Re-generating UMNO

UMNO Supreme Council

UMNO is at the cross road junction where future leaders to carry the struggle and policies of the party, needed to be determined now. So much at stake at the moment for the nationalist party, now that it is almost the 2/3 majority and backbone for Barisan Nasional’s power base.

It is unlikely that the President and Deputy President posts be contested. Then again, so many party leaders wish that there would be no challenge to the top two posts.

Another ‘no challenge’ posts would probably be for the UMNO Youth Chief, since no one viable has been speculated to challenge incumbent Khairy Jamaluddin. It is currently a wide spread rumour that former Puteri UMNO Chief Azalina Othman would run against Wanita UMNO Chief Shahrizat A Jalil.

UMNO VPs Shafie. Hishamuddin and Zahid

It is interesting to note the challenge for top UMNO seats in the coming party election in December has taken its usual life of its own. So far, it is expected that all incumbent Vice Presidents namely Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Dato’ Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin Hussein would be defending their seats.

FELDA Chairman and Former Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan Tan Sri Mohd. Isa Samad and Former Melaka Chief Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Ali Rustam have recently announced their intention to vie for the Vice President seats as well.

More announcements are expected to come. So far some names have been rumoured, to contest for the very strategically placed political post within UMNO at the current internal political scenario.

Two 64 years old Former Chief Minister and Menteri Besar vying for UMNO VPs

The dates to remember is 14 September is where all of more than 22,000 UMNO Branches conclude their annual meeting. All the nomination papers are to be filed in by the candidates vying any of the Supreme Council seats on their own to UMNO HQ by 28 September. The qualification to run for any Supreme Council seat which include Vice President is the experience of being a committee member at Division level, at least for one term.

No more the system where these Supreme Council candidates go around and campaign to get nominations from Divisions.

All the UMNO branch delegates would convene for their Division level  Annual General Meeting on 19 October and branch delegates attending these meetings in all 191 Divisions would then vote for all Supreme Council seats, simultaneously.

Since an ‘electoral college’ system has been adopted, each candidates must win simple majority at these Division level meetings and the winners are determined from the amount of electoral college votes they manage to get.

UMNO VP Hishamuddin Hussein, Deputy Pres Muhyiddin Yassin, President Mohd. Najib Tun Razak and VP Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

The contest for the Vice President is very interesting since the winners would eventually slide upwards as the Deputy President and slot oneself as the UMNO President not to far in the distant. This is based on the notion that many learned that UMNO Deputy President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yasin has indirectly expressed his intention of probably not running for politics after the current parliamentary and UMNO term is over.

Thus, one of the Vice Presidents which UMNO delegates determined by 19 October would eventually take over Muhyiddin’s job.

This UMNO Supreme Council election is actually an opportunity for UMNO to reposition itself in the society, considering that the Malays gave overwhelming support for UMNO candidates in the recently concluded 13GE. UMNO managed to recapture Kedah and Perak state governments and increased its standing in the Dewan Rakyat, at the point where other BN components (with the exception of PBB) did not do well.

UMNO delegates have to strategically decide the right men for these Vice Presidential posts.

UMNO Deputy President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yassin

UMNO Deputy President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yassin

If the intention to vote new Vice Presidents in, as part of re-generation of UMNO top echelon, then a lot of consideration must be factored in. If it is even highly possible that Tan Sri Muhyiddin would be throwing in the towel within this parliamentary/UMNO MT term, then age factor should be top of the list or criteria

Muhyiddin is 66 years old. In four years time, he would be 70. Zahid, Shafie and Hishamuddin are now 60, 56 and 52 years old, respectively. Isa and Ali, who are going around nationwide campaigning at the moment, are actually 64 years old. They are actually three parliamentary-terms older than the youngest of the three incumbent VPs.

The two sixty-four blokes are undeniably political ‘has beens’. Ali didn’t even win in his own Parliamentary constituency on 5 May 2013 13GE, where he was humiliatingly defeated by Angkatan Muda KeAdilan Chief Shamsul Iskandar Md. Akin. With the might as the FELDA Chairman, Former Menteri Besar Isa only managed to get 8,614 majority against PAs candidate Wan Aishah in a traditional UMNO seat.

