The Ballsy Makcik

ADUN Bandar Muadzam Dato' Maznah Mazlan

ADUN Bandar Muadzam Dato’ Maznah Mazlan

The recent analysis of Wanita UMNO Chief aspirant and candidate Dato’ Maznah Mazlan is very upbeat.  The Mole Editor Shamsul Akmar Musa Kamal’s piece in The New Sunday Times is about a fairer dark horse and gutsy Wanita UMNO leader, who stood up to take the bull by its horn.

29 September 2013| last updated at 12:23AM

Maznah’s not your typical ‘makcik’

By Shamsul Akmar
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WANITA CONTEST: Maznah believes she can bridge the divide between the young and old if given a chance

BY any standard, Datuk Maznah Mazlan, the surprise challenger for the Wanita Umno chief post, may not be the makcik-makcik associated with the movement.

After all, when was the last time a makcik-makcik caught a 40kg billfish in the South China Sea off Rompin, which was what Maznah did a few years back?

Anyone into sport fishing will vouch that billfish fishing is not for the faint-hearted.

By the way, for easy reading, the term makcik-makcik is used to describe mature women who love to flash their jewellery. Their discussions centre on all things expensive and it may range from the latest fashion accessories to crockery and the list can go on and on.

And the term had, over the years, been associated with Wanita Umno, fairly or otherwise and somehow or other, pigeonholing the movement into an exclusive club where, the young and talented, may find it difficult to fit in.

Maznah insists she is one of the makcik-makcik. But she also disagrees that the definition should be so “simplistic”.

“There’s makcik-makcik in all of us… we do enjoy a banter on new dishware or accessories. But don’t forget, we believe that it is the makcik-makcik’s hands that rock the cradle.

“Trust me, I’ve been with Wanita’s makcik-makcik all these years. Despite the label, they are the backbone of the party. When it comes to campaigning for the party, they do it without giving a thought about being rewarded.”

Maznah, however, believes if she were given the opportunity to lead the movement, she would be able to bridge the divide between the young and old, as well as the urban and rural.

There is without doubt a growing interest among the young women in Umno who want to join the Wanita wing without having to be “interned” into the Puteri movement first.

For Maznah, who reportedly refused to be labelled the underdog, the odds are stacked against her.

She is up against a formidable foe, incumbent Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who, despite being hit by the National Feedlot Corporation scandal and not fielded as a candidate in the May 5 general election, seems to have the regard of the party leadership.

After all, she was appointed as the Special Adviser to the prime minister just over a month ago, signifying to many of her being the preferred choice of party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

In the past, in Umno, the endorsement of a party president carried much weight. However, the present is not as easily defined as the past.

While Maznah’s entry may be frowned by the top party leadership, she is offering herself at a time when Umno is at a stage where it has to redefine itself and its struggle.

And, much as pundits are not giving her much of a chance, the fact that Umno had come out of the general election badly scarred and wounded, assessment of the party election outcome may not be as predictable as some in Umno would want it to be.

For one, this election is the first time that voting will involve almost 150,000 delegates as opposed to the 3,000 or so delegates previously (for Wanita Umno the voting delegates will be about 80,000).

The mood of such a huge grassroots representation will not be easy to assess nor shaped.

Secondly, there is a strong rumbling down the ranks, including within the Wanita wing that wants to see a “renewal” in the leadership.

The renewal that is sought can be as shallow as wanting a change in the leadership.

Or deeper, involving even the re-evaluation of the movement’s value system, its struggle and its ability to keep its relevancy to the Malay/Bumiputera cause and at the same time reaffirming not only its position as the nation’s leading party but also the party that leads the coalition forming the government.

Further, what has been developing since before the general election and in this run-up to the party election, is a major disconnect between the Umno leadership and its grassroots.

Or has the Umno leadership taken for granted scandals, perceived or otherwise, that are associated with some of its leaders which had wide and far-reaching impact, and that its failure to take quick and decisive measures, had subjected party members to ridicule and contempt?

While the top two Umno leaders — the president and deputy president — are spared from being challenged, the vice-presidencies and other posts are being contested all the way down to the branches. Is this an expression of discontent albeit members exercising their democratic rights?

Whether the Umno leadership wants to recognise it or not, there is a sense of helplessness among members and Malay/Bumiputera supporters who feel that it lacked the urgency and probably even the ability to deal with the suffocating political environment which had been felt since before the general election.

Maznah and the other contenders are entering the fray when Umno is going through a tumultuous period.

The choppy waves will make it extremely difficult for novices to land a catch.

But it is also during the stormy weather when big fishes get hooked.

Read more: Maznah’s not your typical ‘makcik’ – Columnist – New Straits Times

The Malaysian Insider felt that the ADUN for Muadzam Shah is offering Wanita UMNO to uplift their image, after being tarnished due to incumbent Wanita UMNO Chief Dato’ Seri Shahrizat A Jalil dragging the most important wing into her personal problems, almost three years ago.

