Saturday, December 14, 2019

UMNO progressives, renewals and commonsense


What if Anwar fulfils PH’s pledges, Umno Youth vice-chief asks delegates

by Nicholas Chung

Umno Youth vice-chief Shahril Hamdan says what the party is facing now is the people’s anger against PH, not love for Umno

KUALA LUMPUR: Challenging Umno Youth delegates to come up with solutions to the people’s problems, its vice-chief Shahril Hamdan today prodded them to ponder over the consequences if Anwar Ibrahim was able to fulfil Pakatan Harapan’s pledges.

In closing the youth wing’s meeting, Shahril said there needed to be a “second phase” to the youth wing’s plans following the national unity charter with PAS, echoing Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan’s call for “a new deal”.

“We have to be agile with our ideas, but so far I’ve yet to see any details.

“Don’t wait until three or four months before the next general election before we start to think about a manifesto,”
he said.

He posed the possibility that PKR president and prime minister-in-waiting Anwar might fulfil the promises made in the GE14 PH manifesto.

“Anwar never said: ‘We didn’t expect to win, that’s why we made such promises’.

“What does this mean? This means that he’s reserving room to fulfil PH’s promises.

“If he fulfils the PH promises, we will be helpless.

“Imagine this — free PTPTN loans, free tolls, BR1M reimplemented widely.

“What are we going to do then? That’s why I say that this is all a test.

“What we’re facing now is the people’s anger against PH, not love for Umno,” he told the delegates at the Putra World Trade Centre here today.

A section of the Umno Youth delegates

In the recent Tanjung Piai by-election, BN won by a wide margin and this was widely attributed to the voters’ unhappiness over PH being unable to fulfil its GE14 promises and the high cost of living.

Shahril said the party needed to ensure it had learnt its lesson from its failures and shortcomings in the previous administration, warning delegates against being proud and chasing positions.

“I think the people would have no problem if we made mistakes previously — they’ve already punished us.

“But if we keep on mocking the people by saying, ‘Serves you right for choosing PH’, then that’s wrong.”

Interesting lah! Wakakaka.

In the recent UMNO Annual General Assembly, I notice a few issues worth mentioning here. Instead of the usual racist diatribes (mind, there was that too, of course) the more constructive happenings have been as follows:

(1) UMNO deputy president Mohamad Hasan read out a list of don'ts that his party members and leaders should adhere to.

Among others, he said UMNO should not be race heroes, wakakaka.

Nor, he said, should UMNO get too carried away with Muafakat Nasional, their cooperation pact with PAS. He emphasised that Muafakat Nasional won't be a guarantee it will form government. In fact, he stressed that it may be far from that.

He also advised the congregation:

"Don't hope for help from the outside. If we are strong, we will get to form a government well. When we are strong, people will come to us."

I wonder in his comment about "the outside", who he was referring to, wakakaka. Was it PAS, PRIBUMI or PKR? Wakakaka again. But his advice was realistic, sound and solid.

The more interesting observation was in the person of the Youth Vice Chief Shahril Hamdan, who considers himself a 'progressive'and an “unpopular child” within most Umno circles.

UMNO Youth Vice Chief Shahril Hamdan 

In a March (2019) interview, Shahril told FMT:

“I’ve chosen to be clear about what my views are. These are, broadly speaking, about progressive politics and defending and upholding the multicultural make-up and DNA of this country.

“It is about making sure that the centrist and moderate version of politics becomes the mainstream of the politics that we practise in this country.”

“We cannot deny that there will always be a temptation to veer to the right, but the question remains how will the party manage its different flanks and ensure that the public sees them as staying true to its founding principles 
(referring to those of Tunku's UMNO 60 years ago)?”

Shahril also told FMT he saw his role as one of renewal, which he regarded as pivotal to UMNO regaining popularity in the wake of its historic defeat in May 2018 after 61 years in power.

Based on his rather astute observations of the awareness of UMNO Youth's lack of progressive ideas in his statement (above and reproduced here) that:

“We have to be agile with our ideas, but so far I’ve yet to see any details."

“Don’t wait until three or four months before the next general election before we start to think about a manifesto.”

Indeed, he succinctly pointed out that Anwar Ibrahim as PM may start fulfilling the manifesto promises, obviously to UMNO's great setback.

This bloke is not bad at all - he is the calibre of UMNO Dep Boss Mohd Hasan, a currently invisible KJ, and Pribumi's Rais Hussin. Keep an eye on him as I expect to see him make some headway.


  1. UMNO's marriage with PAS was a huge mistake, followed by MCA/MIC's docile submission to be secondary wives.

    It makes voter's choice in GE15 so easy to make.

    Multi-racial-multi-religious Harapan (ok with some pimples here and there) or Ketuanan-Satu Agama-Dan-Satu-Kaum Muah-Fart-Karat Nasional.

    Choice of two. Easy no?

  2. UMNO is clearly the junior partner in their marriage to PAS.

    These dudes no longer call the shots, but they don't understand that yet.