UMNO must learn the right lessons from DAP just as DAP must learn from the lessons of UMNO’s fall from a political party with clear-cut majority support of the Malays into a party securing only minority Malay support

Those who fancy themselves as the saviours of UMNO after UMNO’s historic defeat in the May 9, 2018 general elections, which reduced UMNO from a party enjoying clear-cut majority support of the Malays for 69 years since its formation into a party securing only minority Malay support, must draw the right lessons from DAP just as DAP must learn the lessons of UMNO’s fall from grace in the Malaysian political arena.

One of these “saviours”” has urged UMNO to emulate DAP although he immediately proceeded to distort the DAP’s objectives to resort to the politics of race, religion, hate, fear and lies which had failed so miserably in the 14GE – and which is the very opposite of what the DAP had been doing for five decades.

UMNO “saviours” must learn the right lessons from the DAP’s political struggle for Malaysia to become a top world-class nation and not draw the wrong and wildly bizarre lessons which only exist in the fevered imagination of cranks and opportunists!

But even more important, learn the lessons of UMNO’s fall from a political party with clear-cut majority support of the Malay into a party securing only minority Malay support – lessons which are also useful and relevant to DAP and Pakatan Harapan leaders to serve as a warning as to the fate that awaits them if they fail to live up to the hopes and expectations of the people in the 14th General Election.

Talking about the lessons of UMNO’s fall from grace, I am reminded of two images from past UMNO history.

Firstly, when the late Tunku Abdul Rahman took over the UMNO leadership from Onn Jaafar in 1951, the party had no money, and Tunku sold his house in Penang to fund the running of UMNO.

Sixty-seven years later, we do not have an UMNO President who had to sell his house to fund the running of UMNO, but instead, there was the international spectacle of hundreds of boxes of designer handbags and dozens of bags filled with cash and jewellery among the items taken away by police in raids at properties linked to the former Prime Minister’s family – which contained RM114 million in cash in 26 currencies and Birkin handbags each worth up to hundreds of thousands of dollars!

A recent video of the five “First Ladies” in world history who had notoriously squandered the people’s wealth is making the rounds in social media – with Rosmah Mansor, wife of Najib, ranked together with Asma al-Assad, wife of President of Syria; Grace Mugabe, wife of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe; Marie Antoinette, Queen of France in the 18th century whose opulence and extravagance triggered the French Revolution and Imelda Marcos, wife of President Marcos of Philippines.

At the end of May, the South China Morning Post published an article entitled “”Five leaders’ wives and their obscene shopping habits, from Rosmah Mansor and Grace Mugabe to Marie Antoinette”.

The second example is the ”swimming pool” story oft told by Najib’s brother, Nazir, as in the following article “Remembering my father, Tun Razak” in the Star on 14th January 2014:

“I recall the time when my brothers and I approached him one evening and asked that a swimming pool be built at Seri Taman, the Prime Minister’s residence where we lived.

“The lawyer that he was, he insisted that we make our case with logical and rational arguments.

“We did so, and thought we had presented the argument pretty well, until we noticed his face had started to darken, and the eyes flashed with annoyance.

“My father made it abundantly clear that while Seri Taman may be our home, the house belonged to the Government and, hence, to the people.

“Anything spent on it would have to come from public funds; and there was no way he was going to allow the state coffers to be depleted on something as frivolous as a swimming pool. “’What will the people think?’” he thundered.”

Ï have no doubt that Tun Razak would have been horrified by the 1MDB money-laundering scandal, and doubly so, that his son has brought the good name and standing of Malaysia to the depths of a “global kleptocracy”!

Can UMNO leaders learn the real reasons for the fall of UMNO from a great party 60 years ago into such a parlous and pathetic state today, where to be a leader and member of UMNO is no longer a matter of pride and patriotism but a badge of infamy and betrayal to the race and nation?

Will there be anyone in UMNO who dare to bell the cat to end its long-standing denial by adopting a categorical and no-nonsense motion to denounce the 1MDB scandal and Malaysia’s dishonour as a global kleptocracy?

Do this first, instead of laying claim to the RM116.7 million in funds from Najib recently seized by the Malaysian police.

Will UMNO make an inventory from all UMNO leaders, individuals, divisions and branches on the amounts of the 1MDB monies they had received from Najib, come clean and donate whatever “dirty money” they had received from Najib from 1MDB to Tabung Harapan Malaysia to help pay the trillion-ringgit national debt?

(Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah on Saturday, 14th July 2018)

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