Saturday, December 6, 2014


By Mansor Puteh

Why can’t they behave like those parties in the developed countries that do not have open conventions so that the delegates can deliberate and berate each other in private and only what their party has decided and resolved to do is reported? Even then it is reported in their own organ and website and not the media?

If they do this they can get many wonderful effects one of which is that those who enjoy making a lot of noise will not find it interesting to do so, especially all that they can do is to make more useless noise.

In the end only those who say original things and offer intelligent views will be mentioned.

In this way the parties can get the best from the lot.

As it is only those who are noisy seems to be intelligent; while those who are intelligent avoid from speaking in such conventions which do not have any place for such persons.

Intelligent people hate to draw attention to themselves or want to attract their attention by the way they express themselves verbally and vocally.

They would rather say their piece in the most quiet and sober way without having to raise their voice to be heard; they want what they say be heard and taken note of and not how they speak and behave in public.

So no wonder most of the speeches that are said in all the conventions by the political parties in Malaysia do not end to anything.

Whatever they say are repetitive and predictable.

No wonder, the Melayu have failed to realize the potential of their own kind and problems the race faced then are still present today, with no real solutions to them.

The delegates also do not seem to have done any research on what they wanted to say; they ended up giving general speeches that cannot be implemented.

They only have views and some jokes thrown in.

I was fortunate to get the opportunity to cover for Utusan Melayu the Umno convention in 1977 which was held at Dewan Seminar of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) and the next year at the Nirwana Ballroom of the then Hilton Hotel.

Umno did not have their headquarters building the Putra World Trade Center (PWTC) then, which they only had years later, so their annual conventions were held at odd places, such as those in 1977 and 1978 when Hussein Onn was its president and prime minister of the country.

I also covered the New Year’s Day celebrations on 31 December, 1978 that was also held at the Nirwana Ballroom, so I observed the prime minister and his wife, Suhaila Noah together with many of his cabinet members doing the countdown and when the New Year appeared, they danced.

This is something that no on in Umno and the government would do. They moved to Dataran Merdeka to make it a more public celebration exercise instead of a small and closed one.

But other than that the Umno conventions have not changed much. They are purely occasions for many from the districts to show their faces and mettle at public speaking with some who would rather indulge themselves in back patting.

Unfortunately, not many of the resolutions were taken action on, or else the proof can be seen today, with issues concerning the Melayu and Islam having been settled long ago. They have not.

Maybe the district representatives who have not been in touch with the national leaders just wanted to impress upon their national leaders appearing in public in Dewan Merdeka by saying pretty much what their predecessors had said every year.

And no wonder, those who rise in the party hierarchy at the state and also national levels are mostly those who had gone and stood before the microphones in the Umno conventions the most or who had managed to hog on the media traffic saying all sorts of things mostly to praise the higherups in their party.

Umno as well as the other political parties have not been known to invite qualified persons to join them except perhaps for the post of minister in the prime minister’s department overseeing Islamic matters.

Because their leaders know not many ulamak are well tuned to join politics. Those with Islamic backgrounds who enter politics do so very early in their lives.

And most of those who had been invited to join Umno and the government are mostly those Islamic preachers who had appeared on television.

But most of the time those who enter Umno politics especially those Umno Clubs abroad are those who are not known to have excelled in their education.

No wonder too they are not able to offer any interesting or intelligent views for the party to consider.

Some of them can’t even speak proper Melayu and English, despite having studied and lived in England or America a while.

They will rise up the Pemuda and Puteri Umno ladder, no doubt or get some perks, if they could not do that.

Sadly, even the opposition political parties too do something like what Umno has been doing which is to appreciate those who criticize the government more and who had shown their aptitude to do more similar things.

And many of them are also those who are not so well-educated and who are not able to choose which area they want to concentrate on, so they end up becoming restless and criticize anything since the opposition coalition called Pakatan Rakyat does not even dare to have their own shadow government to allow the respective persons to represent them.

They prefer to open the field to anyone as long as he or she can criticize the government all the time.   

Of course, Malaysians can give their views and criticize each other intelligently and mostly, quietly. But where are the channels that are available for them to use?

None, other than in the national conventions of their respective political parties, and sometimes in their party publications and portals and blogs.

As for Umno, what can they do to benefit from the catastrophe of success that they had enjoyed all these years? Plenty.

But do they know how?

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