Umno Baru at a crossroads again

Nur Jazlan Mohamed
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 10, 2011

DEC 10 — The recently concluded Umno General Assembly came and went and offered little in terms of the new manifesto of the party. The public were disappointed with the lack of new policy initiatives. Many Umno delegates who had to sit through many stale and uninspiring speeches were left with little enthusiasm to return to their respective constituencies to rally their fellow members in preparation for the impending 13th General Election soon.

The uninspiring lack of ideas put forward by the members best describes the state of the party at the moment. Umno has the largest base of members and voters of any political party in the country. It is the party that claims to have the most support from the Malay population which is the largest ethnic group and expected to be about sixty per cent of the population by 2020.

But as a party that claims to represent the majority race in the country , it doesn’t seem to able to break away from the “Malay under siege mentality” rethoric it has used since the fight for independence to attract support from the public. The party is frozen in time and is paralysed to steer the nation through a more challenging future.

The party has failed to offer new ideas to attract the young Malays to support its idealogy which in recent years has drifted more to the right. The Prime Minister, Dato Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, through the concept of One Malaysia has tried to bring Umno back to the centre space of national politics where race and religious tolerance is at equilibrium.

But his message doesn’t seem to resonate with the majority of the delegates and even among his bench of Supreme Council members who may have come to a conclusion that another event of racial and religious strife in the country is the best way to retain Malay power.

The underlying message from many of the speakers at this years General Assembly was that the Malays were under threat from the minority group of non Malays who were trying to grab power and overcome Malay supremacy by defeating Umno and Barisan Nasional. The statements made by many of the delegates had strong racial and religious undertones aimed at the Malay population to alert them to the threat posed by the non Malays especially the Chinese who are determined to take power.

Many of them were not even subtle in communicating their extreme views especially when attacking the DAP , the everlasting bogeyman of Malaysian politics. The DAP were accused of playing racial politics and inciting the Chinese to hate Umno and hence the Malays which interests it protects.

But the speakers failed to mention that it is impossible for the Chinese who represent about a quarter of the country’s population to take power in the country without the support of the Malays. None of them offered any explanation on why many Malays shunned Umno and had decided to vote for Pakatan Rakyat in 2008. None of them wanted to admit the weaknesses of Umno that caused a significant number of Malays to choose Pakatan as their preferred government.

None of the speakers and the top leaders of the party bothered to raise the issue of corruption and financial mismanagement which is the main reason for many Malays especially young to reject the party. The silence on the issue was deafening in the light of the revelations from the National Feedlot centre issue which involves a senior leader of the party.

The DAP is in an excellent position to take advantage of the situation. The anti-Chinese message from Umno is driving more and more Chinese voters away from it. If this situation continues , the DAP can expect to win the forty five Chinese majority seats in the country’s parliament and claim legitimacy to represent the Chinese community in the country.

The Chinese community may decide to dump MCA and Gerakan for the DAP. The MCA and Gerakan would be history and the Barisan Nasional would consist of Umno and the Sabah and Sarawak coalition partners. Barisan Nasional would lose its legitimacy as the party that represents all the races and religions in the country.

Dato Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak would become the first Prime Minister in history to be elected without a majority of Chinese support. He would have to consider the risks of being the leader of Barisan Nasional and Prime Minister without the support of the majority of the Chinese population.

He may have to consider extending the olive branch to the DAP just as his late father Tun Abd Razak Hussein did to the then opposition Gerakan party in 1970 for the sake of achieving overall national unity. If that happens, will it come at a price that Umno can accept?

Will Umno have to swallow its pride again?

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 10 December 2011 - 8:26 pm

    If you look at the GA this year, this UMNO Baru looks nothing like the original. They are towkays, towkay politik, not politicians, not leaders – they have nothing in common with the folks in the village, the original people of teachers, farmers and fisherman that made the original UMNO.

