ELECTION 2008, after 1 month: Hear it from Khoo Kay Peng, a keen observer of local politics
APRIL 8: The first is that we have not reached a stable point yet.The second is that the outcome of the general elections was not well-received by the politicians on both sides.
The first part does not augur well for the country economically. We don't have much time to lose now. There is the risk of the recession in the US, which could spread and affect the rest of the global market, and to have this compete with what is happening here now is not good.People from outside are looking in and wondering if there's any point in investing in our country. Stability can exist even without a 2/3 majority. It will not bode well for the country if the politicians do not settle this fast.
The second point is that many people are asking, "Who can be the next prime minister who can govern the country?" The uncertainty over this political issue appears on both sides, definitely it is a big question on the BN's side.
Logically, they should look at the BN formula again. They should look at why people in the 4 most industrialised states and Wilayah (theFederal Territory) voted for the Opposition.They should stop bickering and look into the weaknesses that lie in the BN formula and learn how to adapt, change and reform.
But what weare seeing are internal factions forming not just in Umno, but all theBN component parties. We do not see the inter-party cooperation, which is what is needed for BN to make a comeback.BN is being tested. They (the BN) can work together. But, to put it in terms of a football match, they cannot reuse the same strategy to score. They need to adjust, to enlargen the alliance model and to incorporate the other component parties and perhaps to form a single BN party for all ethnicities, to make it really possible for the survival of BN. As an observer, what I see people would want is this.
The sentiments from the other component parties, Gerakan, MCA, MIC is clear. They see it as Umno's fault for the defeat in the general elections. So for Umno to ask them to go back to the same old model again, where Umno has more authority than them, they will reject it.If Umno does not change...Umno may have lost the opportunity, but they have not lost entirely.
Umno has the power to truly become a national party. Look at how the Cabinet has formed over the years. Unfortunately, the leaders choose only to rule a Malay party; they're not moving away from a pro-Malay mindset, and are giving the impression that they are not interested intaking care of others.The problem is with the whole Malay rhetoric. Umno should have become a national party and should be able to show the way forward.
MCA, since 1969, has not been able to claim rule over the Chinese voters. The same goes with the other Chinese-dominant parties:Gerakan, DAP, SUPP. Like MCA, they have not changed their call. They want to play the race card but they are not able to deliver.That's why the people are punishing them for it.
MCA has always been welfare-oriented. After their big defeat in '69, they have still not recovered from their loss. They rejected the opportunity to merge with Gerakan and take similar steps forward.
Since '69, the people have been moving slowly away from race-basedpolitics, especially in the urban areas. They are not worried about who's protecting their welfare. They are concentrating oncontroversies, corruption, the politics of threat and the arrogance ofpower. They are put off by these issues.People are voting for good governance, although sentiments sometimescauses them to get carried away. What happened at the recent electionsis a good example of the direction of the voting trend