maintain the tension of an ever increasing gap between one side and the other, such as has currently developed between local and foreign reporting.

It is essential that Malaysia presents itself to the world in the best possible light, as the benefits are numerous and favorable not just to government, but to commerce and private citizens alike. As harsh as it seems, by making the foreign press the enemy we make it easier for them to characterize us as a banana republic.

7. Decisive action that supports a new domestic dialogue on social media:

Gone are the days when propaganda can be projected upon the public in a one-way format. It can be argued, indeed, that this was never the case, but the means for the social consciousness to express themselves was stunted through control of the dialectic. In truth, Malaysian society has always been a far cry from despotic rule, and we uphold with pride our best traditions of inclusiveness, cooperation and understanding for one another.

Today, the dialogue with the public is not just two-way, but unconstrained and even enhanced by technology. Ideally there should be some regulation of this traffic so that it meets the norms of society, and eventually it will definitely be so. Some opinions expressed in social media are wild and unconstrained, but equally many in society find this platform the only avenue for honest expression of their opinions. We need to be proactive towards the social dialogue as well as reactive. To ignore the public discourse is to do so at our own peril.

Looking at the current flow of comments, it’s clear that executive actions that overreach its legitimate scope and intrude upon the rights of independent empowered overseers, is a source of much frustration and anger. Decisive action that demonstrates a new transparency, accountability and respect for the sanctity of independent bodies is needed. It is too late now to back-track, instead we must forge a new social reality. Indeed, the most resonating endorsement of a revised strategic vision will be its validation in social media. Going forward, we must give as much importance to social media in communication as to traditional media.

The above agenda calls for coordinated action by the leadership that will need buy-in from a spectrum of stakeholders that includes the senior ranks of the ruling and opposition political parties, foreign governments and corporate investors, the international media and domestic press, social media, and ultimately the Rakyat themselves. It should, by now be abundantly obvious that cosmetic dressing up and lip service will not work.

As such bold and decisive strokes are required and they must be designed to have the maximum impact on the above stakeholders and yet at the same time minimize the fall-out from change across the rank and file. This means that transition to restore confidence, must be handled by both incoming and outgoing teams with minimal disruption. How can this be done? This is the road map to be explored and adhered to, once the course is finalized.

At the KL Hilton, the lobby free WiFi password is “honestpublic”. Why? Because “honestpolitics” is not possible, according to the person in charge. If the resources of the ruling coalition can be brought to bear to change this dialogue in the public perception and social media, down to the expression of the average people’s mindset, then BN has a chance. This needs urgent, visible, and real initiative. Waiting for the storm to blow over by itself is really not an option.

The sooner we understand that the better, so that we can start to take the necessary steps.

Will we ? Can we ? Think and Reflect !

 

Posted by: raishussin | December 1, 2015

Who will extract Excalibur ?