    Mahathir said that India would be like China if it was less democratic. Why don’t he ask, Malaysia would be like Singapore if UMNO was less corrupted?

  2. #2 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 10 December 2011 - 8:43 pm

    Bigjoe, Tun M has already said he has nothing to learn from Singapore’s LKY. He said so recently LeeKuanYew can say whatever he likes, it makes no difference to him. The entire world wants to listen to LKY’s experience and wisdom. People are tired of Tun M’s badmouthing everybody as if the whole world is sick and that Dr in the House is the only one sane and healthy. But we all know the truth. Mahathir has to wake up. His wit has always carried a poison-tip, his ideas soaked in vested interests. Now a late octogenarian, Mahathir should perhaps just be a little more mellow and slow to speak but quick to think carefully and be moderate and equiatble. We have not seen such a man since he feign all those goodness and drip with tolerance and ooze multi-racial charm in an affected and insincere way during his overstay in Malaysian politics.

    Nur Jazlan, it’s a little too late for UMNO. The rot has eaten away its core. It’s a huge tragedy of Greek proportions; but that’s the naked truth. Najib spews forth so much gibberish and cliches of the right kind but when you see a rat, you actually smell it a mile away. Jib is a no-brainer despite whatever degree and experience he has had. You can tell. Look at what he says: Intellectual capital determines a country’s success. Tell that to a 5-yr old boy; he knows. Then tell that to an adult, he will say look at the malaysian education system. Oh najib, najib, intel;lectual capital is founbded on a good education system-lah. Bodohnya. Look at Muhyiddin, yr chief clown in the MOE. Now tell me what intellectual capital u r talking about.

    The malays should make a bonfire with UMNO for all the neglect, abuse and misinformatioon-UMNO is so full of cartoons.

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Saturday, 10 December 2011 - 8:53 pm

    ///they have nothing in common with the folks in the village….///

    Very soon Umno will become an exclusive club of the elite bearing no relevance to people on the street if they continue to practice institutionalized racism and turn a blind eye to corruption and financial mismanagement.

  4. #4 by monsterball on Saturday, 10 December 2011 - 9:19 pm

    UMNO b is now a party protecting his minority Malays member from the minority Malays plus the combined minority other races.
    The Judgement Day for a party to keep fooling Malaysians for decades is coming to an end.
    Malaysians want unity and free from corruptions…and the lies and half truths ..arrogance and low class politics under Najib makes Malaysians not only want a change in the government…but sick of Najib’s lies and flip flopping and hypocrisy …that insults the intelligence of his own race.
    Najib will bring the end of UMNO b….in all ways.

  5. #5 by monsterball on Saturday, 10 December 2011 - 9:21 pm

    Najib will bring the end of UMNO b all ways.

  6. #6 by Loh on Saturday, 10 December 2011 - 9:56 pm

    ///DEC 10 — The recently concluded Umno General Assembly came and went and offered little in terms of the new manifesto of the party. The public were disappointed with the lack of new policy initiatives. Many Umno delegates who had to sit through many stale and uninspiring speeches were left with little enthusiasm to return to their respective constituencies to rally their fellow members in preparation for the impending 13th General Election soon.///–Nuz Jazlan Mohamed

    UMNO continues to have the only manifesto, the NEP. It would be a joke to have the government draw inspirations from the party to see how the country is run. That is especially so in a race-based party where the relevant issue is us against them. They have said it for the past 54 years, and though a monkey keeps typing on a typewriter might produce a Shakespeare play, the manifesto produced by UMNO would be trying to get benefits out of doing nothing.

    Najib knows very well that the gang of 4,000 in the great hall needs only to work during the next few months to continue brainwashing their neighbours when they get home that the race is under attack, the religion is also under attack. As soon so UMNO retains power again, the gangsters can help themselves to their hearts’ content. What was surprising is that Najib included the Rulers under the protection list. Perhaps Najib believed that Malays forget easily and that Malays might have forgotten that it was Mamakthir who demonized the rulers which led to the amendment to the constitution and in establishing a special court to try Rulers on their personal capacity. Najib might want Malays to believe that it was DAP which initiated the constitutional amendments.

