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Can UMNO return to its founding decades when UMNO Presidents were known for unquestioned integrity & honesty?


Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, December 25, 2020

Two recent news items attracted widespread attention.

The first quoted the Barisan Nasional secretary-general Annuar Musa as saying that there was a conspiracy to undo the UMNO and BN’s policy of ‘No Anwar, No DAP’.

The second quoted the UMNO advisory board chairman, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah who said UMNO’s ‘No DAP, no Anwar’ policy may not be cast in stone.


Previously, Umno supreme council member Puad Zarkashi had expressed similar views, that the slogan is not always relevant due to shifting political circumstances.

Johor Umno deputy chairperson Nur Jazlan Mohamed, meanwhile, said cooperation between the two nemeses may not be a bad idea.

At a forum organised by the National Professor Council (MPN) yesterday, Tengku Razaleigh also said UMNO must return to power to keep the Malays safe.

But can UMNO return to its founding decades when UMNO Presidents were known for unquestioned integrity and honesty?

Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman had to sell his house in Penang to fund the running of UMNO, while the former CIMB Bank Chairman, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak had recalled how their father, the second Prime Minister, Tun Razak, had given his sons a stern lecture on integrity and honesty when they had asked that a swimming pool be built at Seri Taman, the Prime Minister’s residence where they lived.

As for the third Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn, his integrity and honesty were legendary.

UMNO lost power in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 because it had betrayed the principles of integrity and honesty – from the days when the UMNO leader had to sell his house to fund UMNO’s activities to the era when UMNO leaders built palatial homes on ill-gotten gains from their public positions of trust and responsibility, turning Malaysia into a global kleptocracy.

The 1MDB scandal would never have happened under the watch of Tunku, Tun Razak or Tun Hussein Onn.

This was why in their recent joint statement, DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng and AMANAH President, Mohamad Sabu had said that they had mandated the Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, to court support from government backbenchers provided they are not kleptocrat MPs particularly Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Now there is a third name to add to the duo.

Apart from the question whether UMNO could return to its founding decades when UMNO Presidents were known for unquestioned integrity and honesty, there is another problem with UMNO – kleptocratic UMNO leaders have become the worst enemies of the Malays.

Would Razaleigh agree that kleptocratic UMNO leaders have become the worst enemies of the Malays?

How many times had Razaleigh spoken up against corruption and abuse of power by UMNO kleptocratic leaders for personal gain in the name of protecting and advancing the interests and rights of the Malays?

If the policies of Malay politics and hegemony had succeeded in the past 50 years to uplift the Malay masses, the ordinary Malays would not be so poor and insecure today that Khoo Boo Teik, a retired professor writing for the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), a think tank at the National University of Singapore, could pen a 19-page paper entitled “Malay Politics: Parlous Condition, Continuing Problems”.

But the greatest indictment of the kleptocratic UMNO leaders is not only their failure to embrace Malaysia as a plural society, as the earlier generation of UMNO leaders had done as seen by the Malaysian vision set out in the Merdeka Constitution 1957, Malaysian Constitution 1963, Rukun Negara 1970 and Vision 2020 in 1991, but in masterminding a vicious and racist campaign of lies, falsehood and fake news to demonise the DAP as anti-Malay, anti-Islam, anti-Rulers and to poison the minds of the Malays that their rights, position and future are threatened by the DAP.

More than half a century ago sometime in 1969, I was asked what the DAP stood for and I explained it in seven points:

(i) That Malaysia is a multi-racial, multilingual and multi-cultural society and that a viable Malaysian nation can only be formed if all the races and groups in the country are given an equal stake under the Malaysian sun.

(ii) That in a multi-racial society like Malaysia, violence and any ideology of force, as advocated by the Communist Party of Malaya, could only lead to the disintegration of the country because it would quickly degenerate into a racial conflict. Force and violence in all forms must be deplored.

(iii) That in a multi-racial society, if any racial group feels it is backward, either educationally, economically, culturally, linguistically or politically, then racial antagonism will be created. Every attempt must be made to remove these imbalances between the races and groups.

(iv) That poverty is not a communal problem. It is a socio-economic problem and to regard poverty as a racial problem is to increase racial antagonism in the country.

(v) That democratic socialism can close the gap between the haves and the have-nots of all races.

(vi) Establish a clean, honest, efficient, incorruptible and effective government.

(vii) That only parliamentary democracy can prevent a racial clash. Any other form of government can lead to racial mistrust.

(viii) That communism is un-conducive in a multi-racial society like Malaysia.

DAP has not changed with regard to its fundamental principles and objectives, but UMNO leaders have morphed from honest and incorruptible leaders into kleptocracy leaders turning Malaysia into a global kleptocracy with 1MDB and a series of corruption scandals.

After six decades, Malaysia has lost its way. Instead of becoming a world-class great nation, we are in danger of becoming a kleptocracy, kakistocracy and a failed state.

Would Razaleigh agree that we need a new national consensus to return Malaysia to the road of a world-class great nation and save it from the fate and ignominy of a kleptocracy, kakistocracy and a failed state?