Wednesday, December 28, 2011

ABU - Malaysia's New Friend

Malaysia has a new friend. And her name is ABU - Anything But UMNO.
Pic by Ordinary Malaysian

UMNO is the taiko or lynch pin of the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional or National Front that has held the reins of government for more than half a century without break.

For a party to hold the reins of power for more than 50 years is a length of time too long.  Far too long.

Many Malaysians now perceive UMNO as so set in its wayward ways that it is seen as having fossilised and no longer relevant.

UMNO and the UMNO-led government have come to be associated with mismanagement, arrogance and corruption or MAC.

Many Malaysians smarter than yours truly have long opined that the disease started off with the advent of cronyism that they claimed first flourished when Malaysia's grand old man TDMM or Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad became the Prime Minister in the 80s.

Then, lucrative public/government contracts for one project after another began to be awarded directly to favoured parties (cronies) instead of via open public tenders.

This practice, they claimed, led inevitably to corruption, abuses and wastage. And the rest, they say, is history.

Being not so smart, yours truly is humbled.

The latest corruption scandal involved cows or rather the development of a Malaysian bovine industry or what has come to be known as "cowgate".

It started off with the award by the Malaysian government of the Rm250 million National Feedlot Project to develop a Malaysian bovine industry (so that we poor Malaysians can afford to eat meat and not pay through our noses for some much needed protein) to the husband of Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

Instead of using the millions disbursed to help develop a proper bovine industry, it seems that substantial sums of money had been diverted to the purchase, not of cows or anything related to the bovine industry, but of up-scale condominiums that cost millions, leading many Malaysians to ask whether cows needed condos?

There were also allegations that money meant for the Feedlot Project had also been diverted to running a family restaurant business as well as the purchase of another condominium in a neighbouring country.

Instead of taking the bull by the horns, so to speak, by honourably resigning,  when the scandal became public, with calls from horrified and concerned Malaysians for her to do so, Datuk Shahrizat had, at the recent UMNO General Assembly, shrilly challenged Anwar's wife (who is the president of Parti Keadilan) to herself resign because Anwar had been tried for sodomy and now awaiting the court's verdict.

Many Malaysians see this as another instance of UMNO's arrogance and/or reluctance to change, as another proof of fossilisation.

It is MAC and this culture of not being accountable that has led to ABU's presence.

Do I welcome ABU as a new friend?

I won't answer, except to say that Malaysians are known for their warmth, hospitality and friendliness.

And I am a Malaysian.

2 comments:

  1. I read your comment on Susan's blog and came to say Hello. Don't know much about Malaysia. Do you have free elections and can vote the UMNO out of power? You have interesting essays about meditation and religion, esepcially your obserevation that we take care about God more than God take care of us. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your comments, Giora. Our elections are not so free because of gerrymandering. But we do hope that this time around, we will have enough people who feel that they have had enough of UMNO. We are only worried that the kampung or rural Malays may continue to vote for UMNO because they know not the better. I have visited your blog and hope to leave comments now and then. Happy New Year to you too!

    ReplyDelete

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Kluang's Little Bangsar
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