BN must stay in tune with the middle class, says Musa Hitam

The Malaysian Insider
July 29, 2013

The Malaysian middle class is “no pushover”, and the Barisan Nasional (BN) must seriously address its concerns such as corruption and misuse of power, former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam told The Straits Times.

“When Malaysians are critical, it shouldn’t be dismissed as them being destructive or negative. We should respect them. The middle class today thinks very differently, and the challenge for the leadership is that it should be one step ahead but it has not even kept up,” the Singapore daily quoted him as saying in the republic.

“That is the problem. We (the government) have provided education to them, but yet, we’ve become less educated and haven’t changed our mindset,” he told The Straits Times in an interview on Thursday.

Malaysians have become considerably more vocal about their social, economic and political views and their demands of the government, the daily noted.

It said their disenchantment, particularly in the cities, can be gleaned from the outcome of the general election in May – BN was able to remain in power, but a significant chunk of the urban middle-class votes went to the opposition.

The 79-year-old Musa campaigned for BN at the recent polls in his home state of Johor, as did other party veterans but the ruling coalition only managed to get 133 federal seats in Election 2013, down seven from the 140 in the 2008 polls.

He also unflinchingly said the top Umno posts should be open for contest as that was in keeping with the basic principles of democracy.

“The argument that if you contest, it will divide the party, is nonsense,” he said bluntly.

“That is merely a political argument that serves the incumbents or those who worry about their positions,” he said in response to questions about whether the top posts in Umno ought to be challenged during the much-anticipated party polls to be held in a few months time.

This year’s party polls are crucial as they will decide the future of Malaysia’s leadership. Currently at the helm is party president Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. His deputy is Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who many perceive to be one of the challengers for Umno’s presidency, the paper said.

Musa was the country’s deputy prime minister and Umno’s deputy president between 1981 and 1986, when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was prime minister.

The articulate and generally well-liked former politician stepped down from his DPM post after a fallout with Dr Mahathir.

Except for a brief, failed attempt to return to politics shortly in a bid with Tengku Razaleigh at ousting Dr Mahathir in the 1987 Umno elections, Musa walked away from the political arena and has remained out of it. – July 29, 2013.

  1. #1 by Jefus on Monday, 29 July 2013 - 9:56 am

    Dr M had removed all that could challenge him, leaving a legacy of what we see today.
    And in his retirement spewed the divisive venom that we see now. He is a vindictive, twisted old man, showing his true colors.

  2. #2 by Loh on Monday, 29 July 2013 - 11:25 am

    ///“The argument that if you contest, it will divide the party, is nonsense,” he (Musa) said bluntly.///–the author

    Makahtir said that and according to Musa, it is nonsense.

  3. #3 by omeqiu on Monday, 29 July 2013 - 11:28 am

    Would you say the same thing when you were No, 2 ?

  4. #4 by yhsiew on Monday, 29 July 2013 - 12:15 pm

    Only power-crazed leaders would say, “If you contest, it will divide the party.”

  5. #5 by Bigjoe on Monday, 29 July 2013 - 2:03 pm

    How to stay in tune? Where in god world where you find their ideological patriach Mahathir, already the richest man in this country controlling many top business in the country, his MANY children MANY OF THEM ARE BILLIONAIRES TOO, – something Marcos, Suharto, Mubarak all failed to do AND YET, he complains his community’s economic problem is the Chinese economic control too much of the share????

  6. #6 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Monday, 29 July 2013 - 2:05 pm

    MonsterO’mamak, youre a nonsense.

    I didnt say that.

    Your ex deputy did.

    Just recently.

  7. #7 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Monday, 29 July 2013 - 2:06 pm

    Sanjeevan was shot.

    Now who in umno (pdrm is an extension of umno) is responsible?

  8. #8 by Winston on Monday, 29 July 2013 - 4:48 pm

    In the final analysis, it all boils down to the gravy train.
    That’s what the fight is all about.
    Whoever is in charge will have the largest share of the spoils.

  9. #9 by sheriff singh on Monday, 29 July 2013 - 5:02 pm

    ”… BN must stay in tune with the middle class, says Musa Hitam … ”.

    Why ? Why should they ?

    BN pays attention to the RURAL class for that is where the seats are, the seats that will keep them in power. The rural people seems to know what is best for the country.

    The more urban middle-class are just trouble makers who will bring the country down so they should best be ignored, side-lined. Musa should know better. After all he campaign in the more rural areas.

  10. #10 by Bigjoe on Monday, 29 July 2013 - 5:18 pm

    How to stay in tune when UMNO Youth shouting communist when what they object to is truth is Chinese died for this country and therefore equal to any other? Middle class fooled by any of this neanderthal nonsense they mouth off worst still by someone who is suppose to be the next generation leaders and supposedly “rehabilated” after they object he ‘short-cut’ via his father-in-law?

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