Kedah born Former Yang Amat Berhormat and present Yang Amat Berhormat in Istana Anak Bukit, Alor Setar, 6 May 2013

If Isa and Ali think that they would be placed as “One of viable options after Muhyiddin leaves”, then they should consider their own age factor. By then, they would be 68 years old and too remote out of official capacity in the executive branch of the government. Then again, what have Isa and Ali got to offer the Malays as a whole, besides just being popular within certain UMNO quarters.

Party delegates at branch level must be reminded that both of them have been reprimanded by UMNO disciplinary committee for breaching party rules and ethics for campaigning. That would not augur well with the more educated younger Malays, who aspire for leaders who are free from controversy.

‘Viable candidates’ to re-generate UMNO at Vice Presidential level to be slotted in, after Zahid, Shafie and Hishamuddin should be someone who is younger than them. Most importantly, with potential to carry on the struggle of UMNO without neglecting the aspirations of the younger Malaysians, especially the Malays who want to have more vibrant, energetic and strategic leaders.

The tenth Menteri Besar Kedah

The tenth Menteri Besar Kedah

One of the more active speculation is centred at Kedah Menteri Besar and UMNO Liaison Chairman Dato’ Paduka Mukhriz Mahathir. Six months ago, he was tasked by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak as UMNO President and BN Chairman to strategise a campaign to take over Kedah from PAS.

Against the odds of challenging the incumbent government, he delivered. BN Kedah managed to form a new state government comprising the mixture of seasoned and newly elected ADUNs. BN Kedah also contributed 10MPs in the Dewan Rakyat, which is 11.4% of UMNO’s standing  in Parliament.

However, he has yet to decide and make official announcement on the matter:

Mukhriz mulling MT seat

2013-09-05 11:09

ALOR SETAR, Sept 4 (Bernama) — Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir said he will announce whether to contest the Umno Supreme Council (MT) seat or not at the right time.

“I have three options to consider. I have to think of my responsibility as the Menteri Besar to develop Kedah and also as Kedah Umno liaison chairman.

“Its a difficult decision to make as candidates have to offer themselves and no longer based on nomination,” he told reporters after chairing the State Executive Council meeting at Wisma Darul Aman here today.

Mukhriz also clarified that articles in blogs saying that he wished to contest for the MT seat did not come from him or his colleagues.

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Probably Mukhriz has his reasons for being shy at the moment and using the two most important responsibility that he needed to pay attention at, as a deflection from the media focus on him offering himself.

Then again, he should see this opportunity as a calling for the Malays at national level, since Kedahans gave him so much hope and confidence as an upcoming new leader. The duty to re-generate UMNO and ensure it is politically viable for Malaysia, especially for the Malays and  its sustainability to carry on the agenda and struggle of ensure the Malay interests are being looked at and followed through, is paramount.

UMNO Leadership: The Driver and Navigator

There is already a precedence for UMNO being re-generated. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad paved the way for Mukhriz to emulate, for providing the hope of the Malays of his time 40 years ago.

After being brought back into UMNO from political wilderness, he offered himself as a Vice President candidate in the 1972 party elections as part of the ‘program to re-generate UMNO’ under the leadership of Tun Abdul Razak Hussein. This is despite not having any political position in any capacity since he lost the Kota Setar Selatan seat in the 10 May 1969 3GE. However, then ‘Dr UMNO’ did not succeed.

After the 1974 4GE, Tun Dr Mahathir won Kubang Pasu seat and appointed Minister of Education by then Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein. Now that he has been proven to earn the trust of the Prime Minister as part of his administration team in delivering a bold new socio-economic and development transformation plan for Malaysia, UMNO delegates voted him as a Vice President.

A kiss from Mummy at swearing in of Menteri Besar Kedah

A kiss from Mummy at the swearing in of Menteri Besar Kedah, 6 May 2013

This should be the same message that how UMNO delegates should view Mukhriz’s strategic role as part of Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s team to move the nation, especially the Malays forward. He could be the leader that would carry on all the strategic agenda which started by Tun Razak, fortified and massively extended by Tun Dr. Mahathir and now  continued by Prime Minister Najib’s program to transform and place the Malays in a better position, in line with the transformation plans for the nation.

