What to Expect from UMNO’s “Sound and Fury” Show

Students of English literature, a subject which has unfortunately been abandoned by our Malay-centric schools, will remember these lines from Shakespeare’s famous play ”Macbeth”

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

These lines remind me of the coming UMNO General Assembly meeting.

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Will this much hyped event be the last act of a very bad play, an idiot’s tale full of bombast and melodrama but without meaning?

Already, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has gone on record to say “UMNO must change or be changed”. He is the latest of a long line of UMNO leaders who have been reading from the same old tired script, promising a reformed UMNO. However, to date, nothing has changed.

Within UMNO as the Deputy Prime Minister has admitted “there are still fights for positions, money politics, carelessness, negligence and forgetfulness, and this includes the party’s wings”.

He has conveniently omitted mentioning the other fights which UMNO leaders are engaged in outside the party – fanning crude racism, encouraging Islamic bigotry and dominance, and fostering a culture of extremism, hate and intolerance.

UMNO: Looking Backwards

Tan Sri Muhyiddin has not forgotten about race, religion and “ketuanan Melayu” in his admission of infighting within the party.  In fact, according to his interviews with the UMNO aligned media, he wants UMNO delegates to focus on these same hot topics.

It is in Muhyiddin’s and UMNO’s dominant leadership’s genes to be “Malays first and Malaysians second.” That is why the party’s carefully chosen speakers at the assembly – UMNO President Najib, Deputy President Muhyiddin and others will engage in the usual “sound and fury, signifying nothing” show.  All that will likely emerge from the meeting then is

  1. a renewed round of threats, bullying and attempted blackmailing of the country’s minority communities, especially the Chinese, East Malaysia non-Malay Bumiputra and non-Islamic communities
  1. a further appeal to the Malays to recognize that the community, Islam, Malay royalty, Malay business class, etc. need to support UMNO or the non-Malays will take over the country

UMNO: Looking Forward

But I, and many other Malaysians, have not lost hope entirely. There must be individuals and groups in the party that know of the cancer and culture of corruption, authoritarianism, greed, self enrichment and opportunism within the party which many of the top leaders are bent on spreading to the rest of the country. 

Surely, in a party with millions of members, there must be many of integrity, decency and sensibility who know that the party – in its present condition – is the Malay community’s worst enemy. Surely realistic platforms for real reform and change can be put up for discussion instead of the bashing of vernacular schools and self concocted enemies of Islam, royalty and the Malays. .

The main aim of this UMNO meeting should be to formulate policies to make Malaysia a developed nation; and to make the Malays a respected community that can stand on its own feet and without the need for crutches, keris-wielding or name-calling.

This group of moderate and honorable members must change the policies that have not worked. They must push out the leaders who have not  performed and replace them with new blood that does not seek to make the non-Bumiputra the scapegoat for everything wrong or bad that happens in the Malay community.

Only in this way then can UMNO deserve its leadership position in Malaysian politics.

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