    A race-based party was needed to show the British that the country could unite for Independence. After independence, the race-based parties were the source of conflicts. UMNO claimed that Malays were mainly in the rural areas at the time of independence, and that because of the lack of educational opportunities that there were only 5% Malays professionals compared to other races. The early UMNO leaders did not reflect on the fact that Malay professionals were mainly the the indigenous Malays whereas professionals of non-Malays were those who came into the country to offer their skills much like our trained manpower leaving our shores. Most of the non-Malays professionals were not trained locally, since local of all races had limited education opportunities. The so-called urban areas 60 years ago is not very much different from the so-called rural areas we have now. Though these non-Malay professionals chose to take this country as their home, and they were at most a few hundreds, the other 2.5 million Chinese and 700,000 Indians were not professionals. It was wrong to have penalize non-Malays youth in restricting their educational opportunities for Malays to catch up. Had it been true that the British had favoured non-Malays, there would have been proportionately more non-Malays in the civil services. But Malays dominates in the civil services and it was true that even Turks were treated as Malays. The different treatments to the citizens based on race was the seed of racial polarization, and NEP nurtured it on the path to ruins.

    Unless race-based political parties disappear, this nation will be at the bottom among the countries in whatever grouping it cares to join. Najib has no intention to change UMNO. His father moved the country to a precipice and Mamakthir just pushed it over.

  7. #7 by Loh on Saturday, 10 December 2011 - 10:09 pm

    ///Even if the country produces one or two geniuses, the impact to the nation would be tremendous.///–Najib. Malaysiakini

    Najib must have meant it to be genius from a particular race. He knew that NEP sends millions of non-Malays emigrating and yet he said that NEP did not harm non-Malays. NEP has clearly reduced the chance of having local genius. But then having non-Malay genius would be a challenge to government policies which need NEP to balance the quality of the people, by race. Wouldn’t a Malay genius cause a sense of jealousy among rural Malays?

    I recall a newspaper reported that a Malay boy was murdered because his classmates did not like him for being outstanding in class.

  8. #8 by yhsiew on Saturday, 10 December 2011 - 10:27 pm

    ///The DAP is in an excellent position to take advantage of the situation. The anti-Chinese message from Umno is driving more and more Chinese voters away from it.///

    DAP must do its utmost in the coming 13th GE to stretch its olive branch to people whom Umno has despised and rejected – the Chinese, Christians, worker unionists, LGBTiQ and students barred from participating in politics. By so doing, DAP not only provides hope to these people but also enables the party to strengthen its voter base.

  9. #9 by sotong on Sunday, 11 December 2011 - 2:00 pm

    If there is any injustice, it has been addressed.

    Now everyone in power is for himself/herself.

  10. #10 by waterfrontcoolie on Monday, 12 December 2011 - 7:33 am

    The Super-Ego does not give any advice for free; just remember that. All the so-called privatized projects had been done with some motive for his cronies which are then linked back to vested interests. If anyone cared to check the disappearance of the nearly $600 million cash which was accumulated at PKA before 2000, the truth will be known. This isn’t different from the Cow-gate ot any other Gates done in this country. All our negotiated tenders are a few folds above market values. BN is so desperate that in spite of the availability of evidence of their wrong doings from inside the Gomen machinery, they continue to do it without blinking an eyelid. Of course, many ignorant, yes many will be blinkered again by the $500 a vote offer. If they are thinking, they should realize that this is the money which should be theirs if not for all the swindling that is going on. My only hope is take the cash but VOTE wisely! We have reached a stage where those who are enjoying their perks will join them by reminding the raayat to stay ” UNITED” for the same shit all these years! So much for their concern of the raayat!!

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