Tuesday, May 5, 2009



The following are my proposals for the reform of Umno

The president, deputy president, vice presidents and members of the supreme council to be elected directly. This ends the delegate system.
State party chiefs to be elected by the membership at state level, not appointed by the president.

The nominations quotas to be abolished
Parliamentary candidates to be nominated by their Divisions, not by the party president.

Top office holders in the party to refrain from holding top government positions. This is to separate party politics from the responsibilities of government. Office holders in the party should concentrated on strengthening and improving the party. Members of the cabinet, selected from among the party’s members of parliament, should focus on national priorities.

These reform proposals address the structural issues which make it impossible to eradicate corruption in Umno today with piecemeal changes. The rot in Umno is has gone so deep that it requires wholesale structural reform. Because such change will lead to a renewal of Umno’s entire leadership, the beneficiaries of the current system, however blatantly unjust or illegal it is, will block such proposals and throw up superficial measures and token changes instead. In just this way their response to the humiliation of March 8 was a project to Rebrand BN, as if the public could be satisfied with a change of packaging when the product is the problem.

Beyond just addressing corruption in the party, these proposals aim to decentralize power in Umno, and make it a grassroots driven party again restore democracy to Umno, and thereby its legitimacy make Umno accountable, and thereby more responsive to its members and the rakyat separate Umno’s internal political processes from the service we perform to the nation in government open the doors to young people of talent and energy, thereby revitalizing the party and giving it a future.

These proposals, which I have made since March last year in travels all over the country to meet branch leaders and ordinary members, have been blocked out of the mainstream press. I hope they reach a wider audience here, are passed on, and stimulate the serious discussion that must occur in Umno before it is too late.

What’s important is not that Umno members agree with me, but that if they too see their party in serious crisis, they should be willing to reflect and act on change at a fundamental level, and not accept just an aspirin when an organ transplant is what’s needed.

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