  1. Tun Abdul Razak once instructed: “As civil servants, I hope you will stand up to us politicians and not allow yourselves to be dominated by us. Because in true democracy, the civil servants have a duty to perform. The future of our country’s democratic way of life is dependent on you.”
  2. This quote was used recently by highly intellectual, Harvard-trained Tuanku Sultan of Perak Dr. Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, during his birthday speech in Kuala Kangsar reminding all of us the importance of adhering to the pathway of democracy as enshrined in our constitution, protecting democratic institutions that enables the voyage.
  3. Unfortunately, those who took Tun Abdul Razak (I remember crying when watching the black & white live telecasts of his burial over RTM1 then)  at his word have paid a dear price at the hands of his son. And others, notably  Tan Sri Apandi Ali and Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, will surely answer for their disregard, if not in this temporal world in the audience of their benefactors, then for all eternity in the presence of their Creator.
  4. Now that the opposition has been rendered useless given their consistent egoistic posturing and never ending bickering, 2,483 delegates remain to decide the fate of Malaysia at UMNO’s upcoming General Assembly. Will they do right thing by the People, Party and Nation, or they will sell their Souls for blind loyalty in exchange for political “considerations” or “intoxicants” like power, relevance and even wealth. Remember, recently a pure democrat defended his acceptance of RM1,000,000 from Najib stating “if I cannot ask from my President, who else should I ask from.”
  5. We appeal to the hearts and minds of UMNO delegates, whether through Democracy or Religion, Conscience or Ethics, Reason or Faith, we must move them somehow to pay heed beyond the temporal world and remember the everlasting hereafter when they will meet their Maker, Allah SWT.
  6. Hope is not yet lost. There are those who have lit the candle and are holding up the mantle. “As an elected leader, I must discharge my responsibility,” said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at a recent rally in his support in Pagoh.”Let me be ‘chopped’ and ‘beheaded’, I will still be loyal to UMNO.”
  7. Now is the time to speak or forever hold your peace, especially because it may well feel like an eternity until UMNO will be given another chance to lead Malaysia, if ever. Those who can will run away to London or Geneva or Astana or New York, if they take them, but the rest will pay the price of Purgatory here.
  8. Echoing my junior at IIUM, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s indictment that “In the end, it’s all about you and not about Malaysia,” it’s important to remind the delegates that they will be judged not only by history in the distant future, but also today by an outrage amongst the Rakyat that is gathering steam.
  9. Now that the rule of law, and the bureaucracy and institutions that administer it, have been allegedly compromised, it is no longer a foregone conclusion that the twin scandals of 1MDB and the RM2.6B will be resolved through words alone. We may have already joined the ranks of banana republics.
  10. Let us consider a checklist for meeting the grade: 1. a deterioration of the parliamentary democracy and the constitutional integrity of the Nation – check; 2. loss to the currency, economy, financial markets, and foreign investment – check; 3. destabilization of the government, the bureaucracy, the independent bodies charged with oversight, the police, the rule of law, human rights and freedoms – check; and 4. a failed state and general laughing stock amongst Nations – well, mercifully, not yet.
  11. The question is whether you, the UMNO delegates – perhaps the last gatekeepers to chaos and commotion – are willing going to allow this to happen on your watch and be remembered forever for such. Let us hope for the sake of Malaysia and those who are beholden to her, the answer is No.
  12. Hence my appeal to all the delegates at the UMNO GA. You have immense responsibility to safeguard the party, people and the nation. Our Maker will certainly ask you in the Day of Judgement. Will you be able to answer Him in the hereafter without any guilt ?
  13. Remember Imam al-Ghazali once wrote “there is no act of religous worship greater than to Allah than JUST GOVERNANCE”. Prophet Muhammad SAAS also clearly said ” One day of justice by a JUST ruler (or leader) is better than the continual worship of sixty years.” So the notion of doing whatever we want to do, outside or inside the realm of Islam and go for periodic cleansing Umrah or Hajj is no longer a prudent proposition especially when, as Muslims, we know that this world but a temporal one while the life in the hereafter is an eternal one.
  14. Also remember, that the Prophet Muhammad SAAS also said that “the man most beloved and closest to Allah is the JUST leader, and that the man who is MOST HATED and contemptible in the sight of Allah is the unjust leader.” I would imagine that none of the UMNO delegates or anyone for that matter would want to be in the category of the MOST HATED by Allah SWT.
  15. And as Imam al-Ghazali aptly wrote that if the power of administration is devoid of justice and compassion, it will descend to the VICEGERENCY OF SYAITAN, where corruption will manifests itself in all spheres as what the Holy Quran (Al Araf, 7:16-17) has confirmed : ” I (Syaitan) shall surely lie in ambush for them (humans) all along Thy Straight Path, then I (Syaitan)shall assault them from before them and from behind them, from their right and their left.” Meaning Syaitan will be using all methods, physical or meta physical, temptation of wealth, beauty, power or relevance, anything under the sky or beyond to deviate us. UMNO delegates must decide whether they want to be the Vicegerent of Allah or Vicegerent of Syaitan !
  16. I go down on my knees to appeal to all the UMNO delegates in the forthcoming UMNO General Assembly to think and reflect deeply on the way forward for the party, people and the nation. The power is in your hands for now, but as Allah SWT promised in the Al Quran, that “Allah never changes the condition of a people unless they strive to change themselves” (13:11) and “O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion, Allah will bring a people whom He will love and will love Him…”(5:54).
  17. Is it asking too much for what is obvious ? will the UMNO delegates wake up and do the right thing ? Or will they continue to succumb to the temptation of satanic impulses ?
  18. I pray truth, justice and fair play will prevail ! Am I asking for too much ? Are we, Malaysians asking for too much ?
  19. Let us love the party, people and nation more than ourselves or what we get in return for our blind loyalty. Let us do the right thing !
  20. Will you UMNO delegates ?

