Umno a place to get rich, says US envoy

In today’s Malaysia, one can get along by going along (and of course one can go farther as a Malay rather than a Chinese or Indian), but it is also true that one can be run over.
US Ambassador to Malaysia
July 2008

Echoing a conventional wisdom widely held among politically-conscious Malaysians, the US Ambassador to Malaysia told the State Department in 2008 that

  • Umno is a Malay supremacist party by ideology
  • Malaysia is a one-party state
  • Umno is seen as a means to get rich

He also said Umno’s politics and bullying tactics were making many Malaysians decide to emigrate rather than wait to crushed by the party’s policies and practices.

The comments came in a Wikileaked cable of 22 July 2008, when the US Ambassador, James Keith, reviewed Malaysia’s political situation in the light of explosive revelations made that month in statutory declarations implicating Najib Tun Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, the Mongolian translator in the Scorpene submarines purchase by the Malaysian government.

The cable, published at Malaysia Today under an arrangement with WikiLeaks and not yet available at the WikiLeaks site, said:

The ruling party is relying primarily on its own party structure and the embedded system of carrots and sticks to keep party membership in line. As in other one-party states, the party is seen opportunistically as a mechanism for personal advancement and enrichment.

There is an ideological component, in terms of Malay supremacy, but that is in practice a matter of institutionalized opportunism. In good times UMNO can maintain control by distributing power and money to get what it wants. In bad times, it uses the stick, and for now that means intimidation.

The ruling elite maintains control over the security apparatus through party stalwarts who run the security institutions, mainly the police but also the military. We believe the military will remain loyal to legitimate leadership and is not a likely tool to overturn an elected, royally-approved and Malay-led government from either the ruling or opposition side. The police, on the other hand, follow orders from the ruling party.

The “commando-style” arrest of Anwar last week, the roadblocks and security checks throughout the city of Kuala Lumpur, the recent arrest of blogger Raja Petra, intimidation of Sabah politicians, and the authorities’ strident rhetoric are all part of a broad message to the Malaysian people that they had better not stand in UMNO’s path. In today’s Malaysia, one can get along by going along (and of course one can go farther as a Malay rather than a Chinese or Indian), but it is also true that one can be run over.

We only have anecdotal evidence for this, but the sad spiral into past patterns may have become the predicate for some middle and upper class Malaysians who have the option of emigrating. Rather than wait to be run over, it is far preferable to get out of the game.


12 thoughts on “Umno a place to get rich, says US envoy

  1. Ku Li has just launched Amanah. This report is all the more reason why we need more intelligent and honest malays to helm the judiciary, police and AG Chambers. Right now Umno is seemingly strong and can use bully tactics to intimidate the people because these three government apparatus which are helmed by mentally average malays are under their command and behest.

  2. A good friend of mine, a Melayu, joined Umno 20 years ago. Today, he has four to five bungalows, three wives and millions in the bank. He is a director of countless companies. By the way, he is a former journalist.

  3. A diplomatic he is, he did not mention that everyone in Umno is not only corrupted but also deceitful and most of all rotten and decay to the bones. They are beyond redemption and that is why the country is about to go bankrupt while the deceitful and corrupted men from Umno go rich at the country expenses.
    Umno has a total membership of about 3 million when the population of the country is 28 millions. What other means, other than deceit can Umno continue to rule the country ?
    Now you know why deceitful and corrupted Umno is trying so hard to prevent you to rally for a clean and fair election !
    Make sure you cast your vote against these deceits and corrupted men to continue ruling Malaysia in the coming GE regardless of the promises they make and above all the amount of money they promise to give you.

  4. not only umno guys are getting super rich but MCA jokers are also putting their fingers in the pie as in PKFZ billion dollar scandal. Barry wain book – malaysian maverick clearly describe how 100 billion were lost in the 22 years rule of the 4 th PM, what a brilliant masterpiece. malaysians are taken to the cleaners. welcome to a clean nation

  5. yes correct, UMNO is not alone, MCA + MIC and all other BN component are also rich by taking advantage on government project. Don’t mention only malay, it’s looks like you are trying to put the malay race as fault. Look at MCA, the chinese and MIC the indian. They are all tyrant and crook. We fight not only UMNO, but BN. Will you accept MCA and MIC as PR component? Ptuiiii

