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The problem with Umno and Umno Youth

Rais Hussin
Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | Umno supreme council member Lokman Noor Adam is not the personification of Umno Youth. In return, Umno Youth does not see his antics as representative of Umno Youth either.

But the fracas near Universiti Malaya yesterday suggests that the belated awareness of Umno Youth, as well as their elder leaders in the party, especially in the Supreme Council, have led them down the wrong path.

Had Umno Youth, as youth should do, rose up against Umno president Najib Abdul Razak in July 2015, after the revelations of the US Department of Justice - that Najib and his ilk were both kleptocratic and corrupt - their post-election frustration would not be at an all-time high now. 

Thus the behavior of "Lobak Man", while not representative of Umno Youth, is emblematic of the deeper syndromes of sore, indeed, desperate losers. Why?

Every anti-Najib event, indeed, every by-election that involves Umno and/or PAS, is now a possible proverbial nail in the coffin of both the parties and BN.

From a high of 14 coalition partners, BN is now hanging on a thread of three parties; that's even assuming MCA and MIC are truly with Umno. If you count a quarter of PAS as this coalition, then the pastiche of these parties is barely a quarter of themselves pre-GE14.

Due to the inability of Umno Youth to overcome the unctuous politics of "ampu" (boot licking), some three million of its members are now scraping from the bottom of the barrels. 

The Umno Supreme Council let the Youth down, and vice versa, creating a vicious cycle of mutual blame, or scapegoating DAP as the ruse of all their troubles.

Consequently, Umno Youth despises the fact that their idealism to make themselves powerful self-appointed envoys of the Malay conscience, ethos, and way of life, have all failed.

They have failed in three other ways too. First, their attempt to defend Islam and Malay nationalism are now proven to be fake.

How can it not be when they are asked to go about their political activities with "Malu Apa Bossku?" (Why should my boss be shameful?)

Such a campaign creed goes against everything the world of advertising has ever heard of. Nike, for example, thrived on "Just Do It". It has succeeded beyond Philip Knight, the Founder's wildest dream.

When Japan was in a funk, ex Prime Minister Juichiro Koizumi crafted "Cool Japan", thus, triggering the revival of a stable Japan right now. Even an aging Japan can now spearhead itself on a new Japan "Dream" under Prime Minister Abe.

The Anti-Drug Campaign of Nancy Reagan in the 1980s, backed as it was by her husband President Ronald Reagan, was "Just Say No". It worked among some of the teenagers in the United States.

To the degree, it led to some tobacco campaigns being banned from airing on TV.

But under Najib, whose legal tactic is meant to be protracted, and intentionally long, indeed, to wait for the collapse of Pakatan Harapan - which is not happening, and will not be happening at all - Umno Youth, even PAS, are impatient yet, they are told not to be shameful regardless of how long the legal campaign is.

To be clear, the "Malu Apa Bossku," campaign is totally unIslamic; even without the need for a fatwa (legal opinion).

When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was once asked, how should Muslims behave when there is no fatwa, the Messenger of God replied, "stay away from anything suspicious".

In other words, Islam focuses on the inner cultivation of the mind and heart, as Confucianism and all great religions do: when in doubt stay away.

But Umno Youth and PAS are instead asked to ask Malaysians, "Why should Umno and PAS be shameful?".

This is akin to legalising what is illegal, a total no-no in Islamic jurisprudence, unless in a condition of "Darurat" or Emergency, at which point Islamic laws can be relaxed, as God does not want His followers and believers to experience hardship.

Secondly, Umno Youth is running thin not only on inspiration, but sound intellectual ideas.

Just as Harapan is struggling with living up to every item in the manifesto albeit some good progress, since it was engineered based on an oil price of US$70 per barrel, Umno Youth did not even have a policy manifesto either before or after the 14th General Election.

Without a sound platform of ideas, Umno Youth once again look to the top. But the top are all facing criminal breach of trust charges.

Third, the by-election in Rantau, Negeri Sembilan, is an attempt to show Malaysians that Umno acting president Mohamed Hasan is friendly and clean. 

But if Umno loses Rantau, which Malaysiakini columnist P Gunasegaran affirmed, is not altogether impossible, then Umno's last hope is finished, as is PAS too.

Come what may, Umno does not "own" Malaysia. Never did and never will, least of all local men. 

Thus, Lobak Man and his gang cannot be left scot free to undertake any seedy methods of manhandling any races or groups, including Malays who do not agree with them.


RAIS HUSSIN is a supreme council member of Bersatu. He also heads its policy and strategy bureau.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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