Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why I disagree with ABU

With all due respect to those who are promoting ABU (Anything But UMNO/ Asalkan Bukan UMNO) especially Haris Ibrahim, someone who I have high regard of; a genuine change agent– I do not see ABU’s approach as the right way to go. I would like to offer an alternative point of view.

Let me explain.

When we try to use an all-or-nothing approach, we are essentially giving license to the other side to slack.

An effort like ABU takes the assumption that everyone in UMNO is bad and everyone in the opposition is good; but what if the UMNO candidate fighting for the same seat is a better candidate, who should we vote?

An all-or-nothing, blanket approval or dismissal for any party is like giving a blank cheque to the candidates and the party. I see it as an irresponsible, unthinking way to choose our MPs and ADUNS.

While I support the ideals ABU wants to promote, it is the approach I find questionable. For the change we want we cannot be in a hurry. Some may see that we need to reduce UMNO’s influence in order to change our nation for the better, but we must be careful with our action, lest we throw the baby out with the bathwater.

This is why a more balanced approach is needed. We ask people to be thinking voters, to scrutinize individuals from all parties, and choose the best among them, not the party. If the non- UMNO candidate is better, by all means choose him or her. But if the UMNO candidate is better, he or she deserves our vote.

We must understand that while the backing of a good structure, processes and systems (of political parties) can help an MP/ADUN perform well, an excellent candidate without a good party will still be able to serve the rakyat with heart and soul. It is like an excellent teacher in a school without amenities and support. That is why we must give foremost consideration to the individual calons, not his/her political party.

Instead of taking an all-or-nothing blanket approach, an approach that is based on reason, conscience and the Constitution is recommended. We must not allow any candidate or party a free ride. A ‘No Free Rides’ campaign is the better approach. In that way we will get only the best people as MPs and ADUNs.

We need to change Malaysia in the right way towards the right goal. It will be slow but sure. Let’s do it one MP at a time.

Finally, the ABU campaign has a longer term danger. It promotes the kind of unthinking decision making process that is potentially destructive. This campaign may be the catalyst for more unthinking divisive positions like ABC – Asalkan Bukan Cina or Asalkan Bukan Christian, or ABK - Asalkan Bukan Kafir, etc etc.

Is this the way we want to go?

Anas Zubedy

Kuala Lumpur


Pendakyahraya said...

I want to raise a similar POV, but just dont know where to start.

entry like this make me feel that there still hope for us malaysian :)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Interesting thought, but if we are supposed to select the better candidate regardless of party, then I sure as hell wouldn't want them to always toe the party line when voting in parliament. Too many times you get MPs getting punished for going against the party line, be it PR or BN (remember Devamany?). So unless we have daring parliamentarians from BN who will dare vote against party lines (I'm picking BN because they are the government and they draft the laws), then it is ABU all the way. Sorry Anas, your approach for the middle-way and moderation is commendable of course, but you're ignoring present realities.

Serial Worker said...

thats what you get when nothing has changed politically but people get smarter.

the problem with the country is that those who aspire to be politicians or people's rep are those who are doing so for other reasons than those to genuinely benefit the people.

there is so much crap running around the country its unbelievable. im not registered to vote and wont bother to do so.

you have a good POV but mine firmly states that the country is in a shithole and nothing will change which side of the coin you go for.

Anonymous said...

Anas, how can you be so naive??

In Malaysian politics where UMNO/BN is concerned the individual candidate, no matter how "good", has no say whatsoever. He/She has to tow the party line 100%. So whats the point of electing them ???

It has to be ABU in PRU-13 so that we can firstly clear the decks of the rot from 50 odd years of complacency.

After that, then we can talk about individual MPs' and their merit.

Anonymous said...

your comments on ABU are correct but WHAT do UMNO stand for? if there are good candidates from UMNO, we need to hear what they intend to achieve. the people's perception is UMNO stand for corruption, abuse of power,religious intolerance, low education standards, falling living standards,etc.five more years with UMNO will see Malaysia tipping over the edge


rexuan said...

I've always thought that those who go for ABU are those who can't think.

Epain said...

"We must understand that while the backing of a good structure, processes and systems (of political parties) can help an MP/ADUN perform well, an excellent candidate without a good party will still be able to serve the rakyat with heart and soul. It is like an excellent teacher in a school without amenities and support. That is why we must give foremost consideration to the individual calons, not his/her political party."

Agreed..but the problem is, they (MP/ADUN) don't really hear what the people say...