 

 

 

Posted by: raishussin | November 29, 2015

Rebuilding Democracy in Malaysia

  1. In December 1998, for the first time in American history a sitting President, Bill Clinton, was impeached by Congress for the crimes of obstruction of justice and perjury relating to the sexual affair he had while in office with a 22 year old intern, Monica Lewinsky.
  2. The world knows very well the tricks he employed to duck and dive the allegations, including, most famously, his questioning of the definition of what “is” is, when he said that he “did not have sexual relations” with the woman in question – earning him the nickname: “The Wizard of Is”.
  3. In the end, the semen-stained blue dress saved by the curvy brunette with his DNA splashed all over it put an end to all of his shenanigans. But even “Slick Willie”, as he was popularly known at the time, never once went so far as to claim that the reporters and politicians accusing him were terrorists attacking the parliamentary democracy of the country or sabotaging the nation’s banking and financial institutions. The democratic institutions including all or any security agencies like FBI, CIA, NSA or any other administrative institutions was not used to defend the Slick Willie. Even his own Democratic Party distant from this investigations citing a personal issue involving then sitting President of the USA. Of course Hillary stood by his man as Bill is standing for her now in her attempt to be the first female US President.
  4. Fast forward to 2015 and Malaysia, the sitting Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak is not accused of having an illicit sexual affair – at least not by us – but he is under increasing scrutiny to explain the alleged payments of almost a billion US dollars into his personal accounts, as well as billions more in debt in the sovereign fund of his design, and even more allegedly questionable business dealings with cronies involving eye-watering sums diverted to off-shore vehicles held by other off-shore vehicles held by trustees and nominees in schematics so complex as to make even hardened drug-dealing cartels green-eyed with envy.
  5. With all these silver bullets flying his way, his simple line of defense is that anyone questioning any of this is attacking the democratically elected government of the Nation. This includes the common man, protesters, lawyers, accountants, opposition elected officials, his own UMNO party members, his UMNO Vice President and Deputy President, state bureaucrats, and even the former Deputy Prime Minister himself.
  6. When he has used the vast power at his disposal, it has been to stifle enquiry into the affair, rather than to pursue the players implicated in the scandal. He has re-shuffled bureaucrats, sacked and reassigned officials, all in the attempt to preserve his position. In the process, what he has done to the country’s constitutional democracy is the equivalent of bombing it back to the Stone Age.
  7. Rise of Dissent – The urgent need of the day is for the Rakyat to wake up and fight for no less than the constitutional and parliamentary democracy of the Nation. It is to preserve and repair the country’s institutional framework. The first call for which is to unambiguously reject the argument being offered by the Administration – the people of Malaysia surely know what the meaning of “is” is.
  8. Everyone knows that once the toothpaste is out of the tube, there’s no point trying to put it back in. Everyone, it seems, except the Prime Minister and his dwindling circle of supporters.
  9. Starting with the denial of any connection with the intermediary Jho Low, to the contradictory explanations for the alleged missing funds in 1MDB, the silence about the source and destination of allegedly, hundreds of millions of dollars into and from his personal accounts, the legal cases slapped against critical media and political opponents, the sacking of the former Attorney General, the transfer of MACC Directors to the PM’s Department and re-transfer, the elevation of the PAC members to the Cabinet to delay PAC investigation, the purge of dissenting UMNO members from the party ranks, the jailing of whistle-blowers, and the removal of his Deputy Prime Minister.
