Saturday, March 7, 2009


By now my readers would have concluded that Datuk Sak, SakmongkolAK47 is one of my favorite bloggers. I read his offerings every day. Today, I just can't wait for Friday to feature him under my Friday Guest Blogger. Timing, they say, is of the essence. I am posting his 5th of 5 interview with Tengku Razalieh Hamzah:

Tengku, I noticed in your recent entries, you have written about the UMNO ideas expounded by Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Razak. It is as though, you are reminding and exhorting the UMNO leadership and UMNO in general to go back to first principles, as it were...

The Tunku was a great statesman. True, he didn't have the technicalities, but he has an overall sense of history and propriety. His vision was to see Malaysia evolved into a country where all the different races can live in harmony. He was mindful of Malay interest and he sought out to achieve those without injuring the rights of others.

What was the basis on which we achieved independence? And what was UMNO's approach to achieving that?

That UMNO is a Malay party is an unchallengeable fact. But it was never racist. It sought to achieve independence through consensus building. This was the guiding principle that drives UMNO. It's always seeking to achieve consensus to achieve its aim. This was also the guiding principle that guided Tunku and the first principles that you mentioned.

That was in 1957. The other milestone in our history was the formation of Malaysia. That was in 1963. It was also conceived on the idea of consensus building. That it was possible for different races in Malaysia to come together and lived in harmony. In order to do that, we have to practice mutual respect and trust. We go back to upholding the rule of law and the constitution.

This was the idea that became the cornerstone in Tun Razak's formation of the BN. It encapsulates the practicalities of working together to achieve common aims. It wasn't just a political means to reduce politicking. It was a means to institutionalise consensus building.

Tengku, to me you encapsulates what's best in Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Razak. You straddled both generations. What is the problem in UMNO now?

The idea of UMNO- what it stands for, fighting for Malay rights, dong that with dignity and respect for the laws has been hijacked by people with possess little credibility. We achieve things through consensus building, without compromising our dignity.

The only recourse for people with little or no credibility is always to assume violent posturing- not necessarily acting violent but proffering to.

What do you think are the root causes?

UMNO has ceased to be Malay. A Malay doesn't condone corruption. He is not disrespectful of others. UMNO does not represent the Malays anymore. As you have said, we got only around 2 million votes the last time. In Selangor even the Malay youths did not vote for UMNO.

UMNO has become un-Malay. We don't go around bashing peoples' heads if they don't agree with us. UMNO has refused to listen to the voices of the people.

The leadership insulates itself from the heartbeat of the people.

You know, in the last elections, the Military Intelligence people; the SB produced bounded reports on the state of Malaysian politics. The reports indicate, holding elections in March 2008, was not an opportune time. Unfortunately, the leadership read the reports only after the elections.

I had the chance to ask the leadership during an occasion in Kelantan ,why the urgency to hold the elections in March? The answer was- the leadership liked the number 13. (The elections were held on the 13th of March 2008).

Tengku- if by way of reading your statements, I get this feeling of hopelessness, how can we save UMNO? I am sure people like you who have been in UMNO and have been an integral part of UMNO, and people like my generation and the younger ones, who have benefited from UMNO, surely we do not wish UMNO to be extinct? And as everyone knows, you left as a matter of principle, to form Semangat 46. What is there to prevent UMNO from disappearing?

Correction...I did not leave to form Semangat 46. Tengku Abdul Rahman did and invited me to join...

My apologies Tengku—but back to my question, what's there to save UMNO?

UMNO has power. It's not easy to dislodge those who have power. But we can't live on the brink and precipice all the time. It's not good for the health.

We must go back to the people. Win their confidence. Restore our credibility. The UMNO leadership must go on bended knees and ask forgiveness from the rakyat. Humility is in order.

Speaking on humility Tengku, why do you think, this quality is sorely lacking in most of our leaders?

This is the other problem. Humility is lacking in our leadership. If we were to state the facts that UMNO is losing ground to any UMNO leader, he will come back to menacingly say-how do you know? Arrogance has blinded the leadership. Rather than engaging us in fruitful discussions, they fly off the handle.

So the only recourse is to allow the people to teach UMNO. In the next elections, people will teach UMNO and Dato Najib. And then it will become like you said previously, the N in RAHMAN becomes E-N-D.

In the past, even the UMNO president joined us for refresher courses. Tengku Abdul Rahman did. He sat with us on the floor. We would call lecturers and intellectuals to lecture us- to remind us of our responsibilities. And you know Tun Razak dearly loved these courses. That is also a sign of humility- the leadership coming to terms and acknowledging their own frailties and foibles.

There was a melancholic tone when TRH said that.

Arrogance comes from an inferiority complex really. Those who have these complexes will camouflage their weaknesses by aggression. They think the only way they can put forward their ideas is by treating others as adversaries. Have you noticed how many of our leaders prefer surrounding themselves with not so credible followers?


Read his 1st to 4th session HERE
or click Sakmongkol - the fastest draw on my sidebar.


Sam Yap said...

Hopefully we can agree to disgaree on what I write.

I don't like the tone of the entire interview. Its still UMNO this and UMNO that. As long as we have UMNO around, we will have other race based parties viz. the MCAs and the MICs. Nevermind if there is Gerakan, its a Chinese party through and through.

Thus, as long as UMNO exist and continues to wield power, it will lead our country to nowhere, its more of the same - this is for UMNO, and that is for MCA and so on. Moreover, I don't think we will ever hear the end of other ethnic Malaysians being called pendatangs or orang asing. Its a fact of human nature that we are a very tribal species. In the extreme case we even fight and kill over a matter such as a game of football, just because one's favourite team lost to the rival team.

