Thursday, July 21, 2005

UMNO Youth Poke Fun at Elder Sister

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Umno Youth delegates vented criticisms and cracked jokes against International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz, making no qualms of how they felt about the way she handled the AP issue. The movement's information chief Datuk Azimi Daim asked Rafidah: “If one person gets 25,000 APs and makes a profit of RM30,000 for each one, how much would the total come up to? “How much is RM30,000 x 25,000? Tak kena (It’s just not right). What’s the story about giving one person so many APs?”

International Trade and Industry Ministry secretary-general Datuk Sidek Hassan said he takes the full responsibility over the approved permits (APs) issue. Sidek, who is the chairman of the ministry’s AP Issuing Committee, admitted that he did not consult Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz before issuing the APs. “She (Rafidah) also does not give me any instruction before the APs are issued,” he said, adding that the four-man committee, including two ministry deputy secretaries-general, would decide on the approval of the APs.

Sidek said: “When the authorities approve 51,000 APs, they can not allocate the APs to 51,000 people just to show fairness.” He said that basically, the objective of giving out APs was to develop a business environment for bumiputras.

If you manage a company that imports cars, as a Bumi you are privileged to apply for franchise APs. And if your sales each year exceeds 15,000 units, it is natural you will apply for APs in equal quantity. The question whether each AP will profit $25,000 is cognitive and irrelevant UNLESS it was sold per se to some other people. The basic objective of giving out APs is considered fulfilled if the applicant use it to import the cars which must be above 1,800c.c. - which is not a direct competition with Proton.

Why comment about the benefits and profits of these importers? Is it that when they lose money that will make UMNO Youth happy? Isn't prospering the Bumis the objective? The question why 4 organization are given 40,000 APs are because they are the biggest 4 importers while others are only importing one to two hundred units a year. In fact, some of those who receive 100 APs are not importers at all. So, the problem to attend to is those who do not import cars but were given 100 to 200 APs and are selling it to importers; and these people should be penalized for abusing their privilege.

Sidek Hassan said he had never consulted Rafidah before issuing the APs and Rafidah also does not give me any instruction before the APs are issued. Yet throughout the whole episode, she had never once blame her ministry officials neither did drag them into the controversy. Rafidah had stood by her people in MITI and had taken full responsibility and the blame for whatever shortcomings in her department. Isn't this an example of leadership; leadership of a Bumiputra? Don't Bumi admire the quality she had exuded?

In the June PAS Muktamar, there were calls from PAS Youth for change. Youth leader Muhajid Yusuf Rawa said the outcome of the last general election was proof that voters felt uneasy with the party’s policies and strategies. “We must admit our mistakes and identify where we went wrong before even thinking of coming up with a new master plan to determine the party’s direction,” he said. Another Youth Leader Salahuddin asked the ulama to expand their field of knowledge and to work closely with party intellectuals and activists. In response to the Youth's call, Hassan, the PAS deputy president, told delegates at the party’s Youth assembly here that the wing members should set a higher standard for themselves before setting standards for others. ”For a start, the wing should improve its own image and establish a presence in every single party branch in the country,” he said when opening the assembly.

In retrospect, we can see the maturity of PAS members when dealing with problems and mistakes. The discussions topics and arguments are intellectual discourse aimed for seeking improvements and at the same time the forum exercises respect for the elders. In contrast, UMNO Youth choose to poke fun at their elder sister Rafidah and the issues and languages are clear evidence of contempt and disrespect for their elders. This is clearly against the teaching of the Prophet.

I will not vote for PAS because their doctrines are in contrast with mine. But I admired their maturity and sensibleness when they dealing on subjects concerning with defeats, mistakes and weaknesses.

I would vote for UMNO as their doctrine and policies are more accommodating to all races. But how do you expect others to respect them when they claimed Islam as the national religion but often acted in contempt and showed inmaturity and disrepect/disregard to national policies - the Rukunegara and our national constitution and in particular, against Islam Hadhari?

Islam Hadhari emphasizes the need to respect your elders, the need to work hard to earned respect and the need to seek competency, meritocracy and natural justice. In contrast of this principle, UMNO Youth had in fact demanded the government to MAKE sure the key performance index of Government-linked companies or privatised companies safeguard the “Malay agenda” & CREATE a monitoring system to ensure a more efficient delivery system for the Malay agenda. At such, is Islam Hadhari contravened? I have no right to question it!

What UMNO Youth should seek is a continuous and unwavering endeavor to assist and enable the underprivilege Malays to acquire knowledge and competency that will ensure the Malays will, within a shorter possible period, catch up/close the gap of economic disparities. To ensure this achievement, they should seek the cooperation and assistance of Malaysians of all races and together with the government's "friendlier" and accommodating policies, it will enhance and expedite the process. With the right attitude and mutual respect for everyone, the nation as a whole would rally behind UMNO's initiative to fulfill the vision and mission of a just, equitable and prosperous nation, for the Malays, the Chinese, the Indians, the Melanaus, the Kadazans, the Dayaks, the Sikhs, and everyone who calls themselves Malaysian citizen and must include the foreign citizens residing in Malaysia and who shared the same values.

Would we see this happen? Only UMNO can answer. I hope they will discover the profound knowledge. God bless them. Amen.

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