Umno meet: Why can’t they just leave us alone?
by Melayu Jati
Mired in intellectual mediocrity; corrupt of any constructive socio-economics ideas and lacking in real leadership quality, the Umno delegates and their so-called leaders alike resorted to rhetoric bordering on surreal idolatry and flirted with jingoism. If patriotism is, indeed, as Samuel Johnson puts it, the last refuge of a scoundrel, than the mother of all scoundrels had, in the past week, manifested itself and bred aplenty at the PWTC.
The real tone of the assembly was set by Johor MB Ghani Othman when he contrived a meek and what was, in reality, an intellectually challenged, polemic on Bangsa Malaysia. ‘Bangsa Malaysia is not acceptable’ screamed the headlines on Nov 6.
And so, the day came. Amidst all the white ‘baju melayu’ and red ‘sampin’ as well as the white ‘baju kurung’ and red kain’ (and of course, the current politically correct white tudungs!), the obligatory keris was carried around, unsheathed and brandished. And, the rhetoric commenced.
Hishamuddin Hussein, in a rare display of decisiveness, decided to un-Hussein Onn himself. Ditching the soft, smooth and diplomatic ways his father was well known for, he delivered an ear shattering speech. His message was loud and clear. Well, it was very loud and a lot unclear, actually. His deputy and the most famous son-in-law, Khairi Jamaluddin did not want to be left out as well. His was a fiery speech.
Even a super senior Umno stalwart who dared to question the NEP came under attack by KJ. When interviewed after the assembly, KJ was quoted as saying they (the speeches) were fiery, but there was no fire . Haha! excuse me for my laugh,
but wasn’t that exactly the point? Fiery but no fire? Clever but not smart? All words but no substance?
One after another took the centre stage. Topics ranging from the all too obvious ‘Our-leader-is- doing- well-so-let-him-do-it-his-way’ to ministers’ idiosyncracies were brought up, dissected, discussed and shouted about in earnest. After all, it was to be a week for the Malay agenda to be brought to the fore. The message was clear. ‘We are the Malays. We have our rights. We are in a struggle. We struggle for our race. We struggle for our religion. We struggle for the struggles of our forefathers. Don’t you make us angry by questioning our rights, or by disturbing our struggles. We wouldn’t like that.
We would get angry and when we are angry, we will unsheathed our keris and might poke you!’
The PM’s closing speech was assuring to all Malaysians. ‘We must not drown ourselves into ultra-conservatism. There must be religious and racial integration, and tolerance. While we lead the country, we must be fair and just’. It was a breadth of fresh air. And that was it, air. Nothing more. What is your, and Umno’s vision of our country Pak Lah? And where is the path that is going to take us to that vision? Where is the socio-economic blueprint that is going to guarantee that we all are not going to drown ourselves in ultra-conservatism, that is going to guarantee racial and religious integration and tolerance, that is going to bring your idea of transparency and accountability to fruition? Where? What? How?
The usual applause and pleasantries followed. It was a good speech. And all Umno thanked him for it. And don’t anybody dare to say anything bad about it please. Because at Umno, we unite with one aim, one voice and .one opinion. Mukhriz
Mahathir found that out to his chagrin when he said the speech was nothing new.
And so the assembly came to a close. The delegates did some shopping and went back home. And life goes on with its attendant normalcy. Why can’t they just leave us all alone?
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