I was at Ooi Kee Beng's book launch last night. His book, Lost in Transition, is available in Malaysiakini.com.
In his speech, Ooi said “It is not given that if Umno reforms itself, it would reform like how KMT did - meaning liberalise and play the democratic game. Fascism is always close at hand. We don’t want that to be encouraged. We should work to not crush Umno but help it along in its reforming process.”
Ooi has made a very important point. People who wanted to welcome a two-party system must ensure that the BN survives as a coalition, perhaps, in its new liberalised form. The coalition survival hinges on the fate of UMNO.
Although the election results was disastrous for the party, it still holds more than 50 percent (78 seats) of total seats won by the coalition. UMNO is without a doubt the backbone of the BN.
In my previous posts, I urged all politicians to respect the verdict of the people. Voters have chosen to deny BN its two-thirds majority but still trusted the coalition to lead the federal government.
Hence, any efforts to destabilize the Abdullah administration mustn't go against the grain of democracy. Undemocratic attempt to topple PM Abdullah will not augur well. Dr Mahathir has an axe to grind but his action must not be encouraged nor supported.
However, UMNO leadership should not take the people's wishes for granted. It is timely for them to start a real reform process in BN. Without a reformed and deracialize UMNO, it is highly unlikely for MCA, MIC and Gerakan to be rehabilitated.
In the next few months, Malaysian politics is going through an interesting period. Abdullah's fate will be and should be decided in the next UMNO party poll and not through a coup.