We need to be to tribal not in terms of our race but in terms of our national identity. We must be and forever be identified as Malaysians and not Malaysian Indian or Bumiputera or what-have-you.

Revamping UMNO is not the answer at all. The seeds of race division is already there by the mere fact of raced based parties banding together.

And don't forget, the other parties within the BN gang did not get to choose or vote for the Gang Leader, sorry I meant the BN President. So how could even Ong Tee Keat or any other MCA **shole say that the MCA members voted for AAB or Najib as the leader of BN Gang? Undemocratic? You can bet your bottom dollar that its undemocratic.

The country needs UMNO like it needs a hole in its head.

What is really needed is disbanding the race based parties. BN component parties should just breakup and merge as a single multi-racial party. Then we can start talking.

As for Pakatan Rakyat, the challenge is not to tread the same path as BN Gang. Unfortunately, the current form of Pakatan looks suspiciously similar to the BN setup. Nevertheless there's hope yet for Pakatan, its still in its infancy and we can see a pre-dominantly Chinese DAP trying its best to lure other races to join. Even PAS is doing its best by starting a support group made up of non-muslims, at least they understand the value of compromise, that though they cannot abandon the PAS raison de tre of Islam, they will not abandon the non-muslims.

What about UMNO? Nothing of late and even in the past did UMNO show an inkling of interest in supporting ALL Malaysians regardless of race and creed. Hark back to UMNO's early history, Dato' Onn Jafaar was far sighted when he said UMNO should become a party for all Malaysians - but the poor man got booted out of the party he co-founded for such a "wild" idea.

In conclusion, as I said earlier, the bad seeds of racism were already present from the beginning, so who is AK47 and Tengku Razaleigh trying to kid, when they keep saying that a reformed UMNO will be good for the country? Genetically UMNO is programmed to be racist and will always be.

Anonymous said...

"Arrogance comes from an inferiority complex really. Those who have these complexes will camouflage their weaknesses by aggression. They think the only way they can put forward their ideas is by treating others as adversaries. Have you noticed how many of our leaders prefer surrounding themselves with not so credible followers?"

Well said Tengku. It's so reflective of the current leadership. They think that might is right. My question to the Tengku is "What the hack are you doing still in umno. Things are not going to change and even if it does, you will probably be long gone". And like you said, umno is no longer representing the Malays. It's looking more like an Arab or Indon party.


Patricia said...

Why wait for Friday? My husband says, every day is Valentine's day. So the same could apply to your Fridays! hahaha.

I like Pak Sak, too, and read him all the time. But I think Sam Yap makes some excellent and valid points as well!

It's time to think outside the box - and move away from the tried and tired ways!

nstman said...

Gestapo and SS thugs prowled Germany to bash up people who spoke up against Hitler. Hitler used the instruments of the State to round up opponents. Hitler unleashed the heavy artillery of his powerful political machinery to bludgeon his opponents into submission. Sounds familiar? Well Umno is adopting these Nazi instruments of terror. Bash up opponents who disagree. Use the courts to silence people. The oft-quoted aphorism 'those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it' is beginning to haunt this nation. It is time to condemn Umno to the dustbin of history. We can do it in the next election. We have to show these thugs that they have no place in a new Malaysia.

donplaypuks® said...

I'm afraid Razaleigh's time has come and gone. He is still from that old UMNO mould of Ketuanan Melayu and cannot be trusted to create a truly unified Malaysia.

I wouldn't trust him any further than I could throw him. it would be useful to remember that he was Finance Minister during the $2 billion Bank Bumi fraud that nearly banrupted M'sia and did not resign!!

Anonymous said...

Its for TRH to make the move or else continue to stay as a fringe player in UMNO and viewed as an old broken record. Cant he take the bold step as Zaid and lead the third coalition out of the corrupt BN? Or will he just continue to pontificate until death?

new fart said...

What a pity that he stopped short of saying that UMNO is practically run by mostly half-breed Malays. His comment about "Arrogance comes from an inferiority complex really. Those who have these complexes will camouflage their weaknesses by aggression. They think the only way they can put forward their ideas is by treating others as adversaries." is obviously directed at leaders like Mamakthir and Bodohwi. Arrogance also comes from lack of confidence because of their backgrounds. A classic case of "A chip on their shoulders".
Racially-based parties are passe and should be allowed to die. This country needs political parties that represent all races as one, their only difference would be in their doctrines. Like the Republicans and Democrats in the US as well as the Liberals and Labours in Australia. Give people a choice to choose the best party to govern the country and if they can't do a proper job, kick them out and choose the other party comes election times. Let the people be the BOSS!!!

Anonymous said...

I suppose you meant "Razaleigh" when you said "5th of 5 interview with Tengku Razalieh Hamzah".

zorro said...

Yes, Razaleigh (despite error in spelling) because that is the only Razaleigh that matters, and he is the only Razaleigh I know. Thanks for pointing the slip of the finger on keyboard.

Anonymous said...

You're most welcome.

And while it may be that this is the only Razaleigh you know, let's not be too presumptuous in declaring that this is the only Razaleigh who matters.

Khun Pana aka johanssm said...

Razaleigh cant change anything.
He alone is useless if without a good team. His party namely umno is now seen as a pond of crocs.
For razaleigh , its better for him to change party or set up his own .
Is umno so important that it is worth to be save? I dont think so.
Let it be part of history.