“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”
Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka from fahmi reza on Vimeo.
Zaid Ibrahim was recently interviewed by MalaysiaKini, on his views with regard to the state of affairs of the national politics, specifically that of UMNO Baru.
He has been a strong critic of the UMNO Baru culture/system and methods of doing things. He was denied a seat to contest in the recent elections, in which BN/ UMNO Baru and their allies literally "bit the dust", and are now made to "eat humble pie".
He apparently believes that he should reform UMNO Baru from within, as a member ......
Just as many other UMNO Baru members, he speaks of the democratic "good ol'days" of Tunku, forgetting (or deliberately ignoring the fact in denial?) that,
UMNO Baru isn't UMNO.
He also appears to acknowledge though that TDM had killed UMNO ....
The irony of it all, is the fact that TDM is today being recognized by the deluded members of "UMNO" as the hero, and AAB the "villain"!
Many still believe in their heart of hearts, that they belong to the very organisation that has long since ceased to exist .... and somehow still think that Datuk ONN Jaafar is the "father" of UMNO Baru, when it is actually TDM.
As to why they prefer to think that it is one & the same, I don't understand.
Could it be that it was the Political power & the perpetuated pretense that gave it absolute control over the gullible members and the nation at large?
Are the members willing or unwitting accomplices to the conspiracy of deception - The way "they" had hijacked the history of Malaya and the struggle for "Merdeka"?
(For more on the history of Malaya, please click here for Farish Noor's take on it, and here for the YouTube presentations of "10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka" that have 4-5 parts).
For a peek at the UMNO Baru "feudal" and undemocratic culture, please click here.
Read also "The rebel in Onn Jaafar", where the writer says Datuk Onn believed that "Cooperation with the non-Malay constituents was a political necessity if he hoped to successfully champion the interests of the Malay community."
In the interview mentioned below, Zaid appears to reinforce the perception that the ideals that UMNO had stood for are dead, and has long been buried.
And that it was the dictatorial powers of the executive (aka "Asian Values?) that kept it (UMNO Baru) going in a direction that spelled disaster for the Malays and the Nation (which includes everybody else) as a whole.
How will the general election results affect Umno elections, which is due this year?
I'm sure there will be some impact but will there be one (contest for top posts)?
The last time Umno had an election for the top two posts was when
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah challenged and lost to Dr Mahathir Mohamed
in 1987. That was what we call an election.
But then Dr Mahathir, to make sure he stayed in power, used the power he had got to destroy the judiciary. And he used all his powers to kill Umno. That was the last time…
So for 20 years, Umno has not had a proper choice of leaders.
They are all anointed and decided. It's almost like a dynasty.
Since then, members have not had the opportunity to speak up. And the leaders did not get the feedback.
If there is one lesson to learn from this election is to put back democracy into Umno. Let Umno be the party of the old days.
It was not perfect but Tunku (Abdul Rahman) was more open about things and Tun Abdul Razak's days saw elections among small groups of people.
But would Umno change as a result of this elections? I don't know.
I hope that they take the positive side of things and regroup and articulate what are the issues affecting us all. Slogans don't count anymore. For example, if people say they don't want corruption, they don't want corruption. Putting on a button which says "Tak Nak Rasuah" is not going to help. You can't say everything is to defend Umno's interest. We have to identify those interests and how we are going to defend them. How do you make sure that the bumiputeras are going to be taken care of and not be abused.
But a party decided by dynasty rule where an emperor decides everything is not going to work.
As much as it is a major setback, it can be reversed. They still have to wait to see how DAP performs in a coalition. At the rate they are going, they are not doing very well. It's still early days.
The strength of BN is on Umno.
Umno must lead by example and MIC will also have democracy. And then MIC can't say that only Samy Vellu can lead. That sort of arrogance irritates people. At least MCA limits their leaders to two terms.
**As of today, Zaid has been appointed as a Minister (for law in the PM's Dept) in the new cabinet line up despite the fact that UMNO Baru had suspended him (as the fall guy?) for 18mths on allegations of corruption, for which he has refused to admit or apologize.
Zaid Ibrahim, is a Kuala Lumpur lawyer.
His fights a tough battle for democracy in UMNO Baru.
As an outspoken member of Malaysia's long-ruling, conservative United Malays National Organisation (Baru), he has run into trouble as he pushed for more human rights, judicial reform and greater democracy.
Zaid, 57--a former member of parliament and also the majority owner of Malaysia's largest law firm, the 140-lawyer Zaid Ibrahim & Co. in Kuala Lumpur--set up the Kelantan Foundation for the Disabled in 1998.Zaid Ibrahim has recently been listed as one of Asia's foremost philanthropists.