UMNO is Britain’s greatest success story in neo-colonialism. The British would never have dreamed that their poster boy would have survived for 61 years from 1948 with the signing of the Federation of Malaya Agreement. With the exception of Japan, this has been the longest period any political party has remained in power, without a break, in a “democracy”. Statistically, it is almost impossible and yet UMNO did it.
First a bit of history.
UMNO was born in 1946 in the cradle of the Johor Sultan’s palace with the Sultan himself as the midwife.
Who were the parents?
The Malay Civil Service! This was run by the children of the Malay tribal chiefs and the Royalty. UMNO’s objective was to protect the powers and privileges of the Royal families and the Malay Civil Service. Their strategy was to use the Malay masses in the rural areas to successfully challenge the British over the Malayan Union. The British gave in over the Malayan Union. Then they tried another tack. They decided to co-opt UMNO into their plan to control Malaya after handing over Independence to them. This, UMNO readily agreed to. But who was using who?
A British Stooge!
The British intended for UMNO to be their proxy in the control of Malaya. Hence they gave them all the levers of power before handing over officially on 31st Aug 1957. That is why 31st Aug is Merdeka for UMNO and till today, they refuse to celebrate Sept 16, which should be the official Independence Day for Malaysia. It also explains why when the MCA tried to challenge UMNO for greater political power, UMNO would react harshly towards the MCA.
What were these powers that the British gave UMNO?
1. Special Branch, which at that time was one of the best in the world, to suppress any challenge to the government.
2. The military and the police as the enforcement arms.
3. The National Registration Department to control citizenship
One important lesson the British taught their protégé was never to lose a general election. This, UMNO took to heart and as the results today attest, they mastered the art of winning elections. Over the years, with the help of her intelligence services, UMNO refined and expanded the powers at her disposal, until it has become her War Machine – a fearsome power that struck terror in the opposition parties.
The UMNO War Machine
This is the mental model (more definitions of mental modelhere & here) for UMNO’s War Machine together with the other sections of government that she uses against the opposition parties and the Rats (aka The Masses or the Rakyat).
Amendment: UMNO Rebels added
Amendment: Tentera Wataniah added under VII Militias
The key to UMNO’s power is the government civil service. This is the source of UMNO’s talent and leaders. There seems to be a symbiotic (or incestuous?) relationship whereby leaders for UMNO are drawn from the upper rungs of the civil service while those who did not join UMNO but served loyally, are rewarded with directorships in Govt Linked Companies (GLC) or in the companies of crony businesses upon their retirement. This is a corrupted version of Japan’s Amakudari. and should help to explain why the police and the top civil servants are behaving in such a blatantly partisan manner in Perak today (7 May 2009). Also here and here.
It will be useful to review some basic principles that we have touched on in earlier articles:
2.1 What does the Ruling Class want:
• Power and wealth
The Ruling Class is basically governed by greed and fear.
2.2 What do they require of the Rats:
• Docile & submissive, easy to control
• Don’t think too much, preferably a bit dumb.
• Hard-working, don’t complain too much
• Productive: Can produce more baby Rats for regeneration.
All Ruling Classes are fully aware that the Rats can turn and when they do, generally it is unstoppable. History is replete with examples of Ruling Classes who were not successful in suppressing the Rats. In all cases, it is inevitable and fatal for the Ruling Class. It is only a question of time.
So history is against the Ruling Class. Eventually they will fail. All it takes is for the Rats to wake up and rise. Therefore, the Ruling Class will put in most, if not all, of their efforts to ensure that the Rats never wake up.
2.3 How do they do it?
Three basic strategies are employed:
1. Cheating during elections:
In a true democracy, where the rules of elections are fair and transparent, no party can hang on to power for more than 15 years. Generally, the Ruling Party becomes corrupt, decadent and decrepit. Eventually, the voters get tired of them and throw them out during elections.
In Malaysia, this has not been the case. UMNO has remained in power for 52 years and looks set to hang on for another 4 years. They achieved this by constantly winning in general elections through dirty tricks and outright cheating, and even abuse of the Constitution.
