Will the UMNO Assemblies this week make serious amends on three major issues confronting the nation?
There are at least three things to look for in the upcoming UMNO Assemblies to be held this week beginning from Wednesday.
1. 1MDB and global kleptocracy
First is whether UMNO will embrace, ignore or repudiate the Najib legacy in particular with regard to the 1MDB international money-laundering scandal and the infamy, ignominy and iniquity of a global kleptocracy.
When Tunku Abdul Rahman took over the UMNO leadership from Onn Jaafar in 1951, he had to sell his house in Penang to fund the running of UMNO. Contrast this with the Prime Minister-cum- UMNO President rejected by the electorate in the 14GE - the nearly 300 boxes of designer handbags and dozens of bags filled with cash and jewellery among the items taken away by police in raids at properties linked to the former Prime Minister’s family, which contained RM114 million in cash in 26 currencies and Birkin handbags each worth up to hundreds of thousands of dollars!
Tunku’s integrity was undoubted and never challenged. Najib is a different kettle of fish who is now mentioned in the same league of kleptocrats like Marcos of Philippines and Suharto of Indonesia.
A video of the five “First Ladies” in world history who have notoriously squandered the people’s wealth is making the rounds in social media – and the five “First Ladies” featured are Asma al-Assad, wife of President of Syria; Grace Mugabe, wife of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe; Marie Antoinette, Queen of France in the 18th century whose opulence and extravagance triggered the French Revolution; Rosmah Mansor, wife of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (2009 to 2018); and Imelda Marcos, wife of President Marcos of Philippines.
Najib has made Malaysia doubly infamous. Will the UMNO Assemblies this week redeem Malaysia’s reputation and integrity?
There are three views as to how to handle the question of Najib’s legacy on 1MDB and global kleptocracy - to duplicate Najib’s position of denial and even ignorance; to ignore the whole question; or to take a belated stand on the 1MDB and global kleptocracy by repudiating these abuses of power, corruption and excesses.
The faceless and headless UMNO Strategic Communications unit set up after the 14GE is already busy advocating the first option – to duplicate Najib’s public stand and defend Najib’s record on integrity and the fight against corruption.
Will the UMNO Assemblies dare to say no and to adopt categorical and no-nonsense motions to denounce the 1MDB scandal and Malaysia’s dishonour as a global kleptocracy?
Will there be an inventory from all UMNO leaders, individuals, divisions and branches on the amounts of the 1MDB monies they had received from Najib, and will they all come clean and donate whatever “dirty money” they had received from Najib from 1MDB to Tabung Harapan Malaysia to help pay the trillion-ringgit national debt?
2. Politics of race, religion, hate, fear, lies and fake news
UMNO was the main peddlar of the politics of race, religion, hate, fear, lies and fake news in the run-up to and during the 11-day 14th General Election.
On the eve of the 14th General Election, Najib repeated for the umpteenth time the Big Lie that the 14th General Election is a battle between the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional and the DAP-led Pakatan Harapan, that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was being paraded as the leader and icon of the opposition which was just a charade as the DAP and I were the real power behind the scene.
Would the UMNO Assemblies own up this week to the downright fake news and false information which UMNO had unleashed in the general election, express regret and contrition for such irresponsible and divisive tactics, and commit themselves to clean, honest and moral politics and total rejection of such vicious and irresponsible politics of race, religion, hate, fear, lies and fake news?
3. “Ketuanan Melayu” degenerated into “Ketuanan UMNO”- when its time for “Ketuanan Malaysia”
For 61 years, as the lead political party and then as the hegemon in the ruling, Alliance/Barisan Nasional coalition, UMNO failed Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Malaysian Dream for the nation to be “beacon of light in a difficult and distracted world””, leveraging on the strength and assets of our diversities of race, religion, language and culture to transform Malaysia into a top world class nation in every field of human endeavor and be an example to the world of an united, harmonious, successful, progressive and prosperous nation.
Instead, we became a rogue, kakistocratic and kleptocratic state, where the concept of Ketuanan Melayu degenerated into “ketuanan UMNO” when it should have been developed into “ketuanan Malaysia”.
Will the UMNO Assemblies this week demonstrate to Malaysians that UMNO will become Malaysian political force for the future and not a throwback to the past?
In the national transformation of Malaysia in the next few decades, is UMNO going to lead the Malays towards a great Malaysian tomorrow or the opposite will take place?
For the first time in its history, UMNO has become like the other BN coalition parties like MCA, Gerakan or MIC, where it secured less votes than its party membership.
UMNO claims to have a total membership of 3.6 million members but the total votes polled by UMNO candidates in the 14GE came only to 2.5 million voters.
The 2018 General Election saw UMNO/BN ejected from the corridors of power in Putrajaya, with UMNO winning the least number of parliamentary seats under five previous Prime Ministers/UMNO Presidents of Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah – i.e. 54 parliamentary seats as compared to 109 seats during the 2004 General Election.
The candidate for UMNO Deputy President, Tan Sri Annuar Musa said a preliminary analysis of the 14GE results showed that UMNO is still the preferred choice of the majority of the Malay voters.
I do not believe that Malay voters who voted for UMNO in the 14GE wanted Malaysia to be a global kleptocracy, just as I do not believe that the Malay voters who voted for PAS wanted PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang to be a “kingmaker” to prop up a global kleptocrat to continue as Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Now the truth of the enormous crime of kleptocracy and immoral turpitude of the 1MDB scandal are being revealed to Malaysians, all those who were misled to vote for global kleptocracy or to prop up a global kleptocrat as Prime Minister of Malaysia would have realised how gravely they had been misled to cast the wrong vote in the last general election.
Will the UMNO Assemblies this week make serious amends on these three major issues confronting the nation?