What really happened at PAU

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Truth said...

Asalamualaikum and greetings Datuk and friends.

Coming out fresh from this year's UMNO General Assembly, I'd like to share some of my thoughts and experience, from the special prayers held for Tun, the Mukhriz saga to the very atmosphere from within the Merdeka Hall, which represents the true sentiments of the delegates, and also issues relating to the concerns over the live telecast of the proceedings on Astro. To save the trouble of special branch officers cooking up reports to send up, consider this, "The confessions of an UMNO delegate."

On the 14th of November 2006, the public were invited to attend the special prayers held for the former PM who suffered a heart attack a few days before that.

The local newspapers couldn’t even get the dates and time correct. Such is the intelligence level of our reporters. (And we are wondering why our leaders and component members of BN are at odds with each other). Delegates staying at that particular hotel where it was held received personal invitations.

I was informed that originally, the venue was reserved for a gathering which was to be attended by Tun that would include his speech to UMNO delegates. That would have been quite controversial and unprecedented. I would have been in two minds going to it but considering the latter was for a good cause to pray for Tun’s health, I decided without a blink of an eye to attend, despite the warning from friends in politics to stay away.

I despise the hypocracy of UMNO friends who stayed at that particular hotel who decided not to go, out of fear for the establishment. I told them, I would go even if the situation was reversed and it was held to pray for Pak Lah’s health, while they would just fly a kiss to Pak Lah just as they did for Tun in the current circumstance.

These people need to be reminded that they might succeed in bloughing Pak Lah by complying (not concurring or even coforming) to what is perceived to be his wishes, but they can’t blough God Almighty, and by the will of Allah, may He expose those pretenders in front of the PM before the coming General Elections. I use the term “comply” because I know these people and they talk of support for Tun while wanting to live a lie to fool Pak Lah. Proof of this is these people prefer not to attend the function, yet they ask their supporters who come from their divisions to fill the hall to the brim. Bloody hypocrites I’d say.

This is the same with UMNO leaders who come out in full blast smashing Mukhriz for his statement regarding the Presidential address.

Pak Lah had repeatedly said that he doesn’t mind people with deferring views yet the UMNO leaders who are faking their support for Pak Lah are turning him into a liar by running down the first guy who differs. I don’t think there were harsh words used by Mukhriz as anyone who knows him would agree that he is a soft spoken person. However the way the press went to town with him through statements from other leaders made it look like he was vulgar.

Datuk, from what I gathered at the pre council meeting prior to the Assembly, the UMNO Information Chief started by praising Pak Lah while viciously running down his criticizer signalling what was to be expected in the days to come.

On the day of the Assembly, when Tun Siti Hasmah’s name was mentioned, the sound of hands clapping were deafening, the same happened when the PM asked everyone to pray for Tun’s health, although saying “Amin” would have been more appropriate.

In the afternoon, the first few speakers tried Mat Taib’s (UMNO information chief) style of praising Pak Lah while smashing Tun without mentioning his name but it wasn’t appreciated by the delegates. Even praising Pak Lah without smashing his predessessor didn’t get much response from the crowd either. Then, they discovered that the undercurrent isn’t exactly how they thought it to be, and the following speakers in the days ahead trodded on the Tun subject very delicately. I’m describing the atmosphere in the hall because this cannot be seen or felt on television. Everytime a speaker either attacked Tun or praised Pak Lah, there were murmurs of discontent. This was rather astonishing as I had thought in there, delegates would fake their support as the UMNO leaders do in public.

The final test was when the very raw Puteri Chief drew the courage (under instruction I suspect, as even seasoned speakers wouldn’t do it unless they are sure they have the crowd eating out of their hands), to ask us all to stand up in exhibition of our support for the President. The response was so cold that the Puteri had to plead a second time to the delegates to stand. I noticed at least one State Assemblyman near me who didn’t bother to get up, even at my request as it was live on TV and it wouldn’t be nice to show others outside that we were not in total support of our President.

