Umno wants Guan Eng

The Malaysian Insider
May 21, 2011

MAY 21 — Many people have ridiculed former Biro Tatanegara chief (BTN) Tan Sri Nordin Kardi for suggesting that the Democratic Action Party (DAP) is a good fit for Barisan Nasional (BN).

According to the one-time advisor to Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Lim Kit Siang and company should join BN because their aspirations for a “Malaysian Malaysia” can be achieved under the prime minister’s 1 Malaysia.

That is a mixture of hyperbole and rubbish by the man who, as head of BTN, nurtured the chauvinism we witness in Umno today.

On the face of it, DAP joining BN is like the US Democrats teaming up with the Tea Party or the new reformers in Egypt joining up with Hosni Mobarak’s gang — an idea best kept in the category of impossible dreams.

But truth be told, elements of the Najib administration have been talking about bringing DAP into the fold for more than a year, ever since they realised that MCA and Gerakan have lost their pull with the Chinese.

These elements include corporate figures close to Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Presumably, they have offered to bankroll this endeavour.

Under this plan, the main approach would be made to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. Those in Najib’s circle believe that the carrot would be that Guan Eng could remain as the chief minister and would get the full financial backing of the federal government to develop Penang.

Senior positions in the Cabinet would also be offered to Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh to break down any resistance they have to joining up with their sworn enemies in BN.

A key principle of this plan — and its weakest — is the belief the old guard of DAP want to taste being in government before their passing and that Guan Eng will want to stitch up his political career before his father leaves the scene.

Underlying this “let’s get DAP in plan” is also the grudging respect for the party’s dynamism and the philosophy of Najib’s father that to make BN stronger, space must be made for more political players — even adversaries.

In recent months, some Najib insiders have again raised the value of getting DAP to join BN and have touched base with possible individuals who can broach the subject with the DAP leadership. Once again, the imperative seems to be to snag the Chinese vote and kill off Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and Malaysia’s nascent two coalition system.

On the surface, this plan does not have the broad support of Umno or BN component parties, especially the MCA and Gerakan. In fact, both these parties hinted at their animosity towards Lim Guan Eng’s government in Penang by trying to block several infrastructure projects signed during Chinese Premier’s Wen Jiaobao’s visit here.

In all likelihood, it is a plan hatched by some of Najib’s insiders and corporate players, who feel it will be a major boost for Najib if he manages to bring DAP into the fold and destroy PR in one fell swoop.

The PM appears aware of this idea, grand to some and utterly ridiculous to others.

Ridiculous because the DNA of DAP and BN is as dissimilar as can be. One is a political party which wants to abolish the ISA, OSA and a slew of restrictive legislation, while the other is a coalition which believes that its hold on power is synonymous with the continued existence of these laws.

Ridiculous because the DAP champions meritocracy and the dismantling of the architecture which creates second-class citizenship, while many elements in Umno believe inclusiveness begins and ends with a 1 Malaysia badge.

Ridiculous because the likes of Kit Siang and Karpal would prefer to be remembered as politicians who fought on principles and paid heavily for it rather than political opportunists looking for one last stab at fame and power.

But such is the low estimation at which MCA and Gerakan are held in Umno that some in Najib’s circle are willing to entertain the fantasy of getting DAP to join the BN.

That is why some, like Nordin Kardi, are willing to say that DAP’s much derided “Malaysian Malaysia” slogan is very much like 1 Malaysia.

It may very well be that. But that doesn’t mean DAP wants to join BN.

  1. #1 by lee wee tak_ on Saturday, 21 May 2011 - 4:23 pm

    then UMNO wants DAP not because of merit or rakyat diutamakan principle…but UMNO didahulukan, BN dibelakangkan dan rakyat tidak dihiraukan….

    if DAP join BN, then rule no 1 is UMNO is number 1 and lose your principles, balls and freedom of thoughts…independence and pride, there is no price on it…unless you are part of BN, I suppose

    why not UMNO leave BN and join PR as a junior partnet instead?

    seriously, after years of living as an outcast, would Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh & co are enticed by millions squeezed from all and sundry?

    is DAP a party of Hee Yik Fongs? I hope not and I am confident tat they are not.

  2. #2 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 21 May 2011 - 5:01 pm

    It was Nazri who called MCA the neglected wife. If that’s true then Gerakan & other component parties, its concubines. The household is not working well. UMNO looks across at DAP (wedded to PKR & PAS) as coveted target to join its retinue of concubines. DAP will be a celebrity wife for UMNO.

    This won’t happen if UMNO wants to initiate the union in order to preserve its position as lord of the realm (of concubines).
    Umno would be receptive to such an idea because it thinks that with DAP, through the BN,UMNO could still run things its own way.

    This idea proceeds on premise that it is the opposition that wants to share power, because the opposition can’t do it on its own. This is not correct. It presumes UMNO still has bargaining chip. If it has, why does it propose marriage to PAS, and having been turned down propose to DAP? The fact is that as it peers into the electoral future it is worried of its waning prospects. With the onward march of electoral enlightenment esp amongst younger voters it may eventually be dumped in dustbin of history with its prominent leaders having to account for their misfeasance.

