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Friday, January 30, 2015

Barisan disintegrating as Umno in crisis, says veteran newsman

 Veteran journalist Datuk A. Kadir Jasin believes infighting in ruling coalition Barisan Nasional would hamper its ability to maintain support especially from non-Bumiputera communities. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, January 30, 2015. Veteran journalist Datuk A. Kadir Jasin believes infighting in ruling coalition Barisan Nasional would hamper its ability to maintain support especially from non-Bumiputera communities. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, January 30, 2015.
With lynchpin party Umno engulfed in a leadership crisis, other component parties of ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) are disintegrating or going their own way, said veteran journalist Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.
The former group editor of Umno-controlled English daily New Straits Times said this could be seen in the prolonged infighting in ethnic Indian party, MIC, and the increasingly independent tone that the BN parties in Sarawak were taking over various problems.
Umno, meanwhile, has been dealing with internal attacks against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and rebuttals against his critics through cybertroopers and government-controlled media.
For instance he said Najib, as Umno president and chairman of the BN coalition, appeared unable to prevent MIC from tearing itself apart due to a leadership tussle.
“In the MIC, the challenge against the lightweight President G. Palanivel started from the early days he succeeded the autocratic, but hugely popular Tan Sri S. Samy Vellu in December 2010.
“Despite being the smallest of the original Alliance/BN parties, MIC is important to the grand old coalition because the Indians generally support the BN.
“With the Chinese-based MCA and Gerakan having been rejected by the Chinese, continuous Indian support is crucial.
“But a weak MIC could drive away BN’s Indian votes,” Kadir wrote in his blog.
Najib was unable to aid the MIC as he faced growing discontent from within Umno, he added.
BN’s Sarawak’s parties appear to be carving out a path of their own in preparation for the state’s elections which must be held before June next year.
The state government under new Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem appears to be more assertive in trying to win back support that was lost in the 2011 state election and 2013 general election.
“The state government is surreptitiously flexing its muscle over immigration by barring many peninsula residents from entering the state.
“Even civil servants and GLC employers are subjected to closer scrutiny now before being allowed entry.
“The supposedly weak and amiable Tan Sri Adenan Satem is proving to be more decisive than his predecessor Tun Taib Mahmud in some key areas like corruption and abuse of power,” said Kadir.
But he also wrote that the BN's rival, Pakatan Rakyat, was in need of rejuvenation if it still hoped to take federal power.
The opposition coalition needed to wean itself off figures such as de facto PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
“As I told two members of PAS supreme council a couple of weeks ago, if they are serious about taking over the country, all the three PR parties must stop petty squabbles and put forward the best in brain and policies," Kadir said.
PR parties, mainly DAP and the Islamist PAS, have been at odds with each other of late over implementing hudud which is the Islamic penal code and local council elections.
- TMI

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