Just words and lip service

The Umno president’s speech lacked substance and had no clear policy direction for the people and country, says Chua Jui Meng. 

By Chua Jui Meng, FMT

Najib Tun Razak delivered his presidential address at the annual Umno general assembly yesterday. It was shocking that his speech lacked substance – no clear policy direction for the people and country, just words and lip service.

It was also an amazingly short policy speech, if not the shortest, ever delivered by an Umno president.

To quote William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Najib was “full of sound and fury signifying nothing”.

Pre-Umno assembly Najib had also claimed that change can be initiated within Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) in general.

After 55 years, did we see any change in the attitude of the party national delegates, in the quality of debates at the assembly?

It was the same old rhetoric featuring inflammatory issues coupled with ridiculous claims like “God has chosen Umno”.

The May 13 bogey was still used to intimidate Malaysians to continue to support Umno and BN, racist remarks like “Malays will lose power if Pakatan Rakyat (PR) rules” and “May 13 will recur if PR rules”.

Is Umno claiming that only Umno Malays are Malays or Muslims? What about the Malays and Muslims in PKR, PAS, and others?

What changes are Najib and his deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, talking about?

Clearly, there has been no change after 55 years and after the March 2008 political tsunami. The same arrogance is displayed by Umno and BN.

Do you mean there are no important and serious public issues covering competency, accountability, transparency, integrity, abuse of power, corruption and economic policies to discuss or debate?

If Umno has really changed, how could its top leaders go into the assembly pretending as if the following did not happen:

  • The ongoing French court probe on alleged corrupt practices in the Defence Ministry’s purchase of two second hand Scorpene submarines at RM6.7 billion and Deepak Jaikishan’s explosive admission of his ties with Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor and his role in private investigator P Balasubramaniam’s second statutory declaration (SD) that neutralised a first damning SD that implicated the prime minister and his wife in the murder of Mongolian interpreter Altantuya Shaariibuu.
  • How and who erased the Immigration Department’s records of Altantuya’s entry and exit?
  • Ex-IGP Musa Hassan’s allegations of infiltration of criminal elements in the force, political interference and the lack of control by the current IGP.
  • Ex-serviceman Nasir Moni’s revelation that he and several colleagues had to mark thousands of postal ballots meant for soldiers during general elections. Hence the need for international observers in the next general election.

Compare the above with what the Umno leaders focused on their debates: