from jebat must die
Continuing from the previous post, we now come to the part where serious action plans are needed to rejuvenate and recover the confidence of the people towards Barisan Nasional.
1. Dealing with issues
There are a lot of post general election issues which should have been dealt with in a more tactful and intelligent manner. It is best that all issues are answered in a dignified, consistent, with facts and above all, in a non-arrogant way.
Example 1 : NEP-free Penang
The statement by YAB Lim Guan Eng that Penang will be NEP-free should have been dealt with by saying it was just DAP’s gimmick and populist approach in appeasing their Chinese supporters. To begin with, it was actually a non-issue as the NEP came to an end in 1990. It was replaced by Dasar Pembangunan Nasional (DPN) in which it was applied to all Malaysians. Our ‘Misi Nasional’ and in particular, its ‘Teras 3′ approach (Menangani Masalah Ketidaksamaan Sosio-Economi Yang Berterusan Secara Membina dan Produktif) which doesn’t discriminate any race, are proof that the government takes care of all Malaysians without prejudice and favour.
Umno leaders can defend the success of NEP but not to picture it as perpetually active. The knowledgeable Malays weren’t even impressed by the statements and approach of Pak Lah and some of the Umno leaders in chastising Lim Guan Eng. More so, the IDR in Johor Darul Takzim was announced as free of the NEP (again, another mistaken statement) by Tun Musa Hitam and endorsed by Pak Lah in March 2007. Inconsistent leaders invites ridicule and disparagement from the public.
BN leaders should invite the PR leaders to discuss the implementation of Misi Nasional for the sake of national development; but the contrary happens.
Example 2 : Azalina Othman and her antics
Azalina Othman made statements that was smack with arrogance. She is acting more like an Umno warlord in fulfilling her ministerial job description rather than being a minister in charge of the tourism industry of Malaysia. The way she deliberate the ministry’s first pronouncement will likely push the BN supporters to sympathise with the PR states. It is mind boggling how she behaved in an unfriendly manner towards those states as if her party had won tremendous victory in the last general election. Being delusional is one thing, never learn from mistakes is another.
Note that callous remarks from leaders throughout history will often be the cause of their downfall. In this case, her action in terminating the MOUs and channeling the funds directly to federal representatives in the PR states instead to their rightful excos will make her look insensitive and vindictive towards the people in those states.
Example 3 : YB Mukhriz Mahathir
When Mukhriz sent a letter to Pak Lah asking him to resign, some of the Umno leaders should pronounce that the spirit of democracy, liberty and toleration in Umno is alive and well. But in their zest to support Pak Lah’s weak leadership, they failed to realise that they made the statements alone and without the support of the discontented grassroots. These Umno leaders and the mainstream media whom had played up the issue should have instead accept the grouses and criticisms of Umno members with open hearts and eyes wide open; much like how the MCA and Gerakan deal with the same leadership issue.
In the end, no action were taken against Mukhriz and this alienate Pak Lah and his supporters further.
Example 4 : Issues with the monarchy and Tun Dr. Mahathir
Pak Lah lack of common sense and brash/crude attitude towards the highly respected figures of the Agong, Raja Perlis and Tun Dr Mahathir had tarnished his and Umno’s image even further. It also confirms the allegations that Umno is preaching double standard (vis-a-vis the appointment Menteri Besar Perak fiasco). It doesn’t diminish anyone’s pride to actually meet the Agong before appointing the Menteri Besar of Terengganu. Pak Lah action in trying to discipline the Agong via the mainstream media lacks humility and duty for the Agong which borders treason of the highest order.
The Malays upheld and respect the concept of kindness (budi) and repay with kindness (balas budi). Without it, the Malays would lost their main characteristic. Several past leaders had openly criticise their successors. The proper response to the criticisms from any predecessors is best referred to Tun Dr Mahathir’s attitude towards the previous prime ministers before him. Politeness and humility and the recognition that the past PMs were merely stating their grievances over what they perceived is wrong made Tun Dr Mahathir more objective in his response. But Pak Lah and the Umno leaders fared badly in this department. Some even had the audacity to openly rebuke and scold a renown world leader in the mainstream media without any sense of guilt over their own misgivings. The adage “paku dulang paku serpih, mengata orang dia yang lebih” aptly reflects this attitude.
2. YB Datuk Zaid Ibrahim
Pak Lah appointed him as the Minister in Prime Minister Department in charge of law. During the recent general election, due to being dropped out from being a candidate, he was reported to being seen as supporting PAS through the free distribution of food for the PAS election machinery. Usually, this act of sabotage would entail him to be disciplined or even be sacked from Umno.
Furthermore, his inexperience in dealing with national issues as well as losing sight as a minister of a Malaysian Cabinet had made him look foolish. Making important statements prematurely and without the good sense in getting the consent from the rest of the Cabinet is deemed as talking without thinking.
3. Re-delineation of election constituency
Re-delineation needs to be done at least once every 8 years according to Article 113 of the Constitution. This time around, this exercise needs to be done earliest in 2012 or latest in 2013. Potential problems might arise because 5 states within Malaysia are under the control of Pakatan Rakyat. Will Umno have a strong influence in this exercise? If not, then the fate of Umno will be sealed and will be buried in the annals of Malaysian history.
This exercise has been beneficial for Umno via the use of SPR as it determines the demarcation of the voting areas accoring to racial mix. Previously, the delineation has always been done to ensure the success of BN candidates. Currently, with 5 states under the governance of PR, SPR and Umno may not have the final say during the incoming re-delineation exercise.
4. Housing development area
In several states in Malaysia, housing areas have been built on the so called Malay reserved lands and have been aggresively pursued all in the name of development. Some of the taken reserved lands were not replaced as per Article 89(3) of the Constitution.