It is a wise and firm UMNO re-generation succession plan. There is a lot to be offered, with the right man and right plan.

Published in: on September 5, 2013 at 14:30  Comments (21)  

A War Based On Lies

The war-mongering Foreign Relation Committee of the United States Senate at Capitol Hill approved for President Barack Obama for a military solution for Syria.

Senate committee approves Syria war resolution

Gregory Korte, USA TODAY4:23 p.m. EDT September 4, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to authorize President Obama to use limited force against Syria Wednesday, after adopting amendments from Sen. John McCain designed to urge Obama to “change the military equation on the battlefield.”

The Senate resolution would limit hostilities to 60 or 90 days, narrow the conflict to Syria’s borders and prohibit U.S. troops on Syrian soil. McCain’s amendments didn’t change that scope, but made clear that the end goal should be “a negotiated settlement that ends the conflict and leads to a democratic government in Syria.”

The vote was 10-7. Five Republicans and two Democrats voted against it.

The committee’s consensus followed closed-door meetings Wednesday morning, which delayed the start of the committee’s meeting by nearly three hours.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., voted no, and unsuccessfully sought an amendment that would reaffirm Congress’s preeminent role in declaring war, as reflected in the 1973 War Powers Act. “The constitution doesn’t really differentiate between big wars and small wars,” he said. The committee left the constitutional issue unresolved, tabling Paul’s amendment by a 14-5 vote.

Paul remains a staunch opponent of an attack on Syria, but said any suggestion that he would filibuster the resolution was “a misinterpretation by the media.”

STORY: House begins discussion of Syria resolution

The committee also rejected an amendment by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., that would have prohibited air and naval forces from being put into Syrian waters or air space. In the end, Udall was the only one to support it. “If we start down this road, we’re going to be running the campaign from here, and as smart as we are, we’re not that smart,” McCain said. Udall voted against the final resolution.

McCain’s amendments were co-sponsored by Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., who emphasized that the language would not change the scope of the authority Congress was giving the president, but would help frame the policy behind it. The McCain-Coons amendments seek a “democratic government in Syria,” despite arguments by the Obama administration that “regime change” is not the goal. And they call for giving military and humanitarian aid to “vetted elements of the Syrian opposition forces, including the Free Syrian Army.”

The committee approved those amendments by a voice vote.

One unresolved issue was what happens after the resolution’s time limit. The president would be authorized to strike for 60 days — and another 30 days if he tells Congress it’s necessary. “The question that’s been raised is, what happens on the 91st day? What happens if Assad decides on that 91st day to use chemical weapons again?” asked Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.

Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said Congress should “make sure Assad understands he can’t just wait us out, use chemical weapons, and face no consequences.”

Democrats who voted against the resolution said the Senate version was much improved over the language the White House suggested, which contained no limits on Obama’s power to rid Syria of chemical weapons. Udall said he feared any action could escalate the Syrian civil war and perhaps expand into regional conflict. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said he gagged every time he saw photos of the Syrian victims of chemical weapons, but voted no because “I have deep concerns about the limits of American power.”

After the vote, Menendez said the committee action bodes well for passage by the full body. He noted the support of McCain on the right, and Durbin on the left, “and I think that’s a pretty good width as far as the spectrum of views in the United States Senate.” He said the timing of the full Senate vote was “above my pay grade.”

Voting yes were Menendez, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., Sen. Jean Shaheen, D-N.H., Coons, Durbin, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and McCain.

Voting no were Udall, Murphy, Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. and Paul.

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., voted present.

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This is based on the Americans believe that Syrian Forces used chemical weapons against their own people, recently in the civil war which escalated almost three years ago. This unilateral decision is not sanctioned by the United Nations.

Russia and China opposed US attempt to commit the UN Security Council for a resolution against Syria, since no credible proof was provided at the world’s top most forum for military matters. President Vladimir Putin challenged United States to present their findings to the United Nations, of the proof of Al-Assad’s Forces which purpotedly used chemical weapons against fellow Syrians a few weeks ago.

