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Profits, not quality, matter to Umno

 | June 7, 2012

All things considered, Najib Tun Razak understands that the GTP and ETP are not making any real converts of people.


Are the days of people disappearing off the streets or being picked up in the early hours of the morning from their homes and held without charge or trial now over in Malaysia?

Is the Internal Securities Act (ISA) really history? Will there be any more incidents of PDRM beating our people senseless and nauseating them with tear gas as they charge into crowds of defenceless Malaysian exercising their civil rights to show their support for or against causes they believe in?

Or will there be a lull as our prime minister ponders the likelihood of an election defeat?

Will Najib Tun Razak understand that beating his own people senseless is not the way to accentuate his party’s chances of winning the 13th general election?

Your guess is as good as mine!

But all things considered, Najib understands that the Government Transformation Program (GTP) and Economic Transformation Program (ETP) are not making any real converts of people who are now street smart to the ways of a government eager to announce political and economic initiatives but stops short of making real progress in its implementation.

The rakyat no longer believe Najib’s ‘statement of intent’.

Ultimately Najib must act and this he has failed to do, thus nullifying the initial euphoria that greeted the announcement of these GTP and ETP initiatives.

Najib knows he needs to do more. What that ‘more’ is he knows but its execution is purely cosmetic and too contrived to do him or Barisan Nasional any good.

BN, like the Titanic, is a failure waiting to happen. And like the Titanic that suffered from a misplaced belief in its own indestructibility, Umno steams ahead oblivious to it’s impending demise.

Simply because Umno believes it is too big to fail. But PKFZ, Bank Bumiputra and multinationals like Exxon and Enron, were all too big to fail…but failed they did.

BN and Umno started to fail in the time of former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. It started to fail because the checks and balances against allowing a prime minister to have unbridled political power was dismantled with the greatest of ease by Mahathir with BN’s two thirds majority in Parliament.

All other political parties, including Umno and its coalition partners in BN became irrelevant as political power were hijacked by Mahathir for himself.

Thievery shielded by OSA

Imagine if you will a prime minister running amok because he can. No check and balances as education, population, and economic, racial and religious goal posts were moved to suit Mahathir’s grand but flawed vision of Malaysia with himself as its only exponent.

And what grand and flawed visions they were. Grandiose monument that serves to bolster Mahathir’s vision of ‘Malaysia Boleh’ with not much thought given to the financial burdens such monuments would forever impose on his own people.

The country embarked upon mega projects that Mahathir insisted were tailormade for his vision of Malaysia Inc. But in reality these projects were also a means for the political elites and their cronies to enrich themselves as Mahathir looked on benignly.

The BN government decided that the plundering and pillaging of our national wealth through Malaysia Inc. was something that needed to be kept from public knowledge by insisting that there were all a matter of ‘national security’.

Thus these blatant acts of thievery of our nation’ wealth were kept from the public by the Official Secret Acts (OSA) and other similar mechanism that merely served to perpetuate and encourage the orgy of financial waste.

Mahathir criminally abused this heady mixture of political power and access to vast financial resources and ‘fail safe’ business opportunities for the purpose of enriching those he thought deserving of his largesse.

The successes of these Malaysia Inc. projects were superficial but the financial burden imposed on the nation was real.

One other great Mahathir’s failure waiting to happen is Proton.The whole car industry was turned on its head to prop up Proton.

Proton started with a bang and now whimpers its way through losses year in and year out without much hope for recovery – but like Umno, it was said that Proton was too big to fail! Really?

Blind, mute and deaf

Where has all the frenzy to buy Proton cars gone to? Every production needs of Proton became a way of making money for those with the strings to pull in Umno and Putrajaya.

The rich, the powerful and the politicians sat down together and divided the Proton loot amongst themselves with or without Proton at the discussion table.

One of them manufactures the petrol tank, the other supplies the car mats, another the exhaust…and the list goes on. And once these products were assembled together it became a Proton build of parts where profits, not quality mattered – an enduring Umno trait.

And after the initial few years of road use, the Proton invariably started to fall apart because Proton was treated as a cash cow rather then a car manufacturing concern where quality control and R&D development should have been the main concern of its management rather then a race to make money out of the national car project.

All these tales of financial mismanagement and political abuse are now familiar tales that abounds within Umno and BN.

You would have to be blind, mute and deaf to not know where responsibility for this litany of criminal waste of our national resources lies.

Umno may choose to be blind, deaf and mute when confronted by Proton failures but our people are not. We see, we hear and we will not be silent.

Nor will we be silenced anymore about this massive financial burden that has been imposed upon us by Mahathir.

CT Ali is a reformist who believes in Pakatan Rakyat’s ideologies. He is a FMT columnist.


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