  3. #3 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 21 May 2011 - 5:02 pm

    The reality is the Opposition (not UMNO) has the bargaining chips. It may not gain power on its own for now but with its 308 achievements & DAP’s growing popularity at MCA & Gerakan’s expense, UMNO with BN cannot have the majority to rule comfortably. The lack of bargaining power on UMNO’s part is why the idea of DAP taking its olive branch being highly rermote.
    The idea of BN + DAP to demolish PR is all to UMNo’s interest with all risks on DAP.

    The alternative idea of BN + PR in a national grand coalition is a notch less ridiculous than BN + DAP. For this to happen, UMNO has to tone down its Malay/Muslim policies & be more moderate. After all it need not compete with PAS for Muslim/Malay votes as PAS is, after merger, part of BN/PR coalition. Power – and the spoils of political patronage- will then have to be shared with Anwar, Hadi, LKS & Guan Eng Karpal & even Ku Li for broking the merger.
    If Najib were ever to think along these lines on advice of “corporate figures” that “ have offered to bankroll this endeavour” the other warlords in UMNO will immediately coalesce to depose him. They won’t want sharing power with anyone especially from the other side of the political divide. It is an idea that can proceed only if the numero ono has the personal power and force of character to sideline and depose of powerful warlords within his known party opposed to such sharing of power. Nothing we have seen so far indicates that he has it to do so.

  4. #4 by ktteokt on Saturday, 21 May 2011 - 7:19 pm

    How can a glass of water mix with a glass of oil? Even if they mixed, you know what you will get? A thick emulsion which is so viscous you can even pour it out of the container!

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 21 May 2011 - 7:32 pm

    BN + DAP Equation is good for the country only if UMNO willing to accede to the more multiracial terms of DAP’s conditions for entry. Just giving DAP’s stalwarts positions is not good enough. They don’t put in all these years of sacrifice to be bribed by positions just so to bolster UMNO’s hegemony and playing substitute as one concubine for the other. If UMNO were willing to tone down its chest beating on racial/religious lines (upon DAP’s terms) – get rid of its extremists- in exchange for DAP’s divorce from fundamentalist PAS & PKR (same DNA as UMNO anyway), all or the sake of the country shifting back to the moderate centre – then the equation is more interesting to think about. At this moment it is hard to see how it can come about because UMNO only wants to rope in those prepared to bow to its hegemony in exchange for crumbs of power, ie its own terms.

  6. #6 by limkamput on Saturday, 21 May 2011 - 9:52 pm

    What are you fellows talking about? The Two-party system must be allowed to evolve and take root in this country. The loyalty of the people is to whichever party who can provide the best policies and programmes for the country. Bringing adversaries into a coalition, as what Razak did, is crap – it is a mean to stifle credible opposition so that abuse of power can go on and on. Read my lips, if DAP falls into this trap, this country will be doomed. It is not BN and UMNO per se that are useless. It is the simple party system and inbreeding that caused moronic leadership to the present government. If PR comes into power, I am sure UMNO and other BN parties will rejuvenate and bring about genuine reforms with good leaders coming into its fold.

  7. #7 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 22 May 2011 - 11:49 am

    It is of course a “trap” for the DAP to cause racture in PR unity – when invitation is based on UMNO’s terms of entry where quid pro quo is the offering of a niche in the gravy train (thus trying to corrupt & tame DAP’s stalwarts) but not a reversal of its moribund and failed policies.

    The reason why even Dr A Farish Noor thought about this prospect of BN +DAP equation is because it appears a realistic if DAP displaces MCA/Gerakan in terms of non malay representation and secondly it may help moderate politics of ruling coalition if the DAP has bargaining power to dictate terms of entry to moderate UMNO’s policies (highly remote). Thats about it.

    Evolution of 2 party/coalition system, that is Ok if by this system the Opposition can win or even without winning but exerting the pressure to make ruling coalition’s policies more moderate. The latter appers not happening, quite the opposite, when its threatened. Aftr 308, the ruling coalition’srhetoric & policies got more extreme, and we see the emergence of ethnic based NGO mouth pieces like Perkasa to take over UMNO’s Youth role without restraint.

  8. #8 by limkamput on Sunday, 22 May 2011 - 12:32 pm

    Wise guy, before 308 it is not like UMNO or BN were not extreme; it is because there was no need for Perkasa at that time. Now, UMNO want to have the cake and eat it too, that is why they need Perkasa. Steady lah sikit bila nak bagi pendapat. Jangan bagi analisis mengikut sekolah atap lah.

  9. #9 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 22 May 2011 - 12:47 pm

    Sorry I don’t have a bi-polar brain to follow point from the Kampung Attap’s analysis.

  10. #10 by boh-liao on Monday, 23 May 2011 - 1:25 am

    Well, UmnoB believes in “lead me 2 temptation” n “everyone can b bot @ a price”
    Furthermore, UmnoB is virile n can hv more than 1 wife (n can satisfy seksually all wives)
    So, DAP what r U waiting 4? Quickly say buy bye 2 PKR n PAS, n jump in2 d bed of UmnoB n seek solace in UmnoB’s bosoms, uhmm…
    DAP kaki mayb appointed as DPM n Ministers 1, whao, power n $$$$, syiok lor
    Y r U waiting, DAP?!

You must be logged in to post a comment.