UN investigators which recently arrived in the Netherlands in a haste after the fear of eminent US Forces attack against Syria, require a few more weeks to conclude on the use of chemical weapons in the civil war.

The world must be reminded that ten years ago, United States and Britain attacked Iraq based on a lie that Saddam Hussain “Possessed chemical and biological weapons, and probably Weapon of Mass Destruction”.

The war which did not get UN Security Council sanction that started on 18 March 2003, had caused the near destruction of Iraq and a lot of people, which include non combatants and  innocent people died in vain. There are studies which estimated that till 2008, almost one million lives perished since the US and British Forces lashed the war and eventually an invasion of  Iraq.

An international lawyer’s opinion of the attack against Syria is an act of crime.

US attack on Syria would constitute war crime: Alfred Lambremont Webre

Tue Sep 3, 2013 4:9AM GMT
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Interview with Alfred Lambremont Webre

Even if the US Congress were to approve this under the War Powers Resolution on 1973 the fact remains that any attack by the United States upon Syria would be a violation of the UN Charter prohibition against aggressive war, which is the more serious of war crimes. That is a Nuremberg level war crime.”

Press TV has conducted an interview with Alfred Lambremont Webre, international lawyer from Vancouver, about the issue of an alleged chemical attack in Syria.

The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: Let’s start off with the notion that Obama is completely disregarding international law and the United Nations Security Council and its mandate.

Webre: Yes of course. Any attack upon Syria would be a violation of the UN Charter against aggressive war.

Now what Obama is trying to do is that under the US Constitution the US Congress has the sole power to declare war under Article 1 section 8. However, there is the War Powers resolution of 1973, which requires the president to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces for remaining for more than 60 days with a further 30 day withdrawal period without authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war.

So he is trying to go and get some political cover and some legal cover behind him because of the historic and unprecedented move in the UK House of Commons, which has voted to deny the UK military an attack on Syria and to deny the US its primary ally.

Also in France the polls show that 65 percent of the public is against this strike.

What we see now is that the Congress is very equally divided with even some of the lead senators saying that it’s going to be 50/50.

You have among the Republican hawks [those who] are against it. Because there is no sustained strategy, many of the Democrats are even against it, against approving an attack, because against [what] they say, there is no strategy behind this.

What is remarkable is that even though there is documented evidence that the alleged gas attacks may have been done by US allies in the region using gas manufactured in Saudi Arabia – some even suggesting that Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia was behind these attacks. That has not been raised either in the Executive or in the US Congress.

So whether or not that will be raised in this coming week remains to be seen.

Press TV: Two other issues that have also come up: One, about the duration and the manner of strikes that would be carried out – The Obama administration basically said that it would be surgical, precise and limited in scope. I’d like to get your thoughts on that.

And let’s say he does get Congressional backing to attack Syria. Does that still justify the fact that the international community is against it; that international law is against it; and the United Nations and the Security Council are against it?

Webre: To answer your last question first – Absolutely not. Even if the US Congress were to approve this under the War Powers Resolution on 1973 the fact remains that any attack by the United States upon Syria would be a violation of the UN Charter prohibition against aggressive war, which is the more serious of war crimes. That is a Nuremberg level war crime – and that is starting an aggressive war against another nation.

There is only one exception to that and that is the right of self defense. And in this case the United States is not being attacked so that exception does not apply.

So that under international law the US Congress cannot sanction or provide legal cover to any attack by the US.

And in this case because Britain who was the US’s ally in Iraq where we have an exact analogy to this situation where Tony Blair, the UK Prime Minister and George W. Bush, the US president have been judged war criminals by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal and other tribunals. Here it would be even more egregious because the US would not have allies such as the UK.

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What is interesting is the allegations that the chemical weapons that were allegedly used in Syria were made in saudi Arabia and possibility being deployed by them, has not been raised by any President Obama, his administration or any members of the US Congress even for the initiative for an investigation.
If this is true, then it is obvious the United States is covering for an ally.

Never the less, this hideous state committed crime of mass murder against a nation must be stopped. Either the alleged Saudi involvement or the proposed US Forces attack against Syria.

Published in: on September 5, 2013 at 04:00  Comments (5)