Much has been said by the losing parties in the recent Umno elections on delegates being bought to vote for certain candidates who won the post they contested for. I suppose it is human nature for the losing candidates to cry foul if they lose but be quiet like a church mouse if they had won the seat.
I find it amusing that the largest party in the Barisan Nasional stable has members who wash their 'dirty linen in public' thus giving opposition parties ammunition to attack the ruling party on their weaknesses in handling simple party elections.
One tends to wonder aloud how our leaders can run a corruption-free government if their own elections are marred by money politics. This has caused the public at large to wonder how corrupt leaders who bought votes to win their positions can remain clean while running the country.
The malaise of money politics seems to be an issue at every Umno election time but solutions to the problem seem to be evasive. Is it because the stakes are high for the winning candidates to win the posts and the government positions that go with it?
I am quite sure the victors who hold government positions would try to recoup their 'investment' by dubious means (read: government contracts or businesses dished out to selected cronies).
Umno stalwarts talk about the Malay Agenda and Islam Hadhari with gusto but how in God's name can the party talk about moral values and good Islamic traits when its own members are involve in corruption just to win party seats? The twain do not meet.
One feels sorry for Umno president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as his ardent supporters lost their party posts at the recent party elections while his deputy Najib Abdul Razak now seems to be stronger as most of his men dominate the party's supreme council.
Let the lessons of the recent Indonesian polls be a lesson to our leaders that all good things must come to an end. If Umno does not reform for the coming general election, it will face a different breed of young and educated voters who cannot be hoodwinked.
Leaders in the BN stable must rid themselves of the mentality that the party and government posts that they win or are appointed to are blank cheques to enrich themselves and their cronies.
Meanwhile, we can only wait for the prime minister to replace the old hands in his cabinet who lost at the party polls with new members who hopefully do not think like their elders.
May the winds of change to replace the old guard with younger leaders who will go down well with the rakyat.