During General Elections, the UMNO War Machine takes over in fighting the Opposition parties.
2. Topple Opposition State Governments.
Where UMNO has lost a state during elections, they resort to unconstitutional means to topple the Opposition State Government and take over. They do one or more of the following:
• Create civil disorder to Declare a State of Emergency.
• Buying over the Opposition State Assemblymen.
• Use the MACC to threaten them by investigating them for corruption.
• Resort to physical threats against them and their families.
Right now there is an ongoing debacle in Perak. (7 May 2009). At present emotions are very high and the Rats may miss the bigger picture. But what UMNO has done will be fatal to them and all those who collaborated in this shameful scheme – they have opened the eyes of the Rats.
3. Psychological warfare on the Rats.
The Ruling Class considers all Rats as potential enemies to be suppressed or even eliminated if they are perceived to threaten the Ruling Class's hold on power. They employ psychological tactics to attack the Rats’ minds. This is a non-stop process to complement the UMNO War Machine and just as important for the Ruling Class to maintain their hold on power.
At the most basic level, all minds are vulnerable to fear, greed, sloth, ignorance, hatred, envy, ego, apathy, etc. This is where the other groups in UMNO’s stable comes in – see Groups II to VII of the Malaysian Political Mental Model in Part VI Chapter 1 above.
In the previous chapter we touched on three strategies that UMNO uses to gain and hang on to power.
1. Topple Opposition State Governments
2. Win general elections
3. Psychological warfare against the Rats.
We will commence this chapter with a discussion of the second strategy used by UMNO
– Topple Opposition State Governments.
Such events are rare as they occur about once every 10 to 20 years, the last one in Sabah in 1994. The Perak event is current and fresh in everybody’s minds, so it will easy and interesting to follow. From this exercise, we can compare how having a mental model will help greatly in our understanding of events.
A few principles to bear in mind:
In politics, don’t just listen to the words or watch the actions of the politicians only. Those are designed to confuse the Rats. Recognize the underlying motives. It is usually related to greed for power and money, and fear of loss of power. Once that is identified, it is much easier to track the moves made by the politicians.
3.1 Topple Opposition State Governments
Let us look at some examples in the past:
1. Singapore 1965: Singapore joined Malaysia on 16 Sept 1963. The state government there was led by Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) of the PAP. He was trying to gain a foothold in Peninsular Malaysia through his slogan of Malaysian Malaysia. The Alliance Party then (consisting of UMNO, MCA and MIC) saw him as a threat to their Chinese support base. UMNO triggered riots in Singapore to create the conditions to declare a state of emergency, to arrest LKY and take over the state government.
The British who still had the Commonwealth Army around to defend Malaysia from Sukarno’s Confrontation against Malaysia, were not in favour of such unconstitutional tactics and actively discouraged it. So the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, did the next best thing – expel Singapore from Malaysia on 9 Aug 1965.
2. Sarawak 14 Sept 1966: Stephen Kalong Ningkan case.. UMNO colluded with the Sarawak State Governor to dismiss the Chief Minister, declared a State of Emergency and installed her own state government.
3. Kelantan Dec 1977: PAS toppled by BN through a Declaration of Emergency.
4. Sabah 1985 to 1994: How the BN toppled PBS. and here. Over a period of 9 years, UMNO tried various means to topple the opposition PBS until she finally succeeded in 1994 by luring PBS’s state assemblymen through cross-overs.
In all successful cases, UMNO was helped with the acqueiscence of the State Governors/Sultans. They also took advantage of the fact that the State of Emergency in Malaysia was never lifted although the event that triggered the Emergency had long since gone. They kept it ready to be used as and when necessary.
07 May 2009 Perak Coup
Previously, through total control of the media, UMNO could determine the information fed to the Rats. This allowed them to control public opinion and suppress any attempt to resist the coup. This time round, with the advent of the internet (new media) and modern technology, what UMNO did in the Perak Assembly was broadcast live to the nation and the world. The scenes of plain-clothes policemen masquerading as officials of the Sergeant-at-arms manhandling the Speaker and dragging him out of the Assembly will remain in the minds of the Rats for years to come. During the next general elections, it will come back to haunt UMNO.
