Monday, March 31, 2008

Malaysia PM In Deeper Crisis As Two Cabinet Ministers Seek Leadership Reforms

Two Cabinet ministers have endorsed demands by ruling party dissidents to hold an open contest for the party leadership, highlighting the prime minister's weakening control over power in Malaysia after disastrous election results.

The Star daily Monday quoted International Trade Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Higher Education Minister Khaled Nordin as saying that everybody should be eligible to run for the post of the United Malays National Organization party's president.

At present, a contestant must be nominated by 30 percent of the party's divisions, which is hard to secure by someone not endorsed by the party leadership. The party president automatically becomes the prime minister.

The nomination quota encourages an "unhealthy political culture," Muhyiddin, who is the party vice president, was quoted as saying. I hope that with the abolition, the party at all levels will have a healthy democratic election system," the daily quoted Muhyiddin as saying.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is facing the biggest crisis of his political career after the March 8 general elections, in which the ruling National Front retained power but lost its traditional two-thirds majority. It also conceded five states to the opposition.

Being the dominant party in the coalition, Abdullah's United Malays National Organization took most of the blame for the losses. The pressure on Abdullah increased after critics called on him to resign, a demand he rejected.

He also postponed party elections, which were due in August, until December. But it will be difficult for a challenger to dislodge Abdullah in the elections because of the quota system, which was introduced by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in 1987 after he narrowly survived a challenge by then-Finance Minister Razaleigh Hamzah.

Mahathir, now an ordinary party member, is one of those calling for abolishing the quota system. Among the others is Razaleigh, who has openly declared he will try to challenge Abdullah.

Critics say the quota system ensures that members dissatisfied with the prime minister's leadership cannot challenge him democratically. Supporters say it is necessary to ensure only serious candidates contest.

Muhyiddin also said the quota system for top party posts was unnecessary, The Star said.

He and Muhyiddin claimed they had opposed it when it was introduced by Mahathir but failed. Muhyiddin stressed that his call did not mean he was against the current leadership or was encouraging members to challenge the president, The Star said.

Aides to Khaled and Muhyiddin confirmed they made the comments. The aides declined to be identified citing protocol.

Abandoning the system would also mean changing the party constitution, which can only be done at an extraordinary general meeting. Party leaders have so far rejected calls for such a meeting. (International Herald Tribune)

***** Many of those who worry for the future of the country also worry for the future of Pak Lah. While he has been blamed for Umno's debacle in the last polls, it cannot be denied that he has in many ways eased the intolerance and stifling controls of government which was the hallmark of Dr Mahathir's rule. We could during Abdullah's premiership, at least breath easy and voice out our fears, unhappiness and disdain without trepidation. The crackdown on Hindraf and Bersih being the sad exceptions.

The question that should be answered by those who are buoyed by Umno's current predicament, ecstatic at Pak Lah's present discomfiture and clamouring for the PM's withdrawal from politics is, 'after Pak Lah, who?' Will any of the current bunch of Umno warriors and warlords who still spout the old clarion call of 'bangsa, agama dan negara' be acceptable? Do we really need the corrupt, racist and parochial baggage that each of them carries proudly and unflinchingly?

Realistically speaking Umno isn't simply going to drift into oblivion any time soon. It's only a matter of a few years before they recover and claw their way back to power, especially if Barisan Rakyat were, God forbid, to unravel over time. Do we want to witness an Umno renaissance and see the same type of injustice, discrimination and war-mongering being perpetrated on hapless citizens as has been happening these past several decades? If the answer is no, then all of the current crop of corrupt Umno race-baiters including Najib, Muhyiddin, Rustam, Muhd Md Taib, Hishamuddin et al should be prevented from rising up the Umno hierarchy. A tall order, but definitely in the best interest of the nation and her citizens.

So who'll be left to pick up the baton and oversee the emergence of an uncorrupt, more benevolent and less chauvinistic Umno? Shahrir Samad? Zaid Ibrahim? I don't know. Do you?
Image - Source

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7 Comments:

Blogger kittykat46 said...

The system can't be fixed from within. For a whole generation now, the people who join UMNO Baru are all in for the money, power, race and religion.
Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for your pocket is the UMNO Baru motto.

The whole system is based on financial or equivalent patronage - directly from government funded projects or via administrative fiate giving cronies the opportunity to collect money from the public or a certain sector of the economy - often without any choice.

I have a feeling there is a chance UMNO Baru, at least in its current form can be tipped over and collapsed. Stop the money flow , and the whole organism starts to whither. UMNO is not as strong from the inside as it appears to be from the outside.

2:41 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous ahmad ismail said...

The so called Barisan Rakyat may not survive long enough. They are united by a common enemy but have different ideologies. DAP and PKR are more liberal while Pas is an islamic party, whatever their current leaders might say and do. And if Pas changes its Islamic policies, the grassroots will revolt and DAP and PKR cannot survice without Malay/Islamic support.

3:01 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous SM said...

God help us after Pak Lah is gone...just consider the remaining line up!!!!!

5:43 PM GMT+8  
Blogger DIASPORA said...

