In part 1, you suggested that anyone who has enough support and has the confidence of the King can become PM. How come our PM and DPM have always come from UMNO?
The answer is simple. UMNO leaders have always represented the Malaysian population. They have the support of a wide spectrum of Malaysians.
To be Prime Minister of Malaysia, it is not enough to have the Malays supporting you. You also need the support of the Chinese, the Indians, and don’t forget the communities of Sabah and Sarawak. You will need the support of people in urban areas and rural areas. You will need support from the old, the middle aged and the young. UMNO has so far managed to breed leaders who seem to be able to get this spectrum of support.
Why not PAS or DAP or any other leader from other political parties?
Historically, UMNO has always sought to represent everyone via their power sharing formula, first through the Alliance (UMNO-MCA-MIC), and after May 13, through Barisan Nasional (at one point of time, even PAS was in Barisan Nasional).
DAP, from the start, seems to work with a core support base from the Chinese population. PAS, on the other hand, in the 1950s and 1960s, were fighting for a Malaysia only for the Malays and they were adamant on making this country an Islamic state.
Why then did Barisan Nasional lose a considerable amount of support in March 2008?
The leaders of UMNO, over the years, have become complacent and they forgot the need to represent the wide spectrum of Malaysians which I suggested earlier. Their failure to take care of the urban Malaysians, their overzealous implementation of affirmative action plans which also benefited the rich, as well as perceived corruption has punctured a hole in the leadership of UMNO and thus there’s a large segment of Malaysians who feel they are not represented by the UMNO leadership.
How about PAS today?
The PAS of today is not the same as the PAS of yesteryears. In the early stage of their political movement, PAS was myopic. PAS was thinking only for the Malays. Only during the 1980s did the PAS leadership realize that they needed to court the non-Malays in order to gain power and lead nationally. So they embarked on a courting act via the Chinese Consultative Council (CCC).
While it was a first try, you can see why PAS has not yet managed to breed leaders who can lead more than just the Malays. To the Chinese, ‘CCC’ is ‘see see see’, Hokkien for ‘mati mati mati’. That shows how far behind they were in dealing with the Chinese…even the name of the group was not thought out properly. But now it is different, they are moving into a different direction via efforts like the Kelab Penyokong PAS with members who are non-Malays.
Secondly, PAS overlooked that fifty percent of the population are female. To lead Malaysians, you must get the support from the fifty percent woman population. To be overly male-dominant will not get the fairer sex to like you. How many of our women would like to vote for a party who might compromise the position of women?
How about DAP? Why not a PM from DAP?
DAP’s political action for a long time, from the very beginning, does not behave as a political party who wants to wrest power and run the nation. They were a party busy trying to portray that they are champions of the Chinese. Whether true or not, that is the perception that a big part of the nation has towards DAP.
The DAP leadership and followers do not understand that to graduate and become a true national party that can breed leaders who can lead the nation as a whole, they need to reflect Malaysia. The harsh criticism that my article to YB Lim Guan Eng attracted from pro-DAP supporters only shows how far they are behind in understanding the need to embrace the Malay majority population in order to become leaders of the nation. I see DAP’s new leadership lead by Lim Guan Eng is slowly but surely trying to rectify this – but he will have to face a lot of resistance.
So what do you think will happen next?
The political parties in Malaysia are maturing. They are beginning to realize that representing only one group of people can get you into Parliament, but not into Putrajaya.
I see that political parties in Malaysia will slowly become more mature and representative of the country in order to lead the nation. They know that they need to breed Malaysian leaders who can lead Malaysia as a whole. Or else they will never dream of having a PM or DPM from their ranks.
In doing so, the Malays cannot be too Malay, the Chinese cannot be too Chinese, the Indians cannot be too Indian, the Sabahans cannot be too Sabahan, the Sarawakians cannot be too Sarawakian. They all have to be Malaysian first, and their respective grouping second.
Failing which, they will remain in the sidelines, having fun shouting at the government but knowing that they remain, as the Malay saying goes, ‘bagai anjing menyalak bukit’.