Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Saving the Malays from UMNO

The 2011 UMNO General Assembly is over and if you are an UMNO delegate, it is difficult not to be affected by the rhetoric that thundered throughout the PWTC venue on a daily basis that went on for five whole days! It is not business as usual for UMNO because they are readying themselves to do battle to “defend Putrajaya”. For sure, UMNO are on a war footing! If the three million UMNO members close ranks, they would be formidable. UMNO are counting on numerical superiority to hold onto the reins of government. They believe they are the government, now and forever!

UMNO have ruled the country for fifty-four years, yet Malaysians are still talking the language of race and religion. You would think that, by now, we would have a national agenda that promises unity and cohesion.

Well, we do not! Malaysia's dominant party have no agenda. Put aside the non-Malays because we are not a priority. So what do they intend to do for the Malays? Other than to disguise their true intentions and then go on to plunder and loot and rob the country blind? Their primary goal is to enrich the UMNO-putras and –putris so that this privileged clique of Malays can sit on prodigious wealth without having to engage in hard work.

And when these UMNO Malays assemble once a year, what do they do? Spend all the time to wham, whack and wallop their political rivals, i.e the Pakatan fellas! Scream abuse at them. Shout insults at them. Pour scorn on them.

The DAP received the brunt of UMNO’s opprobrium. Why is that, you may ask? UMNO fears DAP! The answer is as simple as it is complex.

PKR are weak and if you take away Anwar Ibrahim, they may find themselves even more weakened. They have to re-discover their own relevance in the big scheme of things. PAS are well, PAS – you cannot get rid of them but they cannot be more than what they are today. Unless they shed their sanctimonious piety. Why must they be pretentiously and at the same time, stubbornly godly? More importantly, PKR and PAS are viewed by UMNO as beatable.

But DAP can possibly be a genuine challenger for Malaysian middle class votes. Just turn our eyes toward Penang. Lim Guan Eng manages a frugal and clean government and genuinely promotes the welfare aspects of a social democracy – and which in turn benefits the poor and down-trodden, and this includes the Malays. At the business level, he is presiding over a remarkable revival of the state’s commerce and industry through boosted FDIs. Penangites have earned our envy.

Putrajaya UMNO Youth chief Zaki Zahid described this year’s UMNO general assembly as “a war drum assembly”. DAP-bashing became a popular activity because UMNO needs an enemy, real or imagined.

UMNO Deputy President Muhyiddin Yassin led the DAP bombardment when he gladly took up the cudgels and branded the DAP as anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-royals. In fact, he hinted that DAP wanted to abolish the system of Malay sultanates and set up a republic instead. UMNO information chief Ahmad Maslan brashly said that DAP would seize power if the elections produce a hung parliament and lead to an unstable government. Najib was not innocent either. His dire warning during his Thursday speech, where he told Malays not to be complacent as "among leaders of the opposition are those who incited slogans to insult Malays that led to the May 13 tragedy," showed that he too played the race card and he was gamely trying to scare the Chinese into voting BN or as the blogger “Maaran Matters” suggested that Najib was “plotting a reprisal to cling to power in case his party lost the coming general election”.

I suppose this is UMNO’s grand strategy – by attacking DAP, they hope to awaken the sense of crisis among the Malays; that unless the Malays turn to UMNO, they will lose everything! UMNO is capitalizing on Malay insecurities with grandiose threats that are clearly fallacious, false and fictitious.

What is really missing from this year’s debates are the serious subjects that should tackle the many socio-economic challenges facing the Malay community – many of which are due to bad governance, abuse of power, corrupt practices and disquieting injustice. Even as a non-Malay, I am alarmed and disturbed that UMNO’s diligent exertions during decades of BN rule have managed to successfully mould a dependent body politic that will readily accept scraps that are thrown from the table.

UMNO are deceiving the Malays, even if the latter don’t know it! The reality is that today’s UMNO cannot help it because their only concern is about their own survival and to survive, they must depend on the acquiescence of the Malays. As blogger Mohd Ariff Sabri (or as he is popularly referred to by the nom de plume, Sakmongkol AK47) explained in his blog (http://sakmongkol.blogspot.com/) yesterday and which I am reproducing here:

"UMNO gets on by making Malays believed that they being besieged attacked, assaulted and victimized. That’s how UMNO can survive. How does it do that?

By fabricating lies and manufacturing stories. The Chinese are going to eat you up. The Chinese are going to Christianize you. They are going to wipe out the sultans, ban use of Bahasa Malaysia, and abolish Jawi and so forh. You feed on people’s irrational fear. You want to maintain stupid and mute people.

Can you sustain whole people like that? – turning people into xenophobes? I say this, this is a recipe for destroying Malays, not cultivating them to become self-confident people. What kind of political party and government by extension, that keeps its people on a leash and drumming into them a debilitating dependent mindset? I say this is a party not interested in cultivating people."

Hear, hear! If only Malays can start believing in themselves and start re-asserting their own independence so that they can steadfastly move forward and progress, to stand tall with other Malaysians as one nation, one people and one purpose.

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