[TheNutGraph.com: In Malay Press] Umno and government at crossroads?

11 09 2008

~ Translation by Fahmi Fadzil
editor@thenutgraph.com

ONE of the major themes in the Malay dailies between 30 Aug and 5 Sept 2008 was the fate of Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN) post-Permatang Pauh.

In a 31 Aug Utusan Malaysia article, BN Perlu Format Baru Tarik Orang Muda — Muhyiddin, Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin was reported to have said that the BN must reinvent itself to attract support from the younger generation in order to remain the party in power.

Muhyiddin said: “I take note of the recent general and by-election results, and there seems to be the view among [the younger generation] that they do not fully agree with or are not interested in the BN concept.”

In a news analysis by Nizam Yatim titled Berubah Demi Survival Politik in Utusan Malaysia on 2 Sept, Muhyiddin was again reported to have raised the issue of the BN’s reinvention.

The analysis noted that this is not the first time such an idea has been mooted. It quoted acting Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon as saying the “BN has been dominated by Umno, and other component parties have no say in fighting for the rights of the ethnic groups they represent. The phenomenon of having only one powerful party, that is Umno, in the BN has to be stopped to restore faith among the non-Malays.”

Nizam reported that some political analysts have indicated that the BN has to learn from the Pakatan Rakyat, which has “chosen to fight for the rights and for the good of all, irrespective of religion and race.”

“Such principles attract the interest of the young, including Malays born after Merdeka who are no longer interested in race-based struggles, but who prefer to be treated equally with other Malaysians.”

The Umno elections

Related to that, the upcoming Umno elections in December have brought to light the in-fighting among party members.

In a 4 Sept Utusan Malaysia article titled MT Perlu Bertindak Segera, Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim was quoted as saying that the supreme council needed to drastically intervene in members’ politicking, which could result in actions that will lead to the party’s demise.

The article cited the incidents in Kota Baru, where Umno branch head Datuk Azaha Abdul Rani was seriously injured in an acid attack; in Seremban, where the deputy chief of the branch, Mohd Noor Awang, was charged for bribery in attempting to get elected as the branch head; and in Bukit Semanggol, where Umno branch deputy head Taib Ali was shot dead by two men.

The meaning of a public holiday

The issue of 16 Sept &mdash the date that Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader and now opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has said the Pakatan Rakyat would take over federal government &mdash was also prominently discussed.

To read full article, please visit: http://thenutgraph.com/umno-and-government-at-crossroads


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