It is pathetic to see Umno, the dominant Malay race-based party trying to convince the people that it is still the best party. The respect it commanded during its initial stages of existence, reinforced by the spirit of independence struggle, seems to be dwindling into obscurity.
Its apparent current hidden agenda, of trying to survive by subtly abusing both political and governmental powers, coupled with corrupt monetary strength, is generating hatred among its more enlightened and informed citizenry. Of late, its abuse of the judiciary to ward of infighting associated with intra-party power struggle, as depicted in the Anwar Ibrahim "persecution" saga, further eroded its already fast waning genuine respect, particularly from the more politically sensitive segment of the population.
The issues raised by the central leaders of Umno at this year's general assembly clearly indicates that Umno is on the defensive mode. Lack of intelligent substance, relying more on authority than truth, their key leaders are brushing off pertinent issues confronting the nation's progress to greater heights unity, prosperity and cleverness.
Avoiding major issues such as astronomical rise of crime rate, corruption of the public sector, drug abuse, AIDS, spiraling cost of a failing healthcare service, undermining of the democratic doctrine of the separation of powers, the abuse of the police and judiciary for political survival, the flawed electoral process, over-regulated market economy, race relations, increase of jobless local university graduates, over-controlled media, freedom of speech, association and expression, Umno leaders seem to be more preoccupied with "Malayism", the keris, defending a defunct New Economic Policy, over-reacting to opposition activity, and hiding behind a media which creates more political misinformation than truth.
These changing pattern of Umno's organisational behaviour is an indication that the party is disintegrating from within, it has gone into a core value crisis expressed in a fire-fighting mode. It is moving from democracy into a precarious corrupt, elite-driven aristocracy, which is politically ugly and resentful. To defend such a deteriorating political organisation, which is harping on outmoded Malayism to propel its perpetuation, is an act which lacks genuine political moral values and intelligence.
From experience, it is well-known that any political organisation which goes beyond a certain level of corruption and power abuse will naturally decay from within and through the power of resentment by the people it will face on-going onslaught directly and indirectly, gradually losing its intrinsic power, degenerating into an organisation which is no more considered with pride by the people.
It is during this stage that other parties will arise, with better moral values and people-oriented and spirit-led culture. The people should by now take cognisance that Umno has lost its savour, and cannot serve the people with the right kind of leadership, a change is now of vital importance for posterity.