Sunday, March 16, 2008

Umno Comes Under Fire From Malays

Malaysian dailies say Malay voters turned off by politicians' greed for power

Malaysia's ruling party, Umno, has come under serious scrutiny and criticism from many Malays who say the supremacy of the race has been threatened by last Saturday's electoral results.

Greed among its members and their quest for power seem to have been key reasons for the 5 per cent swing in Malay votes away from the Barisan Nasional coalition in which Umno is the dominant party, say the critics.

'It is no longer the party struggle for bangsa, agama dan tanahair (nation, religion and country), the party slogan of the early years. That has taken a back seat,' wrote Mr Zainon Ahmad, political editor of the English-daily The Sun, in a commentary yesterday. 'It's the narrow individual struggle to amass wealth.' He noted that some BN candidates lost simply because party workers refused to do their jobs when they did not get their cut of the party's campaign funds. 'Thus, many campaign posts had to be abandoned,' he wrote. 'For Umno, volunteerism is long gone.'

Professor Md Shukri Shuib, a lecturer with the college of law, government and international studies at Universiti Utara Malaysia, agreed. 'Umno leaders were engrossed with tenders, wealth and corruption issues, cronyism and weak leadership, outdated ideas and implementation of projects that did not have a positive impact on people,' he was quoted as saying in a commentary in Thursday's Utusan Malaysia. They must now think of their responsibility to the race above self, family and friends.' Malay voters also no longer viewed Umno as their sole champion. That was reflected at the polls.

Political observer Abdul Rahim Abdul Rashid noted that Malays divided their votes between Umno, the conservative Parti Islam SeMalaysia, and the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), which played the multiracial card in the election campaign. 'Chinese voters have long been unhappy with the treatment of non-Malays and they want the same rights and privileges and thus voted for the opposition,' he was quoted by Utusan Malaysia as saying. 'Unfortunately, the young Malay generation who are angry with the government also chose the opposition.'

Professor Mohd Zainul Fithri, vice-president of the Management and Science University, said: 'Voters no longer think about Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy).' In the election, voters shifted their support from BN to the opposition 'as a sign of protest and not because the PKR is strong', he added. 'The BN and Umno suffered because there were too many leaders who were hungry for power. They forgot about service to the people.'

Utusan Malaysia's commentary warned: 'If Malay leaders do not take serious steps now, the future of bumiputera is under threat.'
It quoted Prof Abdul Rahim as saying: 'What worried us is that, when the power of Malays in Penang is weak and can be easily toppled, the same thing might happen in areas with a Chinese majority in other states.'

Letters from readers published in the newspaper expressed similar sentiments. 'Personally, I would prefer that PAS rules Kedah and Kelantan because at least the dignity of the race and religion is safeguarded,' wrote a reader Jasa. Another reader wrote: 'There are many safer ways to voice unhappiness but not by taking this risk (of not voting for BN). 'Malays do not have anything to safeguard our dignity besides staying in power.'

Umno Women's deputy chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said in Utusan Malaysia yesterday that it was time for the BN to do some soul searching.
'I believe that not everyone rejects BN,' she said. 'They just want a check and balance and we should face all of that.' (Straits Times, Singapore)

***** Do you think that Umno will take heed of the situation and make the necessary changes to their strategy or will they continue along the same path of plunder, blunder, racism and divide-and-rule?

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8 Comments:

Blogger kittykat46 said...

I have strong doubts whether UMNO is capable of reforming itself.
The racism, corruption, abuse of power, cronyism is just built into UMNO's DNA.
Its like a cancer patient who cannot be operated on, because the surgery to remove the cancer itself will kill him.
Right now, many of the UMNO leaders are still thinking a bit of window dressing, keeping out a few controversial figures, a bit of scheming in the states which fell, will get them back into dominance.

I wonder how they will enjoy being in the Opposition benches..

12:32 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Billy said...

'Malays do not have anything to safeguard our dignity besides staying in power.'

What dignity is this Malay reader talking about when the PM himself even refuses to resign from office after having gained only 51% of the popular vote, Parliamentary seats dropped from 91% to 63%, the inability to re-capture Kelantan and the worse of it all, lost four west coast states to the opposition. It would have been dignifying if he had resigned. If it had been a Japanese PM, he would have resigned the moment the results are out, go home and commit sepuku. If a leader cannot set an example, how do you expect the rest to follow. If you want dignity, do away with the NEP and commit at par with the non Malays based on meritocracy. Mind you can't get anymore respect than that and with it comes your dignity. Look at the recent demo in Penang. Those bunch of mamaks look worse than beggars. At least beggars have the dignity not to demand and live for the day.

