Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Should Mahathir Speak In The Umno General Assembly?

When and where does one draw the line? I'm referring to the insistence by Dr Mahathir, former PM and international personality extraordinaire, to address the upcoming Umno general assembly. It has to be noted that Dr M wants to speak as an ordinary delegate.

Should a former president of the premier political party in the country be allowed to attend as a mere delegate so that he may still continue to have his say? Would it set a precedent and a bad one at that? Is the present leadership justified in preventing him from attempting to do so?

Dr Mahathir claims that Umno leaders, including party secretary-general Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, have made attempts to stop Kubang Pasu Umno division members from electing him as a delegate to the Umno general assembly in November. "They seem to be going all out, even government officers are there. What they are saying is that the people should not nominate me because it will cause my glorious position as the ex-Umno president to be lowered. They want to save my good name but, of course, the whole intention is to show that my own division does not want me," he revealed. He also added, "all I am trying to do is to get an opportunity to attend the assembly and to speak if I am allowed to.”

That allegation may well be true. If anything, in the eyes of the present government Mahathir is increasingly becoming a troublemaker, and a vociferous one at that. Their reasoning may be that since all these years he has had ample opportunities as president to speak at every assembly, it is time that he kept to his traditional role of ex-leader and stay in the sidelines. After all isn't that what every former president has done till now? Even during the troubled times when Umno was declared unlawful by the courts and former PMs did not agree with Mahathir, none of them attempted what he is trying to do now. Is it worth his while to rock the boat? There were plenty of allegations of massive abuse of power when he was PM. Did any former president insist on addressing the assembly to complain or spill the beans? Why should he be the exception and why must the current government take all this lying down? Good arguments.

On the other hand Mahathir supporters say that there is no strict rule or law that should prevent him from addressing the members of his party. The party which he sacrificed his entire life for. If previous leaders did not want to take an active part in past general assemblies that was purely their choice which Mahathir as the then president respected. Similarly the present leadership should also respect the wishes of Dr Mahathir and allow him to say his piece. They add that he is not asking for anything out of the way and is even prepared to follow party regulations and therefore has sought to get elected as a delegate to the assembly. By 'sabotaging' this attempt and actively canvassing to prevent his election, the leadership has shown that it has a lot to hide and it is in their selfish interest (and not Umno's) to muzzle him.

To be sure, there is a lot of truth to both sides of the argument and at the end we can believe only what we want to. So do you think that Dr Mahathir should be allowed or prevented from addressing the Umno General Assembly? Let us know.


Blogger tigerjoe said...

If the Kubang Pasu Division chooses Tun M as one of their delegates, there is certainly no reason for the gentlemen to not attend the national assembly.

Then again, if Tun M is not chosen as a delegate, should we Malaysians who are not necessarily UMNO members lobby the party to change its rules?

One can certainly question whether there are moves within UMNO to prevent Tun M from being selected as a delegate. The answer, however, lies in the decision of the Kubang Pasu division assembly itself.

If the division that Tun M used to head does not support him, why should other divisions / non-members / armchair pundits demand anything different? Unless of course, we merely seek to bolster our repertoire of kopitiam conversations.

12:59 PM GMT+8  
Blogger The Malaysian. said...

Welcome back tigerjoe, haven't heard from you for a while. Good point that you have brought up, but I wonder if Mahathir supporters will be satisfied with that. If he were to be 'fairly' ousted, it will be easier to accept than if he were to be 'cheated' out of a place.

1:25 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous mullah kali said...

On lot of things I dont agree with mahathir but this is not the way to treat a Umno leader. Why you so scared. Let him speak and let the public listen. Simple.

7:05 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous bobmafiaboss said...

For me the simplest thing that UMNO should do is by giving him a slot to give his speech during the assembly. Because we can see tun's desire on adressing his opinions and views after he passed over the batton to Pak lah. If Pak Lah feel our country is a democracy country then let him talk unless pak lah is afraid of what Tun will going to say may threaten him!! I don't think Tun will do things that may harm the party or our country! What he wants is to voice up his opinions to the whole people and it is the people to judge wether it's right or wrong. I respect Pak la n his regime decisions not to allow him to become one of the delegates but why don't just invite him as a guess speaker than. Our people is smart enough to think and judge on what's happening. So just let it be and become TRANPARENCY!!! Tun will not ALOUD if he's being ALLOWED!!! reach me at newgeneration81@hotmail.com.

8:58 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why show face to Tun Mhathir. he is the one who sack judges, jail anwar and others under ISA. Dont give face for dictators.

9:43 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read a long time ago the Columnist of SAbah's Daily Express Sunday "Straight Talk Column" say "A dictator does not appear out of nowhere but evolves slowly - on a pedestal". A very quotable quote. How true! Malaysians are by nature ball carriers,that's why we have dictators like Mahathir. He is of our own making. And now people like Nazrie are trying to put Pak Lah on the pedestal as well and worship him. You and I must stop them for our owwn dignity.

8:11 PM GMT+8  

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