Thursday, October 22, 2009

Umno Assembly 2009 : A sign of maturity?

Multiracial politics the way forward

At the recent Umno General Assembly, its president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak rightly said the party must look after the welfare of not just the Malays but that of all the races in the country.As the backbone of the ruling Barisan Nasional(BN) it has the obligation to look after all Malaysians regardless of race. However being a party exclusive for Malays and bumiputras will it be possible to effectively take care of the others? History has shown it cannot do that.

Of late Najib is going all out to woo the support of not just the Malays but the non-Malays as well and he may be meeting some degree of success in his endeavors.He realises that a harmonious environment where all races live side by side is essential for lasting peace without which he will not be able to rule effectively to bring development and prosperity to the nation.

Furthermore without the support of all races the ethnic polarisation will further widen which will not be good for long-term peace and stability in the country. While we laud his attempts to cater for all races with his 1Malaysia policy, there is still much more to be done to convince the majority of the people of his sincerity. His words and pledges need to translated into action and the people must be made to see the results of this 1Malaysia.

While Najib’s call to Umno to care for the non-Malays as well is highly commendable,it is unfortunate that he stopped short of opening its doors to other races although he did not rule out that possibility in the future.Umno could take the lead but the only way it can effectively take care of the non-Malays is by adopting an inclusive policy to admit all races into its fold as legitimate members.

This fact has been clearly shown over the last 52years of communal politics that has resulted in increased racial polarisation and unease.The politics along racial lines,Umno for Malays,MCA for Chinese and MIC for Indians,have clearly failed to unite the races and the system was dealt a serious blow by the people in the last general elections.If only Umno had headed the call of its founding forefather,Dato Onn Jaffar, we may be in a better footing today as a united Malaysian nation without racial distinction and disparity.

Umno has been given another chance to reshape history which it rejected almost 60 years ago.We hope its members under the leadership and guidance of Najib will gain the wisdom to envisage the long-term benefits of a multiracial Umno and BN.With the component parties all in disarray,it may be time to seriously consider the formation of a multiracial BN to save them from disintegration.

The just concluded Umno assembly has portrayed a more mature debate by the delegates who by enlarge refrained from raising issues that were offensive to their fellow non-Malays citizens.Najib must be credited for this clear departure from its traditional racial overtones unlike at previous assemblies.If the proceedings this year is sign of future trend in Umno,then I am sure the time for Umno to open its doors to all races will become a reality in the not so distant future.

More and more Malaysians of all races are being convinced that multiracial politics is the only way forward for lasting peace and prosperity.With this change in the mindset of the people,only parties with multiracial ideals are going to survive in the future.The Opposition has opted for such a multiracial platform and unless Umno and BN do likewise they risk becoming obsolete.

Dr.Chris Anthony

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!

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