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Friday, April 03, 2009

Dyslexic Snake Syndrome

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Sometimes Walski thinks it’s better to reflect on an event well after the fact. As opposed to a play-by-play approach during the event itself. That way, you kind of see the bigger picture. At least that’s what Walski thinks.

Image taken from, hosting by PhotobucketThe much anticipated and talked about UMNO General Assembly that took place last week is over. We already know the outcome of the party elections and all. Some of the results of the election (except for Najib’s, which was a shoe-in) were surprising, of course, like KJ getting the most votes for Youth Chief. Or the fact that several cabinet ministers didn’t get elected into any of the posts up for grabs.

Walski had intended to do a long and drawn analysis, but then thought: what’s the point?

Instead, the entire GA can be reduced to one observation: that UMNO suffers from the Dyslexic Snake Syndrome. 
(what a Dyslexic Snake is, the syndrome, and more, in the full post)

First of all, there’s really no such thing as a Dyslexic Snake. It’s something Walski thought of, and so some explanation is probably necessary. And it’s going to take some imaginative indulgence on your part. So bear with him.

Put simply, a Dyslexic Snake is one whose head wants to do one thing, but whose body simply refuses to follow, and decides to do its own thing. If you could, picture a snake flailing wildly in circles and not really going anywhere, and you’ll know what Walski means. And if you can’t, just pretend you can – life is much simpler when you pretend occasionally.

And that, in a nutshell, is how Walski sees UMNO, as evidenced by the goings on and what was said during the assembly.

The leadership (i.e. the snake head) iterated time and again the need for the party to change to remain relevant. The grassroots, represented by the division leaders (i.e. the snake body), seem to indicate that change is not what they want, rather UMNO should flex its muscles, while it can, and exert even more influence onto all and sundry, whether all and sundry like it or not.

UMNO lost its opportunity to portray itself as a party in touch with the times when it disallowed online media bodies access to report on the General Assembly. A move that the leadership said during the assembly was a bad move. Instead, only media bodies that were “friendly” to the party would be allowed in. Again, the body flailing in a totally different direction from where the head wants to go.

Of course, no discussion on UMNO is complete without “Money Politics“ – that nice way to really say CORRUPTION. Clearly, it’s something that the party wants to eliminate altogether. And yet, you have the strange and selectively punitive disciplinary board action just prior to the assembly. Ali Rustam – guilty and out of contention for the number 2 spot, and KJ – guilty, but naaah… we’ll let you contest. And KJ went on to wrest the post of Youth Chief, voted in by people who damned well knew that the guy was found guilty by the disciplinary board. What does that tell you?

While it did surprise Walski initially, KJ’s victory became a no-brainer, when he read this in the Malaysian Insider.

He [referring to Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir, Bukit Mertajam UMNO chief] also said the party made a mistake in trying to curtail money politics as it showed that Umno leaders are not grateful to the members who have sacrificed for the party.

“Without money, how can the delegates come to Kuala Lumpur to attend the assembly? Please look at the place they are staying, some of them are sharing a room with seven or eight people,” said Musa.
(source: The Malaysian Insider)

The leadership of UMNO may mean well in trying to institute change, but as the Malaysian Insider points out in the same article, “the party grassroots might prove to be the biggest stumbling block to meaningful change”.

Made a mistake in trying to curtail CORRUPTION money politics”… now what does that tell you?

Out-going president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi stated in his last policy address that UMNO must not act in such a way that the rest of the country sees it as racist, and emphasized that the rights of every citizen must be protected and guaranteed. The grassroots, instead, want more hegemony – UMNO first, foremost and always – screw everyone else.

The Nut Graph today has presented an interesting compare and contrast article, aptly titled “Umno contradictions”, which encapsulates and compiles quotes from various personalities during the General Assembly. Go take a look at it, and pay close attention to who said what.

So, if all of the above are not clear indications that UMNO suffers from Dyslexic Snake Syndrome, Walski doesn’t know what else would be.

A Dyslexic Snake, despite changing its skin from time to time (as snakes often do), will   still remain a Dyslexic Snake. Ok… Dyslexic Snake with new skin. But still a Dyslexic Snake.

And a Dyslexic Snake, like its other snakely brethren, has gotta eat. Now, how do you expect it to hunt any food down when it can’t do anything else but flail around in circles? Surely, the snake is thoroughly fucked.

Just like UMNO.

Today, almost a week after taking over the helm of UMNO, Najib gets sworn in as Malaysia’s 6th Prime Minister, fulfilling the much talked about R.A.H.M.A.N. prophecy. He also takes office as the incoming PM with the most baggage hanging over his head (real or perceived).

Not an enviable position to be in, especially having a Dyslexic Snake to contend with, on top of everything else…