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MGG: UMNO Stumbles On Its Discliplinary Moves
By M.G.G. Pillai

27/5/2001 10:13 am Sun

[Rencana ini disiarkan dahulu untuk mengkaji sambutan.

Umno dilanda krisis lagi berikutan mereka yang digugurkan kerana tuduhan politik wang itu berkeras mengaku mereka tidak bersalah dan akan bertindakbalas jika tidak dipertimbangkan atau mendapat pengadilan. Ada yang mengugut untuk keluar daripada Umno dan ada yang masih memegang jawatan kerajaan negeri walaupun telah dihukum kerana itu sedikit lain. Terdapat kebimbangan jika yang terhukum itu meletakkan jawatan sehingga pilihanraya kecil diadakan. Inilah yang sedang menghantui Umno sekarang ini dalam memerangi politik wang. Ia gagal dari awal lagi untuk membersihkan diri kerana kerusi lebih penting dari maruah diri. - Editor]

UMNO Stumbles On Its Discliplinary Moves

This long drawn out mess over the six disciplined, and barred from UMNO for up to six years, shows how weak and frightened UMNO is. The UMNO supreme council has affirmed the disciplinary board findings. But UMNO leaders look for an easy way out of looking upon it for what it is: the disciplined got caught. UMNO sees it as proof of its seriousness in rooting out the influence of money in its ranks, and nothing more need to be done. All the six, predictably, insisted upon their innocence; one threatened to leave UMNO; another did not see why he should resign as state executive councillor and state assemblyman. The newspapers were full of how when UMNO fumbles when it has to make unpalatable decisions.

UMNO leaders could not order the disciplinary board's findings be carried out forthwith. If this move -- revolutionary in many ways since UMNO at last comes to terms with the dominant influence of money in its deliberations -- can cause so much distress and reduce UMNO leaders to talk gibberish, it shows not determination to root out an evil but to resolve the matter without offending anyone. One of the six is a state executive councillor and state assemblyman from Kedah. Dato' Zainol Md Isa refused to step down from either. The mentri besar did not see why he should be removed; after all he does good work, says his mentri besar, and what he is disciplined for does not affect the state. Another threatened to leave UMNO after he was suspended, with rumours swirling that he would join PAS. UMNO leaders went into rigor mortis. It is as if UMNO wanted a token decision, chose the six, and then told them they should not fight back, instead accept the punishment like men, and all would be well in the end.

UMNO froze in shell shock which this was challenged. It punishes the six for the widespread use of money as an inducement to vote them in, but it would not act decisively. So, when Dato' Zainol said he would resign from the state executive council but not as state assemblyman, he is praised to the heavens for pulling the UMNO leadership from a sticky wicket. Intelligent move which reflects understanding, crows the deputy president, Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He is happy that Dato' Zainol would remain in the party, when he should have been happy the fellow left. The UMNO vice president, Dato' Najib Tun Razak, thanks the man for resigning "voluntarily". What wonderful fellows UMNO members are, we are told. They would come to aid not the party but its leaders, and quietly quit instead of being sacked. If UMNO meant what it says about money politics, it should have sacked him from the executive council and forced a byelection. It would not. It cannot accept that a man sacked from UMNO would join an opposition party. It is afraid of a byelection. So, it finds creative ways to put a gloss to this whole business of money politics.

And it evades the more serious charges a Pahang state assemblyman laid upon the former mentri besar who is now UMNO secretary-general and federal cabinet minister, of corruption. Dato' Fauzi Abdul Rahman said he would resign. He has yet to. All effort is made to see he does not. This potentially is worse than the case of the suspended six. The fright this gave the UMNO leaders is incalculable. They would not act, and drag their feet. If a byelection is held for Dato' Fauzi's state assembly seat, PAS, which lost by 800 votes in 1999, could well be returned. When Dato' Fauzi accused one in UMNO's inner circles of corruption, UMNO looked away. The two events are interlinked, the Khalil issue the more serious. Until it is resolved, UMNO would continue to shoot itself in the foot.

M.G.G. Pillai