NO CALAMITY can ever befall the earth, and neither your own selves, unless it be [laid down] in Our decree before We bring it into reality: verily, all this is easy for God. [Know this,] so that you may not despair over whatever [good] has escaped you nor exult [unduly] over whatever [good] has come to you: for, God does not love any of those who, out of self-conceit act in a boastful manner – those who are niggardly [with God’s bounty] and bid others to be niggardly!

AL – HADID (22-24)



The most important ingredient in the reform package of UMNO must surely lie in the reeducation and retraining of its cadres and members!


In his address to the Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings, the incoming President Dato’ Seri Najib stressed the need for more courses to be organised for the improvement of UMNO members. In the outgoing President’s address Dato’ Seri Abdullah urged members to initiate change within themselves as much as within the party.


In-house training is a basic programme run by corporate organisations. Multinationals like Shell, Nestle, GE and HP have regular courses and workshops with the aim of empowering their personnel with skills and knowledge to boost the company’s performance. Nearer home, Petronas and the country’s GLCs have in place staff training to create awareness of changing patterns in the marketplace and how to effectively deal with them.


As part of the circuit, local and international gurus are invited as facilitators. Even universities and institutions of learning have adopted corporate organisational structures  to run with greater efficacy and efficiency, with on-going programmes to expose academic staff to management and corporate best practice. Image-building and the establishment of a credible corporate/ institutional culture is a key element in these programmes.


The continuous training of key management personnel and heads of departments will filter down to their staff and so the corporate mission, goals and culture will be entrenched and reinforced. Only then can the organisation boast of having the interest of its staff at heart. Only then will they be motivated to give their best performance and loyalty!  


UMNO leaders have sat on their responsibilities for far too long. Political rhetoric is no longer an effective tool to bring about the promised change and reform. Too much talk is boringly circular and has been to no avail as the current slide in the party’s performance shows.


In fact, the conflicting views are confusing and potentially destructive! When one leader condemns money politics and another calls for a standing ovation for a member who has been convicted, the delegates at the recent general assembly were left directionless!


What UMNO must implement immediately in all the wings is a structured programme for all levels of the party organisation starting with the EXCO and Supreme Council, the branch and division heads and their committees. Mobilise the best minds in the country’s think tanks, NGOs and academia to work with the top party leadership and come up with a strategic training programme. These facilitators must come from outside of the party’s structure in order for the desired change in UMNO’s culture and thinking to happen.


Among the areas that need immediate attention is ethics and decorum, including the proper use of language for communication and political discourse. This is a course that the Members of Parliament must also be compelled to attend.




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