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Bad idea to postpone Umno elections

 | July 24, 2012

Postponing Umno elections will only frustrate and disconnect members further.


The word which I think best describes the present feeling about Umno is “dis-esteem”. The word captures all the negatives – dishonor, disrespect, held in low opinion, repulsive and more.

Why has it come to that? I think the most important factor has been the increasing disconnect between what is desired by the majority and the small elite that’s leading Umno.

And that increasing disconnect is because Umno refuses to hold its own elections.

Here is where Umno has made the crucial mistake.

Umno thinks that by suspending its own elections it can expel the bad feelings, but what it is doing is merely postponing the anger, frustrations and the “disconnect”.

Allow me to quote the thoughts of 18th century American writer and thinker Thomas Paine.

Paine wrote: “Prudence will point out the propriety of having elections often; because as the elected might by that means return and mix again with the general body of the electors in a few months, their fidelity to the public will be secured by the prudent reflection of not making a rod for themselves.”

What Paine means is that if the elected voluntarily submit themselves to be judged frequently by their electors, they will be restrained from forming self-interests.

Playing hide and seek

The answer to legitimacy therefore is not in the prolonged suspension of elections but having them as frequent as provided for by the constitution.

Now, if the elected leaders postponed elections indefinitely, it is a strong presumption that those elected have already made a rod for themselves.

How would that place the Umno leaders, chief of all its president who plays hide and seek with us electors on the election date?

We will make a strong presumption that his government has lots to hide from our judgment and it is therefore a government deserving of dis-esteem.

By to-ing and fro-ing on the election date, the prime minister is making fun of us and insulting our intelligence.

Such behaviour shows his lack of understanding on the responsibility of government.

The writer is a former Umno state assemblyman but joined DAP earlier this year. He is a FMT columnist.


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