Thursday, October 04, 2018

How UMNO failed Malays

Malaysia-Today - Umno: Dulu, Kini And Islamisation by Zaid Ibrahim:

He has been described as the future of Umno and his maiden speech as the Umno Youth chief was applauded as inspiring and providing recipes for the revival of the party.

I met Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki recently at Bangsar Shopping Centre and he strikes me as a nice young man with polite manners.

He even promised to call me when he is free. I hope he will do well as the future of Umno depends on young leaders like him.

What bothers me about leaders in Umno like Asyraf is that, although well meaning in their desire to help the Malays, they themselves have forgotten Umno’s original objectives.

Umno leaders of the earlier years just wanted to help Malays deal with the problems in this life. In contrast, the present leaders want “a complete Malay” in the Muslim mould; that is successful in this life and the next.

What’s wrong with that? It’s too ambitious a project; and is not achievable, that’s why. No one can save another’s soul. Not even a Malay-led government. When you try to shape the Malays into a “complete persona” in this world and the next, you will fail in both.

Umno’s original objective was more limited in scope. Umno worked hard to get the Malays to read and write and be properly educated. They wanted the Malays to be able to reason and be interested in scientific matters.

That’s why Umno published “Revolusi Mental” or “Mental Revolution”. Umno wanted Malays to have meaningful participation in the economic activities of the country. That’s why they opened land schemes for them. Umno leaders then were not bothered if some Malays drink whisky or Guinness Stout, or the ladies dressed like Saloma without the tudung. Private morality was a non-issue.

Today, Umno has a different complexion with a different agenda. They spend countless hours talking about halal and haram. They have to provide answers if Malays can visit temples, and the optimum age of young girls they should take as a wife or secondary ones.

In other words, they spend a lot of time dealing with the Malay soul. But the Malays’ souls are not sated, and the endless search for the saviour will continue, and that’s why Umno and PAS are courting them.

Since the early 1980s, Umno has become a hybrid. Half of them are Malay nationalists who only know Article 153; and the other half are Malay Islamists who think there is a magic formula out there revolving on the notion that religion is a panacea for all problems in society. The panacea has not been found yet, despite 40 years’ of Islamisation and billions spent on making the Malays “better Muslims”.

When I was in Umno, I proposed to the leaders to focus on issues of education; they wanted Islamic education as well. When I said Malays must have deep knowledge, they replied: what kind?

Knowledge was not enough for them; they wanted divine knowledge as well. When I suggested we leave religion to the Malays to sort it out, they countered: what do we do with all the religious institutions and thousands of religious teachers in the country?

When I told them that religious education should just be left to the parents and the community and government schools should just focus on education, Umno said no, and insisted that the government must not adopt secular policies. Now it looks to me PPBM-led Pakatan Harapan is following their footsteps.

Malay political leaders speak of great ideas like Malay resurgence and the Islamic renaissance. But none are prepared to talk about the lack of savings and the high household debt among Malays.

They don’t talk in their assemblies about why Islamisation policies have retarded Malay education, although it’s crystal clear to those who have eyes. They don’t want to find out why Malays are the biggest consumers of illicit drugs and ketum drinks.

They don’t have a debate on why some Malay students still cannot read after six years of schooling. They do not want to discuss the curriculum in religious schools or the lack of focus on science and technology in all schools generally. They are more interested in “more Islamisation“ for the Malays.

The message in my piece today is this: If Malay leaders in Umno, PAS and PH still want to save the Malay soul, then appoint more muftis and spend more money on Jakim (Department Of Islamic Development Malaysia) and continue with the programme of having an Islamic image and Islamic content, and spend a few billions more on divine knowledge.

In doing so, they might well win elections, but they will not save the Malay soul, nor will they contribute anything meaningful to progress the Malays.

The Malays will still be selling tom yam for a long time.

Zaid Ibrahim is a former law minister


  1. Anwar Ibrahim for PM8, Zaid Ibrahim for PM9. From A to Z.

  2. Even though I am Chinese Malaysians, I urge all angry resentful Malays to vote PAS to spite Pakatan and UMNO in next election. They have to pay for their treatment of Najib and Rosmah.

    1. Apa khabar encik kiet bin kelentong ? How are your fictitious nephews ? A true Cina never, NEVER wish to see their relatives 'die' in Malaysia due to their choice of voting DAP hence PH. Faham sikit Chinese way of thinking before spewing your vomit here. Podah la....trying to get some dedah too ? Have to get permission from Rpuki-who-soon-be-mincemeat-after the Singhs-finish-with-him, hahahahaha. Be nice to the Mabuk Kelentong and he will put in your name for dedah manna, just like how he did it with one blogger you-know-who, hehehehehe. Wanna join the dedah club ? Start your own blog, build an altar for Jibpork and Roastmah pork, hehehehe and have everlasting gratitude to MOM

    2. Kiet, you make the difference indeed.

    3. Congrats! You're the 3rd Malaysian Chinese (if as claimed to be) after Jho Low and his father Larry Low I know who loves Najib and Rosmah.

      As a Malaysian Chinese as claimed urging Malaysian Malays to vote PAS, who are you within the political context of Malay politics?

      Maybe you can convert some of the commentators here of whatever race to loving Najib and Rosmah by telling us the reasons why you do so love them?

      It's much better than hurling insults at others who are not so enlightened as you perceive yourself.

      I am all ears for that.

  3. It is not just the Malays who are feudalistic by being beholden to their political masters waving of political tools of Supremacy of Race, religion, tribes, region, state, false hopes, camouflage interests, false credentials, imposters etc.

    All political parties so far are playing the same games, for to them votes matter in elections whether at community, branch, divisions, state or federal levels.

    Unlike more cultured and civilised nations where majority of voters are more educated and enlightened in knowledge and are empowered to think and decide what are the best leaders to lead them and their generations forward, most of the political leaders Malaysians have do not have the courage to let go of their political winning base issues which ensure their own political survival and their own interests.

    Isn't it disgusting to see that Malaysian politicians always dashed the hopes of Malaysians who voted them in to see finally that it was actually just their political games to stay in power and their own personal interests supercedes that of the ordinary people they were supposed to lead for a better life for all?

    So long as Malaysians votes with blinkered eyes, always enthralled by their feudalistic political masters art of deceptions and zombiesm issues, they will continue to have unworthy and useless political Magicians leading them.

    Are Malaysians really stupid and slaves to politicians machinations?

    When will Malaysians really finally be endowed with Wisdom to choose leaders of the right caliber?

    Hasn't history proven that Men/Women of Wisdom be they Kings, Emperors, Prophets, Sages, ordinary Men/Women are finally remembered and loved by all?

  4. Wakakakakaka……

    To all the melayu - liberals,conservatives, blurs & zombies, the answer IS here:

    But can they see through the veiled message? That's that zillion insaf question that has been drowned out by their selective pique!