Reform, or face extinction

Posted on April 8, 2009



That is the only conclusion UMNO and BN can honestly take from the just concluded Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections.

And that people power has found a firm footing, has rooted well, and will not be easily blown away.

Read it any other way and UMNO and BN will pay dearly at the next GE, the Sarawak state elections and every other by-election that comes our way.

And by reform, I do not mean of the cosmetic kind.

Like giving us the MACC or the JAC!

Or freeing 13 ISA detainees just before polling day!

That’s an insult to the intelligence and common sense of the average Malaysian which, as may surprise many in UMNO and BN, ought not to be underestimated.

Can BN reform?

Yes, but not under its present leadership.

Najib and the current crop of UMNO leaders are too integral to the very problem that plagues BN.

As are the top leaders of all the component parties.

Samy, Tsu Khoon, the Ongs, Taib Mahmud.

They’re all the same.

Self-serving politicians, interested in holding on to power only to serve their own ends.

If ever BN had the interest of the people as their first and only port of call, that ceased a long time ago after Dr M took the helm.

The rot set in swiftly thereafter.

Dr M’s close brush with defeat in the 1986 UMNO elections brought out the worst in him, and it was that side of him that stayed with us for the rest of his tenure.

His ‘retain power at all costs’ philosophy cost us dearly.

Henceforth, to avoid another challenge to his authority, he promoted to high office those who were seen to be subservient and docile.

And more often than not, incompetent.

His own belated admission about his mistake in appointing Pak Lah as his successor bears testimony to this.

He crippled the judiciary, then appointed to high judicial office men and women who were pliant.

And in his time, he encouraged a culture that would create a pool of super-rich Malays, whose wealth was not generated from honest, hard work, but by the shuffling of papers and paper transactions.

The ‘get-rich-quick Malay’,  the ‘I want money for nothing’ generation of Malays owes its birth and growth to Dr M.

Dr M allowed corruption to flourish.

Both in UMNO and the government.

This was his most powerful control tool.

This is Mahathirism.

And the current crop of UMNO and BN leaders have had Mahathirism for too long flowing through their veins to begin any process of internal reform necessary to render BN relevant to the needs and aspirations of the people.

Can BN reform?

Yes, but only if UMNO first reforms.

Can UMNO reform?

If UMNO and BN are to reform, the Najibs, the Samys, the Ongs and the Ksu Khoons must be driven from the seat of party power.

That reform can only happen if, from the rank and file of these parties emerge a new generation, untainted by the corruption of the echelon and mid-level leadership and who are in politics not to serve their own ends but the best interest of the rakyat, and have the gumption to challenge the status quo.

Sadly, there does not appear to be such quality within the rank and file of UMNO.

Posted in: People Power