Perak Speaker being forcibly dragged out by police.
Bloggers were analyzing the events and condemning UMNO’s blatant abuse of the Constitution. The NGOs, civil society and the lawyers were actively challenging the Government through their knowledge of the laws and the Constitution. To a certain extent, UMNO’s scope to operate was constrained as there was a limit to how far they would dare to go against international and public opinion, especially since their actions were illegal and instantly exposed.
As Pakatan Rakyat and the people gave way peacefully, UMNO did not have a chance to impose a Declaration of Emergency. This is likely to be fatal for UMNO.
The mental model for these events are shown in the diagram below, followed by a chronology of events. The elements of the Mental Model involved are highlighted in bold.
Chronology of Events:
25 Aug 08 ACA/MACC & Judiciary: The Sting –
Two PKR Perak Excos from Changkat Jering and Behrang are charged with corruption. Hearing set for 10 to 12 Feb 09.
25 Jan 09 UMNO: The Second Sting –
Bota state assemblyman declared he was leaving UMNO to join PKR.
29 Jan 09 UMNO: Tajol Rosli resign as Perak UMNO Liaison Chairman. Najib takes over.
30 Jan 09 PKR: Changkat Jering and Behrang state assemblyman leaving PKR to join UMNO.
1 Feb 09 PR: Perak Speaker says Changkat Jering and Behrang assemblymen have submitted resignation letters but the assemblymen denied having resigned.
2 Feb 09 PR: Perak MB meets Sultan. Speaker notifies Perak Elections Commission of vacancy of Changkat Jering and Behrang state seats.
3 Feb 09 SPR: Chairman refuse to recognize declaration of vacancy by the Speaker and announces that no by-election is required.
4 Feb 09 PR: Perak MB announces dissolution of Perak State Assembly pending consent from Sultan.
UMNO: Najib announces BN has sufficient numbers to form the State Government.
5 Feb 09 Royalty: Perak Sultan refuses to dissolve State Assembly, sacks PR Govt and appoints BN as new State Govt.
UMNO: Badawi announces Zambry will be new MB.
PR: Speaker applies to High Court to declare resignation letters of the three former PKR and DAP assemblyman as valid and that their seats are vacant. PR MB says he will not resign.
Police: Police cordon off state secretariat building
6 Feb 09 Royalty: Perak Sultan to swear in Zambry as Perak MB.
Police & Civil Service: Police & Civil Service expose their hands – Perak PR MB & exco prevented by police and State Secretariat officers from entering their offices. Later after they managed to get in, they found all their official documents and personal items missing.
Suhakam: Suhakam calls for fresh polls.
7 Feb 09 Media: Spinning in the media Dr M: Street Demos Not Our Culture. and outbreak of hypocrisy.
8 Feb 09 Royalty: Is money involved? Comments by Suresh here and by senkoh here. Also here and here
9 Feb 09 UMNO: UMNO Youth to rally in support of Perak Sultan but forgot that it was UMNO who chopped the Royalty down to size here.
10 Feb 09 UMNO: UMNO playing up the treason angle
Judiciary: Playing for time – Perak Exco corruption case postponed to 15 Jun 09
Police: Police block Nizar and exco from reporting for work in State Assembly.
22 Feb 09 PR: Nizar moves out from official MB residence.
23 Feb 09 Police: Police threatening PR –
Sivakumar tells police to stop investigations against Committee of Privileges.
27 Feb 09 PR: Perak Speaker calls emergency session on 3 Mar 09.
Civil Service: State Legal Advisor shows bias against PR, tries to block issue of notice of emergency sitting of State Assembly. Also here but Speaker disagrees.
2 Mar 09 Bloggers: RPK to Nizar – This is a class struggle by the people against the Ruling Class! Don’t give up!
PR: PR suspends State Assembly Secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri and appoints Mohd Misbahul Munir Masduki as new secretary.
3 Mar 09 UMNO, Civil Service & Police: The State Secretary and the police try to block the conduct of the state assembly, thereby forcing the assembly to be held under a rain tree in the car park. Perak Assembly lock-out. Closure of State Assembly Building. Desperate moves by UMNO.