Expensive houses were purposely built as a deterrent for the Malays to buy them. Politically, the impact for this move proves to be disastrous as several Malay majority areas like Selayang and Bayan Lepas fell to the Chinese. Subsequently, Perak and Selangor are dominated politically by the Chinese. Negeri Sembilan nearly became one too. What more, one of the reason why the Malays in Kedah and Kelantan voted for PAS is because they are afraid their lands will be taken over by the Chinese due to the establishment of ‘economic corridors’ which was the brainchild of Pak Lah.
Therefore, it is hoped that the Umno leaders as well as the Malay government officers would consciously think about the Malay interests and the repercussions when signing away approvals for any housing developments for the sake of the ’Ketuanan Melayu’ survival.
5. Role of mainstream media
The mainstream media which are controlled by the BN need to change their approach in reporting the news so that they will regain their credibility. Prior to 8th March 2008, news about Pak Lah’s so called brilliance and greatness as well as one sided stories were propagated by the media ad nauseam, which in turn, led to the unprecedented loss of confidence towards the media.
The editors need to know how to balance the news items in a way that will not jeopardize the perception of independent journalism.
6. Internet and blogs
It has been known that the ICT is the main conduit where the PR leaders can reach their intended audience. The reason why BN lost its 2/3 majority is because they had underestimated the power of ICT in this knowledge based society. It is very ironic that in the first place, it was Pak Lah who had pushed for the idea of K-ekonomi through information technology but in the run up towards the recent general election, he and the BN leaders were the ones shunning it.
The importance of blogs cannot be undermined. Each of the PR leaders have their blogs set up several years ago. Even most of PAS’ branches have their own websites for the public to access. Therefore, every component party, especially Umno, must have their own active, attractive and informative blogs and websites to counter allegations and disseminate news to the public.
To just have blogs and websites is not nearly enough. One must have pro BN bloggers who are passionate, interested, enthusiatic, impartial and very well-informed operating it. To gain a lot of readers, the contents must be balanced but critical towards BN. However, the bottomline is, it must be pro BN.
Other ICT conduits must also be used extensively such as sms, mms, web tv, 3G and web portals.
7. Rebuilding Umno
Umno must be rebuilt in the areas of its main objectives and mission. The weakened struggle towards Malay hegemony has been further weakened by the advent of corruption, nepotism, chasing government projects and unabated greed. Umno must reevaluate their direction, mission statement and objectives so that it can stay relevant within the Malaysian context. No more ‘Hidup Melayu’, ’Merdeka!’ or ‘DEB’. It must be changed to ‘Umno for All’, ‘Prospering the Economy For All’ or ‘Clean Party, Clean Government’.
In other words, even with the old slogans, Umno leaders were not serious in walking the talk. The service of political consultants may be needed in order to rejuvenate, reconstruct, reengineer and rebrand Umno so that it can be accepted by whole Malaysians.
8. Capturing the young
It has to be admitted that BTN, Vice Chancellors, overseas MSD and Malaysian ambassadors in foreign countries had failed to influence the students in supporting the government. All these institutions need to be revisited by the BN leaders as the power of the young voters are increasing as the changes from 2007 to 2013 with an increase of 10.9% young population (21 – 30 yrs) of 4.6mill to 5.1mill and increase of 10.5% from 3.8mill to 4.2mill (31 – 40 yrs) from 2007 to 2013.
Data by Statistics Department
9. Treatment towards public servants
There are about 1.2 million public servants in the government. They are a force which is both influential and requires recognition. They have the average voting power of 5 times more than the rest of the voters. Therefore, they command about 6 million voters or 55% out of 10.2 million voters and not just 1.2 million.
However, in the last general election, most of the public servants voted for the opposition. This is evident in Putrajaya whereby the PAS candidate received about 1,304 votes which is about a quarter of the total votes tallied. How can this be? Main reasons which we can deduce were the ‘broom issue’, no bonuses as well as general mistreatment of public servants. Hence, BN leaders need to tread carefully and change their approach in dealing with this huge voting force so that it can vote for BN next time around.
10. Quick wins
Expediency is the key in regaining the support from all Malaysians. When a government has lost it’s popularity among its citizens, it must behave and react in tandem with the populist demands. In short, the BN must do something popular for the people in order to become popular again. The PR government in Penang and other PR states had waived summonses and decreasing assessment rates for places of worships. This is a populist approach and they had become more popular because of that.
But what the BN had been doing after losing more popularity, was to shoot itself in the foot with the acts of Azalina Othman et al (see above) for instance. They instead must give away ‘goodies’ in the form of quick monetary gains to the people as opposed to the announcement by Pak Lah of some obscure and vague developments of the future. These ‘goodies’ must be benefiting all or almost all of the people in the BN states such as abolishing parking rates for a period of time (small compensation by the states might be given to the parking operators), cancellation of state councils’ summonses (much like in Penang), reduction of quit rents or land assessment rates temporarily for a year or two etc.
Above all, the BN must be seen moving in a coherent and united manner. Racial bigotry and demonising other races in each of their own ‘ceramahs’ must be stopped. How can Malaysia achieve prosperity if the main races are wary and fearful of each other? This seems to be the total opposite of what the leaders of BN been preaching all these years – Bangsa Malaysia.
Therefore, the eradication of racial bigotry is imperative in bringing back confidence of the voters. All races need each other. To discriminate excessively (mild discrimination may be allowed) of other races while supporting the Malays excessively is the recipe for disaster. BN may become irrelevant because of that.
In conclusion, the weakened BN especially Umno whom are led and backed by people who has never known the meaning of hard life and the nation’s struggle (KJ take note), usually will not last long in its existence. Thus, it is easily pressured and beaten till it is near death.
Jebat Must Die