Tuesday 7 September 2010

Cakap Cakap....National interest & UMNO interest.

Today it is best not to announce that you are an UMNO member when in the company of people whose political inclinations you are not too sure of. Those who are not with UMNO are no longer reticent about putting across their thoughts on what UMNO has or not have done for the country in a vigorous manner. Once started these people would take little persuasion to engage any UMNO stalwarts in robust arguments in the mistaken belief that all who are in UMNO are to be reviled. This is not so.

Within its ranks there are Malays who are aware of the need for UMNO to be more relevant of the times that we now live in. That UMNO is losing ground amongst the Malays is acknowledged by UMNO leaders. UMNO no longer considers victory in the 13th general election certain. If anything it will be a hard fought contest against a Pakatan Rakyat under full sail after taking four states from Barisan Nasional. But victory for Pakatan Rakyat is at best uncertain; at worse it is a victory they can lose.

UMNO has tentacles everywhere it choses to go. Pakatan Rakyat simply does not have the resources to stop it. Time and time again UMNO has chosen to take the path less travelled and do what they think they must to ensure UMNO’s interest are protected. We have seen this by their use of the ISA, the OSA and government ministries to stifle growing opposition and neutralize increasing dissent towards the manner they govern this country. And having done that UMNO tells us ‘We are here and you cannot do anything about it!”

When you are in government right and wrongs will be a matter for you to decide. In this Pakatan Rakyat is just as adept at following the same set of rules that UMNO now follows. What UMNO does, Pakatan Rakyat does – it is just a matter of degree. Our tolerance for this politics of convenience is running thin at this point of time. In our culture we sometimes tolerate some form of criminality in as long as the ends are justified, but UMNO and Pakatan Rakyat are pushing the boundaries. 

Do not think that UMNO will not win the 13th general election. No other political organization in Malaysia have their resources. A few good men and women are all it will take for UMNO to regroup, stabilize its mass and move forward with purpose and intent. UMNO’s successes so far in winning elections have elbowed these people out of the way. Money politics too have been instrumental in ensuring that those who can win elections are preferred to those who can ensure the survivability of UMNO in the long run. And here lies the quandary that UMNO is now in.               

Politics without power is like P. Ramlee without Saloma, like Penang without its Ferry and Kajang without its Satay! The political will to survive within UMNO is strong but what is stronger is its will to win. Winning in the short term is what holds UMNO together because in winning you have the spoils of war. The culture of money politics that permeates UMNO defines how elections are won or lost.

It can be explain thus. When you go to the cinema you pay before you see the movie. When having a dinner you pay after you have eaten. Politics in UMNO requires payment before an election, during and election and after an election. Hence the need to win any given contested election so that upon winning the candidate can recoup his ‘investment’ and make himself financially cashed up for the next fight.

Survival however is long term. In business you do not finance long-term investment with short-term capital. Money politics while effective in the short term in winning elections cannot ensure UMNO’s long-term survival.

When will UMNO blink? When will UMNO has its ‘eureka’ moment? When will greed and hubris be understood by those within UMNO as being its Achilles heal? When will public and national interest be defined without UMNO’s interest as a constant?

Does national interest means the withholding of oil royalties for a PAS controlled Kelantan?

Does national interest means the use of APCO, at huge costs to the public, to put spin into what Barisan Nasional chooses to promote for its own interest?

Is it in the public interest to not tell us why Altantuya’s cousin’s entry and departure from Malaysia were missing from immigration records?

Is it in the public interest to keep the accounts of Petronas only for the eyes of the Prime Minister?

Is it in the national interest to keep terms and agreements of IPP’s and Toll contracts under OSA?

Does UMNO’s interpretation of national and public interest allows UMNO to commit criminal acts? Criminality being defined as in the interest of UMNO at the expense of national and public interest.

Methinks that UMNO is flying too close to the sun if they persists in deliberately confusing these interests. But it is hard to accept that UMNO has the ability, the opportunity and the intent to do this! There are enough good men in UMNO who will not allow this to happen. But then I have been known to be wrong on the past.  

1 comment:

  1. Great article. Thank you for putting so much effort in putting yout thought into this article.