KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said the party is currently on the right path and urged members not to stir up issues that may throw the party into disarray.
Mohamad, who is performing the duties of acting party president, told Sinar Harian that it was unreasonable for a division leader to request party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to resign from his position for the sake of the party.
Yesterday, Tebrau Umno division chief Datuk Maulizan Bujang claimed that attempts to bring back Ahmad Zahid to lead Umno as president were not good for the party, which is on recovery mode.
It's a truism that factionalism exists in all political parties, in every democratic nations or those which profess to practise democracy on earth.
We see that in UMNO, DAP, MCA, PKR, PAS etc etc etc.
In any political party, with independent strong minded people, it's just not possible to have complete same-mindedness or single-mindedness with two exceptions, namely:
(a) in critical moments like pre-elections a party which is disciplined can exercise restraint in internal disputes and disagreements, like the Labor Party of Australia recently prior to its last election ...
... but alas, that brought for Labor no advantage as the voters in Queensland state rejected it, though of course this is a different issue from what I am posting here (we'll talk about the Oz elections in another post, later),
(b) a very strong party leader with strong leadership based on party strength, personality and experience can keep his or her hordes under control. Some would even term such quality as dictatorship. Call it whatever, such leadership can, with general relative ease, maintain order in the party and eliminate or minimise internal disputes, factionalism and rebellions.
Nationally, on such leadership I can think of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Mahathir in UMNO, Lim Kit Siang in DAP, the late Nik Aziz in PAS, Tan Siew Sin in MCA, Lim Keng Yaik in Gerakan.
Those leaders take no shit from party members. But alas, even such leaders will gradually (in some cases, suddenly) lose their hold.
In 1968-69, Tunku Abdul Rahman wanted to expel Mahathir from UMNO for his severe attacks on Tunku for the PM's alleged friendliness with Chinese Malaysians, but was persuaded not to. If Mahathir was indeed expelled and never repatriated by Tun Razak back into UMNO, Malaysia would have a different history, possibly with Ku Li or even Ghazali Shafie, wakakaka.
Today Mahathir is not so strong as he was in his 1st Reich as his Pribumi Party has not performed well in the Heartland, the source of political power in Malaysia. Who knows, it could well be a reason why he wants to hang on until he regains his powers of yonder-years.
Currently Lim Kit Siang maintains the most disciplined political party in Malaysia, some say by sheer dictatorship. Many in DAP became collateral damage. But Lim's power is only internal to DAP and not coalition-wise or nationally - an impossibility for a Chinese politician.
UMNO doesn't have a strongman today, though I believe a younger man has aspirations in that direction, wakakaka.
As for Anwar, he can be but he chooses otherwise as he likes to be liked. He leaves the harshness of disciplining to his Praetorian Guards, once Azmin Ali, Ezam, etc and now perhaps Rafizi Ramli.
One can't be a strongman like Mahathir or Lim Kit Siang if one wants to be popular and much liked.
That's Anwar's burden to bear and/or decision to make.