By Marion Tharsis
We know what Umno has done or not done
The recently concluded Umno general assembly puts more focus on rancourous chantings against the opposition rather than putting a lot of emphasis on how to retain their control of power in the next general election.
Race and religion have always been their hallmark or modus operandi, so there is nothing surprising when they continue to harbour on these issues in order to secure the votes from the hardliners within the community.
It is the opposition-bashing that raises some eye brows due to the way Umno has attempted to demoralise and degrade the opposing party even though some of the opposition achievements have even surpassed that of the BN over this short period of rule in two major states, being the heartland and economic powerhouses of the country.
There seems a very desperate effort to gain lost popularity by ranting and raving over unsubstantiated reports of great performance and overwhelming support.
Obviously the old guards within Umno hope for continued acceptance and thus talk off the cliff in whatever way or methodology seen fit to them.
We know what Umno has done or not done and this is very evident over the 50 years they had the mandate to rule. We know how they operate and expect to function in the future if again they are elected to rule by popular demand. We know their survival depends mainly on race and religion for which they seem to think they have sole proprietorship.
However, the decision squarely lies with the people and today the younger generation look forward to change for all Malaysians and want wastage of public funds and cronyism to cease for the future well being of the country.
Umno members have the right to say what they want for the future of their community and party but they must realise the opposition, though may seem in sixes and sevens, are today a strong force to be reckoned with even though they have been restricted in some ways from making their presence felt. There is a strong possibility of toppling the old champion (BN) who has served its purpose and outlived its survival.
Had Umno focused more on how to convince the other communities of its true intention to help all Malaysians and put up a Malaysian vision rather than a racial vision, it would have given it a tremendous boost to its shrinking popularity in light of growing support for the opposition.
MIC is a spent force and MCA is fast becoming one. Ask what you can do rather than ask what the opposition can do. At least this attitude will help to retain the few diehard constituent seats instead of facing total humiliation.
The next general election, if played on a fair and free field, can certainly spring a big surprise.