Umno-Baru leaders and their supporters have abandoned Umno-Baru.
At the party’s height of power, these Umno-Baru members failed to see, or preferred not to see, that their former leader, the disgraced former PM, Najib Abdul Razak, and other members of the Umno-Baru elite, were responsible for several scandals and financial wrongdoings.
The same with Khairy Jamaluddin, aka KJ, the MP for Rembau. He should have spoken out, but did not. Now that the party members are abandoning the party, KJ should also leave.
The party is tainted. Its leaders should try and mend their ways, but they still continue with their racist rhetoric and divisive ways. Look at the former DPM, Zahid Hamidi, who is the current Umno-Baru leader.
KJ could create a political earthquake by cutting his umbilical cord to Umno-Baru and forming his own multi-racial party.
If KJ cannot transport the Umno-Baru dinosaurs into the 21s Century, he should stop wasting energy on people who refuse to change, or listen.
A new party
His new multiracial party should dispense with the rituals, kow-towing and idolatry of specific individuals, that is present in Umno-Baru. The new party should be equal, in every sense of the word.
The MP from Rembau must learn to trust his instincts, and be more self-confident. The affirmative action policies and the Ketuanan Melayu complex have robbed many Malays of their self-esteem.
KJ has the right credentials, and experience. Malaysians are snobs and his Oxford credentials afford him a headstart.
Learn to be less haughty and arrogant
He has already developed the networking skills but he could learn to be less haughty, and arrogant.
He is normally associated with the elite and it would not hurt him to climb down from his ivory tower. His biggest mistake was to allow himself to be the poodle of former, disgraced PM Najib Abdul Razak.
The last video which Najib and KJ made together, days before GE-14, in which they discussed Pakatan Harapan (PH), was a PR disaster. The two sat in a pristine and deathly quiet mamak shop. Whoever heard of a mamak shop with no grease, and the atmosphere of a graveyard?
That video was the last nail in Najib’s coffin. Both the location and the content of their discussion were ludicrous, just like the story of the Arabian donation, which Najib is now struggling to spin, especially as the Saudi Arabians have made a u-turn.
Ditch Umno-Baru which is tainted
KJ has a following, and he can get more people on board, but he needs to offload the Umno-Baru baggage, with which he is tainted. By ditching Umno-Baru, he would earn the respect of millions of Malaysians.
Zahid, the president of Umno-Baru is not a leader. He is friendly with the Malay triad, Tiga-Line. He butchers the English language each time he opens his mouth. His thuggish nature does greatest harm to the economy, it dents investor confidence, and destroys harmonious relationships in the country. He could not even be bothered to end did the abuse of his grandchild to fight his corner.
The signs are not good and Umno-Baru, the party which used to spend hundreds of millions of ringgits on their general assemblies is as good as dead. Remember the days when their leaders would drive up in the latest imported car, with their women dripping with jewels or designer handbags. Now the best they can muster is the umpteen trips to the MACC to be grilled
People are openly critical of Umno-Baru and the top leadership. Loyalty towards Umno-Baru has come at a heavy cost to the people. Najib’s profligacy ruined Malaysia. His family benefited from his largesse, courtesy of the taxpayer. He paid his appointees whom he appointed to head public institutions, several hundred thousands in monthly salary. On top of that, they enjoyed the generous perks and expenses. The poor received a measly RM2,000 annual BR1M.
Rejuvenate the political scene and form a strong Opposition
If KJ were to leave Umno-Baru and form his own party, it would rejuvenate the Malaysian political scene.
It may also restore KJ’s own image, which was dented by his association with Najib. He appeared to be vocal about the corruption and other abuses of power, only when Umno-Baru lost.
Najib and Zahid have been arrested by the MACC. Their trials are imminent. They practically destroyed Malaysia and KJ would best be rid of them and start afresh. Age is on his side.
There is no point in having a copy-cat Umno-Baru; therefore KJ should boldly strike out and get progressive Malaysians to join him. Pakatan Harapan (PH) needs a strong Opposition, especially as PH risks looking like a carbon copy of Umno-Baru.
Forming a new multiracial party would be in the public interest. Mahathir is ruthless and politically savvy, but he is not immortal. The young politicians in PH are still naive and struggling to get on their feet. Let them catch up but in the meantime, KJ should capitalise and form a strong Opposition because that is what the nation needs.
UMNO has been in power for so long, its DNA is now embedded in the Malay psyche. Even the PH Malay leaders have it. The rot has set in deep and may not be rid of so easily. Even if UMNO baru disappears and malays flock to Bersatu or whatever is available, the culture of corruption, stupidity, incompetence and abuse of power will be manifest, sooner or later. Already there are rumblings of this in some states and ministries. So Malaysia is in for the long haul, hauling the baggage of “ketuanan melayu, ketuanan islam” for the foreseeable future