Monday, 17 January 2011
People don't seem to realize that I often write on UMNO with a view of reminding our leadership on what I think should be done. If the intention is misconstrued or misunderstood, perhaps the fault is mine.
When I criticize some business deals which I think are suspicious, UMNO people shouldn't get upset. If they do, people might construe their opposition as support for shady deals, abuse of power, bad governance and corruption. UMNO is against all these. If they defend UMNO on these counts, they are entrenching the idea that UMNO is inherently bad.
The problem I think stems from claiming ownership of whatever UMNO people do. UMNO shouldn't have this culture- UMNO my party right or wrong. It should be UMNO my party does what is right.
This is clearly a wrong position to take. We should not claim ownership of bad things UMNO people do. We should join in condemning them because we want UMNO to remain a party of integrity.
We have a strange situation now. I think, in general, despite whatever UMNO supporters say, there hasn't been any perceptible move towards re embracing UMNO. People in general mistrust UMNO. UMNO hasn't shed off its arrogance and bully tactics. Its showing it is incapable of dealing with dissenting views and does not have the credentials to deal with the future. How has UMNO approached dissenting views and opposition? By making endless police reports. The police should not be used as an oppressive tool by UMNO.
What is the main hindrance stopping UMNO from controlling the future? Chiefly because it doesn't understand the meaning of the future. The future is not something that's to be announced or declared. It is something that is to be achieved. Meaning- it exists on a set of actions. Doing something about it rather than talking.
Hence, it is something when we declare the NEM, the ETP, GTP and that EPPs, etc. we have only begun declaring them. We haven't set out achieving them yet. That's a different matter.
Hence, UMNO people think they have control over the future just BECAUSE they are the first to announce it?
In an earlier article, I have cited 2 main reasons as to why UMNO can lose the next elections. First, they haven't replicated the factors that made them successful in villages and rural areas in the urban areas. This is because; it is the urban areas that are becoming the forward bases of Malay politics. Second, the generational disconnect between UMNO and the younger generation. UMNO hasn't developed the tools to handle these things.
Thus, you have a situation where UMNO is defeatable.
Those people condemning Anwar Ibrahim of his whatever inside PKR do not automatically jump over to UMNO or their opposition necessarily translates into support for UMNO. We must learn this once and for all- allegiance to UMNO is not given, it must be earned. And 'be earned' means must come about as a result of some positive action on the part of UMNO. It doesn't get allegiance as a result of default from the other side.
When I point out to the weaknesses of UMNO's strategy of tacking the future, people get upset. But they can't express their upset beyond saying I am useless or two-faced or turncoat or something. How do you win over people if you use this approach?
I am merely pointing out the possible fault lines. I see a general trend in mistrusting UMNO by the younger generation. I see deep disillusionment by the older generation with UMNO.
And the worst thing that UMNO can do is to stick to the archaic belief that UMNO is Malay and Malay is UMNO. Malays don't believe that anymore. Our Malay-ness is not dependent on being UMNO. As long as we are Malay, we are capable of articulating our interests. We have gone past assigning the role of articulating our interests to UMNO because it has failed to live up to expectations.
Here is an even stranger thing. The main problem with the opposition parties is they haven't gone beyond the act of doing more than just winning a large number of seats. It would be a mistake if they thought, the fact they won initially 82 seats, those wins came about as a result of an intrinsic hatred for BN and UMNO. The people made a rational decision based on the years of bullying and arrogance by the BN ruling parties. I am not willing to concede the rejection as being driven about by deep-seated animosities but rather, they are driven by informed and conscious evaluation of the choices opened to them. The point is, the people can also form the same judgment on the opposition parties.
So beyond just relishing and basking in the aftermath of what could actually be an election fluke, the opposition parties have not been able to get together and act as a cohesive unit. PAS and DAP mistrust each other and PKR is being burdened by Anwar's own personal controversies.
We have a sort of stalemate really. How then can we break from this impasse?
What's lacking is perhaps a central rallying figure with the stature that is believable by the majority of people and parliamentarians. We may need perhaps a figure, a unifying symbol as it were acceptable to PAS, DAP, PKR and progressive minded people within UMNO who are united by the idea of the greater good for this country as whole.
What's also lacking perhaps is a cohesive manifesto or plan or agenda that say what is to be done for Malaysia.