Sunday, August 20, 2006

Umno, Unshakable And United?

A Kadir Jasin

IT is interesting that when almost all English and bahasa Malaysia weekend newspapers have decided to go “light”, The Sunday Star opted for the defence of Umno.

It highlighted Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak’s assessment of the party. Under the headline “Umno United”, the MCA-controlled paper quoted the Deputy Prime Minister as saying that the party is unshakeable and its members are still united.

Speaking at an Umno function in Baling, Kedah, Najib said this was proven as various attempts to form political parties by disgruntled former Umno leaders had failed.

He said Umno was not just a party, but also a political institution, which could foster the unity of the Malays and Muslims, and serve as the backbone of the Government.

Najib said the Malays were smart enough to evaluate the need to support the current leadership for the sake of party unity.

“It is proven that Umno has flourished under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, where during the previous general election in Kedah alone, Umno and Barisan Nasional had won all the parliamentary seats in the state, making it impossible for PAS to gain a foothold in Kedah,” he added.

He said the Malays had to depend on Umno to survive.

“So it is of utmost importance for the political institution to be protected and the current leadership given undivided support for the party’s survival.”

He also said Abdullah should not be solely blamed for calling off the scenic bridge project in Johor, as the decision was collectively made by the Cabinet.

I have to agree with Najib on some of those historical points he made. I was there on two of those occasions – the 1988 split that gave birth to the now defunct Parti Melayu Semangat 46 and 1998 sacking of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that led to the formation of Parti Keadilan Rakyat Malaysia.

The Malay politics will remain, for along time to come, the tussle between Umno and Pas, as much as the Chinese politics is the seesaw between the MCA and the DAP.

In recent years, we have seen Pas moving closer to the Umno-type agenda and structure. It is aggressively embracing contemporary issues and is moving away from dependency on the traditional ulama-led leadership.

Given this heightening battle between Umno and Pas for the Malay minds and votes, the chances of a third Malay party making an impact are limited.

So Najib’s assessment is largely correct, although somewhat simplistic. For a start, the Malays are today less rooted in politics as they once were and their sense of party loyalty is less stringent.

The question is where do we go from here? By we, I mean, all Malaysians because, whereas, the rivalry is between Umno and Pas, its impact touches all Malaysians.

While the Umno-led Barisan Nasional coalition traces its origin to the 1953 Kuala Lumpur Municipal election, the Oppositions’ Barisan Alternatif (Alternative Front) is yet to find its firm footing. The success of the latter hinges on Pas although Keadilan has been trying to present itself as the catalyst.

The Mingguan Malaysia headline “Scomi dapat secara adil” (Scomi obtains (contracts) in fair manner) should dispel some of the misconceptions created in recent weeks about the company.

The explanation by its President and CEO, Shah Hakim Zain is timely given the various erroneous statements made about the company, including that claim that it did not do business in Malaysia.

According to the Utusan report, the Prime Minister’s son, Kamaruddin Abdullah, owns 17.3 per cent of Scomi’s shares. But Shah Hakim claimed that from the financial aspect, Kamaluddin is only an investor.


Anonymous said...

Dear all
It was gratifying to note the clarification by its CEO in Utusan Minggu on the issue of Scomi and the apparently transparent and legitimate means through which its overseas and local contracts were procured. It was helpful because it laid to rest the numerous speculations on way in which these contracts were acquired, especially amidst suggestions of political interference – reminding of course, of the post – 1997 economic debacle where corporate entities with seemingly close ties to the government were accused of cronyism.

After all, if indeed Scomi had managed to outbid its fellow competitors, then we ought to congratulate their ability to offer the best possible services to their clients. Political intimacy need not necessarily mean that an organization is by definition compromised; as long as the due process is followed. Such being the case, surely Scomi, just like any other organization, must be given its due regard. To suggest impropriety without providing reliable evidence is, at best irresponsible, and at worst, illegal.

Also it has put paid to the speculation raised in TV3 during the interview with the PM, where it was suggested that Scomi had no real economic interests in Malaysia.

Berita dari gunung said...

Tuan-tuan dan puan-puan,

Seperti manusia biasa, ahli umno benar-benar menunjukkan kepelbagaian. Kemampuan yang sering ditunjukkan yakni menjadikan keahlian dalam umno, sekaligus bergerak cergas, dan pada masa yang sama menggunakan networking yang ada itu sebagai peluang untuk keuntungan peribadi, samada "power", "influence" mahupun kekayaan, bukannya perkara baru. Ia tidak hanya tertumpu pada Umno sahaja. Parti-parti lain diMalaysia, malah dinegara lain juga begitu.

