Dr. M. Bakri Musa
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Malaysia’s political problem is clear: it’s UMNO, specifically its leadership, or lack of one.
It is a problem because UMNO is the biggest party, in Parliament as well as in the ruling coalition.
UMNO is now rotten to the core.
It is instructive that the only fresh young talent attracted to UMNO these days are such characters as that
Saiful received an endorsement from no less than Najib Razak, while Ezam was feted by Abdullah himself! Such low standards!
- college dropout Saiful Bukhari Azlan and
- the lost soul (politically) Ezam Noor.
Saiful was the pretty boy who hitherto successfully passed himself off (at least to the gullible) as a “personal assistant” to Anwar Ibrahim. This young man is determined to bring Malaysian politics down to new bottoms, literally and figuratively!
Ezam Noor meanwhile successfully (he thinks) passed himself off as a pretentious warrior against official corruption. He also fancies himself as possessing an oratorical gift matching that of Barack Obama, but minus the intellect. Ezam’s brain, judging by his utterances, could only be slightly bigger than that of a grasshopper, which may explain his frequent political hopping. Nonetheless that was enough to impress UMNO’s top echelon.
Like Saiful, Ezam is threatening to reveal other presumably equally sordid details involving Anwar Ibrahim. Rest assured that when Ezam does that, his standing in UMNO would be significantly enhanced. Such is the rot in UMNO.
Some sympathetic commentators lay the blame for UMNO’s problems on the party’s “warlords” and its essential conservatism. If only the party would accept Abdullah’s “reforms” and the warlords get out of his way, these pundits insist, why there would be a renaissance of the party and wondrous things would magically happen!
These pundits missed the point. Those warlords flourished precisely because of Abdullah’s ineffectiveness. Far from embracing reform, Abdullah is the greatest obstacle towards it.
One badly needed reform is for the party to open up its election process by doing away with the current onerous nominating process. Do away with nomination quotas and you would invite more candidates. That would be the only way to discover new talent.
Abdullah however, is determined to keep this barrier, in fact anything that would help keep him in power. He is a Malaysian Mugabe in the making, if we let him be.
There is a malignant abscess in UMNO; it needs to be lanced soon lest it metastasizes and kills the party corpus.
The nidus of this putrefaction is the limp Abdullah and the crippled Najib.
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