Peluang Wanita Umno memulihkan imejnya – Shahbudin Husin

SEPTEMBER 28, 2013

Kehadiran Maznah Mazlan sebagai pencabar Shahrizat Jalil di saat-saat akhir bagi jawatan Ketua Wanita UMNO pada 12 Oktober depan, kembali menghangatkan perebutan bagi jawatan itu. Sebelum ini apabila bekas Ketua Puteri UMNO, Azalina Othman Said menarik diri daripada mencabar Shahrizat kerana dikhabarkan dinasihatkan berbuat demikian di samping dijanjikan kedudukan dalam sebuah GLC serta jawatan kanan dalam Wanita UMNO, bekas Menteri Pembangunan Wanita dan Keluarga itu dijangka akan menang mudah dalam pemilihan kali ini.

Ini kerana, meskipun terdapat seorang lagi individu bakal mencabarnya iaitu Raihan Sulaiman Palestin tetapi beliau dilihat bukanlah seorang yang mempunyai kekuatan dan profil meyakinkan untuk menggugat Shahrizat. Selain rekod dan pencapaiannya dalam Puteri UMNO suatu ketika dahulu tidak ada yang membanggakan, pergaulan dan percampurannya dalam Wanita UMNO juga begitu terhad.

Orangramai mungkin hanya mengingati Raihan kerana beliau adalah anak kepada Sulaiman Palestin yang pernah mengejutkan ramai kerana keberaniannya mencabar Hussein Onn bagi jawatan Presiden UMNO. Selebihnya hampir tidak ada. Lantaran itu, Raihan tidak dilihat sebagai pencabar yang kuat kepada Shahrizat.

Tetapi dengan kehadiran Maznah, yang muncul tanpa sebarang desas-desus atau khabar angin sebelumnya tetapi muncul mengemukakan borang pencalonan hanya kira-kira 20 minit sebelum tempohnya berakhir, menjadikan perebutan jawatan Ketua Wanita UMNO kembali panas dan laluan Shahrizat untuk mempertahankan jawatan tersebut turut berliku.

Maznah, salah seorang EXCO Wanita, kini merupakan ADUN Muadzam Shah dan sebelum ini pernah dilantik Senator dan Timbalan Menteri Sumber Manusia, dilihat cukup meyakinkan bukan saja untuk memberi cabaran kepada Shahrizat tetapi juga untuk melakar wajah baru yang lebih berseri kepada Wanita UMNO bagi menghadapi PRU 14.

Dibandingkan dengan Shahrizat yang pernah menjadi menteri dan lebih popular berbanding Maznah, tetapi dari sudut imej dan”baggage” Maznah ternyata kelihatan lebih baik dan lebih ringan. Beliau tidak ada imej lembu NFC yang menjadi perbualan umum dan penyelewengan dana 1Azam sebagaimana Shahrizat.

Sebaik mengetahui beliau bakal dicabar oleh salah seorang Exconya, Shahrizat lantas memberi reaksi spontannya dengan mengaitkan kehadiran Maznah sebagai calon proksi yang dikatakan ditonjolkan oleh Rafidah Aziz, selain cuba memburukkan pencabarnya itu sebagai tokoh wanita yang tidak aktif serta tidak menghadiri mesyuarat sejak sekian lama.

Walaupun Maznah pantas menangkis kehadirannya sebagai calon proksi dengan mengatakan beliau seorang yang boleh berfikir dan membuat pendirian sendiri, reaksi Shahrizat itu jelas memperlihatkan beliau mulai rasa tergugat kedudukannya.

Memang diakui bahawa Wanita UMNO merupakan sayap penting kepada UMNO. Mereka bukan saja saja aktif dalam kerja-kerja pilihanraya dan kemasyarakatan tetapi kehadiran golongan wanita jugalah yang menunjangi kekuatan UMNO dan kerajaan selama ini. Bukan saja dalam mesyuarat UMNO cawangan-cawangan tetapi juga pelbagai program di seluruh pelusuk negara, termasuk yang didihadiri Perdana Menteri dan Timbalan Perdana Menteri, jika tidak kerana ramainya kaum wanita yang memenuhi majlis dan menampakkan program yang diadakan mendapat sambutan ramai, barangkali sudah lama Najib dan Muhyiddin patah semangat dibuatnya.

Namun isu lembu NFC telah banyak mencalarkan wajah Wanita UMNO. Isu itu membuatkan Wanita UMNO tidak lagi dihormati seperti dulu. Dalam pilihanraya umum lalu, antara sebab Wanita UMNO masih mampu bertahan ialah kerana Shahrizat tidak dijadikan calon pilihanraya dan ramai yang menganggapnya tempoh kepimpinannya akan berakhir sebaik saja pilihanraya tamat. Penggugurannya sebagai menteri meyakinkan rakyat bahawa zaman pencennya sudah menemui titik mula.

Cuba bayangkan prestasi UMNO dan gerak kerja Wanitanya dalam pilihanraya lalu jika Shahrizat dijadikan calon atau diberitahu beliau akan dilantik sebagai penasihat bertaraf menteri kepada Perdana Menteri?

