Criticise Boldly, Tun Mahathir Tells UMNO Delegates

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 – Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad urged UMNO delegates at the party’s annual general meeting (AGM) which begins today to give constructive criticism against their leaders. “Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein were not only criticized but were even challenged. I was also challenged and I also lost,” he wrote in his blog today.

He also urged leaders to be open to criticism and listen to the views raised by the delegates. He said without criticism, the leader would not know if the actions taken were right or wrong.  Dr Mahathir said he was asked many times not to make open criticisms. “Actually, I had criticised in private many times, especially issues on Bumiputera and UMNO but that does not seem to work. Open criticism have to be made,” he added.

He said Malays are hoping that the delegates to the AGM would discuss issues pertaining to the people. In his blog, Dr Mahathir said one of the reasons UMNO is no longer as popular as it was before, was because of party leaders who used the party to enrich themselves. He added the party only accepted new members who are not seen as threats to other leaders at all levels.

He said division leaders have become someone who cannot be challenged and this has become some kind of a privilege. “Because of this, only a less talented Malay is allowed to join a division. And when the division chairman dies, it is the less talented man who inherits the division and the circle continues,” he wrote. He said this is the reason why the leadership is weak and is not capable of leading.

“That is why when asked who is going to be the Selangor MB if Barisan Nasional wins, there is no answer even though the state is full of educated, talented, rich Malays who do not need UMNO to enrich themselves,” he wrote. He said the warlord culture had seeped into the party. “UMNO is mine, this division is mine,” he wrote adding that this had caused many talented leaders to be frustrated and join another party.

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