  10. Banana Republic – Regulatory authorities and enforcement agencies in multiple jurisdictions have begun actions which Malaysian authorities have been unwilling or unable to undertake themselves, and have initiated criminal probes into the culprits involved – freezing bank accounts, targeting key players, and verifying facts and details from leaked and official sources.
  11. Despite the wide net being tightened around them, the new Deputy Prime Minister returned from an official visit to the United States asserting that the FBI probe into 1MDB is merely political fodder and claiming that he had met top officials from the FBI, CIA and even Secretary of State John Kerry, with not one word mentioned by any of them about 1MDB. He may be right !
  12. Such claims call to mind a famous quote during the 1960s Profumo scandal when, hearing Lord Astor denied sleeping with her, Mandy Rice-Davis simply said “He would say that, wouldn’t he”.
  13. The immediate (and likely long term) repercussions of such action are a series of debilitating setbacks for the economy, the currency, the stock market, foreign investment, investor confidence, and other leading indicators which assign a country its place in world rankings – in which Malaysia has fast fallen into the category of a banana republic with comparisons drawn to the Philippines under Marcos and Zimbabwe under Mugabe.
  14. Call to Action – If the current Administration refuses to acknowledge this or act to stop it, then at least one by one other leading stakeholders are making their voices heard. Most importantly, in an unprecedented action, the Council of Rulers made it clear that they want the government to complete the investigation related to 1MDB as soon as possible and take “the appropriate stern action” against all those individuals found to be implicated.
  15. Central Bank Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz has also bravely called for the Najib appointed Attorney General to investigate the evidence it has presented and prepare the appropriate charges, mirroring the Rulers’ call that the people have a right to know about the findings of the investigations into 1MDB.
  16. The ultimate victim of bad governance and loss of rule of law is the People themselves. They will have to labour to rebuild the institutional infrastructure and reclaim political stability, and repair the damage inflicted by the alleged actions of its leaders upon their Constitution. So, it is therefore the responsibility of all Malaysians to limit the impact of this fiasco which is growing day by day.
  17. It is equally important to exercise caution in the event of a free for all as everyone goes in for the kill. The new leadership will have to show strength and clarity, and explain that this is the time to repair the government, the institutions, the image, the economy, and the currency. The people will get their chance to express their vote in the general election. The need for justice will not go away.
  18. But first, YAB Dato’ Seri Najib Razak must reassess his position to stay or leave to safe the nation. Otherwise, just as President Clinton has come to be known in American politics as the “Comeback Kid”, the current Prime Minister will just as surely secure his reputation as the “Cannot Rid” politician of Malaysia.
  19. Will UMNO delegates rise to the clarion call to Save Malaysia and Rebuild its Democracy or will it be a choreographed applause to the gleeful Najib and his team of “obedient apple polishers”, who has made it public that Cash is King ?
  20. Will UMNO delegates for once elbow out the niceties and “patronaged obligation” for real reform by doing the right thing, that will continue to engender and relevantize UMNO in the next General Election and beyond ?
  21. Or are we asking for too much of UMNO delegates ?

 

