It was shocking but maybe not unexpected to learn about the sackings of various people in Umno.
Some say what has happened will bring the party together and make it more harmonious. More to the point, nobody will dare to put a foot wrong from now on. Doesn’t this make the party less credible?
In the wake of all this, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the party’s vice-president, said recently that some drastic changes have to be made in the party if it doesn’t want to lose again (at the next election) and that the party has to come up with ideas to entice first-time voters.
It is going to be an uphill climb for Umno to entice young voters, especially if being a party member means one is unable to voice one’s opinions.
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Ismail Sabri added the current perception of Umno is that the party is undemocratic and he would like to have more leaders (like Khairy Jamaluddin!) who are not afraid to speak out. Really!
The sackings have only cemented Zahid Hamidi’s position as Umno president, and he will not tolerate any dissent from anybody. So Ismail Sabri should not be so vocal if he wants to keep his position!
Then again, the Umno president is walking on a tightrope. His court case will soon come up and many are waiting with bated breath to see if the prosecution has enough evidence or whether it would be like in his previous case, where despite having 40-plus witnesses, none of them were credible enough to convict him of corruption.
That said, the PM has, more or less, defended Zahid’s inclusion in government, saying he could not dismiss the Barisan Nasional chairman’s importance in the unity government.
Why is Zahid so important to the unity government? Is it because should Umno-BN pull out, that would be the end of the unity government, resulting in a very short-lived term for Anwar as PM?
Anwar’s 100th day in office will be coming up soon. Many analysts and pundits will be eager to give their opinions on how well or how badly he has done.
So how has the prime minister fared so far? Well, he has visited several neighbouring countries to enhance bilateral ties.
This is all well and good, but there are some pressing issues on the home front that he has to deal with.
With the launching of the madani concept [to create a society advanced in thought, spirituality and community development], Anwar needs to come up with viable programmes that uphold good governance, ethical practices, justice and fairness for all.
He has stressed that the ‘unity government’ under his leadership will continue to focus on helping the people.
Inflation is worrying. We can see how it affects our standard of living – food prices are rising while salaries are stagnant. These are the after-effects of the pandemic: many businesses either had to close or cut back, and job losses were significant. The people now have to tighten their belts to cope with the rising cost of living and figure out how to feed their families.
With so many jobless, the prime minister employs his daughter as his special economics and finance adviser – a move which smacks of nepotism.
It does not matter whether she has the necessary qualifications or whether she is paid. That is beside the point.
The PM has defended his actions by saying that nepotism was defined as family members being given a position “to abuse power, enrich themselves, obtain contracts and get paid a huge sum”.
Is it just a question of semantics? The prime minister must rethink this carefully. Speaker Johari Abdul might appoint his son as his aide because he has the qualifications and the experience. Are there any more family members, with or without qualifications, who want to join the government? It is open season now!
After waiting 30-plus years to become prime minister, Anwar has to show the people what he is capable of and that the trust of those who voted for him was not misplaced.
Don’t let the “Malaysia Madani” concept be just an empty slogan. Instead, let it become a promise that this PM and his government really mean what they say and that they will work for the betterment of the people and the country.
Get moving – time is of the essence!
jem, an Aliran reader, still cares deeply about Sabah, despite having lived in the peninsula for some time