The
getting of richness by UMNO’s current and past unprincipled leaders was not
part of a grand design by the founding father of Malay Nationalism or for that
matter Malay Politics. In the beginning UMNO leaders were resolute in their
focus to champion the Malay cause.
But
give Mahathir credit for his response to the changing circumstances that he chanced
upon with the inception of Barisan Nasional. In the beginning Barisan Nasional
was a coalition of three communal parties and the multi ethnic Gerakan. The
three  – UMNO for Malays, MCA for
the Chinese and MIC for the Indians essentially operate in isolation of each
other and their strength and weaknesses are mirrored in their abilities to meet
the demand of the race that they represent. And here lies the opportunity that
Mahathir was quick to recognize and to exploit for himself and for UMNO. 
Mahathir
stumbled into a situation where power lies essentially in his ability to divide
and rule the various races with UMNO, and always UMNO, being the dominant party
within Barisan Nasional.
But
the ‘impressive’ achievements of Malaysia’s economic development and the rise
and rise of Barisan Nasional could not be sustained simply because these
impressive ‘achievements ‘ were without solid foundations. They ‘take’ more
than what they gave back to the nation and actually created the conditions for
the eventual loss of Selangor, Perak, Kedah and Penang to the opposition in the
GE of 2008. I believe that Mahathir saw what was coming and left the sinking
ship before it started taking in water.
But
while the sun was setting on UMNO and Barisan Nasional its political elites
continued with their orgy of excesses and remain under the illusion that all
power resides within their clutches.
I
am sure that 20 years from now if historians were to browsed through pages of
the government owned media or watched any archives of the government control TV
stations-they would come across numerous references to ‘1 Malaysia’, ‘UMNO for
ALL’, ‘UMNO to Reform’ – all pronouncements by UMNO leaders oblivious to the
obvious and continuing to behave as though Malaysia was still their domain to
rule and plunder.
It
was the humiliating abandonment by the Rakyat of Barisan Nasional in the 2008
General Election that proved to be the turning point in UMNO’s perception of
itself. Some self-doubt did start to creep in. It started to retreat into its
abyss of failures in its promises to the Malays. The people of Malaysia and the
Malays in particular told UMNO that it should never again claim that its
leadership over the Malays should never be questioned –not without first
getting the permission of the Malays themselves to do so again!
Of
course the time lag between the effective end of UMNO and the recognition by
its members that UMNO’s demise was indeed a reality might prove to be a bit
lengthy. Possibly the results of the next GE might start it on its long journey
into the sunset of its usefulness to the Malays and to Malaysia. This concept
of “recognition lag” by UMNO of its fortunes is understandable because to accept
defeat now would mean that they could no longer continue to cling their status
quo, which has in the past protected their vested interest and their “right” to
untold wealth at the expense of the country.
This
change in the balance of power  –
as manifested in the loss of over 50% of the peoples vote in the last GE-is
translated into reality by UMNO’s inability to dictate matters with the major
components parties within Barisan – as in MCA and the MIC. Things are
spiralling out of control  – and it
is a vicious circle. The more UMNO shouts to all and sundries about its destiny
to represent all of Malaysia – the more the unravelling of MCA and MIC
continues to happen. Why can’t UMNO do something to resolve the impasse within
these components parties? Because it cannot!
The
claim by UMNO to represent everybody in Malaysia makes MCA and MIC irrelevant.
What need is there for them if UMNO lays claim to what they are suppose to do.
Remember that in the beginning it was Mahathir grand design to divide and rule
those within Barisan Nasional? MCA for the Chinese and MIC for the Indians? Now
this is no longer relevant with the claim by UMNO that it represent all of
Malaysia – no longer just the Malays! To the Malays if UMNO takes it upon
itself to be everything to all races – then UMNO no longer champion the Malays.
Thus
UMNO now finds itself at the crossroads in it is attempt to reinvent make
itself relevant – it does instead makes MCA and MIV irrelevant to the races
they represent – and to the Malays it becomes also irrelevant. Where then does
UMNO go from here?  
Najib
finds himself hard press from all sides. MCA and MIC has been abandoned by the
very people that they say they represent and they both lack leaders with the
ability to put party before self. Within his Cabinet Najib is ineffective.
Ministers mostly consist of his peers who in essence have Najib by his balls
because they are well aware that Najib strength does not come from within
himself but resided within others – and these Ministers have the ability to
make or break Najib. Mahathir waits without much patience for Najib to continue
to do his biddings  – with Mahyuddin
as his Machai and this same Mahyuddin considers himself as the “Man who could
be king”.
Pakatan
Rakyat has more then half of the Rakyat with them and continues to go from
strength to strength each day. And the Rakyat…yes the Rakyat are increasingly
restless and getting more vocal and pro active in the things they do…damm the
internet!
In
the middle of all this is Najib – now if only he has the cunning of Mahathir,
the resolve of his father Tun Razak, the honesty of Tun Hussein and the
humility of Abdullah …maybe, just maybe, he might be able to take UMNO to the
next General Election..but then that would be too much to ask of anyone from
UMNO –what more of Najib!
So
now we wait for UNMO to implode – disintegrate or simply to lie down and
surrender. It is all done bar the shouting and the desperate struggle of a once
great party to stay afloat and relevant in the times it now finds itself in.
The only constant within UMNO is its inability to keep its leaders on side.
UMNO needs leaders that could grow old with UMNO and bestows upon their
successors their wisdom. However the haste and the clamour of those below them
to climb onto the next level for the rich pickings that it promises means that
old leaders are discarded before their time. And when discarded these wise
leaders leave in disgust and leave UMNO to the vultures that replace them.
And
the pity of it all? It is that in the last twenty years, since Mahathir’s
ascendency of this throne of materialism and greed, there was no voice of
reason or no bearer of the truth from within UMNO that could tell UMNO of the
ultimate price that it will ultimately have to pay for these excesses. And so
the continuing saga of UMNO will only play itself out when its demise becomes a
reality in the not too distant future.