Tetapi yang saya khuatir, ialah jika patriotisma, boleh luntur dalam keghairahan itu. Sejarah dunia juga memaparkan episod sedih dimana patriotisma seolah jadi dosa, dalam lipatan-lipatannya.

Anonymous said...


Hujung minggu datang lagi. Berpeluang melihat video clip Bersemuka Perdana Menteri berulang kali. Hanya ada dua orang saja dalam video clip itu. Host amat berpengalaman sekali, tenang walaupun bertanyakan soalan-soalan yang boleh mengundang jawapan yang bukan-bukan. Satu tabik pada host. Pada tetamu dalam video clip itu, saya ambil sikap berkecuali, tidak mahu membuat analisa apa-apa.

Melalui pengalaman bekerja, saya akui selalu juga menghadiri mesyuarat. Kadangkala jadi ahli, ada masa jadi pengerusi. Bila kita jadi pengerusi kita terpaksa ambil birds eye view. Kita scan gelagat ahli-ahli, yang terdiri dari manusia yang berlainan kemampuan baik dari segi intelek mahupun emosi. saya gemar mengurus mesyuarat yang intelek berkisar sihat dan cergas, tetapi jika emosi mula meresap, saya terpaksa segera mengambil langkah realign. kaedah defensif yang ketara adalah manifestasi kepada gangguan emosi atau kurang kawalan emosi. Pengalaman terhad yang ada pada saya, dapat melihat sedikit langkah defensif disebalik wawancara itu. Itu membimbangkan saya.

Anonymous said...

Scomi CEO's clarification only presents the company's side. That's all!

It illuminates Scomi's position. The company may have every reason to believe that it had managed to outbid competitors fairly and squarely to procure those government contracts. And we of course have no reason to suspect otherwise.

But was the goverment selection process equally above scrutiny? THAT is the people's concern, or should be. Awards of huge government contracts should not be presented to the people as fait accompli. Especially given the special connection one of its major shareholders (or "investors") has with the government. It would be quite naive not to suspect lack of impartiality, if not actual impropriety.

As it is this administration, whose CEO as it turns out did not even know that Scomi does do business in the country, has yet to explain to the people how Scomi was repeatedly considered best choice for the contracts already awarded.

Anonymous said...

Dear all,
Correct me if I'm wrong but has KJ(SIL) been accused of infringing the inter-racial sensitivities of BN with his purported statements as reported in some of the local chinese dailies?
Interesting to note that such a keen supporter of a more liberal and open Malaysia has (as he has done since becoming the staunchest UMNO member of all!)over the past couple of years trying to position himself as another Malay nationalist.
I suppose political expediency overrides any sense of principle, but perhaps that's the best that can be hoped for of the country's leading party today.
The most intriguing statement though has to go to the DPM whose definition of UMNO as more than just a party, but a national institution fits in well with the sentiments of the period where UMNO was formed.
As a national body where the aggregate national sentiments of the Malays were to be given a united voice (despite the ideological differences between the organisations who formed the party), UMNO has continued to function as such - albeit unpredictably at times (at least during its initial decade or two).
Lets hope, despite whatever reservations we may have that some of the foresight and gumption exhibited by Tun Razak manifests itself in his son.

bukit mertajam said...

So far, Najib has projected himself gracefully. Not a glimpse of dagger hidden. But then Najib has always been that way. If the whole crowd want him to put things right, to bring back the solidarity of UMNO, or to play a unifying role, then may be or just may be a different najib will emerge.

But this bridge thing really struck me bad. The cabinet said yes, then said no. The YES part is not much of an issue because its almost public knowledge. Folks understand the purpose of having a “titi”. Folks may not automatically share the idea of having the bridge called off. Imagining that cabinet meeting is a damn solid session , I would expect them to really put up the case in the cabinet. Like any other working paper. Then Chairman will seek opinion from the others, then a decision will be made. How long did they discuss the issue, before scraping the bridge; an hour, two hours, or its just minutes... Did they discuss at all.? Or they regard it as not being too important, just another "lain-lain hal" issue.

Membatalkan majlis kenduri kahwin pun bukan calang-calang tindakan. Kelamkabut semua orang di buatnya. Kad kahwin dah hantar, duit cengkeram katering dah beri, itu dah buat , ini dah buat. Inikan pula jambatan yang berbilion ringgit. Setakat yang saya tahu bridge tu bukannya just a stand-alone project, dia berada dalam kerangka strategic economic action; a national issue. For any leader to even consider that bridge is a light issue, a lupakanlah issue.. Hmmm… I dunno.