This not so overwhelming support for Pak Lah is not only felt inside but also outside as it made me a direct witness of this sorry state of affairs on the very last day. I had noticed a peddler selling Pak Lah’s badges everyday for one Ringgit each. This chap was hard working as I saw him in different places doing it and even at 10:30pm at the bridge linking Dewan Tun Dr Ismail to PWTC after the dinner with the Deputy President. On the last day, I opted to leave late to avoid the traffic and the rain. As I was leaving and everyone else was getting ready to close shop this peddler was loudly talking to himself. As I got closer he engaged me and started complaining about not being able to sell the badges even for a meager one ringgit, continuing his grievance saying that if Pak Lah was a popular leader he would’ve been able to sell more than nothing that afternoon. He even asked me to listen to his hoarsed voice, the result of trying to convince people to buy the badges to no avail. That very moment Datuk, I looked at Pak Lah’s picture on the badges and my eyes swelled with tears feeling for him and wondering whether he is aware that his ministers and so called supporters from the Supreme council are all pretenders who just lend their blind support without conviction but will be very quick to abandon him when he is no longer a force.

Apporopriately I gave the peddler some money and purchased a few badges in support of our current President whom I’m sure did not wish this upon himself but is a victim of circumstance.

What escapes me is if the Supreme Council members truly support the President as they have barked that way all the while, they could have purchased a hundred badges each to give to there supporters who have come from their respective divisions. This peddler was hard to avoid as he was truly doing his job.

Finally, about the live telecast of our proceedings. The majority of the delegates were not so against it until the Chairman kept reminding the speakers to mind their words as we were being watched by the whole nation, namely the non-Malays. We felt that this was a once a year meeting where the speakers can say what is exactly on their minds representing 3 million odd members. Why should we preserve a respectable front when others prefer not to show us the same respect? In my experience as a delegate many times, all the speakers have kept a certain level of discipline. They may be emotional at times, but never have they used foul language in their speeches. How are the leaders to know how the grassroots feel if we are not able to express our thoughts without fear or favour?

Malays have been proven to be good masters in that they are fair to others. We have seen how one particular race dealt with us when the Japs surrendered while waiting for the Brits to come back. We have never been that vicious.

Malays do not usually initiate an act, but you can wager your last dollar that they will almost always react.

This is the case here. There are several topics that are sensitive to us, most important of them being religion and race. When we see that they are not being defended accordingly by our leaders, namely the UMNO ministers, naturally there will be strong words used to warn the offenders.

We are appalled at how the IFC topic was able to grow in an open debate. It should have been smacked down right from the beginning. Also Lim Keng Yaik’s query on the methodology employed in calculating Malay equity in our economy, and his insistance for a Bangsa Malaysia.

This is what triggered the reaction by UMNO members at this year’s assembly. What we want to know is why wasn’t the Gerakan chief who sits in the Cabinet hauled up for going public on the issue relating Govt policy without going through the proper channels. Why are the UMNO leaders cowed into silence everytime this old baggage opens his mouth? Where is Hishamuddin on this? Isn’t Bangsa Malaysia a term first promoted by the DAP initiated by the PAP from Singapore at one time? Why is Gerakan allowed to adopt it? Are they sleeping with the DAP, together dreaming of PAP?

Indeed, in his winding up speech, the Deputy President dismissed it as a State of the mind thing. I want to remind our good leader that THEY do not want it to remain as a state of the mind but continue to press for it to be the state of the nation.

My heart goes out to our MCA friends who loyally respect our social contract. However, they are made to look like they are not doing enough for the Chinese community while Keng Yaik is allowed to proudly shoot his mouth off trying to be the sole champion of his people. If this is not stopped, MCA will have to join the bandwagon and then, all hell will break loose.

I urge those assisiting our good Prime Minister, namely the UMNO ministers; while constantly praising Pak Lah to clock up points to maintain your positions and by doing so becoming a liability to him, please don’t forget your duty to Islam and the Malays.

Too much freedom will affect national unity. While it is a noble effort by a gentleman politician, it is also evident that we are not quite ready for it.



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