UMNO has become a militarised party (?)

December 26, 2015

UMNO has become a militarised party?

by Cmdr (rtd) S. Thayaparan

Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavour to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?

– Henry David Thoreau

COMMENT: We live in dangerous times and most people do not even realise it. We have become so immune to the constant provocations the UMNO state throws at us that right-thinking Malaysians merely shake their heads at their computer screens and consume the next bit of news in an endless cycle of outrage and apathy.

The problem with this is that the very real danger that the National Security Council (NSC) Act presents is overlooked and sublimated as just another UMNO gambit to remain in power.

This piece of legislation has far-reaching consequences and will shape the destiny of this country and its people. This is far more dangerous than the corruption scandal that has engulfed this regime or the threat of religious extremism that an UMNO-PAS alliance would birth.

This is a piece of legislation that threatens the very nature of the fragile parliamentary democracy of this country. If this sounds hyperbolic (and even to me it does), it is because we have become so used to the idea that in Malaysia nothing is sacred, and cynicism is the language we express our outrage in.

The Butt Exercise

Exercising Ali Tinju style

Before I go any further, I would just like to remind Malaysians, that it is not that we have become a militarised society but rather UMNO has become a militarised political party. We may scoff at the outsourced thugs of UMNO who stir racial sentiments on the pretence of upholding race and religion – but something, deeper and darker has emerged from the long UMNO watch.

An example of this would the Rela controversy two years ago that caused great concern to members of the Armed Forces (serving and retired), which has been forgotten as just another example of UMNO malfeasances. I wrote about this in ‘Rafoc’s objections to use of Army ranks by Rela’.


The relevant passage is as follows: “As one former General said, ‘what is UMNO attempting to do? Create its own personal army?’”

This echoes the thoughts of former Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mohammad Arshad Raji, whose blog I referenced in ‘Malaysian politics – Who dares win’: “The emergence of para security groups conflates national security issues with UMNO political concerns.”

As articulated by Arshad in his blog titled ‘Rela – PM Najib’s final line of defence?’: “And what really scares me was when Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said that ‘when the chips are down, Rela will be with this government to defend the country’. What ‘chips’ is Najib referring to, and what is the threat that the government is trying to defend… external or internal security threat or a political threat from the opposition.”

“In addition, Rafoc was told that Rela has three million members – that would mean they outnumber all branches of the Armed Forces combined.”

What exactly does the NSC Act achieve?

With this in mind, what exactly does the NSC Act achieve and does it support my theory of a militarised UMNO? The following points should be taken into consideration and since this is still a free country, it is up to the reader to judge if I made my case.

1. The council’s function is to formulate policies and “strategic measures” on national security, which includes “national unity”, “socio-political stability” and “economic stability’.

2. Membership of the council consists of the following:

a) the Prime Minister as chairperson;

b) the Deputy Prime Minister as deputy chairperson;

c) the Minister charged with the responsibility for defence;

d) the Minister charged with the responsibility for home affairs;

e) the Minister charged with the responsibility for communications and multimedia;

f) the Chief Secretary to the government;

g) the Chief of Defence Forces; and

h) the Inspector-General of Police.

3. The Prime Minister has a separate mechanism to declare an area “a security area” as opposed to the constitutionally-mandated “emergency”.

4. Constitutional provisions such Article 41, with regard to the DYMM Yang di-Pertuan Agong, shall be the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and other provisions such as Article 137 dealing with the Armed Forces Council and Article 150 for the proclamation of emergency have been ignored.

5. The use of all security branches in areas designated as “security areas”.

6. No oversight when it comes to activities of the National Security Council.

7. The council may operate in total secrecy.

8. Arbitrary powers in “security areas” allow use of violence and deadly force, warrantless arrests, search and seizure, imposition of curfews and a whole host of other measures.

9. Members of the security forces are immune to legal oversight as long as a magistrate is satisfied that persons killed in security areas were a result of operations undertaken by security forces.

10. The NSC has the power to override state authority.

11. The council and security personnel are protected from any civil and criminal proceedings unless done in bad faith (sic). However, since the council operates in secrecy, this effectively renders them immune.

Is there any evidence that there is a separation of powers in this country? Is there any evidence of impartiality when it comes to the state and political parties? Is there any evidence of independent bodies overseeing the conduct of the state?