Anonymous said...

while you are trying to be, so called 'rationale' in this piece, but you failed to name even one 'good candidate' from umno that you promote. please name me one, is it the PM himself, DPM or Hishamuddin? surely they should be the good candidate, compared to all other members of the cabinet? if not, how can they be at the top of the political ladder in the first place? even if we pit haris ibrahim against Najib in Pekan, is Najib a better candidate to represent the Pekan constituency compared to haris ibrahim? please not to shake the boat when it is already in the should have voiced your so called 'opinion' before the boat hits the water...everybody should be rowing to the same direction from now on, and cry out phrases of encouragement together to reach the destination. we don't need whiners and negative criticisms at this point of time. hmm, come to think of it, you are actually on 'the other boat', i presume...

Azwad said...

I understand your argument but based on history of our nation, that didn't work out.

This campaign is clearly with a simple objective to change the government of the day. One can choose the candidates that he likes but when it comes to constituents where there are only two candidates up for election, he had to opt against the ruling party.

I would pick if available, a independent candidate should he is more trustworthy than both the candidates from the ruling party and the main opposition faction.

Anonymous said...

Me suggest Fettes park Penang is a best for u to contest in the next GE.Good Luck!


mph said...

As much as I hate to say this but I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU on this one.

We must be thinking voters!

Anonymous said...

betul tu. saya sokong ASALKAN BUKAN CINA

bukan umno

mph said...

U can see my earlier comment related to this at Bigcat.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Anas. Let's not have masyarakat Malaysia yg macam lembu dicucuk hidung. We must encourage thinking culture not cult culture.


Vinson said...

You're still at it aren't you? Give up lar, lebanese bumiputera. I know Malaysian government has treated you and your ancestors very well, but please don't mock the general populace; locals aren't that stupid you know?

In any case,

As mentioned, learn more about the ABU initiative before making silly assumptions.

Again, as have been mentioned countless times, why don't you concentrate on promoting Buddha, Gandhi and MLK instead of dipping your toes into politics? Why spoil your company's name like this? Don't play politics lah.

Anonymous said...

Anas, 55 years since independence is a SLOW process...

If what you say makes sense, that we should look at the candidate and not make a blanket vote, then the slogan "Undilah Barisan Nasional" goes against that too! What happened to Sothinathan when he spoke up for the Indian students? He was suspended by his masters.

Do you live under a stone? It doesnt work that way in Malaysia

Anonymous said...

Salam Bro. Anas,
I'm 100% with you on this! I know for sure SOME of the current elected PR's MPs & ADUNs are as bad as some of their BN's counterparts, so the RIGHT thing to do really is, as you rightly argued, look 1st at individual candidates, their credibility & ability, then, maybe, maybe... the party they represent.


Anonymous said...

Dear Anas,

Your arguments make a lot of sense to me - and I believe, to a lot of people as well.

Going carpet bombing is a recipe for sure-fire disaster.

Expunging UMNO should mean to rid it of its bad practices, and to keep it in tow; change lop-sidedness, yada yada.

As you had aptly, and reasonably put it, there can't possibly be a scenario of everybody and everything being purely bad.

That applies to both sides of the divide. Likewise, it applies in the reverse. Not everybody is good as well. As such, all leaders, whatever their ideologies or symbols may be, should be subject to the simplest of tests. You are good - and I really don't need to dwell into what to look for here - and you look after your people (constituents, foremostly) and you have my vote.

If we want to be totally fair, then there should movements that are apolitical to pressure all politicians to do well. That is real rakyat power...

I am pretty certain that quite a number of us had come in contact with Umno leaders who are hard-working, principled, honest, etc, (or at least the closest thing to being an accountable and reliable leader). Likewise, there are those who are good in Pas, PKR, MCA, MIC, DAP and all other parties. Credit must be given when it's due. If not, we are no better than those very same people we loathe.

No. ABU is too extreme. I have a lot of respect for Haris, but he's got it wrong here. It is ironic as while he is genuinely an agent of change, he has also promoted fair play. This is too much of a blanket generalisation...


ABU said...

It is a cardinal sin to disagree or say anything that goes against the strange logic that the Problematic Rebels (PR) camp.

They shout democracy but force others to shut up with gag orders, sackings, demonising and doing things to the contrary.

And this will be the death knell for Mr. Zubedy, unless he apologises and polish their arses with artificial praises.


Anonymous said...

Ok, bright spark... please give a better option; on how to get the mass to 'join forces'. Other "anything but ..." may be relevant to the minority. :P

Anonymous said...

Ok, so which BN MPs fought for our rights to peaceful assemblies & voted against the act? Guess there wasn't many, huh, since it was rushed thru & passed in record time?

PTA .. PR Tanpa Anwar said...

err ABAI - Asalkan Bukan Anwar Ibrahim .. ABAI, catchy innit?