Of being busy and in demand


Written on 5/06/2008 08:27:00 pm by sikapitan

The past one month has been nothing short of hectic. Work has taken on a more real dimension, with me participating in two Six Sigma projects within Customer Service of Maxis. As part of the Process Improvement team, I basically act like an internal consultant for Customer Service.

I guess that’s enough about work. More importantly, the past one month has been an eye-opener in terms of real politics for me. Although I haven’t really gone into the nitty gritty of grassroot politics, I have been fortunate enough to participate in some events that has played an important part in developing my views at this moment.

However, I apologize for not sharing to you folks considering the abundance of materials recently. Partly this is due to the sudden increase in political activism in the blogging world, with everyone suddenly joining the bandwagon. You know something’s weird when even Mat Taib started blogging.

This growth was probably led by the strides made by Malaysian bloggers. We are the first nation in the WORLD to have a blogger as an elected representative in the national legislative assembly. And another blogger even got himself in the CLEO’s Most Eligible Bachelor finalist list (despite the rather obvious … well… he has a cool AND popular blog though, which is more than you can say about this humble collection of ramblings).

So bloggers are pretty hot stuffs, so hot that one of them had to take some time to cool off in prison. Raja Petra or RPK as he is more famously known, has been one of Malaysia’s most prominent “opposition” blogger with his straight forward, no holds barred style of writing. But his recent ranting on the Altantuya murder trial has landed him in hot soup with the authorities charging him for sedition.

Never shy from a battle, RPK has refused to post bail (of course he pleaded not guilty). Instead, the RM5000 needed was raised via RM1 contribution from his readers, though I doubt they would just contribute RM1. In just one day, they managed to collect RM25,000.00, showing that Malaysians will support just about anyone willing to stand up against the present government or more importantly, against members of UMNO.

UMNO must look at this as another example of how the people have openly rejected them. Instead, from my experience in the past one month, we (and I do mean us, as I am an UMNO member…*what the hell?*) are living in denial. We are busy with our own problems without realizing that we are fighting over a cause that will or will not exist if doesn’t take remedial actions immediately.

This is evident from the discussion some of my friends organized with Datuk Zaki Zahid and some of the 4th Floor Boys, my meeting (1st) with my division’s Wanita UMNO chief and the recent Sekretariat Melayu Muda’s forum featuring Mukhriz and Akramsyah. The Malays are lost and confused. And when a group is lost and confused, it tends to develop a siege mentality. Everyone is against us, what did we do wrong kind of self-inflicted conundrum.

So the natural reaction is to capitalize on these emotions amongst the UMNO members to further one’s own political ambition. No doubt some of the points the Malays have raised are valid in my point of view. For example, when Kelantan Prince made his remarks about “Ketuanan Melayu”, the press had a field day reporting it which sensationalizes what was otherwise a pretty straightforward, even humbling speech, about the Malay dilemma.

His respect for the Chinese, his advice for the Malays, was all left out. Instead, the Malays were once again played out as racists. Not dissimilar to the sensitivity of the black community in the United States, the Malays have to thread carefully when the rest can just lambaste their actions without being called racists. Never mind. We shall leave this at that for the moment.

More importantly, this inward approach by UMNO is based on the assumption that it has lost the Malay support. Unfortunately, I have to disagree. A strong, moderate UMNO has always been the basis for Barisan Nasional’s successes. In 1999, the Chinese and Indian community came out in droves to support Barisan and UMNO because it was seen as the moderate voice that could keep PAS and Malay fundamentalist at bay.

Its actions leading up to 2008 led the rest to believe that UMNO has progressively turned ultra-Malay, especially the overt statements and actions by its leaders. This was perhaps prompted by their desire to capture even more Malay votes from PKR and PAS. What they didn’t realize was perhaps these votes were never there to be won anyway. The Malays are definitely split between UMNO, PAS and now PKR.

Actually, UMNO did rather well in the seats it contested despite the obvious dislike by the general public against the government in the past election. The Malays are not turned off by the rhetoric. Instead, the Chinese and Indians were alarmed by the way UMNO is acting, and this is shown by the absolutely dismal showing by MCA and MIC. We have lost the confidence of our non-Malay friends by our actions.

The previous administration has shown that UMNO can further its cause while at the same time manages to hold on to the support of the non-Malays. These two are not mutually exclusive, and one can go hand-in-hand with the other. It’s just a matter of who’s managing the situation. Go figure.

*Sorry for any factual mistakes...arrghhh...screw it.

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