Posted by: raishussin | November 27, 2015

You First, Country After

  1. “When we find that people accept people who are corrupt, are very supportive of corrupt people, very soon everybody will be corrupt,” said Tun Dr. Mahatir. He went to declare unapologetically: “When you stick out your neck, be prepared to have it chopped off.”
  2. On the latter point, he has been questioned by the Police – a first for any former Prime Minister – but refused to answer any questions, nor has he since backed down from his incessant and urgent calls for his Party’s current leader, Najib Razak, to step down and resign his Posts.
  3. On the former assertion, his fears seem to be justly borne out, anecdotally at least. At a recently concluded World Islamic Economic Forum, a very linked and highly-pedigreed Dato’ Seri opined that even if Najib took the RM2.6 billion, so what? It wasn’t your money money or mine and calm still prevails on the streets in Malaysia. In other developing countries middling politicians, not even Party Leaders, steal that amount every year, so if one cannot accept it they can just vote with their feet and leave! i.e. leave Malaysia ! Wow !
  4. Of course this same Dato’ Seri – and others echoing his views – have simply adapted to survive in the current political climate, and would change his tune overnight if Najib actually got the boot. He will then surely say: “Of course it’s better that we do not have this type of allegedly grand-scale corruption.”
  5. In reality, the Nation has been destabilized and the Rakyat – the elite and common man alike – are simply trying to save their skin, so they rationalize what has happened to ensure they don’t stick out as a dissenting voice. It’s weak, true, but very normal. As Dostoyevsky said, most people will take their freedom and lay it at the feet of the first person who would accept the burden from them.
  6. Proponents of truth and justice are few in number today, but resolutely determined to rise to the task of ensuring that Malaysia does not meet the sorry fate of relegation to the ranks of banana republics and failed states. They will be heralded as modern heroes when the political tide turns.
  7. Bank Negara Governor, Tan Sri Zeti, has stuck to the script that the Ringgit will recover once “domestic issues” are “resolved”. For seasoned watchers of Central Bankers and their arcane speak, who are accustomed to decoding their cryptic messages, it’s clear that what she is actually saying is that the currency will only rebound off its 25% decline when Najib is done for and goes away.
  8. In the meantime, her message has the effect of signalling the global currency markets that the country’s central bank will do nothing to support its currency until this eventuality transpires. It translates to an open invitation to speculators, hedge funds, foreign banks and other deep pocketed punters to make some easy money at the expense of Malaysian businesses and citizens.
  9. A harsh approach, maybe, but nonetheless extremely effective. The global financial markets have a way of delivering desired results immediately while politicians, journalists, lawyers, accountants, and their ‘committees’ dither back and forth ad infinitum. Just look at the PAC, the MACC, the DGP, and the AG. They would like nothing more than to ride out the rough waters.
  10. But Najib should take note; he may be the head honcho in his back-yard, but in the global landscape of international money markets he’s simply a pink-lipped footnote to history. Najib will eventually fall, if not now by his own hand, then in a couple of years by the full force of the voting public – at which time he will also take down his party and its sycophantic hangers-on with him. The debate should now move on to what the new leadership should do to change the mechanism of checks and balances and ensure that such travesties of allegedly abuse and corruption do not recur.
  11. Will the UMNO delegates hearken to the call of ensuring truth, justice and fair play reemerge as one of our strongest offerings to the world  by restoring our democratic institutions through credible democratic reforms ?
  12. Or do they even understand democracy beyond lip kissing leaders hands in exchange for the temporal “worldly” currency in the expense of eternal currency in the hereafter ?
  13. Can the UMNO leaders, for once, think beyond their respective positions and relevance ? Or that is too complex to comprehend, defeating even more complex econometric modelling ?
  14. Can anyone in UMNO top leadership, for once, stand for Malaysia ?
  15. Or status quo ?
Posted by: raishussin | November 26, 2015

