The question Umno needs to address is this: how many Malays are with Umno and how many against? And Umno is now looking at the Malays in PAS and PKR.
“By 2020, we would have increased our population to 29.9 million with Malays and Bumiputera making up 20.7 million (69.2%), Chinese 6.8 million (22.8%), Indians 2.1 million (7%) and others 306,000 (1%).”
This was what Najib Tun Razak said in his keynote address to Umno members in conjunction with Umno’s 67th general assembly last week.
If you want the above to be translated into easy speak here it is:
By 2020, Najib declares that Umno will have effectively neutralised any possibility that the Chinese, the Indians and “others” would, in any way, have any meaningful input into the manner by which the politics of this nation is to be decided. Only the Malays matters! Umno has the support of these Malays!
He does not talk about the vision he or Umno has about how our nation will be in 2020. He does not talk about a nation united in diversity. He does not promise that our children will have a life much better than what we now have.
He does not say that Malaysia will be a better place to live in by 2020. He does not mention anything about his government’s ability to lower the national public debt below the RM500 billion that it is now at.
He does not tell us that by 2020 our nation will be free of corruption, nepotism, arrogance and money politics!
What does he tells us?
This prime minister tells us that by 2020 there will be 20.7 million Malays and Umno takes credit for this because all the Malay affirmative policies of Ketuanan Melayu, the massive inflow of “Malay” pendatangs, all the massive outflow of our most talented professionals, all these Umno has made possible so that by 2020 the Malays will make up 69.2% (and counting) of Malaysia’s population.
And Umno no longer cares if the non-Malays label him and Umno racist. No excuses, no hidden agenda.
The 2020 vision of Mahathir Mohamad is now clear for all to see. By 2020, Malaysia will be for Malays, by the Malays and of the Malays.
The Pakatan union
That is in 2020. What is the political reality today?
Three political parties with widely diverse ideologies had come together as Pakatan Rakyat united by their hatred for Umno.
What do you think will happen to our nation if this Pakatan coalition did take government? Can three political parties with three divergent ideologies converge into a government for the people?
One can speculate and pontificate on that possibility but the only way to find out is to give them government.
Whether Malaysians are prepared to do so in the future is still to be seen but the aftermath of the 13th general election does not auger well for Pakatan for despite winning the popular votes, Pakatan is still very much a work in progress.
But for Umno what matters is if the Malays will vote for Umno.
Umno targeting Pakatan Malays
The results of the 13th general election tell Umno that they still have to worry about this. There are still enough Malays who do not want a Malaysia that is for the Malays, by the Malays and of the Malays.
Why this is so can be attributable to a number of issues but clearly the Malays are divided in numbers large enough to worry Umno.
The question Umno now needs to address is this: how many Malays are with Umno and how many against? And Umno is now looking at the Malays in PAS and PKR.
Umno are working on PAS. It is not if PAS will join with Umno to govern an Islamic Malaysia but it is a matter of when.
PAS has more in common with Umno than with PKR or DAP. PAS has more in common with Najib Tun Razak than with Anwar Ibrahim or Lim Kit Siang.
The Malays in PKR would be more of a problem because they are at times more Umno than Umno but the lure of political power and its spoils will move mountains. And I dare say that many in PKR would be open to negotiations.
Even in Selangor there are already rumblings within PKR because to PKR, Khalid Ibrahim is the worst kind of politicians around – an honest one!
Imagine what will become of Selangor if Khalid is no longer MB.
PKR did benefit greatly at the 12th GE but failed to build on this to any great advantage simply because their priorities are the same as Umno – how does being in government benefit them financially!
Observe how DAP has been able to make itself into a national force from its humble beginning in the backwaters of Malacca to being Lord and Master of Penang.
This was made possible because Lim Kit Siang had the ability to see what a union with PAS and PKR could do to DAP- and he has been proven right today. And now DAP has a national profile and can talk about having a DPM in Putrajaya if Pakatan takes government.
That PAS could bring itself into the Pakatan coalition is Anwar’s doing. Anwar appealed to the racial and religious sentiments within PAS and he must have reminded PAS of the need to have the racial numbers tilted in favour of the Malays even within the Pakatan coalition.
After the second general election that Pakatan contested, it is obvious to any who cared to observe that the coalition was beginning to fray at the edges, and that Umno is streets ahead of them when it comes to winning a general election.
But the question Umno has to be sure of is this: Are all the Malays with Umno?
The simple answer is “NO”.
CT Ali is a reformist who believes in Pakatan Rakyat’s ideologies. He is a FMT columnist.