Sunday, December 02, 2012

The 66th Umno General assembly 2012

A real letdown for those who had hopes for change

The just concluded 66th Umno Annual General Assembly was the last opportunity for the party to convince the people of its willingness to change that it promised 4 years ago after its losses at the March 8 elections of 2008.Unfortunately it appears that Umno has not learnt any lessons from its defeat as the proceedings at the assembly, the last before 13GE,failed to reveal any concrete evidence of its change.

It was pathetic to see a party in power for 55years,having led the fight for independence and developing the nation to a level to be admired by many, resorting to three misguided strategies to win the crucial 13GE that is seen as a threat to unseat it.

These include:

1. Over-boasting of its experience in governance and achievements while failing to address all its glaring misdeeds
2. Threatening of riots and unrest if it loses
3. Opposition bashing and ridiculing the opposition as an unholy alliance, their inexperience in governing and unrealistic populist policies which will only lead the country to bankruptcy.

It was a big letdown as the President, his deputy and heads of the Youth and Umno wings took the lead to attack Pakatan and its leaders instead of trying to prove they have changed and deserve to be trusted to continue to rule for another term. He also boasted on Umno’s achievements instead of trying to chart a new direction his party will head to take the country and the people to greater heights.

The Umno President in his opening address said that if Pakatan rules, the country will be demolished economically and lose its sovereignty. What prove does he have to support that as Pakatan has yet to be given a chance to rule?

They condemn and even ridicule Pakatan’s promises to reduce oil prices, car prices, abolish toll and provide free tertiary education to all saying such populist measures will bankrupt the nation. It is hard to believe how enriching the people will cause the nation to go bankrupt. What concrete measures is Umno-BN planning to alleviate the people’s impoverished state other than giving out free cash occasionally in the form the abused BR1M?

The Umno Wanita leader’s use of May 13 to scare Malaysians to support Umno reflects how desperate her party is to win the elections at all costs. By trying to instill fear of riots and the possibility of another May 13 should they lose power, they had exhibited great anxiety and fear at the prospect of losing power. It further proved they had totally lost touch with what the people on the ground want – peace and progress not war and chaos.

Her claim that that Malays will lose political power if Umno loses the mandate to govern in the next general election is ridiculous as Malays also form the majority in Pakatan. In actual fact, it is Umno  who will lose their power not Malays as they will continue to dominate even under Pakatan rule.

The Umno Youth leader’s comparison to the coming elections to World War II is unbecoming of a leader in a democratic country who could be aspiring to be the PM in the future. In a war you fight against enemies invading your country and you have the right to kill if necessary unlike in an elections where you contest against your opponents who are not your enemy but fellow citizens who are your comrades in building your nation.

The vast majority of Malaysians of all races are living quite comfortably and not in the mood for fights and riots with their own fellow citizens. They want to continue their peaceful coexistence to develop the nation to greater heights.

On the whole the assembly was a disappoinment for those who had hopes that  Umno  is capable of genuine change. It was more of an opposition-bashing although on a more moderate tone compared to previous Umno general assemblies because of the coming elections.

The strategies adopted by Umno, instead of garnering more support, would only help convince undecided voters to make up their mind against BN in the coming election. The incumbent party cannot hope to win an election by the non-existing demerits of its untested opponent but only by its merits over 55 years of rule.

The two thousand over delegates of the 66th Umno General assembly may have gone home motivated and re-charged to fight hard for winning the 13GE but how long that fire in them lasts to bring the desired victory remains to be seen.

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