UMNO: Hishammuddin’s keris apology is sign of weaknessPosted: April 28, 2008
This in the Malaysian Insider today:
Keris apology fans unrest in divided UMNO
KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — His apology for the keris waving act may have gone down well with Chinese and Indians, but Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein may have increased his odds against winning support for one of the party’s vice-presidents slots.
In the eyes of the party grassroots, his apology was not a noble act or a sign of maturity but one of weakness. There are more than 10 SMSes circulating among party members slamming him for what they view as a capitulation to pressure from non-Malays.
In coffeehouses and stalls, where political careers are made or broken by Umno operatives, the view is that a Malay leader who cannot defend the Malay symbol cannot be entrusted with a leadership position in the party.
By and large, his mea culpa has been welcomed BN component parties. They know that their task of winning support back from non-Malay communities will be tough unless they show that they are not submissive and that the senior partner in the alliance is prepared to come down a few notches.
But within Umno, the reaction to his apology was different – another indication of the disconnect between the party and the non-Malay constituency in Malaysia. A disconnect which could derail any move by Umno or its BN partners to “get closer” to Chinese and Indian communities and regain their trust.
Cheras division chief Datuk Syed Ali al-Habshee spoke for many in the party when he criticised Hishammuddin for wilting under pressure and apologising for the keris act. The sentiment among many in the party is that the Chinese and Indians betrayed the BN when they voted for Pakatan Rakyat. There is hurt. There is anger. So why should Hishammuddin be too concerned about what non-Malays think of the keris act?
Full article here.
These UMNO people just don’t get it. We drum it into them time after time, and it seems like they still haven’t gotten it right yet.
We don’t really care that Hishammuddin waved a keris in the air. We don’t even care if he kissed it. It’s all fine with us, because we KNOW that it’s a Malay custom. Yes, we KNOW! It may be surprising to a lot of UMNO members right now, but contrary to THEIR belief, we do know. And we respect it too.
We’ve never had problems with the keris. Never.
It’s only when CERTAIN PEOPLE decide that they want to “soak it in Chinese blood”, even just SUGGEST that they want to do such a thing, that makes the people’s blood boil.
It’s only when CERTAIN PEOPLE decide to just laugh when questions like “So when are you going to use it?” pop up during the keris-wielding “ceremony” that makes the people just want to boil their heads.
It’s not about the keris. It never was. In fact, someone even suggested that Hishammuddin actually owes the keris an apology for bringing to it such defamation.
According to the Cheras UMNO fellow, the Chinese and Indians BETRAYED them, so Hishammuddin and the rest of UMNO shouldn’t care so much about what these so-called betrayers think.
Can someone please kindly remind this man here that no one has betrayed UMNO, except maybe UMNO itself. What has happened to it is what it has brought upon itself. There has been NO self-criticism, even when conditions showed that there was dire need of one. There was NO self-reflection, even when circumstances showed that there was something wrong within. There was NO humility, even when the rakyat cried out that something was amiss. And the rakyat I’m talking about here is not just the non-Malays.
If UMNO has no sense to look within, find and solve these problems, then don’t come accusing other races of BETRAYING you. Besides, if you look closely enough, you’ll realise that UMNO needs a MALAY leader who can uphold the MALAY symbol. If UMNO is all about Malay, then what’s this about the Chinese and Indians betraying you? They weren’t really supposed to support you in the first place, were they?
UMNO is getting almost everything wrong. They should all just go boil their heads. Maybe that could help clear up some of the mess going on up there.