In ‘Defence of our Realm’, I wrote: “It would seem that Malaysians, or at least a certain section of the electorate, have been suffering under some kind of Stockholm syndrome when it comes to UMNO and the state’s security apparatus.

“Waking up the very real concerns of military involvement in the electoral process has resulted in renewed calls for UMNO political leaders and the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) to unambiguously declare that there will be a peaceful transition of power and that the impartiality of the MAF will remain sacrosanct.”

In my opinion, and I can assure readers on this, there is a growing discontent among the military establishment that the government of the day has for far too long has dragged the Malaysian Armed Forces into its political quagmire.

UMNO Red Shirt Goons

The NSC Act finally morphs UMNO from a right-wing political party into a militarised party, waiting to declare war on its enemies.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy.


9 thoughts on “UMNO has become a militarised party (?)

  1. PM Najib has forfeited all credibility from statements made by him and from his action :
    1. No Malaysian left behind – I think his walking around is all paved with gold and red carpet and he does not really see how many are left behind;
    2. Tampar by peaceful Bersih gathering while the unruly and seditious Red Shirts are allowed free rein;
    3. 1MDB – just explain in layman’s language the funds’ “IN” and “OUT”;
    4. Huge donation : first on donor, now multiple donors : who and why is the donor sending the money through SRC?
    5. Why paid assasins are penalised while the BOSS WHO order the ASSASINATION goes free;
    6. why do ministers give different answers on Bahasa textbooks;
    7. Why is commuter fare up 60% and LRT fares up 60%
    8. What happen to leadership by example. Oh, I forgot they are not true leaders.

  2. ALLAH is at last proven WRONG. There is NO GOD but ALLAH as our ISLAMIC belief ? A NEW GOD has just been CREATED in the face of NSC. Or, is this meant to be merely a BIG JOKE on the ISLAMIC BELIEF ? Hey, ULAMAAs, you being paid GAJI BUTA ?

  3. And we entertain thoughts of Malaysia becoming a class act! The Nazi brown shirts started like the red shirts of bolehland. In dribs and drabs until the whole nation was dragged into a war it could not win.
    I guess the next step in bolehland will be the burning of books followed by cries of sieg heil instead of salams. That would be a real quantum leap into the classic hell that the creeps in the UMNO leadership seem to want this country to descend into.

  4. Quote:- “…a militarised political party”

    I don’t know, but somehow the word “Nazi” pops into my mind when I read that.

  5. Chinese wisdom.
    Check out google translator.
    Words were spoken by Confucious contemporaries, essentially the same as per author of article.

    Sigh… unfortunately both mother land of this pendatang is facing the same ill faith.

  6. Speaking of Henry David Thoreau, anyone knows why he would say what he said about Chinamen and Malays in Civil Disobedience?

    Wassup with us Chinamen and Malays 🤔

    I saw to what extent the people among whom I lived could be trusted as good neighbors and friends; that their friendship was for summer weather only; that they did not greatly propose to do right; that they were a distinct race from me by their prejudices and superstitions, as the Chinamen and Malays are; that in their sacrifices to humanity, they ran no risks, not even to their property; that after all they were not so noble but they treated the thief as he had treated them, and hoped, by a certain outward observance and a few prayers, and by walking in a particular straight though useless path from time to time, to save their souls.

  7. All they care is power. They know nothing about building a nation. TM did try. In the middle of his 22yrs rein, our country was moving up. After that too much politiking within their own n component partys led our nation sliding down a little.
    After TM push for more power under his hand, then the nation really started to slide n slide. After changing hand, it didn’t help either. Another change hand has gone to worst.

  8. Rakyat has to understand that when such laws like NSC are made, its not just for one PM or in the near future.. Even if Najib does not abuse it to stay in power, there is every probability it will be used by someone else down the line.. Look at the line of leaders in UMNO and the probability NSC,. sooner or later. will not be abused is NEAR ZERO..

  9. The true irony, or tragedy, is that those members of parliament who voted for the NSC Bill actually voted to give away, with a mere show of hands, the very democratic power which they fought so hard to enter Parliament to defend.

    I don’t see how they could face their constituents, assuming they even visit their constituents at all.

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