September 2, 2016
UMNO abandons its former liberal base
by Hafidz Baharom
It is a handicap, just like in golf. And thus given time, it will need to be removed.This was the mindset in slowly removing the Bumiputera crutch. Unfortunately, it became too politically popular among the Malays as a way to win votes that it was maintained even at the cost of leaving the poor of other races to be taken care of by their respective race-based parties.
However, I’m sure it is evident in UMNO and even its allies the MIC and MCA, that this race-based strategy can no longer appease their respective supporters.
Truth is, the younger generation are no longer limited by race, especially in the urban areas. As such, urban affluent Malays – upper and middle classes – and other races will continue to be driven away by race-based policies and political talk with racial overtones.
To this end, we now see more urbanite youths joining political parties that are diverse – PKR and DAP being the two obvious ones.
As such, all UMNO can do is resort to name calling, going so far as to call the Malays joining the DAP as traitors to their own race. It is actually the opposite.
Mat Rempits: UMNO’s new constituency
To paraphrase multiple international politicians including the UK’s youngest MP Mhairi Black, the Malays did not abandon UMNO, UMNO sold Malay dignity and abandoned the Malays.
In their quest to appease their voter base, UMNO decided to abandon their former liberal base in order to counter the growing conservative factions that support PAS. We have seen how this has become their legislative agenda as well as their continued support of religious authorities regardless of how ridiculous those authorities may be.
The new UMNO Malay
In order to appease the poor rural Malays, they abandoned the urban Malays by letting the urban poor fend for themselves against the higher cost of living. This is obvious in the poorly constructed, wasteful and corrupting welfare programme of Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia or BR1M.
UMNO was willing to reveal to the Malays that it would cater to the ridiculous, unlawful actions of some, to keep themselves in power – street races for Mat Rempits, abandoning the homeless by a highway. These made the Malays, especially the ones that the government themselves manage to educate right through tertiary education, to question what the heck was going on.
The Real Najib –The Racist
At the same time, the government no longer controlled the source of information flowing out to the public – the Internet allows Malays, many with the ability to read websites in either English or Bahasa Melayu, to come to their own conclusions.
Subsequently, those who are reading such articles are able to share their thoughts on social media to become influencers.
On top of all this, is the issue of age. The median age for Malaysians is now 28.5 years old. Thus, what exactly is UMNO doing to cater to the needs and wants of a 28.5-year-old Malaysian who has a global viewpoint? This is a question that all political parties must ask themselves.
Teiku Adnan and Zahid Hamidi –UMNO Leaders of the Najib Era
There is no longer an issue of Malays versus the Chinese and Indians, the Low Yat Plaza incident was further proof of that. You had a Malay youth junkie robbing a smartphone vendor, and UMNO’s reaction was to create an exclusive Malay marketplace. Because somewhere in the twisted mind of UMNO, the Malays won’t cheat the Malays. Instead of looking at why a youth became a drug addict, or even why he needed to rob a smartphone store rather than buy one himself – an issue of cost leading to crime, no doubt – UMNO found it necessary to use the imperial old strategy of divide and rule instead.
The Malays are now diverse, and to cater to it, UMNO itself has become schizophrenic. They banned a concert in Sepang targeting youths while their president’s son went and stole the spotlight from an international DJ in Zouk Singapore.
They say criminals should be punished, and yet willingly give Mat Rempits the streets of KL to race. The bottom line is this – the Malays are not sheep nor stupid, not all of them at least. And thus, there are Malays who believe in the need for targeted affirmative action based on income groups instead of the entire race including the Datuks, Datuk Seris, Tan Sris and Tuns in the mix.
Similarly, there are Malays who are liberal, there are those who are conservative, there are those who read articles in the Wall Street Journal while others limit themselves purely to Harian Metro. UMNO has failed to cater to this diversity. And as such, their loss is everyone else’s gain.