NGO: Bar Council says State Assembly Secretary has exceeded his powers.
PR: PR State Assembly votes for fresh polls.
Judiciary: Interference of judiciary with the legislative. Court declares assembly under the tree illegal.
Blogger & SPR: SPR’s job is to ensure the Malays do not lose power.. Confusing UMNO with the Malays. Typical Ruling Class tactic to hijack the rights of the Rats for their own agenda.
NGOs & Civil Society: Bar Council & civil society slam police for obstructing Perak sitting. What is there to stop UMNO from suppressing a general election?
6 Mar 09 Civil Service: - Sivakumar sues Perak legal adviser.
7 – 10 Mar 09 Judiciary: - Assault on Legislature, Constitution Dead, Judging judges., Forcing the State Legal Adviser on the Speaker.
18 Apr 09 Judiciary: – Interference of the judiciary in the legislative here, here, and here.
Civil Service: – Interference of civil service with Speaker’s powers. Perak State Secretary says suspension of assembly secretary by Speaker invalid.
20 Apr 09 Royalty: – Are they neutral?
23 Apr 09 UMNO using Royalty: - Poser on sultan's power.
27 Apr 09 Blogger: - RPK on royalty.
29 Apr 09 UMNO: – Zambry calls for sitting on 7 May 09 to remove Speaker.
30 Apr 09 UMNO: – Zambry tries to restrict media to 13 pro-BN mainstream media groups only. Ruling Class tactic to control information. Slammed by PR, Zambry backs down.
7 May 09 UMNO, Police, Civil Service: – UMNO’s fiasco in Perak over coup-de-tat. anil netto live, more links here.
We should be able to appreciate by now how a mental model helps in having a clearer picture of events and a better understanding of how the various parties to the conflict interact with each other.
This coup-de-tat is a necessary part of the education process for Rats, to recognize who is the enemy and to understand what methods the Ruling Class use to cling on to power. Only then can the Rats develop the mental powers to resist and fight back.
The battle lines are drawn. UMNO has demonstrated how desperate they are. They know full well they won’t be able to get away with it, given the awareness of the Rats and the availability of the internet. And yet they tried. Likely, this is a fatal move which will have severe repercussions for the Ruling Class. We suspect this could be due to an impatient ex-dictator who feels he is running out of time.
By the way, if readers have not already recognized by now, the above tactics have all the hallmarks of an oligarchy and afascist government.
柳闫运 2011年8月17日 午夜 12点04分
若再娜真要把约定俗成的“马来人=回教徒”，单马六甲王朝时期的阿旺将军（Panglima Awang）足以使其汗颜，西洋人称这位麦加伦的马来仆人称作“马六甲的安立奎”（Enrique of Malacca）是一名受洗的罗马天主教徒，然而仅由于他是名基督教徒（那些不学无术者、眼界狭隘者眼中的“马来异教徒”），“马来人航海家”之美名就会被剥夺掉吗？当然不会。所以，巫统擅长搞的那套“马来人与回教世界”（Dunia Melayu, Dunia Islam；再益依布拉欣曾于其著《我也是马来人》中批评此会议，该主席为甲州首长阿里鲁斯旦）根本就行不通，大马以自己“独特”的歧见和荒谬来概括并扭曲“马来世界”，而浩瀚的、广义的“马来世界”真有巫统那么简单吗？“马来世界”真的都是“回教世界”？这显然是将“马来西亚的马来人”之观念套在世界观上自圆其说，而驻非大使夫人所闹出的笑话，既是巫统“民族神话”灌输下之最终结果，不仅成了菲律宾人的笑点，菲国国父、民族英雄黎刹若泉下有知，不知该笑还是该哭呢。或许，马达加斯加岛民和印尼国岛民会第一个先笑爆肚皮吧？还有那整天高调论及，抨击民联时同样离不开“回教国”的马华公会，他们又该怎样解释此番现象呢？
当今大马 2011年8月2日 晚上 9点10分
当今大马 2011年8月9日 傍晚 7点03分