12:41 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why the hell do these racists keep saying "must safeguard Malay interests"? How about "Malaysian interests"?

Every single Malay already get 5-15% discount on housing, just because of the color of their skin and their religion. These racists should just use their brain 5-15% more or work 5-15% harder and they're almost on even keel with other races!! We didn't even mention the Amanah Saham Bumiputera that pays higher dividends, the government loans and scholarships, schools etc.

Eh, you Malay racists, every Malaysian citizen that earns money pay up to 27% in taxes. 27%!! That's almost 1/3 of income. Even if they don't pay a lot of taxes, every time they spend, they generate stamp duty, sales tax and custom duties. If they don't spend, then who the hell patronizes your business?

While we are working our asses off, you just sit there and expect rent, contracts or free money to fall from the sky.

1:43 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous William Hung said...

As a Malaysian and non-Malay, I think we should not be so racist and and blame the "Malays". It is the UMNO politicians and their relatives and cronies who have hijacked the NEP for their own gain and greed, eg the likes of SIL, Khir Toyol, M2. They are all the time shouting Malay supremacy and working the crowds while they are safely hiding in their golden palaces with their millions or billions squirreled away. The lower to middle-income Malays suffer as much as anyone else facing rising prices and corruption. And I am sure they are as sick as anyone else too of UMNO who continues thinking they are dumb bumpkins to be fooled all the time.

6:40 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Cencaluk.Com said...

For Malays to have the real dignity is for them to stand on their own feet and not to always think about being given all the priviledges at the expense of other races.

A race can never learn to be strong and independent if they are always being over protected and "spoilt". Wake up from your old mindset, stand up and know that you are as capable as other races. Free yourself from your own inferiority complexes. No one is going to supress anyone if you diligently work and do what is right. Why are the Malays so scared and weak? Why do they still listen to those who use this issue for their own benefits and being manipulated by them? Come on la..

I've known many capable smart Malays, some are even doing better than CHinese. Its the attitude and how you see yourself that makes the difference. God makes everyone with their own talents, uniqueness and strength, He doesn't create a weak Malay race.

If the Malays choose to live on the NEP and be the over-protected child, they will never gain their dignity. They will always be seen as a weak, spoilt and incapable. Why not fight to be a better race instead of your so-called "right"?

They gotta have more faith on themselves...

8:33 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Malays do not have anything to safeguard our dignity besides staying in power.'

I really don't understand the logic, are you saying wihtout power the malays will be undignified? If anything the malays (at least the chosen few) were so drunk on power they lost -nearly everything.With power comes accountability - so this is a wake up call- the people,even the malays today will not tolerate such abuse of power.

9:57 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Mikeywm said...

Why do the Malays suddenly come out on the streets complaining of potentially being sidelined, simply because the Penang government has decided that the NEP will be implemented so that it benefits all races and not just the Malays. Do the Malays not think that the other races have not been systematically sidelined by the BN government all these years? The only way that the Malays can ensure that they are not sidelined is to stand up and compete on a level playing field with all other races. It is time that citizens in this country regard themselves as Malaysians first and foremost (and be very proud of it because they all have a lot to be proud of), and forget which particular race they had the fortune (or misfortune) to be born into. Comments like those made at the recent demonstration in Penang so clearly show that even after 35 years of the NEP, Malays still feel weak and insecure. Why is this I wonder?

10:31 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UMNO been preaching they are the only one that can saveguard the Malays Dignity. Please la.. no one can help saves our dignity except ourselves. Don't get to influenece by what UMNO is trying so hard to preach, in fact what they are trying to safeguard is their own pocket, personal interest.

Who actually benefited the NEP. Think deeper. Who will got awarded, gets the project. It not you or me or any hardworking Malay or any hardworking Malaysian. It's only benefit 'themselves'

UMNO had undermined the power of nowadays Malays.. What we wanted is opportunity to challenge, to fight fairly and to be respected of our abilities our achievements. Spoon feeding the Malays will only helps them to be too dependant, too lazy and fail to fight for our ownselve.

We realised what we want but too bad UMNO fail to recognise that we had grown up and what we really need. Don't sedekah us with you 'thought how you want to protect our rights'

10:37 AM GMT+8  

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