Bend It Like BN: UMNO and The Gang

Collective electoral endeavor to bend the truth beyond any shape and form even if it means throwing the rakyat into the eye of storm.

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Published by Astro Awani, image by Astro Awani.

The common narrative coming out from the UMNO President, Zahid Hamidi, the chairman of Barisan National (BN), is that Pakatan Harapan (PH) has resorted to “selective prosecution”, through the judiciary, to charge each and every one in UMNO and BN, with a litany of crimes. The fact that he did not mention what kind of crimes was the assumption that they have to be financial in nature: be they corruption and/or malfeasance. 

This is where the proverbial slipper has dropped. Without explaining why PH would do such a thing — to bring all forms of charges against the leaders in BN — Zahid Hamidi has not only maligned the integrity of its foremost political PH, mala fide (with bad faith), but he has actually revealed what the BN would do in return should BN wins.

After all, Zahid Hamidi did not deny that should UMNO and BN prevail, he would not ask the Prime Minister, whoever that may be, to drop all the charges that have been brought against him.  

Beyond that, Zahid Hamidi, in his speech at the party convention of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) did not explain why he and his cabal in the “court cluster” in UMNO had to force the hand of the then Prime Minister of Malaysia, Ismail Sabri, to dissolve the parliament of Malaysia on October 10, 2022.

The fact that the Monsoon season has started in earnest in October 3, 2022, which is expected to last beyond the end of December 2022, seems like a watery grave that he and the likes of UMNO, indeed BN, have literally tried to dig for the people of Malaysia. The blunt and earnest trust is that Zahid Hamidi does not want to account for every single indiscretion that he has committed. Nor does he want his former Cabinet colleagues to hold themselves accountable.

The pundits have it that Zahid Hamidi is trying to spring himself from jail, and ideally, the rest of his “Court Clusters”, too; potentially even, former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has been sentenced to undergo his prison sentence in the Kajang Prison. One for all, all for one. But beneath the rhetoric of urging everyone in UMNO and BN at the MIC convention to rally for a “dominant and big electoral” win in the impending 15th general election are several insidious factors at all.

What Zahid Hamidi called “the mother of all elections,” is in actual fact something that he and his likeminded “Court Cluster” has intentionally triggered. This is a mortal danger that he has precipitated not only against Malaysians, who could potentially lose their lives, after all 55 or more people did perish in the monsoon flood last year, but against all young, weak and meek people alike, who can be swept away by the speedy currents of the flood that is expected to be harsher this year. In 2021, the monsoon flood brought about more than 55 deaths, more than 500,000 internally displaced and more than RM6.5 billion losses. And those figures are conservative. This year, Meteorological Department of Malaysia has forewarned that the floods are going to harsher !

As the Amanah President, Mohammed Sabu, has said, “no flood can be considered a festival.” The rest of PH has naturally agreed with him. Not one iota of danger shall be brought about against the people under the rule of PH. 

While it is in total contravention against the electoral tradition of Malaysia, which holds the Federal and State election together, in order to allow the Federation of Malaysia to operate seamlessly, this is a stance that PH, under the leadership of Anwar Ibrahim, has had to do. This is in keeping with the Quranic creed on lives: “To save one is but to save the whole of humanity, to destroy one is but to destroy the whole of humanity.” The truth of the matter is Zahid Hamidi and his brigands do not care: We shall save ourselves, let others be damned, even if they were to die.

It is this attitude that has made UMNO and BN an unreliable motley collection of incorrigible kleptocrats, who have developed this sadistic desire to enrich themselves, come hell or high water, even if that were to lead to enfeebling the very people that have pretentiously sworn to protect. That they have dragged the good name of all the Sultans through this sordid affair to undermine the “constitutional monarchy” of the people does not mean anything at all. 

Pushing former Prime Minister Ismail Sabri to force an electoral showdown against the PH led by Anwar Ibrahim, of whom the latter has asked all the three states under the rule of PH, therein, Selangor, Penang and Negeri Sembilan, not to hold any state elections, for the safety of the people under these three states, has shown the tenacity of UMNO and BN, to always make their parties the first among equals (primus inter pares). 

In any “unity” government, especially one compelled by His Majesty, YDPA, to co-exist, PH should have been consulted by Ismail Ismail Sabri first, before is a General Election is properly called, especially given the projection of the worst Monsoon to hit Malaysia, for years; a report made not just by the Department of Meteorology in Malaysia but across the region that make up the members states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). 

BN, and UMNO, through the connivance and mendacity, of Zahid Hamidi, have all entwined themselves in a deadly embrace, with the lives of the innocent Malaysians, some as young as 18, an age that have nevertheless allowed them to vote, treated as child’s play. 

The dangers are all the more pronounced given that there are about1.6 million young graduates in Malaysia who are under-employed. These are university students who cannot find any meaningful jobs other than the menial ones with which they have had to work in among others such as cashiers, deliverers, indeed, jockey drivers in two or three star hotels. 

One has not counted the 600,000 university graduates, potentially, as high as 1.2 million university graduates — as no right thinking university student would deign to admit to the parents, let alone any authorities at hand — that they have not been able to find a simple and decent job. 

Yet the issues facing them and their families are indeed in need of sweeping resolution. The lack of ability to receive affordable health care, job security, high quality of primary, secondary and tertiary education, are all problems indeed of a systematic solution.

Undoubtedly, Zahid Hamidi, together with his ilk, has thrown caution against all forms of safety protocols by dragging millions of voters into the eye of the storm. Not since the history of any election in the world has a man and his band of “brothers” been so tenaciously defiant of the natural order of all things under Heaven. 

By doing so, he has instantly tarnished the name of UMNO and BN, in eternity. Not only does it not care about the plight and welfare of others. They are not even afraid of destroying the name and reputation of their own parties, forever.  A permanent opprobrium is par for the course: Not only does Najib Razak, whom Zahid Hamidi, called “Bossku,” must be freed by all means necessary, Zahid Hamidi and others must also be freed in order to victimize all those who dare to challenge their madcap endeavours. 

In the movie “Bend it Like Beckham,” at least the protagonist in the cult British movie, had a woman footballer trying to bend the ball like David Beckham. With UMNO and BN, not including PN and PAS, they have joined the collective electoral endeavour — even when they are fighting against each other — to bend the truth beyond any shape and form. By this measure alone, Zahid Hamidi, has tried to lead Malaysia into the rabbit hole of distorted reality. Politics can be the “art” of the impossible. 

But nowhere is Islam or any religion for that matter will condone what the likes of Zahid Hamidi and his gang, for that matter, Ismail Sabri, do what they did: which was to dissolve the parliament of Malaysia in the narrow financial interest of the few. Very few.

Dr Rais Hussin is the President and CEO of EMIR Research, an independent think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research.

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