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Dec 20, 2007


via dinmerican

This image is now vividly imprinted in our minds — one of the two young men wielding the ceremonial Malay kris.

The grandstanding by sword-waving senior UMNO Youth leaders symbolises UMNO-cracy - Malay nationalism taken to its extremes. And in an “age of extremes”, which Eric Hobsbawm described the last 100 years to be, we ought to be deeply concerned about the direction our nation is pointed towards in the 21st century.

UMNO-cracy is a system of government in which a single political party, UMNO, dominates other groups (MCA, MIC, Gerakan and others). These partners are allowed concessions within a “coalition government” which uses their presence as representatives of minority groups to legitimise its otherwise complete monopoly on power. The dominant party – largely through the personality of the Executive - retains control of all branches of government, the civil service and the media to ensure its hegemony over our politics.

To deflect criticisms that such a government would certainly attract today, UMNO-cracycrats toss a few crumbs in the direction of the opposition to give some semblance of pluralist politics. Electoral fraud and gerrymandering of districts are common place in Malaysia, almost to the extent that some in the opposition are willing to accept electoral corruption as a mere fact of life.

This is the foundation upon which UMNO’s edifice is built. A supposedly democratic nation survives on the perpetuation of corruption and continued blatant abuse of power, suppression of political dissent and a compliant and timid media. It goes to the extent of using the Internal Security Act whenever the pressure for reform becomes too much to bear.

In this climate the entire nation suffers at the expense of the few who enrich themselves with government contracts. Our education system, for example, is mediocre at best. Politically favoured appointees who are tasked with administering our schools and universities are barely qualified to do so. Students, on account of the draconian University and University Colleges Act, are educated in a climate of fear. Our tertiary institutions are not in the forefront of scholarship and research.Mediocrity is everywhere you care to look. |more...|


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