RETIRED DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang held back his words recently by only passing a general remark that while the outlook for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government is positive, it is at risk of a “self-destruct” by embarking on polices which are totally contradictory with core values of its struggle.
This brings us to a polemic sparked by Perak DAP vice-chairman Abdul Aziz Bari’s comments that UMNO’s role with the Malays is now unclear as Perikatan Nasional has taken up the role.
The Tebing Tinggi state assemblyman based his views on the fact that while Perikatan Nasional (PN) was expected to lose support in the 15th General Election (GE15), it was UMNO instead who suffered the defeat.
He went on to justify that UMNO is now in survival mode and is merely relying on the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition for positions in power because “only with positions can the party move on”.
But such observation did not rest well with UMNO supreme council member Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed who retaliated by claiming that the party’s alliance with DAP within the PH coalition would pose a challenge for UMNO to win back the confidence of the Malays, especially in the wake of the looming state polls.
The eldest son of the late former information minister Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat said DAP should instead be appreciative of UMNO’s efforts in enabling the formation of the current federal administration.
While whether the outcome of GE15 will have any bearing on the upcoming six-state elections, UMNO at this very moment is not only seemingly the ‘weak link’ in the so-called PH-Barisan Nasional (BN) partnership but is also the ticking time bomb that could pave way for the unity government to “self-destruct”.
In his recent blog aptly entitled “Is Anwar Colluding with UMNO to Set Najib Free?”, former diplomat-turned-political commentator Dennis Ignatius pointed to recent UMNO-engineered developments that “appear to suggest that something nefarious might be afoot”.
“Both the former attorney-general who charged (ex-premier Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) as well as the High Court judge who convicted him have come under sustained attack with a view to discrediting them. Aspersions have also been cast on other judges as well. The Chief Justice has received death threats,” he contended.
“UMNO’s objective is clear enough: to persuade the public that though Najib was found guilty and his sentence upheld by the highest court in the land, he is but an innocent victim, a man who was targeted and then railroaded by the justice system as part of some grand conspiracy to destroy UMNO and by extension, Malay political power.”
A fair commentator as he is, Ignatius also took DAP to task in another self-explanatory blog, “The DAP’s Head-in-the-Sand Attitude is not Helping”, when he reckoned that it is high time for DAP to take a stand “on the dangerous currents that have been quietly eroding public support for the unity government and PM Anwar’s leadership”.
“Since joining the unity government, however, the DAP – the second largest party in parliament – has kept its head down and it mouth shut on one important issue after another,’ he observed.
“Even on the issue of a possible pardon for Najib, all they can say is that it is an UMNO matter and that they have confidence in the system. No wonder UMNO leaders brag about finally taming the DAP.
“They may think that they are acting for the greater good, that they can somehow forestall the dangerous little green men waiting in the wings by ignoring UMNO’s reckless and wanton manipulation of our justice system but they are only fooling themselves.
“By all means, work with UMNO for the sake of political stability but for goodness’ sake, draw the line when it comes to the judiciary and other core values,” added Ignatius. – April 16, 2023