To the Chinese it is popular adage that family wealth never lasts more then three generations. The first generation will start the business. The second generation will consolidate it. And when the third generation comes the wealth goes.
How close a parallel is this to reality with the Onn family. Dato Onn started UMNO and begun his entry into Malaysian politics. The legacy he left was ably shouldered by his son Tun Hussein Onn – one of our most revered Malay leaders whose service to our nation was cut short by ill health. And now comes his third generation ..this Din guy…and all is lost.
In this third generation of the Onns manifested in this Din guy there is none of the moral fiber that his grandfather had. None of the disdain for the trappings of position and power that his grandfather eschewed. His grandfather was brave enough to stand up for his beliefs against the British without the need of a keris. His grandfather was focused in wanting to “betulkan” the Malays and yet he left UMNO because UMNO would not open its doors to the non Malays! Truly this Onn Jaafar was a man who loved the Malays as anyone would loved one’s own people and yet understood the need for all the other races to be one under UMNO. How could you not respect and revere this Dato' Onn?
Then Dato Onn’s son and this Din’s father became Prime Minister of Malaysia. Hussein Onn’s as the eldest son of Dato Onn was acutely aware of the legacy that preceded him – that his father was a Menteri Besar of Johor and the first President and founder of UMNO. This quiet man is much respected and loved by all Malaysians and we are better for having him as our Prime Minister. Who could forget his courage to prosecute Harun Idris for corruption at the risk of factionalizing the Malays? He was fearless in his fight against corruption and money politics in UMNO.
And then along come this Din guy!
Totally unable to understand the legacy he was born into. While his grandfather had resigned because UMNO would not admit non Malays into the party, Din took it upon himself to arrogantly wave the keris in a cheap and garish display in support of Ketuanan Melayu when he was UMNO youth’s leader. While his father Hussein Onn stood for doing the right thing even at the expense of Malay unity (as in his pursuing of Dato Harun Idris for corruption) this Din is the personification of an idiot throwing his Ministerial weight around to show people that he is in charge and is too ready to use the ISA and the Police to his own political advantage.
An arrogant Malay with power to boot! Power is vested in him temporarily by those who have voted him in. Power that will no longer be there once he is out of office. These are the kind of UMNO “leaders” who trade on the legacies of their families and having profited from this legacy, proceeded to shame not only his family legacy but also us Malays! This is one Malay we can do without. Let us see where his loyalties lies when push comes to shove. When he has to make choices to ensure his political survival. If the past is any reference I hold little hope for his ability to further his family legacy in the manner that Dato Onn and Hussein Onn would have wished. I hope that we will be rid of this Din when our country elects those whom we want to lead us. This Din may truly be the last of the Onn’s during my lifetime.