I just want to remind them that this isnt a light matter.. Money involved, the strategic framework, the integrity, the sovereignity… just to name a few. Why must they let it be that way, bridge becoming a laughing matter… Kepada pemimpin2, atau bakal pemimpin, jagalah negara kita ni baik-baik. Or can Najib bring confidence back to us, that things are Ok, cabinet are ok, Strategic decisions are handled well, our country is doing fine.

Lebih lama isu ini berjalan, lebih ketara perlunya langkah-langkah affirmative dari najib, to help things round, before Malaysia turn out to be a Mad House!!!!!

Anonymous said...


kj said something about umno weakening and the chinese taking advantage of that to make this and that claims. mca leaders and gerakan leaders have taken exception to his statment.

sun has a small story on page 11 (khairy's remarks draw flak). as of this morning MageP's lab ( posted it so did Rocky's Bru (

Gigi said...

We also know that, initially, leadership may seem like a nebulous concept: it feels like a piece of soap that keeps slipping out of your hands. It’s important that you are able to put your hands around this concept—to understand leadership—because this understanding will shape how you approach your officer responsibilities, how you interact
with one another, how you make decisions, and which kinds of activities and special projects you choose to engage in has a post.

To help you gain this understanding, we’ll discuss the following areas in this scribe:
• The desired model of leadership
• Looking at citizenship and service, based on this leadership model
• The conditions that promote growth and development
• Applying leadership to specific post experiences

Before reading the first section, on the desired model of leadership, stop for a moment. Imagine the following scene:
Mat, Mid, and Mud are talking together. Well, maybe we should say that Mat is talking, and Mid and Mud are mostly listening . . .
At two o’clock, Mad is at the park. He looks around for Mid and Mud. They are nowhere in sight.

“Where in the world are Mid and Mud?” Mad wonders.
“I told them everything they needed to get . . . and when to be at the park. Where could they be?”

In this scribe, you will discover that leadership is not power over others. It is not making decisions for others, and it is not telling others that to do.

Rather, leadership is about empowering others through service. Leadership is about creating an environment within the post where everyone feels a sense of self-worth, where people grow and choose to be
present—physically, mentally,

I will write some more. Rest assured that the notes are for light reading. No spicy bite!

coconut said...

What happen to the setting up of IPCMC - Independent Police commission thing?

I hope Our generous PM is not displaying his magic: Now U See. But next time I am pretending that it never exists. You know...Like the jambatan.

Anonymous said...

Umno: tergoncang.

Ada isu berat yang dimainkan dalam ini. Ulasan secara reaktif dari beberapa ahli politik memberi perspektif tambahan dalam kegawatan ini. Lukisan Landskap Politik oleh Dato Adnan menerangkan politik semudah boleh; tentang pokok berbuah, dan beruk berhimpit-himpit ke dahan itu. Khairy juga menyebut tentang beruk menggoncang pokok. PM juga turut mengulas tetapi dalam perspektif berbeza; langsung terkeluar perkataan iblis. Radzi, Nazri juga meletakan warna-warna tambahan dalam landskap politik tanahair.

Tapi saya jangkakan isu ini tak semudah pokok dan beruk. Isu ini lebih mirip kepada PERANG. Ciri-ciri perang yang terminal menuntut kewujudan kawan dan lawan.

Tun sentiasa membawa kita ke sudut-sudut rumit. Dari dulu hingga sekarang. Rupanya kita jadi matang dalam proses itu. Tapi PM tidak mempunyai kelebihan masa. Pengalaman beliau tidak bersifat kombatif. Saya lihat PM beberapa kali menggunakan jarinya dalam Wawancara di TV3; itu adalah prelude to combat. Bukannya rude, atau kasar, tapi tentunya tidak tertib samasekali. Pada suatu masa lain, PM juga menyebut tentang SJER; "ini adalah idea saya sendiri". Secara umum saya tak hairan sangat dengan political gimmicks. Tetapi jarang sangat statesman kata sebegitu. It has to be in style. Rakan-rakan yang pakar dalam strategic management memahami situasi ini.

Lupakan tentang itu, ia cuma bintik kecil dalam landskap luas. Tapi saya sukar jangkakan rupa landskap itu bila siap nanti.

Truth said...


