Tuesday, December 2, 2014


By Mansor Puteh

Umno especially should get experts and specialists in all fields to offer views instead for their delegates to listen most of whom had not been involved in national matters or issues, with them coming to Kuala Lumpur every now and then.

Many of them do not want to enter the world of politics; otherwise, we could see the likes of Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Mark Zukerberg, Muhammad Yunus, and the other scientists and specialists in the other fields joining the fray and kicking away the very discipline that they were taught to abide to.

Unfortunately, and ironically, those who had entered the international political arena were those people who were not so well educated – Muamar Ghadaffy, Saddam Hussein, Adolf Hitler and the others, all of who had the gift of the gab who can draw the masses to stand before them.

But they were in the world before the Internet, so they had to present themselves and their views on major issues affecting the masses personally.

Today, a leader can become one not because he can shout, but because he can make sense to many, if not all, that he is good for them.

And he’d better be one who is well-educated and not just any loud-mouth who can say anything without thinking.

But Tunku Abdul Rahman was different; he knew he had to study in English and also in England and not at any place or university in the country, but at Cambridge University, so he could make sense to the British colonists.

If his parents and he had agreed to go to any university in the Arab World, chances are he would be wearing the turban and jubah and charging the British wherever they were in Tanah Melayu or Malaya then.

He did not want to use physical force, but intellectual force, which he did. And Tanah Melayu and the Melayu and the other two major races that we had in the country were better off.

Today, not many Umno delegates have similar attributes; many of them are people who do not possess even a proper tertiary education. They may be entering politics not to benefit Umno but to benefit from Umno.

Just how many of the delegates and other senior and also junior Umno leaders have benefited from Umno and how much has Umno benefited from them?

If they have personal reasons to want to cling onto their posts and also jobs, including becoming CEOs and chairmen of the GLCs, it is for them to benefit even more from Umno without them ever benefiting Umno.

Their reasons may be selfish ones.

Even the small districts their delegates come from and represent are not looked after well when they are supposed to be answerable to the local constituents, which they had all failed to do.

The national Umno leaders must also use their annual conventions especially to check on the track records of those delegates who claim to have all the answers to all the problems faced by Umno, the Melayu in the country when they have not done much to uplift the economic, social and cultural growth in their own small communities.

For instance do they know or care to find out who are the top students, athletes in their own constituencies?

How many in their constituencies are living in abject poverty and needing assistance but not getting it?

Worse of all, are they areas in their constituencies that have been encroached by farmers?

Or do they want to allow all these to be reported by the media before the national leaders take action while the local ones who become delegates in the annual conventions look elsewhere and enjoy their trips to the city shopping?

There was an Umno convention which was not well attended, which the Star newspaper showed a photo of the empty seats in Dewan Merdeka, PWTC.

And this prompted the then Umno President Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, to cry, saying how he would finally resign as president of the party and also as prime minister of the country.

The then minister of communications, Zainuddin Maidin decided the event was of national value and ordered the subsequent proceedings and events at Dewan Merdeka to be shown live, which showed the many Umno leaders pleading with Mahathir not to resign.

Mahathir knew he had to resign. But he did not want to go quietly. He wanted the act to be as dramatic as possible. So he seized on the Star report and also managed to get all the Umno delegates to return to their seats to attend the conventions.

By then most of them had done their shopping in the nearby mall.

So how could the delegates claim to be able to look at the affairs of the whole country and the Melayu race?

Talking about Umno and Melayu and Islam does not necessarily mean to demean the others; the other races do not have to feel slighted if Umno champions their own causes for which their party was established in the first place.

It is unfortunate too that Umno also happens to champion the cause of the nation and to uphold the Constitution in more ways than the other political parties in the country.

In more ways than one Umno is experiencing its own catastrophe of success and it will be very difficult for any other party to replace it.

It has suffered setbacks, but they learn fast.

It is also unfortunate how the early leaders of Umno especially its first president, Tunku Abdul Rahman is still the person who now unites all the Umno members with him being present in their minds all the time.

However, his physical images in the forms of photos and videos have not been properly utilized to create a stronger subliminal effect on the Umno delegates and more so on all the Umno members.

I thought it would be a good idea for Umno to invite Tunku’s children to at least attend the opening of the Umno conventions as well as the Merdeka Day celebrations, as long as they are still healthy and eager to lend their support for the party.

Malaysian political parties are perhaps the only ones in the world who have their annual party conventions that is widely covered by the local media, where whatever the delegates from the districts say in them are reported.

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