A security personnel walks past a logo of United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) ahead of its party's annual General Assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur on November 24, 2014. The Malaysian Insider/Najjua Zulkefli

Malaysians understand their politics better than anyone else. They know bad leadership is causing untold misery. Workers worked long hours and do extra jobs to earn more money. They understand bad management has caused the cost of living to skyrocket. The cost of foodstuffs has gone up intolerably. The Kembong fish costs RM20-22 a kilogram. Medium sized squids cost between RM34-40 per kilo. The cheaper fish cost RM12 per kilo.

Najib of course says these are cheap. He didn’t have to scrounge for a living, never having to worry about piling up bills. The car installment is always 2 months behind. Paying just so it won’t reached 3 months preventing repossession. The creditors are now merciless.

Yes, Malaysians understand their politics better than the economist magazine. They know bad leadership leads to bad government. They know they have to kick out Najib and UMNO. Oh yes, they know about Najib and his dog-whistle politics. Saying something but meaning different things to different crowd. To the common man, palliatives, to other select groups, chance to pillage more.

So they can discount the favourable reports by The Economist Magazine. The Magazine said that Najib will win hands down. Where did the Magazine’s people get their information? From the PM’s media people?

Probably they were fed misinformation from the PM media people. That is how they operate- meeting up with Economist Magazine’s people for late hours tete-a-tete. The media people from the PM office are shy people- giving their meetings an air of secrecy and seriousness.

Or information from the chattering classes? The smoked salmon crowd dining at KL’s Nobu restaurant? Did they listen to the limousine liberals?
So, we will let them get way with the airy fairy narrative of Malaysian politics.

On the ground, we know UMNO will get a licking this time. We will comment on that in the future. In the meantime, let us answer Najib’s prospective blackmailing- warning the Malays, they will become destitute if UMNO loses.

First, it was the UMNO ketua Puteri. She is leader of those nubile young ladies who are used as frontdesk workers by UMNO. These ladies would walk tantalisingly in front of the older UMNO delegates during its annual assembly, ogled and salivated at by the men delegates. They liked it. The older lady delegates despised them.
Its chief says, Malay life depends on UMNO. Right thinking Malays feel offended by the statement. People don’t like seeing UMNO deified. Its not something Malays who are Muslims, worshiped.

Now, it is the turn of the UMNO president. He says, Malays will be the wretched of the earth if UMNO loses. It reminds us of Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth- the top Malay leaders say Chinese, the middle level say inese, the bottom level say ese. The message is lost in transition- what’s left, is the hatred for all things Chinese without knowing the real story.

The Chinese are not helping matters too- challenging everything because the proposition comes from a Malay dominated government and a Malay dominated civil service, thereby affirming the impression that Malays are being challenged by a Chinese group. The reaction of the Malay, even if he does not support the embezzler-in-chief- is to embrace UMNO because, it’s the lesser evil compared to the yellow peril.

That would be another story though.

We heard it again. It is repeated by PM Najib, this time with a bit of finesse. Earlier, the head of Puteri UMNO says, Malay life depends on UMNO. That was an incredible claim and reflected the typical UMNO hubris.

UMNO is the guardian, the Malays its ward. Or UMNO the warden, Malays its prisoner. UMNO is the life giver. It means, without UMNO, little children Malays cannot survive.

The fallacy is easily demolished. For years Kelantan was ruled by incompetent PAS. But Malays there survived in spite of PAS’s incompetence. Because the Kelantanese learn to depend on themselves. It is they who defined who they are. Not the pas mullahs. Not the UMNO warlords. They understood the meaning of freedom and independence and personal responsibility.

UMNO does not rule Selangor. Malays are better in Selangor than elsewhere. In Penang, Malays have survived and indeed prospered without UMNO.
Let us take the example of the recent outcry by Malay traders in Penang. The Malay traders who made a lot of noises and screamed blue murder at being evicted or chased out were those who did businesses without license and who transgressed many regulations. They wanted to have things free. So they shout out racial discrimination.

Their lies were quickly exposed. The facts speak for themselves. Out of those traders subjected to enforcement laws of various kinds, 52% were Chinese and 34% Malays. Out of those who traded without licenses, 49% are Malays and 37% are Chinese.

The Malays must take responsibility over themselves. Don’t let people like Najib define who we are or allow UMNO to dictate our future and destiny.
Now, PM Najib, the embezzler-in-chief, the man who solves everything by buying out his way, says Malays will be destitute if UMNO loses. The literal translation of merempat should be the wretched of the earth.

That shows how lowly, this Malay PM thinks of his own race. Hapless creatures that can’t survive if UMNO is not around. You are wrong Mr PM. it is UMNO that cannot survive without Malay support.

The expression by Najib comes from a person who is clueless and deficient in reading. Once again, this is a fallacy. The expression Malays will be destitute if UMNO loses is an affront to the idea of a freeman. The free Malay man does not see UMNO as something over and above him, defining him, dictating who he should be. The free Malay man asks no favours from umno other than demanding UMNO be their instrument to achieve the greater good for society.

The free Malay man regards UMNO and the government as neither a grantor of favours and gifts, nor a master or God to be blindly worshiped and served.
The free Malay man, who recognises and knows the concept of personal responsibility, will ask the question stated by the economist Milton Friedman;

“How can we keep the government we create from becoming a ‘Frankenstein’ that will destroy the very freedom we establish it to protect?“”
“Freedom is a rare and delicate plant. Our minds tell us, and history confirms, that the great threat to freedom is the concentration of power. Government is necessary to preserve our freedom – it is an instrument through which we can exercise our freedom; yet by concentrating power in political hands, it is also a threat to freedom. Even though the men who wield this power initially be of good will and even though they be not corrupted by the power they exercise, the power will both attract and form men of a different stamp.”

And so, in defiance to the concept of the freeman, UMNO becomes the guardian, the Malays its ward. UMNO has been deified and the Malays must worship UMNO. Malays are told to be loyal to UMNO and by extension to its leaders.

Whereas, UMNO is not something above the existence of Malays. Malays ought to have realised, that UMNO is only an instrument. They Malays ought to have asked, what can they acting through UMNO as an instrument achieve? Most important of all, Malays ought to have asked, what measures must they take, to stop

UMNO from threatening the freedom of the Malays?

What should freedom mean to the Malay? It means he is free to determine the outcome of his fate. He must accept and recognise that any calamity that befalls him is the result of his own efforts or nonfeasance. He has omitted to do some acts which he ought to have done.

Therefore man is responsible over himself. By extension, the Malay is responsible on the outcome of his conduct or non-conduct. This responsibility cannot be contracted out to UMNO.

Similarly the Malay is responsible over his own achievements. He gets what he has laboured for. He is not given bounties by other person. UMNO doesn’t give him anything other than facilitating what he is entitled to. Entitlement and rights are what we have fought for worked for and gave efforts to. There is no such thing as a free lunch.