I recall attending a talk sometime ago where the presenter challenged us to see things as it is …… as opposed to as it was being portrayed.

It then fathomed upon me that the usual description for this scenario is that of …… ‘being in denial’.

Coincidentally (or an act of God!), I stumbled upon an article from a young UMNO politician who is known to be forthright with his views.

I need not elaborate further …….. just read on (the pics were inserted by me):


By: Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, Member of Parliament for Pulai and UMNO Pulai division chief

The recently concluded Umno general assembly came and went, offering little in terms of a new manifesto for the party. The public are disappointed with the lack of new policy initiatives. Many delegates, who had to sit through stale and uninspiring speeches, were left with little enthusiasm to return to their respective constituencies and rally their fellow members to prepare for the impending 13th general election.

The lack of ideas put forward by the members could also describe 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 claims to have the most support among the Malays, the largest ethnic group that is expected to make up about 60% of the population by 2020.

But for a party that claims to represent the majority race, it does not seem to be able to break away from the “Malays under siege” mentality and rhetoric it has used since the fight for independence to attract support. The party is frozen in time and seems paralysed in steering the nation through a more challenging future.

It has failed to offer new ideas to attract young Malays to support its ideology, which in recent years has drifted more to the right. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, through the 1Malaysia concept, has tried to bring Umno back to the centre of national politics where race and religious tolerance is at equilibrium.

But his message does not seem to resonate with the majority of the delegates and even among his Supreme Council members, who may have come to the conclusion that another occurrence of racial and religious strife is the best way to retain Malay power.

The underlying message from any of the speakers at this year’s general assembly was that the Malays are under threat from the non-Malay minority who are trying to grab power and overcome Malay supremacy by defeating Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN). The statements of many of the delegates contained strong racial and religious undertones aimed at the Malays to warn them of the threat posed by the non-Malays, especially the Chinese, who are said to be determined to take power.

Many were not even subtle in communicating their extreme views, especially when attacking the DAP, the everlasting bogeyman of Malaysian politics. The DAP was accused of using racial politics and inciting the Chinese to hate Umno and hence the Malays, whose interests Umno 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 without the support of the Malays. None of them offered any explanation why many Malays shunned Umno and 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 instead.

None of the speakers and top leaders bothered to raise the issue of corruption and financial mismanagement which is the main reason that many Malays, especially the young, reject the party. The silence over this issue was deafening in the light of the revelations over the National Feedlot Centre controversy, 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 away more and more Chinese voters. If this situation continues, the DAP can expect to win the 45 Chinese majority seats in Parliament and claim legitimacy in representing the country’s Chinese community.

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

Najib would become the first prime minister in history to be elected without the support of the majority of Chinese. He would have to consider the risks of being the leader of BN and prime minister under such circumstances.

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


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