If we were to be asked “Who amongst you have been supporters of UMNO?”. Let me be the first to put my hand up. If we were again asked “Who amongst you have benefited from the policies implemented by the Barisan Government?” I will again be the first with my hand up. And yet again if we were asked “Was it not UMNO that has done the most to help the Malays when compared to what any other Party Political Party has done in Malaysia?” Again I will raise my hand and say “Yes Tuan, UMNO has!”
Then they will ask of me why do I as a Malay now desert UMNO at the time of its greatest needs? My answer will be this – “Because UMNO did for itself more then what it did for the Malays!” Here lies the greatest tragedy of this once great party – the inability of its current leaders to see the writing on the wall that shouts to them that UMNO need to change to be relevant to the times it is now in. They have not learned from the willingness in 1951, of Dato Onn Jaafar to leave the Party that he helped found because UMNO was not prepared to open its membership to non-Malays.
Let us not forget that Malaysia formed in 1963 initially consisted of Sabah, Sararwak and Singapore. The expulsion of Singapore in 1965 was the direct result of an increasing racial divide that UMNO encouraged because it went foolhardly into the affairs of the Singapore State by championing the cause of the Singapore Malays.
The May 13 incident of 1969 again demonstrated the sensitivities of multi ethnic politics where solutions need to be found to effectively build a nation that can be united in diversity. This was not done.
They could see that from Dato Onn Jaafar’s time, through the race riots in Singapore in 1964, through the expulsion of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965, through the pain of May 13th in 1969……always it is the racial divide that has caused us all so much pain and sufferings. I still remember the sadness I saw in Tunku face after the May13th riots….and the grim look in Tun Razak’s face as he worked with Tun Ismail and the other Alliance leaders towards reconstructing our nation.
All this for what? For the UMNO that we have now? Huh! What will it take for UMNO to understand that this race issue will not go away with one race being dominant over the other. If UMNO has control over PDRM, over the Army, over the Judiciary over all the weaponary in Malaysia – their leaders will still not be able to sleep soundly nor their family be safe if the racial divide becomes an issue again.
It is now obvious to us that change will not come from within UMNO nor will it be initiated by its leaders. So we, the Rakyat have started the change with our votes at the last General Election. The only thing UMNO can do now is to change itself…if you do not then the only purpose of UMNO being around after the next General Election is simply to serve as a warning to others what sort of a Political Party NOT to be in a multi ethnic country like ours.