  6. Be smart all you readers….forget about sending your kids to good school,tuition this tuition that,college, read novels and all hard work to raise them up for what? They will end up rushing to work every day 6-30am with some small companies struggling with less than RM2,000 monthly and bankrupted by credit cards usage before 28 years old.ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS TO STOP SCHOOLING THEM AND GET THEM TO JOIN AMNO AND IT’S PROVEN BY 28 YEARS OLD THEY HAVE MILLIONS IN BANK WITHOUT even going to work! Many of us have a friend or neighbor like this-proven. If amno open to non-malays too i tell you it’ll be flooded with begging folks trying to be members .

  7. Umno’s philosophy is very simple: Join us and hop onto our gravy train. Simple as that. So many of my Bumi friends have subscribed to this mantra, and they are now very rich. He he he.

  8. Yes I do have something to say and I will say it loud and clear based on my own personal conscience without fear or favor. I am only one of the minority voice within the minority in UMNO politics since my involvement from 1963. Although I am not in the league of Tengku Razaleigh, I share the same vision with Ku Li but I do not simply criticise my YDP Agong, party leaders, my government and this beloved nation which had given me so much in my 69 years as a patriotic citizen.

    I had given more than 34 years of my life back to national service as a party official and government officer since the mid 60s with distinction and recognition from the nation. I am proud of my small contribution to the nation. Contrary to those who had criticised me for my bloggings in the cyberspace, I have never received any special favours and financial benefits from the party or government. I vouched that my success and that of my children are all due to our own hard work and not through political patronage from the UMNO leaders and the government. UMNO/BN had given me nothing absolutely although I have walked together with them in the corridor of power in my capacity as a party and government senior officer for more than half of my life.

    Today, we have a different political and social scenario and the BN government had paid dearly for their mistakes and wrong doings as we had witnessed the loss of 5 state governments in the 2008 general election. UMNO and their crony BN component parties had not learnt their lessons and until today, 2011 they are still in total denial of what the majority of the people wanted across the political divides.

    Former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was given the opportunity to lead UMNO and the BN government, through the popular support he had garnered in the 2004 general election but he had failed the electorate and the people in particular. Thus we had lost heavily to the opposition pact led by Anwar Ibrahim as proven in the 2008 general election. Anwar together with his PR partners are in the final lap of their attempt to overthrow the BN government under the leadership of Najib Tun Razak as a political run up to the 13th general election.

    However, Anwar is in a political siege as he had yet to emerge clean from his personal encounters in his current ongoing sodomy II trial beginning in early August. Anwar had diverted a lot of public attention to other issues that he had created in order to neutralise the people’s opinion about his dubious characters that had badly affected his reputation and creditability as an opposition leader. By hook or by crook, Anwar wants to topple this government by force with all his unconventional strategies in order to capture Putrajaya and becomes the next prime minister of Malaysia.

    Yesterday, together with all peace loving Malaysians of all races, I had attended the launch of “Angkatan Amanah Merderka” held at the Tunku Memorial in Kuala Lumpur. I believe there were at least more than two thousand people in the audience who had attended the function, with or without invitation.The launch was an eye opener for us and the support from the audience was warm and spontaneous.

    Amanah Merdeka is led by a Central Council comprised of Tengku Razaleigh the President, six prominent Deputy Presidents and seven Vice Presidents with a clear vision and mission in the name of unity and solidarity. Although Amanah is politically motivated and inspired with some of the mixed former political leaders in the pro BN government party leadership from both West and East Malaysia, it is hoped that Amanah’s noble course to reignite the voice of unity, the spirit of the Constitution, the pledge of justice and lastly the freedom for true liberty, will not be hijacked by irresponsible politically infiltrated agents. Amanah in its true form as a new NGO may change the political, economic and social landscape of the nation to be led by the next democratic elected government after the 13th general election.

    • Only if you work at Media Prima, Star or Utusan groups, or RTM, or Bernama. We are a de facto one-party state just as singapore was/is a de facto dictatorship and one-party state.

