Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Prospect of UMNO Under Najib

Najib Razak, Sharizat Jalil and Khairy Jamaluddin are going to form the leadership backbone for UMNO. Can their leadership provide a new impetus for the party's revival? Can UMNO help to rejuvenate other BN component parties?

There are several issues which the new leadership must address quickly:
  1. The party is suffering from a serious perception deficit. It is known for being a bully, a rule bender, rowdy, autocratic and feudalistic. The party does not mind manipulating religion, race and recently the monarchy to satisfy its political agenda. One of the biggest challenges for the party under the new leadership is to prove to us that it is ready and capable of governing a multiracial society. An UMNO which caters for only the Malay community may help to extend the lifeline of the party but not the coalition's. Can Najib convincingly rebrand his leadership to appeal to all Malaysians? Can his leadership be current and flexible enough to win over the waning support of young Malaysians?
  2. UMNO new leadership is the most controversial in the party's history. Najib is entangled with several allegations. Two veteran leaders, Dr Mahathir and Tengku Razaleigh, had urged the new president to come clean on the matter. Ku Li told the Malaysian Insider, "(He) should take the witness stand to clear his name or take legal action against the growing number of foreign publications linking him with the murder of Altantuya Shariibuu and the purchase of submarines. He “should finally face these suspicions and implied charges, submit himself to legal scrutiny, and come clean on them.’’ Meanwhile, Khairy was implicated in the last general election as one of the main causes of BN's stunning defeats. A number of BN leaders had quietly singled him out for arousing the anger of non-Malays. The two leaders have a lot of work to do to repair their public image.
  3. Under Najib leadership, will his reforms plan suffer the same fate like Abdullah's? Several actions taken by the UMNO led government do not augur well for his leadership e.g. arbitrary use of ISA against civilians, Perak power grab, dubious decisions taken by public institutions against the oppositions, action taken against bloggers, police interference in politics and others. His leadership has given us a perception that UMNO is not committed to promote and defend the rule of law, the federal constitution and the democracy system. What is Najib's focus and priority? The interest of this nation or his own political dominance? Malaysians do not like to be kicked around anymore. My sense is that many Malaysians despise unfairness and arrogance.
  4. Is UMNO willing to share more power with other component parties? These political parties can no longer hide that they are not consulted in policy formulation and decision making within the government. Most of these parties are reduced to making statements in the media. If the trend continues, expect very little to change in BN. The progress of this country must involve more than just UMNO leaders. The party does not the capacity to single handily pull this nation out of the current economic dilemma. The talent pool needs to be enlarged. Is the party willing to consider meritocracy over ethnicity?
  5. The current perception today is the party is outdated and does not understand the needs and wants of a multiracial nation. Does the party understand what are the key success factors of a society increasing threatened by complex global challenges?

The plate is full for the new UMNO leadership. It takes a superhuman performance of the leaders to rebuild and regain the confidence of Malaysians towards the party. We are at the twilight of race-based political model.


romerz said...

Their inbuilt system within the party will fail them.

The people within may be part of the problem but ultimately its all about their system of being champions of the Malays.

Unfortunately for them, Malaysian Malays (most of them anyway) are far more advanced in their thinking than these UMNO goons!

They are so out of touch with modern Malaysia! And I do not weep for them!

Despite their rhetoric about being under attack, they deserve it since they are their worst enemies!

The same goes for their stupid clueless components!!!

Oil Gun said...

Race based party will extinct with the increase of maturity among the general population, and UMNO by definition is a race based party.
Unless UMNO open up for other races, it will eventually wither out, and looking at the negative perception that it's suffering now, the question is not would it ever happen but when will it happen.
Najib represents the old generation, which is now is so outdated by any means. To change, UMNO needs a new leader that represents the new era, and rightfully so - after 52 years of independence, we should have been doing way better than this.

Timmy Say said...

Do you remember the feeling when Pak Lah (Mr Clean) was about to replace Dr M?

The sense of hope, the sense that changes were coming, the sense that there's better days ahead was so overwhelming that you really look forward to for him to become our PM.

But this incoming PM, never inspire anyone to have any kind of hope. And that's good enough a reason to reject him as our leader.

If you tell Tengku Razaleigh is going to be my next PM, I believe I will have that feeling of hope again. Now nothing, just total darkness.

clearwater said...

I, for one, despise lack of fair play, arrogance, nepotism and arrogance which Umno/BN have in abundance. Not that PR parties are immune to similar diseases, just that they had less opportunities to be deeply infected. So far, the rhetoric for change remains so much bs. Can Najib rejuvenate Umno with its greed, corruption and entrenched cronyism? He has a chance but does he have the will and the substance? A huge question mark indeed. I am not holding my breadth for it.

Anonymous said...

Najib is like a student who has failed his exam even before entering the examination hall to sit for his first paper.
It will be wise of any political analyst to write a valediction for him right now.
Najib and UMNO are suffering from terminal cancer.

Wizzerd said...

It will be interesting to know that Najib and Khairy will be working as a 'team' the well known fact that they are political rivals. I do not know where Shahrizat actually stands but she too will face the Rafidah's people who may not warm up to her so much.
This situation is a la MCA, Ong-Chua conflict.
May this be the implosion UMNO is facing when the power struggle to continue after the General Assembly.
Najib was talking about a Cabinet reshuffle. Well, will Khairy feature in the new lineup??? Traditionally, UMNO Youth head will be given a post..but this time around. I am not too certain this time.
Let them fight among themselves..and ket us enjoy the show.

Anonymous said...

They say managing UMNO is like managing the country as it's the 'backbone' of the govt. A party which runs on corruption wil surely use the same way to manage the govt. Forget UMNO (and other semi-valued party)and focus on the new politicians of the other political parties to build this country again.


amoker said...

You forgot about his poor handling of the economy, prefering to be actively engaged in dubious political maneuverings instead.