Thursday, 13 January 2011
Many seemingly unrelated events point to a unified theme. Our nation is finally gripped in a loosening of controls and inhibitions. That is not good for UMNO which chooses to remain archaic and clings to the old ways. UMNO it seems thrive very well in a culture of subservience, inhibitions and controlled environment. In an undefined setting, its lost. Imagine if the new approach towards uplifting social consciousness and thought formation like crowdsourcing makes its way into Malaysia, where social actions arise from undefined social and organizational sources, UMNO will be finished.
The seizure of power in Perak for example is generally viewed as being made possible by the involvement of the Perak King. Despite the court's ruling, the people's court regards Zambry Kadir as a political usurper. He is an illegitimate and illegal MB.
It follows then, that whatever polices that Zambry Kadir formulated from the time he assumed power were illegal. The moneys appropriated and set aside from the consolidated fund and applied for a variety of purposes were also illegal.
Just recently, the appointment of the Selangor SS was also seen as being made possible by the intervention and involvement of the king of Selangor.
The two events resulted in a loosening of people's inhibitions. People are becoming emboldened to question the proper role of the constitutional monarchy. Let us be clear to what is happening here. People are pointing out to the fact that ours is a constitutional monarchy. It's not a call for the overthrow of the institution or a call for rebellion. It is suggestive of a larger desire by an increasing number of the population, to see that the proper rule of law and the sovereignty of the rule of law need to and should be observed. Pointing that out is not intended to derhaka to the monarchy.
The majority of Malays who did not vote for UMNO are now centered mostly in cities and towns. There is a magic ingredient in urban life. Maybe it's the Starbucks and Coffee Bean and Subway sandwiches culture. They are more mobile in their thinking and are less inhibitory in speech and actions. The younger generation of Malays in towns and cities hardly read newspapers. Those who continue to read are people like in my generation- the old school generation who needed something to engage our minds when sitting on the 'throne' every morning.
The younger generation surfs the internet. Those who are about to enter voting age are openly criticizing the much ballyhooed Islamic Fashion Show in Monaco. Monaco is famous for only one thing- it's the gambling capital of the world and the citadel of decadence and opulence. The younger generation of voting age can openly criticize the organizers and the patrons of that event.
These are the people who will never vote for UMNO and BN.
Again the common factor is the removal of inhibitions.
Those Malays who migrated into towns and cities adopt a very different culture from those Malays in villages and Kampong. They are less inhibited in their culture, ideas and actions. The recent Juara Lagu contest showed clearly the rise of a new Malay generation with a less inhibited culture. The young lass, Yuna for example while singing adorning a conservative dressing, displayed a readiness and willingness to also adopt new technology and a new styling in the choice of her song. The young lad, by the name of Tomok did a song and dance routine that was hardly conservative and Malay in its purity. Again, they symbolize the uninhibited.
The Malays dwelling in cities and towns and making up the increasingly bigger number of Malay voters are not accompanied by the inhibitive and controlling structures in the villages. In the village you have all sorts of institutional structures- the JKKK, the surau committee, the prevailing conservative and possibly religiously restraining social and cultural milieu.
You have little of these in cities. These structures are not replicated in towns and cities. You don't have the heavily politicized JKKK, the various personality centered grassroots organizations and that sort of thing. There is in general, a loosening cultural milieu in the cities and towns.
Yet these were the structures that made UMNO more successful than others in the villages and kampongs. Since these are not replicated in towns and cities, they also account for the loosening of UMNO's grip on the Malays.
Writing on the Industrial Revolution of the 1860s, Arnold Toynbee in his Lectures on the Industrial Revolution observed:-
The success of Britain in pioneering industrial change and ushering in a new world history was not the result of mere mechanical inventiveness. The essential ingredient was a political culture which was receptive to change and improvement. Old working practices had to be abandoned, old rights had to be torn up, and the whole social and economic fabric of a country had to be loosened up if innovations were to take effect. (From The Industrial Revolutionaries- The Making Of The Modern World, 1776-1914. Gavin Weightman.
UMNO doesn't seem to have what it takes to manage the loosening of the social and cultural milieu. Nor does it seem to have the presence of mind, the verve so to speak, to manage the change.
When UMNO sponsored or indirectly supported those wild eyed young men and women to shout violent outbursts and threatening verbal abuses against the so called traitors of certain Malay institutions, it only points out to one fact- that UMNO has lost its grip on the loosening and uninhibited future culture.
Since it doesn't understand and lacked the tools to manage the new social milieu, it can lose in the next GE.