  9. To Mustapha Ong,

    Have you not heard from the wise man who once said that those who worked in the ink factory will inevitable too will be tainted with the ink.
    You and your children may not have got any benefit from the ruling party but at least you and your children did not get any impediment from them in the process of becoming what you and your children are to day.
    To me they are more important things that talent and hard work one may have, which many Malaysians do posses but never had the chance or being impeded or marginalized in achieving their goals by the deceitful and corrupted men from Umno. Not to mention the help the NEP program offers to the handicapped and those who want to be on the wheelchair and want to run a 100 meter race in 10 meters.
    They just can’t compete ! Who are they ?
    Some of them who are not given a chance to be assisted are just as intelligent, if not a lot more so than those that got assisted by NEP, most if all of them are third and fourth generations Malaysian born children but are they being treated or regarded as Malaysians ?
    Just look at the civil services they are filled with 96% Malays when the Malay population in the country is at best 60% and a lot of them are not even born in Malaysia. Why is this portion no reflected in the NEP or there are no poor non Malays and therefore do not need to be assisted or given a chance to become successful. Most of all are the real sons of the soil,
    the Orang Asli and the Head Hunters being assisted with even a fraction of what is being spent on NEP ?

    Expedited citizenship approvals by Umno to muslims from Indonesians and southern Philippines just so the muslims are the majority of this country. These are done just to justify the policies Umno, especially the grand son of the pariah from Kerala, implemented.
    When millions of Malaysian born non muslims are made to hold red identity cards and therefore not considered as citizens and consequently do not have the right to vote. Just to appear that Umno is being fair a hand full of them after waiting for decades before getting their approvals but most of them will never know of their fates in their lifetime. They must continue to pay their taxes to keep the nation going, to keep the civil servants being paid and above all the men from Umno from their corruption.
    Are these not Malaysians and why are they being regarded as non Umno/BN voters just like the million of immigrated Malaysians or those studying or working abroad for a living ?
    Wasn’t that an advice given by non other than the shenanigan Mahathir in 1987 when the country was in recession and employment was hard to find or was it one of his excuses to get rid of the millions of educated non Malays from Malaysia ?
    Why ? Is it because Umno is aware that together these millions of voters are too literate or too intelligent enough to think for themselves between right and wrong. As a consequent they would cast their votes to the right and creditable politicians and not to the deceitful and corrupted politicians. Unless Umno knows the answer all these years and would come up with all kind of excuses to impede them the right to vote.
    While the civil servants who are mainly Malays, based abroad, have the right to cast their votes.
    Are these the kind of democracy and fairness Umno is talking about ? These are blatant deceits and only Umno will think of such deceits just to remain in their gravy trains. And most all the right to continue stealing from the nation, even when it is with borrowed money.
    The above mentioned deceits are only a few examples of the kind of deceits that has gone on for decades otherwise instead of the five states being taken away by the opposition the entire country would surely have been taken over by the opposition.
    Malaysia is the only country I can think of that would only ban, impede, make it illegal and even had their lackeys police to fire gas bombs and shoot water canons at those who rally to have a FAIR AND CLEAN ELECTION ! Are they saying they don’t want a FAIR AND CLEAN ELECTION ? This has to the joke of the century !
    No doubt this lusty Anwar is doing everything he can to divert the attention of the people from his sodomy trial II and is doing everything he can think of to delay the inevitable. But his end is near and just remember he was an Umno man and trained by Umno and he is every inch an Umno man. Just as deceitful and corrupted man from Umno. He even waited for some years ,after coming out of jail, to be invited back to lead Umno just so he can continue the corruption he once tasted ad benefited from.The most important thing is he has conveniently forgotten is he has burnt too many bridges behind him and step on many too toes when he was the DMP. Not withstanding the fact that many in Umno too wanted to become P.M..

    Otherwise how else can he live and travel around in the lavish style he is doing ? It takes a lot of money to do what he is doing.He can even afford to employ a bump to make him his daily cup of ‘coffee’ each time when he went abroad. Just like the grand son of the pariah from Kerala he too must have millions to burn . Finally all that he is fighting for now is not something new and why was it that he did not do anything about them when he was a part of Umno not to mention when he was the almighty DPM ? The only good thing he has done is for him to have identified them out aloud when his partner LKS from DAP all these times did nothing. All LKS did was to jump from Malaca to Perak in the election, why ?
    Also all LKS wanted was for his son to be supported as the CM of Penang and that Anwar gladly did in exchange for his support.

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