The rise of political gangsterism within Umno

The rise of political gangsterism within Umno

Abdul Razak Hussein was well-known for roping in young Malay intellectuals into Umno. From the likes of Rais Yatim to Mahathir Mohamad. Today, we see Najib Abdul Razak courting the likes of Jamal Mohd Yunos and Mohd Ali Baharom (Ali Tinju) who are notorious for their intimidation tactics. From death threats to butt dances, they lead a new class of clowns. It’s a true shame to see how far we have digressed.

The fact that the leader of the thug red shirt movement, Jamal, is one of the division leaders of Umno while intellectuals like Shahril Hamdan does not even have a place in Umno’s division is indicative of the regressive path Umno is taking.

Just recently the Bersih convoy in Lumut was attacked by thugs led by Jamal. Not only did they chant “Bersih mati”, they also started pulling flags from convoy vehicles, kicking the cars and punching their vehicles’ side mirrors. They could have caused a traffic accident.

Imagine the flip side. Imagine if Malaysia had witnessed 40 DAP motorcyclists circling a car while intimidating them. Imagine the nationwide outcry it would have sparked. Yet with Umno, there is always an exception.

Annuar Musa, Umno’s information chief, was smart in attempting to distance the party from the red shirt supporters in his press conference, however that effort was futile when Umno’s Youth exco member, Armand Azha Abu Hanifah, was caught attempting to ram a police blockade in Johor to get to the Bersih activists.

We also saw other Umno Youth exco members with the red shirts during the protest in front of DAP’s office where ‘death money’ was burnt and some were caught chanting “Cina mati”.

This is no longer an isolated incident within Umno. Leaders openly back the political gangsters, while those who don’t only cower in silence. If this trend continues, people like Jamal will reign supreme in Umno as he magnetises media attention and is portrayed as the ‘hero’ within Umno.

If Umno fails to take action against these people, it normalises the culture of gangsterism within the party. There will be more Jamals in the future as it’s rewarding. The intellectuals will forever cocoon themselves in silence. A parallel can be drawn to the acceptance of money politics in Umno. It seeped in during the 1980s, but became a permanent feature by the millennium when leaders openly campaigned with explicit promises of cash returns.

Jamal proudly said that he’ll give RM1,000 each to his 600 division delegates. He was initially going to fly them to Dubai for free for a trip. If money politics can gain massive traction in Umno in less than a decade, imagine what political gangsterism can do in the next five years.

The rise of political gangsterism within Umno
5 Oct 2016 – malaysiakini


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