Dalam hal ini, merubah dan menyolek wajah baru kepada Wanita UMNO untuk ditampilkan lebih berseri adalah penting untuk difikirkan. Ketika isu lembu NFC muncul dulu, begitu ramai yang mahukan Shahrizat berundur. Mereka termasuklah Mahathir, beberapa pemimpin UMNO dan kalangan dalam Wanita UMNO sendiri.

Selepas pemilihan 12 Oktober ini, pemilihan UMNO yang seterusnya ialah pada 2016. Tetapi mengikut amalan biasa, pemilihan itu selalunya akan ditanggunhkan untuk memberi laluan kepada pilihanraya umum yang mungkin diadakan pada 2017 atau 2018. Jika itu berlaku, bermakna kepimpinan yang dipilih kali ini adalah mereka yang akan memainkan peranan dalam pilihanraya akan datang yang dijangka tidak kurang getir dan mencabarnya seperti pilihanraya umum lalu.

Persoalannya, jika Shahrizat dipilih lagi, mampukah Wanita UMNO berdepan dengan rakyat sedangkan beliau yang dulunya sudah digugurkan sebagai menteri kini dilantik pula sebagai penasihat khas bertaraf menteri? Tidakkah rakyat terasa mereka dipermain-mainkan dengan pengguguran Shahrizat sebelum ini?

Walaupun Maznah tidak sepopular Shahrizat tetapi imej dan rekodnya belum tercemar lagi. Penampilannya juga meyakinkan. Jika dulu Azalina dikatakan tidak sesuai memimpin Wanita UMNO kerana tidak pernah mempunyai pergaulan yang cukup dalam Wanita, selain tidak pernah menjadi ibu, Maznah melebihi kelayakan itu. Soal calon proksi tidak seharusnya ditimbulkan kerana ketika Shahrizat mencabar Rafidah dulu pun, tiada sesiapa bertanya beliau calon proksi kepada siapa ketika itu.

Pemilihan pemimpin Wanita UMNO kali ini tidak diragui lagi mempunyai kepentingan bukan saja dalam memulihkan imejnya tetapi yang jauh lebih penting ialah peranannya dalam membantu sama ada UMNO terus tegak atau berkecai dalam pilihanraya akan datang. Mengekalkan mereka yang telah tercemar dan terpalit dengan kekotoran samalah seperti menyumbang kepada keruntuhan UMNO.

Inilah masanya untuk Wanita UMNO membuat pilihan yang jujur dan objektif. –, 28 September, 2013.


In addendum, little Annie the blogger created a new poll where Maznah is clearly taking the 86% popularity lead. Of course, Maznah is her pick as the ‘saviour of Wanita UMNO’.

Published in: on September 29, 2013 at 23:30  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] The “thirteen million plus Ringgit” guy rambles…. […]

  2. There is a need to change UMNO’s image. Including Pemuda and Wanita UMNO. For PRU14.

    MCA is still singing the same tune. That which brought the Chinese tsunami. Even derogatory comments against UMNO and the Government in recent times. Chua Soi Lek has been going all over the places wanting to retain MCA Presidency. Gerakan’s tune is hardly even heard. UMNO may have to fight it alone with the smaller coalition parties at PRU14. Or continue to carry the same MCA and Gerakan baggage. Risking a bigger tsunami even an eclipse from power.

    UMNO has to depend on Malay support. While Najib may have been returned unopposed now, there has been a lot of grumblings within the party. The party is till fairly formidable mainly because the Divisions and Branches have been told by UMNO HQ not to rock the boat. But how long can this last? Najib will continue his liberalization policies, rushing to developed nation status at the expense of the interest of the Malays, announced his Bumiputera empowerment policy before the party nominations just because of wanting no challenge to his Presidency.

    Khairy and Shahrizat were clearly given Minister or Minister-level positions for the support from Pemuda and Wanita members Najib wanted so that there’d be no challenge to his post. Having been returned unopposed, he’d feel emboldened to carry out his liberalization policies to the detriment of the interest of the Malays. There is therefore a need to support Maznah and Akramshah Sanusi to unseat Shahrizat and Khairy so that Najib will get a strong message to think again and again about the kind of liberalization that’ll lead to, for example, the NEP being washed away, like even the sour grape Tengku Razaleigh is talking in senile or “latah” fashion recently.

    • Missed out –

      a need to change UMNO’s image and protect the interest of the Malays and the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak fully.

    • MCA itself has to do more to strengthen BN. Not behave as it only UMNO is at fault. What has it done to counter the chauvinism of DAP?

      • Not sure if MCA had said, and they certainly could not justifiably say, that UMNO was at fault at PRU13.

        They were, together with Gerakan, responsible for bringing Chinese votes, and must be held responsible for the Chinese tsunami.

  3. everybody is talking about little Annie the blogger. I think she is now an elite blogger. Pity her personal life is in a mess

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