All said and done, ALL Malaysians from the PM down to the latest born baby must be rightly proud that we all in common unity brought about the changes in a peaceful and democratic manner - except for a few minor hiccups here and there.

We had shown the world that we had attained maturity which many Nations in the British Commonwealth have not achieved yet.

We have learnt to deal with our multi cultural and multi religious society in a more tolerant way and have embraced a stamdard which most countries today will be jealous of. However, some MPs and ADUNs still cannot forget the race card and continue to harp and think on racial lines. Such poor quality leaders should be carefully watched and be thrown out at the first opportunity if this Nation is not to perish from this Earth.

Our Rulers exhibited their resolves in the best interests of all Parties concerned to their credit.

None of this would have been possible under the old regimes. it was and is Pak Lah who brought about the lifting of the rigours of the iron-clad State of old and let some breeze to pass through that ultimately led to the changes we see today.

In spite of all that is said of him and being said of him - all Malaysians ( except those in UMNO and BN who have lost their sources for looting and pillaging the country) must record our thanks to the PM. None but the brave would have ventured to do what he has done so far or, did not do to let the situation pass through.

The looters and cronies and sycophants are now braying for blood and they could not find anyone more convenient to put the blame on but, on Dato Ahmad Badawi.

Are we Malaysians to believe that the PM should be the subject of such intense political pressure for having brought this country to the position we are in today and marching with our heads high in the commity of Nations.

The PM is too soft with the cronies and the wolves in sheep's clothing. Is it not time that he did something to rid them from his camp and get moving on.

8:11 PM GMT+8  
Blogger DIASPORA said...

All said and done, ALL Malaysians from the PM down to the latest born baby must be rightly proud that we all in common unity brought about the changes in a peaceful and democratic manner - except for a few minor hiccups here and there.

We had shown the world that we had attained maturity which many Nations in the British Commonwealth have not achieved yet.

We have learnt to deal with our multi cultural and multi religious society in a more tolerant way and have embraced a stamdard which most countries today will be jealous of. However, some MPs and ADUNs still cannot forget the race card and continue to harp and think on racial lines. Such poor quality leaders should be carefully watched and be thrown out at the first opportunity if this Nation is not to perish from this Earth.

Our Rulers exhibited their resolves in the best interests of all Parties concerned to their credit.

None of this would have been possible under the old regimes. it was and is Pak Lah who brought about the lifting of the rigours of the iron-clad State of old and let some breeze to pass through that ultimately led to the changes we see today.

In spite of all that is said of him and being said of him - all Malaysians ( except those in UMNO and BN who have lost their sources for looting and pillaging the country) must record our thanks to the PM. None but the brave would have ventured to do what he has done so far or, did not do to let the situation pass through.

The looters and cronies and sycophants are now braying for blood and they could not find anyone more convenient to put the blame on but, on Dato Ahmad Badawi.

Are we Malaysians to believe that the PM should be the subject of such intense political pressure for having brought this country to the position we are in today and marching with our heads high in the commity of Nations.

The PM is too soft with the cronies and the wolves in sheep's clothing. Is it not time that he did something to rid them from his camp and get moving on.

8:15 PM GMT+8  
Blogger DIASPORA said...

All said and done, ALL Malaysians from the PM down to the latest born baby must be rightly proud that we all in common unity brought about the changes in a peaceful and democratic manner - except for a few minor hiccups here and there.

We had shown the world that we had attained maturity which many Nations in the British Commonwealth have not achieved yet.

We have learnt to deal with our multi cultural and multi religious society in a more tolerant way and have embraced a stamdard which most countries today will be jealous of. However, some MPs and ADUNs still cannot forget the race card and continue to harp and think on racial lines. Such poor quality leaders should be carefully watched and be thrown out at the first opportunity if this Nation is not to perish from this Earth.

Our Rulers exhibited their resolves in the best interests of all Parties concerned to their credit.

None of this would have been possible under the old regimes. it was and is Pak Lah who brought about the lifting of the rigours of the iron-clad State of old and let some breeze to pass through that ultimately led to the changes we see today.

In spite of all that is said of him and being said of him - all Malaysians ( except those in UMNO and BN who have lost their sources for looting and pillaging the country) must record our thanks to the PM. None but the brave would have ventured to do what he has done so far or, did not do to let the situation pass through.

The looters and cronies and sycophants are now braying for blood and they could not find anyone more convenient to put the blame on but, on Dato Ahmad Badawi.

Are we Malaysians to believe that the PM should be the subject of such intense political pressure for having brought this country to the position we are in today and marching with our heads high in the commity of Nations.

The PM is too soft with the cronies and the wolves in sheep's clothing. Is it not time that he did something to rid them from his camp and get moving on.

8:16 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These two clowns are trying to syok sendiri. They have no weight or pull in the cabinet. Just trying to pull wool over peoples eyes. Dressing the old tart (UMNO) like a 16 year old is not going to change its nature. After all it is not for nothing UMNO is called "Persetubuhan Nasional melayu Bersatu".

10:50 AM GMT+8  

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