It is simply ironic; Umno Baru’s Najib Abdul Razak, has urged the BN coalition to adapt so that it can maintain its relevance in the future - but behind closed doors, all the Umno Baru politicians fear change.

Why? They fear that Umno Baru will cease to exist because of Meritocracy, Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (MATI) - qualities which no Umno Baru politician displays or can ever hope to attain.

It is alleged that Umno Baru politicians laugh at this MATI joke because they realise the significance of adopting the MATI principles, as MATI means ‘death’ in Malay.

NONEUmno Baru tyrants have exploited the rakyat for their own ends, but anyone who has met Najib or former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad (left) will be struck by their apparent friendliness and kindly manner. They will be surprised that despite what is written about them; their alleged arrogance and the alleged corruptions carried out on their behalf, they are very different in person.

That is why it is important for members of the rakyat, to understand that the public persona of these men is just a facade. Behind the public masks, lurk other people - men who are responsible for dividing the rakyat and plundering the nation.

Mahathir started off by separating the rakyat into ‘superior’ Malays versus the ‘inferior’ non-Malays. Each group was then further sub-divided. Malays were separated into ordinary Malays and Umno Baru-putras.

Najib continued Mahathir’s work - for instance, in Najib’s cabinet, the ‘divide and rule’ concept is used to keep the Indians at bay. This can be seen as Hindraf’s P Waythamoorthy eats out of one hand, whilst the MIC representative feeds from the other. Najib reinforces our prejudices by rewarding one group, only if they do as they are told.

The environment which Umno Baru created stifles national unity. The brainwashing of Malaysians has reached epidemic levels. We do not require the presence of people in uniform to make us obey.

Our grandparents thought nothing of entering a Chinese kedai kopi (coffeeshop) for refreshments. Today, when I enter a Chinese coffeeshop to meet a friend, I am amazed at the shocked stares of people along the five-foot way. Worse still, the coffeeshop owner looks anxious and is eager for me to leave quickly. He is afraid that he will incur the wrath of the authorities.

Unity begins at home

Our society has descended into a social morass, and yet these Malaysians - who react like this in Malaysia - have no reservations when they are overseas.
                              
azlanBy dividing the rakyat into groups of “them” and “us”, Umno Baru has created a community of overbearing Malays. These people demand that non-Malays treat them with deference. Non-Malays have related their experiences during open house celebrations. They claim that to accommodate their Muslim friends, they would prepare halal food on new crockery and cutlery, but Malays simply snub their efforts.

Unity, like charity, should always begin at home. These may be insignificant acts, but their consequences are enough to widen the gulf between the races.

Despite the injustices in the country, there are many people who refuse to become involved. They are content to watch from the sidelines and say nothing, thus prolonging everyone’s suffering.

Do these people, who are not willing to intervene, condone the lack of meritocracy in the nation? The award of scholarships to students is masked in secrecy. What will happen when their children are denied a place at university? Why should our best scholars end up in Singapore or beyond?

Why are some able and financially secure companies unable to bid successfully for government tenders? Why are the children of politicians, with little or no experience, able to win multi-billion ringgit projects?

When it comes to accountability, are these bystanders not worried about the future of their country? The new inspector-general of police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar has vowed to curb “illegal” rallies, but he has failed to find the men guilty of the increasing numbers of deaths in police custody.

NONEExtremists are let off, and crime is reportedly rising. Is there any accountability in the police force? Khalid claims that he is not politically motivated and yet his actions defy his words.

The new Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (right) has wasted his superior education. Cheating, crime and corruption are wrong, although he has maintained that there was “not a shred of evidence” of electoral fraud in GE13.

How can you trust a man who once defended former Women’s Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who was embroiled in the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal? The NFC was allegedly controlled by her husband and children, who misappropriated soft loans to feather their own nests.

Many government projects lack transparency and yet when they fail, it is the taxpayer who picks up the tab. The Penang administration claims that it practises transparency in awarding projects and that the majority of the awards are won by bumiputera contractors. If the Penang state government can achieve this, there is no reason why it cannot be accomplished at the federal level.

'BN's lack of integrity'
Waythamoorthy of Hindraf spoke at a University of London (School of African and Oriental Studies) lecture on ‘The Marginalisation of Malaysia’s Minority Indian Community’ in early 2012, where he was asked about the lack of integrity of Malaysian politicians. He agreed that Malaysian politicians were without honour. Little did anyone realise that one year later, he would join the ranks of politicians without integrity.

NONEYoung student activist Adam Adli Abdul Halim (left) has more integrity than the whole BN government combined. He is worried about the future of the country, whereas the BN politicians are worried about the future of their pockets.

Najib’s crackdown on dissenters is a show of intimidation. He is afraid that the people’s power will topple him and Umno Baru in the same way that a rising tide of anger toppled some north African regimes.

Anyone who thinks that Umno Baru will adapt, or that the Election Commission (EC) will reform and ensure a free and fair GE14, is seriously deluded.

Before GE13, Umno Baru tried to wear down the opposition leader with a barrage of legal persecution. After GE13, Umno Baru is still attempting to quash the will of the people. They have no incentive to clean up the electoral system.

Umno Baru said they would reform, but they failed. When the public rallied to show their disgust, there was a large-scale brutal crackdown on dissenters. Very soon, the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) will cause the prices of ordinary goods to increase further. This - linked with corruption that remains unchecked - will cause our economy to suffer. 

Umno Baru politicians have betrayed us and tried to pit Malaysians against one another. 10 years ago, one would not have thought of Malaysians as having solidarity. Today, they are united and will be able to kill off this tyrannical rule.

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real-speak', this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.