THE Umno annual general assembly (AGM) for the year concluded today and much has been said about the party, its allies and its perceived adversaries over the last few days.
But if one scrutinise the messages sent out by its leaders, none of them actually say anything new at all despite losing the last general election.
As usual, the message is “watch out for enemies, turncoats, traitors, Malays need Umno to protect their interests” etc.
For those who has been following Umno’s AGM over the last decade or so, while the manner of it being said or the people may have changed, the message is always the same every single year.
And it is always about “us against them” and Malays should support Umno or risk losing out to others.
For starters, it is way past due for Umno to take stock and ponder on why it lost the last general election. From then, take responsibility over its own failures and move on with plans to revitalise the party to meet present day challenges.
The Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) got voted out in 2018 as it got detached from reality, oblivious to the suffering of the public, who are economically strained.
The masses were also disillusioned as it became obvious while they were struggling to make ends meet, the political elites were living a lavish life.
Some even had the audacity to tell the common public to tighten their belts while the privileged ones spoilt themselves to the hilt, often using taxpayers’ money.
And do not forget on how certain BN leaders got embroiled in scandals, such as the 1Malaysia Development Board (1MBD), which left a huge stain on our nation’s image. Making matters worse, no action was taken by the authorities then to address the matter.
In a nutshell, BN got booted out from Putrajaya due to corruption, arrogance and disconnect to the realities of today’s world.
While it has regained power through its alliance with Perikatan Nasional (Perikatan), Umno has little remorse for its past transgressions and is still perpetuating its obsolete “perjuangan” narrative to fool the masses.
The question is, who is Umno fighting for, Malaysians or for its self-serving leaders? And from the looks of it, it is pretty obvious to everyone that the party has yet to learn its lesson.
And the very fact that it had failed to admit to its own failings has come back to bite it where it hurts most.
Karma found its way back to Umno
To explain how Umno is paying for its sins is simple. It is common knowledge that Umno is now split into two, those who favour ties with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and those against it.
For those who love Bersatu, they are known as the “Cabinet cluster”, who Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had mischievously “bought over” their support using Cabinet positions and plump seats at the Government-linked agencies (GLC).
And this is what happens when you allow power hungry individuals to hold key positions, who only know how to use their privileges to enrich themselves instead of serving the public.
Then we have the infamous “court cluster”, involving Umno leaders who are busy trying to save their necks from being put behind bars on graft charges.
Almost all members of this gang oppose ties with Bersatu, with speculation rife that they were upset that Muhyiddin did not get the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to drop charges against them.
Any party with some level of integrity would have at least put these leaders on leave pending court verdict. Instead, one of them was appointed to become the BN advisory council member and the other individual is the party president himself.
Is Umno really clueless on what is ailing the party or it is just looking away from it? Yes, it is common knowledge that Muhyiddin has created a massive rift in the nationalist party but the former is successful as he knows that quite a number of Umno leaders have a “price tag” attached to them.
Therefore, instead of doing the usual chest thumping and rabble-rousing speeches, Umno should get its act together and reform itself, if the party is serious about becoming a formidable force again.
The solution is simple. Purge the party of the corrupt and turncoats. With the party elections coming end of the year, party delegates should vote for leaders with unblemished track record, aided with a clear blueprint on what they are going to do for Umno and the nation.
With incorruptible leaders at helm, there is no way for anyone, Muhyiddin or his notorious lieutenants, can do to break the party.
But is Umno ready to dump its decades old patronage party system for a better future? That is a question only Umno itself can answer.
And sometimes, the easiest thing could also be the most difficult thing to do, if one is entrenched on outdated sentiments and self-serving narrative. – March 28, 2021.