All the PM’s Men

  1. “There are many other channels for people” to discuss 1MDB and the funds that appeared in Najib’s accounts, said Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin Hussein, one of the party’s vice presidents who is also the defense minister. “We have more important things to discuss during the assembly like the future of Umno.”
  2. Yeah, right.
  3. One of the main such channels should have been the upcoming UMNO General Assembly; instead the proceedings of which will now be closed to the media with only the president’s – that is, Najib’s – speech to be telecast. This is a break with history and tradition, and a slap in the face to the very openness and transparency that the Malaysian public and international observers are calling for.
  4. In another break from protocol, in the desperate hope of keeping party infighting or reforms under wraps, the deputy president, former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who is now one of Najib’s sharpest critics, won’t officiate the opening of the women and youth wings meeting at the assembly. He has been prevented from doing so.”We want to ensure a positive atmosphere and smooth running of the event,” Najib said.
  5. Of course you do !
  6. What can one write to undo this ill-conceived decision not to allow media to cover the event? Now a sudden u-turn to allow selected friendly media to cover. Or will there be another u-turn ? Who is really making the decision in UMNO ?  Perhaps point out that it marks the first time in UMNO’s history. And that another first includes preventing the elected and sitting deputy president from speaking at his own party’s annual meet.
  7. Or that this was the first time the UMNO Supreme Council convened at the Parliament instead of UMNO headquarters; the first time participants to it were informed by way of private invitation selectively; the first time the assemblies of the Wanita, Youth and Puteri units will be opened by their respective chiefs and not the deputy president; and first time delegates are restricted in speaking about issues.
  8. You get the idea.
  9. Should we now compare UMNO to a communist party convention of yesteryear or even in North Korea these days, where propaganda and party line must be adhered to, clapping of hands are rehearsed choreographically, with no place for democracy, freedom of speech, thought, political expression and the like? No wonder Tun Mahathir will be a no-show, one can hardly blame him.
  10. Of course, it is plainly obvious that no amount of persuasion will induce Najib to change his mind. He has done much worse in the name of protecting his precious democratically elected personage. But just as simple, straight facts are the reply to his verbal gymnastics, there is an answer to this as well.
  11. The answer is social media. The old tried and true tricks of propaganda and censorship don’t work today my friends. On the contrary, the media coverage will be even more sensational than if they had openly allowed it, thanks to the disgruntled delegates who will surely leak videos, posts and texts from the proceedings. Thanks to technology the kimono will be flapping wide open in the wind and wonder what we will see inside !
  12. And, if that fails, there’s always Nelson Mandela. Ignorant that his quote would one day travel through time and space to invoke UMNO delegates to rally against a culture of fear and oppression, he sagely foretold:  “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”
  13. UMNO delegates take heed. Stand up and be counted NOW ! or face the consequences of been shown the exit in GE14.
  14. Think & Reflect !

 

Posted by: raishussin | November 10, 2015

UMNO REDUX

As the 1MDB scandal rages on unabated, the debate seems to have moved onto the question of loyalty – squaring off those supporting Dato’ Seri Najib Razak against those calling for him to resign. These include UMNO members upbraiding each other’s commitment to the leadership of the party, but also BN coalition members and the opposition, all choosing sides drawn upon the battle lines of loyalty to the Prime Minister. In this act of the ongoing drama, loyalty to the Rakyat has been written out of the script for now, no doubt to resume centre stage once the next election looms nearer.

THE CASE FOR NAJIB

For a political party to function effectively there must be hierarchy of leadership. This is an empirical truth, and need not be defended because of its existential reality. As long as Najib remains at the head of the hierarchy the mechanism of control may be wielded at his discretion.  Beyond this, little more allowance can be afforded in favour of those rank and file UMNO members that support the Prime Minister – apart from blatant self-interest, self-enrichment, and preservation of power.  Harsh indictments, perhaps, it’s but more than well borne out when you consider the case against Najib.

THE CASE AGAINST NAJIB

  1. The preponderance of evidence of alleged wrongdoing by 1MDB and its penultimate overseer is mounting day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute. No amount of attempted and alleged spin by Cabinet Ministers, Attorney General and other Bureaucrats can obscure the data which has been leaked.
  2. A substantial damage to the constitutional and parliamentary democracy of the Nation has already been done, evidenced by the retreat of the economy, the currency, the stock market, foreign investment, investor confidence, and every other objective measurable means in the public domain.
  3. The human cost of fanning racism, imprisoning whistle blowers, harassing opponents and ruling by fear and force has yet to be reckoned. But the tab is growing exponentially. No one can tell what the final tally will be, and many in power are lining their pockets as insurance for the dark days ahead.
  4. Surely the far sighted will discern that blind loyalty to Najib today means an-eye-for-an-eye retaliation tomorrow. Leaving the voting public aside, these culprits will be exposed to the righteous indignation of the leadership that replaces Najib – whenever that day comes –be it UMNO or not.

