This is a most startling claim from a veteran leader, the Foreign Minister in this malaysiakini article Rais: I've been asked to pay for my votes and indicates the extent to which some people are prepared to go to secure high office in UMNO.
It seems that such a practice has been going on for many years and he warns that this would destroy the organisation.
Money politics is one game that follows the rule
"If you can't beat them, join them."
The UMNO disciplinary board is a bit similar to the police as far as crime is concerned - maybe they catch 10% of all the crooked politicians that practise money politics and then only those out of favour with the top leaders.
In the good old days, it was difficult to get people to run for high positions as it involved great sacrifice and few benefits but see how the perception has now changed. People now see that leaders are linked to lucrative deals and can set up their families for life.
So money politics will be the bane of Malaysia untill voters reject such political parties.
On a practical note the long campaign period makes money politics easier as those vying can actually visit many key branches. Maybe that was what people were complaining about :
long campaign = more expensive votes!
How do we solve the problem?
Maybe as Rais says the party will be destroyed - that will happen when voters decide that like a malignant cancer, the party cannot be saved. It would be interesting to see if the next General Elections will bring about its demise.
It will then be the duty of the idealists like Rais to redeem the party when they sit in the Opposition.
I have no doubt that such an UMNO will be required as part of the BN to be the check and balance to the PAKATAN government.
Hopefully all those who backed the wrong horses would have lost their shirts off their backs and maybe more.
This is no more a problem for UMNO but for all Malaysians to ponder and resolve.