July 3, 2012
UMNO playing the Race Card
by Nawawi Mohamad, Malaysia Chronicle
UMNO must accept that it has done too many wrong things. Forgiveness even from the Malay community which has supported it in the past won’t come so easily any more. The party just has too many scandals and failed to do too many things it is duty bound to do.
Even with 55 years of authority, it has mismanaged the country’s economy, failed to raise the standards of living of the majority of the Malays which is supposed to be its main objective and failed to eradicate poverty amongst all Malaysians, which they promised all of us.
There have been too many disastrous economic decisions that have now resulted in the country sitting on an incomprehensible RM460 billion mountain of debts. Debt alone has stunted the development and progress of our country; we can all forget about becoming a developed nation by 2020.
Cooking poison curry
Face it, the education system is also a disaster zone. Both Malaysian parents and children are put in a confusing and irritating situation. The dilemma of whether to really embrace English as the language of economy, science and knowledge or of improving and enriching the Malay language is still being fought out and the systemic ad hoc changes made every few years are destroying education system and confusing the students.
UMNO has also failed to maintain social harmony, religious tolerance or integrate the various ethnic groups and culture. Malaysians are naturally very tolerant of each other and at times have shown kindness, caring, respect and kinship to each other beyond racial and religious boundaries. There are inter-marriages and courting couples and their offspring are beautiful to behold.
There are many Malays who look Chinese, Chinese who look Malay, there are of course Malays who look Indian and there are Indians who look Malay. Malaysia is a cultural melting pot, but one that UMNO is stirring into a cauldron of poisoned curry.
We can participate and celebrate each other’s festivities and eat a meal with each. Even the different varieties of cuisine have somehow molded our taste buds for food and these have become uniquely Malaysian in taste. The social integration is spontaneous and can grow but UMNO won’t allow it. If we are comfortable with each other, UMNO’s biggest political weapon – divide and rule along ethnic lines.
Going all out to destroy social harmony
UMNO despite the decades in power has achieved little success. Yes, they can boast when they compare Malaysia with its less developed neighbors In ASEAN. But why not compares against Singapore, Taiwan or Korea. After all, the Korean auto industry started around the same time as Mahathir Mohamad’s Proton. But ask any car buyer today, and they will say Korean cars are better than our heavily subsided Proton.
Now, UMNO is actively trying to dismantle the fragile social fabric that has been naturally woven by the people themselves over years. We have the potential to be a real success story. We had natural resources to help us achieve our aspirations, but the greedy UMNO elite spoiled everything and continues to do so.
Even our EPF at risk
UMNO has robbed us of a huge amount of the natural resources in Malaysia, and is still doing it. Our timber is gone, minerals have depleted, fresh water polluted and our petroleum resources are depleting. UMNO has also milked the last bastion of our our wealth dry – our Employees Provident Fund (EPF). Our EPF is not safe any more.
Instead of improving our economy, Najib is just manipulating the statistics to mislead us. His claim that his Economic Transformation Programs have been very successful is misleading. If the ETPs have been successful, then our national debt should have been manageable.
Instead of taking action against the wrongdoers for the various scandals, for overspending and corruption, scandal-tainted Najib and UMNO have tried hard to cover up or sweep these wrongdoings under the carpet. Najib and UMNO have instead protected the culprits and punished the whistleblowers instead of probing and charging them.
Green light given for extremism
Najib and his party are now encouraging religious tensions by refusing to take any action against individuals or groups that instigate racial tension.
With the latest PERKASA attack on Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, Najib and UMNO have in essence given the green light for all pro-UMNO individuals like Ibrahim Ali, Hasan Ali and groups like PEKIDA, JATI, TIBAI, and of course PERKASA to continue their efforts at creating discord in our society. UMNO-BN politicians are also being encouraged to do the same.
The outright brutality against civilian protesters at the BERSIH rallies and the harassment against Dato’ Ambiga, the butt exercises by ex-Army officers and the latest call to “hang Ambiga” by an UMNO Member of Parliament are evidence that UMNO has lost its way.
Now, many Malays have lost faith in UMNO. To prevent a greater exodus and to recapture those who have left, former Prime Minister Mahathir is leading a propaganda charge to brainwash the Malay community that the non-Malays are dangerous people. And only UMNO, Mahathir and Najib are their saviours.
But will the Malays come back to the UMNO fold? Well, UMNO can just dream on. The fact is more Malays are ashamed of and disgusted with UMNO’s actions. Many have decided to abandon UMNO. Just look at the number of prominent individuals like the ex-senior civil servants and artists joining PKR and PAS.
The fact is the Malays no longer need UMNO to defend them or Islam – there is PKR, PAS and also DAP, which is starting to grow its Malay membership.
Self-interested and greedy individuals
Within UMNO, party leaders think as greedy individuals, bickering amongst themselves without caring about their party and our country. UMNO leaders can be called modern day pirates and their ship is now sinking. These leaders are only pursue their self-interest and are blatantly corruption.
They know their ship is sinking but they won’t do a thing to stop it. Why should they bother, why should they be the one to lose their advantage – this is their mentality.
No wonder, UMNO and Najib are afraid to face the 13th general election. Their lack of confidence is preventing them from seeking a fresh mandate for the people. They know that this time around the voters including sensible Malays are less forgiving and want UMNO to own up to its mistakes.