UMNO should reflect on its shortcomings and chart a new narrative for Malaysia if the party ever wants to remain relevant for the future generation, said former Umno MP Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.
Reminiscing the past, Zaid shared on how Umno went downhill after losing Kelantan to PAS back in 1990s, by trying to ape the Islamist party soon after.
“I remember at the time, Umno leaders told its members to emulate PAS to win back voters. If they wear robes and grow beards, let’s do the same.
“If PAS bans traditional Malay arts like makyong and dikir barat, let’s not say anything. All just for the sake of trying to appear more Islamic than PAS.
“But guess what? Umno went on a downward spiral from then on and it now looks like a party infested with self-serving individuals,” he said, in a Facebook post.
Last week, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi vowed to empower Syariah laws in the country if Barisan Nasional wins the supermajority, following a High Court decision to revoke a Cabinet ban on the use of the word “Allah” in Malay language Bibles.
PAS ignorant of the Federal Constitution
On that note, Zaid urged Umno members to champion all communities in Malaysia, instead of representing the Malays alone.
He added that by being a progressive party, Umno would naturally bring Malaysia forward to meet present day challenges.
“Instead, Umno leaders are nostalgic over the good old days of Malaya. When I raise this issue with them, they call me a secularist. I’m not a secularist. Just that I’m no hypocrite.
“I’m just worried that when our leaders become hypocrites, they lose their moral compass. From there, they fail to understand the value of camaraderie. Worse, they can no longer differentiate between friends and foes,” the former minister added.
On Zahid’s vow, Zaid said that everyone knows such a promise is almost impossible to implement due to the country’s multiracial fabric, in addition to East Malaysians’ fierce opposition against theocratic governance.
“Why do you need to make a promise which cannot be kept? Besides, one can only have an Islamic administration when our leaders are not power crazy, respect the rule of law, and conduct themselves in a noble manner,” he stressed.
Training his guns against PAS, Zaid said that until today, the Islamist party does not seem to understand that the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land.
“They say our Federal Constitution is secular and our Federal Court erred in its verdict. And this is the political party which our dear Prime Minister thinks will take us to greater heights in the global arena,” he remarked, in a jest. – April 5, 2021.
Photo credit: Malay Mail