UMNO – THE BEGINNING AND THE END

  1. Politicians across the World have rarely been accused of being book smart; but they are abundantly endowed with that elusive quality called “Street Smarts”, an instinct which allows men to rule other men, and organizations to collect and disseminate that most valuable output of human energy: Power. In our little corner of Earth – itself a speck of dust in the Universe – UMNO has emanated the glow of Power uninterrupted since the relatively recent birth of the Nation-State of Malaysia.
  2. These being incontestable facts, nor it being disputed that UMNO’s rule will one day itself become a passing frame in history’s moving picture, the only question remain when, and, possibly, how.
  3. If UMNO wants to remain relevant it must not look to Najib, but instead to the people – not only when GE14 nears, but today itself.  Else it risks being swept into the annals of history before its time.

FOR THE RULERS, BY THE RULERS

  1. “The problem is that the three million UMNO members have no voice or rights at all as compared to about 300 UMNO chieftains.” So declaimed Lim Kit Siang, leader of the opposition DAP, himself suspended from the Dewan Rakyat for 6 months for disparaging remarks made against its Speaker.
  2. He went on to suggest that the UMNO bosses make their decisions largely based on self-interest rather than the common good: “Najib has bought the support of about 300 UMNO chieftains whether at the Supreme Council or at the Divisional chief levels,” and concludes that “the battle between [the UMNO bosses and its Members] will be the major factor to determine the fate of Malaysia.”
  3. If this is true – as it increasingly to be – then it spells a foreboding doom for UMNO in GE14, and harkens the end of one-party rule in Malaysia. This may be good for democracy, no doubt, and even necessary for the long-term development of the Nation, but, like any journey over unchartered terrain, it risks a rocky road to transition, with the potential for further destabilization in its path.
  4. Worse, it could call to end the relatively peaceful and orderly environment that the Rakyat has come to rely upon, especially the functioning of the Rule of Law, the basic measure of any civilized society.

MORE GRAFT PLEASE, WE’RE MALAY

  1. It’s worth asking if the voting public, and Malays specifically, are willing to tolerate corruption on a grand scale – in the billions as it is alleged against Najib. Is it true, as blogger Zaid Ibrahim argues, that “Malays, generally speaking, do not feel the sense of anger or revulsion against leaders who are corrupt, or who steals (sic) from state coffers.” He theorizes that “taking money from unauthorized sources are (sic) something they can tolerate because it is already part of their lifestyle [under NEP].”
  2. If so, then there’s no need to repeatedly call for Najib’s head; after all we all know the story of the boy who cried “Wolf!” one time too many. But then UMNO party members are the only ones on the side lines on this issue; the momentum for recovery of missing funds is fast gathering momentum.
  3. The MACC, PAC, AG, IGP, BNM, handicapped as they may be in their probe of a sitting Prime Minister, are on the task. They are joined by Singapore’s MAS, the Swiss OAG, America’s FBI and DOJ, UK’s SFO and CPO, Hong Kong’s HKPA, France’s PN. Everyone from ABC to XYZ is on the case!
  4. If UMNO doesn’t want any part of it then they stand alone, united in denial. DAP’s leader Lim Kiat Siang will be the lone domestic voice calling for Najib to “refund” the RM2.6 billion to the Treasury.

UMNO REBOOT –THE BOOT

  1. UMNO’s next political avatar, after ruling for 58 years, will then be to play an essential role as leaders of the Opposition, gifting the Nation its next generation of leaders from the dust of its chaos.
  2. If the party cannot groom leaders from men and women of intellect and integrity, then at least it will ensure that it returns power to the hands of its rank and file membership, the Rakyat. In the end, Democracy will be served. As a character in a new movie about the 2008 housing market collapse explains: “Fraud has never, ever worked. Eventually things go south. When did we forget all that?”
  3. This adage will surely prove true unless UMNO takes decisive action to turn back the momentum.
  4. Will UMNO do it ?

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