Since the political tsunami of 2008, Umno has been in a dilemma. On one hand, they want to continue their business as usual; on the other, they know that in the age of the Internet, it is becoming increasingly difficult due to increased scrutiny on even the tiniest detail of their business affairs.
You see, Umno and the rest of the BN are addicted. And no, it is not drugs that they are addicted to but rather their politics of cronyism and patronage. Sixty years of uninterrupted rule by the BN had apparently corrupted and warped their internal democracy and it is now evident that anyone who seeks to rise to the top of the BN parties need to find ways to keep their delegates or ‘downlines’ happy which is usually through monetary means.
With their inability to rehabilitate their internal structures combined with increasing public pressure for a clean government, they have decided to turn their attention to breaking apart opposition parties instead. With huge financial resources at their disposal (it’s a wonder how they obtain those resources cleanly, seeing that they never have to hold a fund-raising campaign), their focus is to discredit and malign opposition parties through internal and external attacks.
Suddenly ‘disgruntled’ party members would attack their leaders in the press and the formation of many so-called ‘check and balance’ NGOs seem to appear overnight.
Of course, no political party is free from public scrutiny, but some of the criticisms sound so atrocious sometimes that it could only be assumed that they were made to misdirect the public from the facts.
Lately, many of the mainstream media outlets have gone on an opposition bashing overdrive while claiming to be politically impartial. Common sense tells you that no news outlet can be impartial when they are directly or indirectly owned and funded by certain political parties. It can now be safely assumed that the general election is around the corner. Why do I say that? Because it is so predictable now, it is almost like a standard operating procedure or SOP.
With Malaysia being so centralised already, I can tell you that they are not stopping any time soon. If they have their way, they would continue centralising more and more power so that the top leaders can get more revenue to feed their delegates. This will ensure their political survival in the rotting BN power structure.
The same democracy that was put in place to ensure that leadership commands the confidence of the majority is now corrupted beyond recognition thanks to leaders who refuse to step down. The perks of power are too addictive for any of them to willingly let go of power.
With facts showing that opposition parties are able to govern better like in Penang and Selangor, steps are then taken to spin malicious lies about the opposition. Former ally PAS has gone to town trying to justify to their members and electorate on their now open cooperation with their former rival Umno by saying that the DAP was a ‘dropping’ left behind by the Singaporean People’s Action Party or PAP.
It does not take an expert to figure out that the PAP and DAP are two very distinct and different parties and have no party-to-party relations whatsoever.
‘Umno has stronger ties with the PAP’
You can say that Umno has stronger ties with the PAP on a ruling party-to-ruling party basis. In fact, foreign powers would do their best to keep Umno in power, after all, it is easier to take advantage of a corrupt and incompetent government than a clean one. I guess PAS has conveniently forgotten that they were a splinter of Umno. Whatever it takes I guess, to smokescreen their intentions of wanting to work with Umno.
So to cut the long story short, what is the BN up to? Simple, use as many dirty tactics to win back the states. Whether it is through gerrymandering or even telling outright lies to steer perception, to the BN, power must be obtained by hook or by crook.
After securing power, moves will then be made to pressure state governments under their rule to surrender more power to Putrajaya. Local government elections had been abolished since the 1970s and if there is a chance to further limit the ability of citizens to choose their governments, they would do it in an instant.
After all, elections are an inconvenience to the BN. All that money they would have to spend on campaigning can instead be used to feed their delegates and themselves. You see, governance has never been the focus of the BN, it has always been what the country can do for them and not what they can do for the country.
As the elections draw nearer, their paws are getting itchier. They are getting ready to pounce. Imagine all the millions and billions they will get to take if they win. They are salivating at the very thought of it. They do not care if Malaysians lose hope and suffer; their children are all overseas with full bank accounts. They are rich but still want to be richer. Hence, they want to make more money.
They don’t care about you, your wife, your children, that average income job you have and the countless loans that you are trying so hard to pay off every month. Your problems don’t even cross their minds when they sit in their private jets or relax on their private swimming pools.
Think about it...
CHRIS LEE CHUN KIT is a city councillor with the Penang Island City Council (Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang) representing the DAP.-Mkini