Ramasamy wants UMNO to quit unity gov’t following 3rd molotov cocktail attack at KK Mart Kuching

SHOULD UMNO still be part of the unity government of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after having uncritically backed its youth wing head honcho Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh over the controversial socks’ incident?

UMNO has some senior leaders occupying cabinet posts in the government. Its president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is one of the two Deputy Prime Ministers. The portfolios of Education and Foreign Ministers are helmed by UMNO leaders.

In short, UMNO has been over-rewarded in the unity government considering that it has lesser MPs than DAP for instance (UMNO won 26 seats in the 15th General Election while DAP has 40 seats).

UMNO has a powerful stake in the government to ensure law and order. The party might not have the necessary Malay support but surely by blindly supporting the political antics of Akmal, Malay support might never come back. Essentially, UMNO has “shut the doors of the stable after the horses have bolted”.

Akmal’s incessant and reckless calls for nationwide boycott against KK Super Mart have undoubtedly raised the ethnic and religious temperature in the country.

The heightened tensions must have given rise to petrol bomb attacks against the KK Super Mart stores in Bidor (Perak), Kuantan (Pahang) and lately, Kuching (Sarawak). All these attacks took place within a spate of one week.

Big price to pay

Surely, UMNO leaders cannot dismiss the fact there is correlation between Akmal’s calls for boycott and the resulting tensions in the country.

It was expected that UMNO leaders would calm the situation in the larger interest of law and order but unfortunately, they endorsed the reckless position of Akmal.

It emboldened Akmal to say that he was prepared to lose his party post than give up the fight to maintain the sanctity of Islam.

UMNO’s support for Akmal gives rise to suspicions that there is more to the boycott than the unearthing of socks with Allah inscription.

There are rumours that the Akmal belligerent stand might have to do with the internal rift in UMNO. Akmal might be aligning with a particular faction in the party.

Some others are saying that the boycott might be related to the opposition to Anwar from forces outside the government.

This could be the reason why PAS refused to join in the boycott against the KK Super Mart. If at all any party that knows UMNO well, it is definitely PAS.

After the formation of the unity government with the support of UMNO, I remarked that the party and its tainted leaders could be the “albatross around the neck” of the government. In other words, UMNO is the political burden of the unity or Madani government.

I am more than convinced that the boycott phenomenon has rendered UMNO as the most unreliable partner of the unity government.

Anwar wants UMNO to prolong his stay as the PM but at what cost to the stability and well-being of the nation? Yet, his loyal lieutenants and sycophants want Anwar to go for the second term.

The sooner UMNO gets out of the government, the better it is for the country and the people. Once out, Akmal can make all the noise he wants. Nobody will care about the spent force. – April 2, 2024

Former DAP stalwart and Penang chief minister II Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is chairman of the Urimai (United Rights of Malaysian Party) Interim Council.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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