Umno, new faces, old politics – The Malaysian Insider

AUG 21 – Five days after losing an appeal against being struck off as a lawyer, Rohaizat Othman became Umno’s candidate for the Permatang Pasir state seat.

He would have been the candidate for the earlier Penanti by-election last May 31 but Umno refused to stand there.

If Umno had, there wouldn’t be much controversy over the 38-year-old Permatang Pauh Umno division secretary’s legal career.

But Rohaizat’s saga is the end result of a selection process and promotion system in Umno that is based on patronage and money. Not merit.

Ironically, this is something that current Penang Umno liaison chief Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had railed against when he was Umno Youth chief in 1998 and openly denounced the party’s “Korupsi, Kronisme dan Nepotisme” culture, a page he took from a similar rallying cry against then Indonesian president Suharto.

Yet, the culture seems to have remained in Umno.

Often the dominant party in the ruling Barisan Nasional offers candidates who are not the best, most qualified or cleanest, but those who have moved their way up the political totem pole through patronage and money.

The end result: an ever-decreasing pool of qualified men and women of quality and integrity to represent the party.

This is a structural problems that continues to ail Umno. Because of patronage and warlordism, the best and brightest people are often overlooked as candidates in a division.

Instead, only favoured sons and daughters get a shot at public office – notwithstanding their past or peccadilloes.

Read more at: Umno, new faces, old politics – The Malaysian Insider