Apakah Noh Omar akan terkedu dengan kritikan Azman Ujang...?
Penulisan berbaur kritikan pedas terhadap UMNO Selangor ini sudah pasti akan mengundang reaksi daripada Kapten UMNO Selangor.... Dalam bahasa pasar istilahnya UMNO Selangor Sombong Bodoh!
WHY can't Selangor Umno leaders accept that the party is the opposition in the state?
Even a stern warning last month from prime minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak for them to shape up and start redeeming the party's "maruah" or dignity in Malaysia's richest state has fallen on deaf ears.
The occasion was nothing less than a rare public scolding by Najib at the Selangor Umno convention for the state party leaders.
Compared to other states, the party is in disarray in Selangor as it struggles to pick up the pieces after losing power to the Pakatan Rakyat in the last two general elections.
Under such circumstances, it's logical to expect the state Umno leaders to own up or face the reality of the situation. And to buck up, of course, in line with the instruction from the Umno president.
What it means is that it's imperative for Umno leaders in the state to regain the voters' support that they badly lost. It also means they can count on the party's resources and the central leadership especially Najib's personal attention to achieve this.
But going by what happened the last couple of weeks, I venture to think that Najib is disappointed by the state leaders' behaviour which in my opinion boils down to their big ego.
First, the 12 Umno state legislative assemblymen who form the opposition rejected the RM200,000 allocation granted by the state government for each of their constituencies and they did so "as a matter of principle".
All the Barisan Nasional assemblymen in the state are from Umno.
They decided to reject it because their counterparts in Pakatan are getting RM700,000 for each constituency. For the opposition-held seats, the state government apportions RM200,000 to each assemblyman and RM500,000 to the constituency coordinator it has appointed.
The Umno assemblymen want the whole amount –RM700,000 –allocated to each of them just like what their Pakatan lawmakers receive or not at all.
It's the prerogative of any government to decide which way to distribute the fund and in the highly-charged bipartisan political system that we practise, surely those not in power cannot expect to get the same treatment as those in the government.
Then came another shocker – state opposition leader Datuk Shamsuddin Lias stepped down from the post because he refused to be appointed as chairman of the Selangor Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
His reason for doing so again shows he and his colleagues can't accept reality. He cried foul over the fact that there are five Pakatan members in the PAC while his party gets only two members.
Parliament's PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed described Shamsuddin's double act of quitting as state opposition leader and refusal to chair the state PAC as a "silly act".
"Selangor Umno wasted an opportunity to buttress the party's weakness in the state by doing this. It's a silly thing to do because it's an opportunity for Selangor Umno to unearth any wrongdoing by the Selangor government and to be factual about it, instead of making unsubstantiated allegations in public," said Nur Jazlan, whose own PAC in Parliament is doing just that rather effectively.
He rubbished Shamsuddin's argument that just because Umno is outnumbered in the PAC, he can't be effective. Shamsuddin's point was also used by Selangor Umno chief Datuk Seri Noh Omar in justifying why the party rejected the PAC chairmanship.
"The PAC chair is only a stooge because with the BN in the minority, there won't be a check and balance," Noh said.
Noh's rationale is another example of how he and his party colleagues can't accept reality plus the ego problem afflicting the state party leadership. All this can only work against them and put paid to Najib's hopes of Umno's revival in Selangor.
Nur Jazlan said the composition of the Selangor PAC naturally reflects Pakatan's majority in the state assembly (with 44 assemblymen) and did not matter because the committee arrives at decisions by consensus.
"It's a test of your ability as chairman of the committee to get the consensus. This is the perfect opportunity for Shamsuddin to gain a good reputation with the people and to bring back credibility to Selangor Umno which is very low today," he said.
Former works minister Datuk Seri Zin Mohamed, who is from Selangor, was even more blunt.
"This is somebody's stupid idea," he told me when asked to comment how he felt about Umno rejecting the state PAC chairmanship.
"I believe it is a very wrong move to reject the PAC post. It's a golden opportunity to demonstrate that Umno/BN can be an effective and responsible opposition and fighting and caring for the rakyat by closely monitoring and scrutinising the state's expenses," said Zin, a former state leader.
And he said if Umno could not be a responsible opposition with even the opposition leader's post being left vacant, "they blew it and forget about becoming the state government."
It's only in Selangor under Pakatan that the opposition party is appointed to chair the state PAC and the opposition leader is paid an allowance and provided an official car and supporting staff.
It's obvious that in the aftermath of this turmoil, Selangor Umno needs a new set of leaders – minus the big ego – who can come to terms with reality.
Azman Ujang is a former editor-in-chief of Bernama. Click HERE