By Sakmongkol AK47 | TMI
Umno’s unfinished revolution: One step forward and two steps back.
We can’t go back to 1946 and wished the motivations and inspirations that awoken the Malays remained unchanged. That wish would have to assume that every leader is born at the same time and is of similar constitution — boldness in character, dedication to public service, possessing selfless dedication.
Let me illustrate the stark contrast in character constitution that I refer to.
When Tun Razak died, he had little money. His only liquid asset of any merit was the Magsaysay Award. He didn’t have enough funds to finance his medical bills in England. After he died, the government had to step in to give his wife a home for her and her children.
When Tunku Abdul Rahman died, he, too, had no money. A few times he was saved financially by Tun Datu Mustapha.
Let’s take the case of a more plebeian leader — Khir Johari. When he was alive and in power, all sorts of accusations were hurled at him. I remember looking at a picture of him and his wife donning traditional Chinese costumes wishing the Chinese, Happy New Year. It was probably done in good sport.
Towards the end of his life, every one found out he had only one house in Bukit Damansara. Those rights over that house were disputed. In the end he had to leave the house and moved into an apartment. He died in that apartment.
What these examples show is that, by and large, these first generation Umno leaders were actually of selfless material, enjoying the trappings of power indeed while in office, but taking none after they leave.
Present-day Umno leaders are a world apart. The majority are loud in every sense of the word.
This difference can only be explained by one factor. Umno has been taken over by leadership of different material who is conditioned by different experiences having less service to the public motives.
This may be a shocking admission, but I hope the present-day Umno leadership is aware of the general perception that is getting stronger by the day, that present-day Umno leadership consists of a bunch of sly politicians intent on making hay while it shines.
But certainly, what we could expect is to have those motivations and ideals behind the Umno of 1946, refined and enhanced. From closed mind to openness, from debilitating traditionalism to modernism. These must the founding principles behind the “betulkan orang Melayu” drive of Onn Jaafar.
Sad to say, Umno must bear the primary responsibility over the more or less unchanged mental landscape of Malays in general. Umno alone is responsible for the regressive ideas of Malays. If they have been sleeping over eons, they now have been given sleeping pills to slumber along while the world passes them over.
Over the years, Umno leadership has caused the motivations and inspirations that moved an entire nation to degenerate into besieged paranoia and parochialism.
So before I go on, maybe it’s timely for me to remind Malay readers especially of what Zaaba said some time ago:
I tell you not in mournful numbers,
That the Malays are a dying race,
I only want the soul that slumbers,
To wake and work in these bright days. — sakmongkol.blogspot.com
Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).