No political party ruled forever

Umno the longest ruling political party in the world concluded the annual general meeting last week under a siege mentality blaming the whole world for the eroding support among Malays themselves. A party which is in power for the past 57 years with more than 2/3 majority support in parliament till 2008 should be more confident and rely on their past records to rally their supporters. Instead Umno leaders and delegates resorted to concocting lies such as DAP burned Quran in kedah, non-Malays out to grab power, Islam being challenged, Malay language in danger, illegal businesses of Chinese and what not. It is an admission of 57 years of poor governance and inability to rule.

These fabrications show signs of desperations and fear that they are losing support of large sections within the Malay community. Umno general assembly has become a rattling and rhetoric ground for their delegates and leaders to let lose their belligerent noises and raise the insecurity and fear among of Malays. By doing so in every AGM, Umno leaders are able to divert the real economic and social issues in the Malay community to emotions and chest beating to keep the rural community ignorant and misinformed.

After the 57 years of Umno rule, Malays remain the poorest despite the highest allocation of resources. Income inequality is highest among Malays. High unemployment and low skill still plague the community after 44 years of NEP. The urban voters and university students have started to rebel knowing the bogey and propaganda of Umno. In the 2015 budget RM24.4 billion is spend as debt service charges such as interest. This is 13.3% of government revenue and 10.9% of government operating expenditure that is amounting to 92million a day as interest payment. With RM24.4 billion, Malaysian Government can pay every Malaysian RM840 per year. BRIM expenditure per year is only RM4.9 billion and it’s about 5 times the BRIM. The delegates must be blissfully ignorant that Umno government is paying 5 times the BRIM amount as debt servicing charges per year. Umno leaders could have listed out their achievements and lay out the next plan and policies to uplift Malaysia from indebtedness, extremism, deficit and what not.

Umno wins elections by manipulating the fear and insecurities of Malays and Islam. They will campaign on hudud and islamic state to stalemate PAS and Malay race in danger of being colonized to checkmate DAP. These issues will drive the rural Malay votes into Umno fold. The scandals, wastages, abuse of power, extremism and racism issues will be swept under the carpet and Umno comes back to power with the tacit support of election commission. Unless PAS and PKR debunk Umno’s folly rural Malays are doomed to remain poor.

Even South Africa has abandoned the apartheid policies and reconciled with the past and moved on. But Umno is sinking deeper into the racial and religious divide and rule. Albert Einstein said that it is insane to do the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Umno has to grow wiser and move away from race and religion.

Merdeka center survey shows that 71% of Malays are very concerned about the rising cost of living, job security, quality of education and their future. That being the case, Umno cannot keep on harping on Islam, race and the palace all the time.

DPM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was the only sober voice in the Umno AGM. He raised the issue of widening income gap between urban and rural Malays and the failure of NEP. He also warned that a 2% shift in votes towards PR, Umno will have to sit in opposition. Unless the poor quality of education, corruption and the failure of bumiputra development programs were reviewed, it is the taxpayer’s money that is going to waste. But it was beyond the grasp of Umno delegates. Can we hope that the next AGM will be different? All I have is hope.

Explore posts in the same categories: From the desk of Senator S Ramakrishnan

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