Saturday, September 13, 2008

UMNO for Dummies

What does the M in U-M-N-O stand for?

UMNO for Dummies

UMNO was originally established as the United Malays National Organisation. It came into existence after the British returned to the then Malaya in the aftermath of World War II and attempted to form the Malayan Union.

The Malayan Union allegedly threatened the sovereignty of the Malays in Malaya. The Malayan Union plan was met with fiery street protests. These were followed up by successive inaugural Malay congresses which finally resulted in the formation of the United Malays National Organisation on May 11th 1946 under the leadership of Datuk Onn Jaafar.

In other words, the original UMNO was born out of a series of street demonstrations and picketing.

In 1951, Datuk Onn Jaafar resigned from UMNO after his proposal to open UMNO’s membership to non-Malays was met with vehement objections. It was to be the beginning of a life-long tradition of racism and extremism within UMNO.

UMNO’s next big racism project was in the 1963 Singapore state elections. Contesting with the MCA and MIC under the Party of Knots (Party Perikatan), UMNO tried to assume power from Lee Kuan Yew People's Action Party (PAP) by stoking racial tensions. UMNO campaigned on the grounds that the Singapore Malays were relegated to second-class citizens. The results of playing the race card proved futile and in fact devastating.

All of the UMNO-backed Malay candidates lost to PAP candidates. UMNO’s failure of playing racial politics was one they would never learn from.

UMNO was briefly deregistered and declared an illegal organisation in February 1988. In the 1987 party elections, UMNO president Mahathir Mohammad had allegedly employed illegal means in order to ward off challenges to his presidency. These included the granting of voting privileges to unregistered and therefore illegal UMNO branches.
Mahathir Mohammad formed UMNO Baru or New UMNO not long after that.
Since then the acronym of U-M-N-O and what it truly stood for remains an enigma and stands tall among the Seven Wonders of the World.

Some say that the ‘M’ in UMNO stands for ‘Mamak’ which, in all likelihood is a great possibility. The significance and palpable presence of Mamaks within UMNO cannot be denied. Prominent Indian Muslims who have joined UMNO and soared among its ranks include former Information Minister Abdul Kadir Sheikh, Putera UMNO president Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, Reezal Merican Naina Merican the political secretary to Abdullah Badawi and of course, the legendary Mahathir Mohammad himself.

Others allege that the big ‘M’ in UMNO stands for Mat-Rempit. The irrational glorification of Mat-Rempits (hooligans on motorcycles) by Putera UMNO has lent credence to this belief. The actual contribution of Mat Rempits in UMNO is still an issue of great academic debate. Mat Rempits have been making their presence increasingly felt since the 2007 Ijok by election.
The ‘M’ in UMNO may also stand for Mahathirism as an ideology and a way of life as opposed to the person himself. While Mahathir Mohammad has already resigned from UMNO as its 0001 member, his legacy and iron fist linger on. Abdullah Badawi and his current cabinet ministers are obvious devotees of Mahathirism, as evident by the recent wave of detention without trial under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and warning of imminent closure of three newspapers reporting the racist remarks of one Ahmad Ismail.

The mention of Mahathir should surely evoke thoughts of Mugabe as well. Although unlikely, there is still a remote possibility that the big M in UMNO stands for Robert Mugabe. After all, Malaysian taxpayers unknowingly sponsored the priceless timber used in the building of the USD 13 million mansion of the Zimbabwean president.

While the discourse and assumptions rage on regarding the role of ‘M’ in UMNO, one thing is very clear though. The ‘M’ in UMNO does not represent Malays or Malaysians. The persistence of hardcore poverty among Malaysians both Malays and non-Malays is an undeniable failure of UMNO’s much prized New Economic Policy (NEP). While the NEP was intended to eradicate poverty regardless of race in post-independence Malaysia, it has since evolved to be a get-rich-quick scheme for friends and families of UMNO politicians.
That is why that the ‘M’ in UMNO most likely represents MONEY.
This has been an introductory article to UMNO.

We sincerely hope that it has been educational and enlightening for all dummies on Malaysian politics.

Kindly forward this article to your fellow dummies if you have found it useful.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

hihihi. despite being a malay, i find this article very amusing and entertaining. a lot of truth there.

-sick of umno-

Anonymous said...

“Since then the acronym of U-M-N-O and what it truly stood for remains an enigma and stands tall among the Seven Wonders of the World”.
“While the discourse and assumptions rage on regarding the role of ‘M’ in UMNO, one thing is very clear though. The ‘M’ in UMNO does not represent Malays or Malaysians”.

Gasp! To think that, that was what I and many others like me thought the acronym is. This thorough and engaging dissertation does a pretty good job of disabusing us. Aside from the odd flat earthers we now know better.

Those four letters can stand for so many different things. The permutations are endless.

The letters U & M are often thought to stand for utterly moronic while the letters N & O, nepotistic oppressors or nepotistic & oppressive or notoriously oppressive or notorious organization.

When I see the letter M in that acronym I associate it with the miasma of despair and malaise felt by the common men who can do nothing about their woeful plights.

Underhanded Megalomaniacs has a nice ring to it. Unrestrained megalomania is yet another combination which springs to mind. Useless megalomaniacs also comes to mind when one sees the letters U & M.

Come to think of it U is the start of words such as unimpressive, unremitting, unrelenting, unworthy, unmatched, uninspired, uninspiring, unilateral, usurp, usurper and unspeakable.