Sunday, December 8, 2013

Umno’s never-ending theatrics | Free Malaysia Today

Umno’s never-ending theatrics

Jeswan Kaur | December 8, 2013
Refusing to deal with the truth and reality has left Umno in a vulnerable position.
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When it comes to self-aggrandization, no one does it better than the nation’s largest political party, Umno. The party whose reputation precedes it continues to be ‘recycled’ by its leaders under the myth of ‘evolution’.

Umno after it was ‘reinvented’ by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is full of vengeance, of hatred towards those who refuse to be cowered in the face of injustices.

Racist, seditious, ethnically intolerant, disrespectful of fundamental rights and selfish – this best defines Umno Baru, the party which continues to be in denial over its marred credibility and warped reason d’etre.

The fact is that Umno has long lost its bearing and left many of its supporters disenchanted. Still, the hands that dictate Umno’s fate continue to be out of sync with the truth, acting instead in their own best interests.

This is perhaps the reason why the Umno general assembly that kicked off on Dec 5 has turned into a ‘circus’ of sorts, with members trying to outsmart one another by resorting to ‘talking shop’.

While the keris wielding has stopped making its presence felt in the Umno assembly, Malay supremacy and racially-charged speeches continue to be harangued at the party’s gatherings.

Leading the way is Umno president and prime minister Najib Tun Razak who continues to defy logic and brand Umno as lifesaver of the nation.

For one, Najib via Umno is claiming popular victory over its nemesis Pakatan Rakyat in the May 2013 general election. In spite of the truth being otherwise, Najib in true Umno-style decided to spin a yarn, claimed the Barisan Nasional party (BN) won the popular vote in nine states compared to Pakatan Rakyat’s four states.

But the premier was careful he made no mention of that fact BN lost more state seats in the other states.
If the 3.4 million Umno members concede to all that is being said, then there is no saving the party in the long run.

The fact that the nation’s richest state Selangor slipped yet again from the grasp of BN and that opposition DAP has made Penangites happy with its leadership seems too much for Umno’s Najib to accept.

As Umno’s leaders keep playing out their narcissistic tunes, it leaves little for the rakyat but to conclude that the party has long been suffering from an ‘inferiority complex’ syndrome.

Refusing to deal with the truth and reality has left Umno in a vulnerable position. The problem is as long as party leaders keep gloating with the aid of rose- tinted glasses, Umno will continue to struggle with its complexes.

And at the same time Umno Baru continues to be indifferent to the fact that it serves as a bad example to fellow party members comprising the BN coalition.
Umno’s never-ending ‘theatrics’

Come the Umno general assembly, Malaysians get to watch the theatrics of the nation’s top leaders who keep misusing the platform to lie and mislead the rakyat.

Umno president Najib must be in the ‘wilderness’ when he bragged that ‘Umno is the most bravest and popular party’.

Misleading the rakyat about Umno’s ‘work well done’ is not helping. The people know how Umno fared in the 13th general election. Malaysians are unanimous on their understanding of Umno – a party whose racist agenda has left the people, especially the peace-loving ones, disgusted.

Najib’s pro-Malay stand was reiterated at the five-day long Umno general assembly when he said that the economic empowerment of Malays would remain the government’s main agenda if Malaysia was to progress.

“As the majority race, the economic empowerment agenda of the Malays and Bumiputera should be the core national agenda. What is the purpose if our country is advanced but its majority race is sidelined and unprotected?” Najib tried to rationale.

Does the prime minister not know that the fate and progress of a country depends not on just one group of people or race?

By singling out the Malay and Bumiputera agendas, the premier has unwittingly revealed that racism and Umno are inseparable.

Not only that, Najib also reminded the Malays that their rights would not be championed if not for Umno.
“Without Umno where would Malays be?

“Do we want the Malay struggle to be destroyed in this land? Would Malays be willing to be sidelined in their own land?”

Worst came when Najib likened Umno’s struggle to former South African president and freedom fighter Nelson Mandela’s anti-apartheid fight.

Umno not keen on ‘healing’
Past experiences have certainly not taught Umno any lessons. The party’s arrogance is alarming and yet Umno continues to repeat its mistakes, primarily by refusing to show respect to Malaysians of other faiths.

Again at the Umno general assembly, one example of the inbreed racial discord that defines Umno post-1987 was evident when an Umno youth exco member, Fathul Bari, told delegates not to worry if people called Umno racist.

“Don’t worry if others accuse us of being racists because we are only protecting our rights.
“Not only that, we also protect the rights of others.

He then drew a parallel with the DAP, asking what the Chinese-dominated party has contributed to all Malaysians.

“Look at their contribution… more for their own race… so do not blame Umno for empowering our race (Malay). Do not prevent us from defending our race,” he said to loud applause from the delegates.

More seditious remarks were made at the Umno assembly. Penang Umno Bukit Mertajam division chief Musa Sheikh Fadzir wants the Barisan Nasional-led government should replace the ’1Malaysia’ slogan with ’1Melayu’ to teach the non-Malays a ‘lesson’ for ditching BN in the 13th general election.

“We shouldn’t shout ‘1 Malaysia’ anymore; what for? We should now shout ‘1 Melayu’ slogan.
“What’s the use of helping them? We did all these things they stab our backs. All that effort… to hold dinners and such with almost RM30 a head,” he said, referring to the many campaign dinners organised by the ruling Barisan Nasional prior to the May 5 general election.

Umno is not apologetic for arousing racial hatred. Nor does it make any concession for taking the non-Malays for granted. Is this Umno’s modus operandi to safe the nation from racial immolation, by manipulating race and faith issues and denying the rakyat the freedom to enjoy their basic rights in particular the marginalised communities?

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin was just as culpable when he chose to condemn non-Malay companies for not hiring Malay chief executives.

There we have it – the Umno general assembly continues to give ample evidence of how dangerous and malignant Umno Baru has become, both to itself and to the nation.

It appears that Umno is on a self-destructive mode, refusing to take cognisance of the present day reality, choosing instead to buy into the fallacy that the nation’s destiny lies in its hands.

Jeswan Kaur is a freelance writer and a FMT columnist.

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