Why ‘Anything But Umno/BN’ (ABU)

Twitter is a platform open to anything and everything (for now). You can be funny, angry, hateful, loving, polite, vicious, malicious, preachy, prolific in terms of your own business, lie-spreading, personal-thought sharing, political sparring, disrupting or getting disrupted by cyber troopers – all that summarizes the good, the bad and the ugly of tweeting.

The 140-character limit has caused many tweets to be misinterpreted as many try to argue their points within that limit. This often happens to people with poor English like me who aren’t able to make short sentences easily understandable.

A question (most likely from an MCA supporter) was posed to me on Twitter: “Why ‘Anything But Umno/BN’ (ABU)?” I certainly couldn’t answer this in 140 characters and promised the person that I would answer the question in my blog.

We cannot blame the young generation or first-time voters for not understanding ABU. They have yet to experience the systematic erosion of almost everything under the rule of Umno/BN for over fifty  years.

I will provide five issues of my stance for ‘Anything but Umno/BN”. Its not political, but factual, that Umno/BN have failed the rakyat in its fifty years of ruling:

1) Umno is BN, BN is Umno
Anything the Umno supreme council agrees upon has to be accepted by all. Even though BN comprises a coalition of fourteen political parties, none have the power to speak out against or disagree with the council’s decisions. In effect, the BN parties are rather powerless as they usually retract their statements in fear of Umno’s retaliation. Hence, the latter practically holds sole ruling power of the country.

2) Education
For any government, education should be placed as a top priority that not a single citizen should be deprived of. Education is the life and blood to an energetic, progressive and matured nation. To put it bluntly, our education system is in a total mess. I can vouch, however, that in the 60’s it was among the best in Asia (I was educated in the 60’s) and where are we now?

It is in a mess mainly due to the political interference that restricts and controls the syllabus which allows students to only learn the bare minimum.

To begin with, our Education Minister is appointed not on the basis of his knowledge of running the education system, but as a platform to give him a level-up in his political career. Umno-led government is using education as a tool to control students’ minds to present them with an illusion of a ‘good’ government, blinding them to the malpractices behind closed doors.

Don’t you think it’s time to replace the education minister’s post with a pool of professional individuals to chart out a coherent education system? BM will remain a prerequisite for passing all examinations while the Educators will work out other subject syllabuses and what languages are to be taught – all on a worldwide standard of quality.

3) Corruption
I really do not know how to write on this. There are many blinded by their support of Umno/BN that they feel corruption not to be an issue,  that it won’t hurt the nation, or that it occurs only at a minimal level affecting only commoners and civil servants.

There are calls for government and party members to stop giving handouts, and for people to stop taking them. A prime minister can give and ask the rakyat to receive as it is a form of “you help me, I help you” before and during elections. Now, in yet another episode of sugar-coating, they speak of introducing integrity pledges in apparent hope that corruption would be wiped out.

Those entrusted to fight corruption – MACC & Pemandu – must first realize that it is so entrenched in the governing system that sugar-coating or simple, short-term solutions will not cure this “sickness”.

It becomes worse when blind supporters of Umno/BN voice out their call to fight corruption, but are silent or defensive when the integrity of their leaders is questioned.

MACC fares no better, being unable to perform their duty “without fear or favor”: chasing after “ikan bilis” (especially those from the opposition) and taking on vigorous interrogations on Teoh Beng Hock’s death costing up to RM2.5k, but showing inaction and sluggishness when the real culprits are free and out there.

Billions upon billions of ringgit belonging to the rakyat are lost through corruption and leakages from the top level, while “experts” in  their apparent fight against corruption act happy with their performance in catching and solving hundreds of mini corruption cases.

4) Government Institutions
Almost all the institutions, in one way or another, are Umno-inclined. They can scream and shout that they are not but the rakyat can see otherwise.

MACC is so unresolved towards the “big sharks” and instead waste their resources going after the “ikan bilis” and the opposition. How many cases have they solved with the AG reports coming out year after year? Should we claim there to be major corruption at the top level – well, of course we can’t be fully certain – they would want proof but yet cannot explain where our billions of ringgit have gone to.

PDRM is to serve and protect the rakyat, but are we seeing that? They are instead protecting Umno more than it should, following procedure at anti-Umno protests and candlelight vigils, but dismissing the law in situations like allowing the cow head protest to proceed (even the home minister welcomed the protesters into his office). PDRM and the special branch are wasting a lot of resources and energy to stifle public dissent against Umno government.

c) Judiciary
Just one question and you can judge for  yourself how our judiciary performs, or whether they are protecting anyone. Why did the court not ask PDRM to pursue the motive and perpetrator of Altantuya’s killing?

5) Governance
Can a nation survive on pure political governance? From the four issues above, we see a government which is more concerned with its party survival than working towards a better nation to serve all Malaysians. I can imagine readers now shooting at me, stating that our great PM has started his 1Malaysia, People First Performance Now, transformation plans, GTP, ETP, NKEA, NKRA, EPP, blah blah blah.

It appears that, in such a short time, the PM thinks he can magically revamp the system without really looking to resolve or remove the cancer-stricken modes of the current government.

It really boggles (or not) the whole nation when Najib talks about his 1Malaysia, GTP, ETP etc., but turns racist when facing the Malay community during the Umno assembly and talking to Pekida. The most dangerous game they are playing with – religion – is outsourced to Perkasa, Utusan and BN component parties. Very shocking indeed. How not to debunk PM Najib’s 1Malaysia?

I do not have to stress further on the goodies being given to the rakyat; its reason and timing should clearly be seen. Take a look at the BR1M RM500. When the nation was still rich, I did not receive a single cent; nothing was contributed to scholarships, building new schools or fighting poverty, but how is it that when we are almost at the brink of bankruptcy, the Umno government can cough out all these cash prizes? Should we appreciate and thank the racist Umno president for the RM500 when it doesn’t come from Umno’s coffers, but from taxes charged to the rakyat?

The Umno leaders have failed in striving to be the best among the worst. Why can’t they strive to be the best among the best?

With the above shortcomings of our government’s performance, do you think that we should continue to allow Umno to ruin run this nation?

The call now is very loud and clear – “Anything but Umno/BN” (ABU) for the coming 13th GE.

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A retired 60-year old trying to do and help to make a possible change for a better Malaysia.

Posted on 13 December 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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