I think I speak for the general public when I say that we have no qualms with Scomi acquiring contracts whether in the country or abroad. It is only natural when the known investor or owner is closely linked to the Prime Minister. However, we do take offence to the PM for saying outright, the establishment that his son is connected to does not get local contracts and had to bid for contracts abroad (implying that the approving body is in no way connected to the Govt).

We also take exception when th PM said " When my son is asked why his business is mainly done abroad, he says it is difficult to do business in Malaysia because his father is the Prime Minister."

In both instances, either the Prime Minister was thinking of the rakyat as true suckers, or he is really unintelligent (beyond our imagination of one who leads the nation).

Either way, we are doomed for having him as the head of our Govt. It is up to UMNO to remind him, that although he is the Prime Minister of the BN govt, he is UMNO president first and mustn't stretch himself backwards to please the others before his own as it is the 2000 odd UMNO delegates that allow him to be Prime Minister by virtue of the UMNO presidency and not the 11 million odd rakyat who go to the polls to vote BN.(Note: National Front and later known as Barisan Nasional has won in all the general elections held since independance).

As I have repeatedly said, Pak Lah should start being a Prime Minister instead of doing public relations work to convince people that he is Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Truth said...

UMNO is united from the Division Chief level up but are not underneath.

This is because there is much more freedom and democracy from below the Division Chief level. The grasroot can critisize the Divion Chief openly and sometimes even viciously but from the division chief up to the Supreme Council they consider themselves united because this is the suck-up zone. Nobody tells the truth to the leader and pretends that all is sound, good and dandy beneath.

The PJ Selatan UMNO Division Chief said it sweet and straight. UMNO should allow any leader among the 191 divisions to speak at the General Assembly this year as opposed to a designated speaker from each State who spends the first 15 minutes of his "prepared and edited speech by the State liaison chief" sucking up to his state chief, the President and his deputy before embarking on other issues which are mainly self explanatory.

This is exactly why people at the top are out of touch with the grassroot. It is because they prefer to hear good tidings even if they are false. I beleive Najib knows of the grouses beneath but have to put up a repectable front to cover his boss' weaknesses. But this is only a temporary measure. It cannot last. It is like Nick Leeson from Barrings, shufflig his losses around various parking accounts until it just got too big not to notice.

me said...

Keyword: Depend.

The Malays and Bumis in Sabah (who are eligible UMNO members) must not be told to depend on the government. Wasn't it this very administration who said that Bumis should not depend on the government to prosper? Telling people that they must depend on them is not an incentive to prosper.

Anonymous said...

Dato AKJ dan pembicara semua,

Saya suka melayari blog ini. Bukan bermakna saya tidak melayari blog-blog dan laman web yang lain. Tetapi ternyata berada di dalam blog ini memberi suatu citarasa dan semangat diri yang lain. Terima kasih kepada semua di atas pandangan, hujah, ulasan dan bicara yang saya kira amat matang. Kalau adapun perasaan marah, kesal, sedih dan simpati ianya dilapiskan secara berhemah sekali.

Teruskan menjaga krediliti blog ini agar kita semua dapat terus bersama sekalipun kita tidak pernah mengenal antara satu sama lain.

Tentu sahaja terima kasih buat Dato AKJ kerana berkongsi tulisan yang membina minda, insani dan semangat kita yang semakin hari semakin lemah.

Tulisan Dato memberi terapi jiwa dan fikiran kepada kami yang sayangkan Malaysia.


malaysians said...

Saya sokong Tun kerana saya akan menyokong kebenaran yang saya percaya benar !!

Tolong kembalikan kegemilangan di negara malaysia. cukuplah lah kisah politik yang tak habis habis for past 6 months dicussing the half past six goverment. Saya sebagai seorang anak malaysia yang masih muda amat dukacita dan sedih melihat perkembangan ekonomi malaysia dan risau wawasan 2020 tidak akan tercapai dgn pucuk pimpinan yang sedia ada.Bagi pihak yang berkuasa tolonglah asingkan kepentingan diri dan utamakan kemajuan negara ! Rakyat malaysia inginkan kegemilangan dan bukannya pergolahan politik yang sedang memuncak dan sedang menghampiri tahap crisis.

Unknown said...

Dlm blog saya,, saya memang boh bahawa saya adalah penembak curi dari puak wild-wild west.

Apa nak malunya?! Saya tak malu jadi penembak curi.

Sometime, those unsung snipers contributed more than a lot. Some of them were even martyred. Yo! Lets hide and shoot!

About Me

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I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).