Barisan National political structure is outdated and therefore has to be replaced
The New Economic Policy (NEP) was introduced in 1970 because of the perception that the Malays rioted in 1969 due to poverty and unequal opportunities. But the more impoverished Indian community and the other indigenous people did not riot.
The objective of NEP was to increase wealth ownership from 2.4% in 1970 to 30% by 1990. Umno, the back bone of B,N spearheaded the implementation of NEP.
The other Malaysians accepted NEP as a necessary tool for their own peaceful and prosperous living in Malaysia. The unprecedented support of non-Malays to BN till March 2008 is a testimony of this. During this period UMNO, slowly and surely, sidelined and marginalised all the component parties in BN and became absolutely powerful, arrogant, high handed and lost touch with the problems, concerns and aspirations of all Malaysians including Malays themselves.
With the NEP tool in hand, UMNO created billionaire cronies and rich UMNOPUTRAS. In the name of uplifting Malays in general, UMNO gave out lucrative contracts, privatised cash cow projects and dished out tax payers money without any accountability and responsibility to UMNO cronies.
This unreserved carefree distribution of wealth to Malays has created an inefficient system that promotes a laid-back attitude among Malay civil servants because there is no competition and striving to improve or excel to get promoted. Promotion is just automatic.
Several NEP policies which give economic advantage to the Bumiputras are viewed as heavily discriminatory, such as quotas in ownership of public company stock, housing sold exclusively to Bumiputras, etc.
But the measurements of NEP were subject to interpretation and reinterpretation. Many Malaysians felt that the 30% wealth target was achieved a long time ago but the BN government denies these target achievement and continues to implement new affirmative-action policies, education quota in public universities.
Purchase of houses by bumiputras get discount even though the Malay purchaser is much wealthier than the non-Malay purchaser. Every aspect of government influence is controlled by Malays. The government, police, army, banking system are all under the government control which in turn is controlled by UMNO. This list goes on in every aspect of our life in Malaysia.
UMNO has shut the mouth of its non-Malay counterparts in BN all these years. Yet these strangleholds of political power could not save them from heavy electoral losses in March 2008 election. Large section Malays, Indians, Chinese and indigenous people remain poor and civil service has become more corrupted, inefficient and the peoples’ discontent reached a saturation point.
All it took was five lawyers to spark the matchbox and the whole nation caught the electoral fire thus igniting the minds of Chinese and Malays to come forward and vote for a change. A large section of ardent BN supporters voted against the BN for the first time in history causing a political tsunami in Malaysian history by depriving the BN government its 2/3 majority in Parliament and losing control of five states to opposition parties.
These results brought about a new political equation where, for the first time,Malaysians realised that a two party system is possible and viable. The ghost of May 13 was finally buried and Malaysians, who have lost hope reforming and transforming the blessed nation, began to rethink and new hope for better future for their children blossomed in their heart.
The smaller opposition parties formed a coalition to rule these five states and, to their credit, they are doing better than the 50-year corrupted BN government. There is more openness, accountability and participation of people.
But of course a party in rule for fifty years and with so many vested interests, cronies and political warlords and little Napoleons will not give up power just like that. The BN government, over the fifty years, has strengthened their grip over mass media, banking and government machinery to their favour.
With these tools in their hand they will not lie down and accept defeat. They, through deception of three assemblymen and with the support of Perak royalty, wrangled back the Perak state. Now, through hook or crook they are trying to capture Selangor which is the jewel-in-the- crown state.
Barisan National political model is exclusive and outdated. Under the changing globally liberalised inclusive thinking, BN’s exclusive and racially segregated system is incompatible and regressive politically and economically.
The BN leaders do not have the will to make the adjustment. They are so entrenched in their current modus operandi. Malaysians deserve better than what BN government can offer.
I urge all Selangor residents to give their full support to the more people-centric, people- represented Pakatan Rakyat government now because they are under siege from the federal- funded Barisan Natioanl.
Raja Petra Kamaruddin predicted that the Selangor state government may fall by January. He will be glad to be proven wrong.