Umno must wait for the dust to settle

Umno wants to work with PAS. Umno wants to keep whatever is left in Barisan Nasional.

Umno wants to be Malay- and Islam-centric. Umno wants to be inclusive and moderate.

Umno wants to work with all parties to form a unity government. Umno wants to lead, not play second fiddle to any party.

Umno wants to get into government quickly. Umno wants to be an effective opposition.

Umno wants to reform. Umno is not going to tolerate open dissent, much less “traitors” to the party.

Umno admits its past mistakes and excesses and accepts defeat. Umno has done nothing wrong.

I am a political novice, but if I can see the disarray in Umno, I think the party had better take notice.

Umno wants to be everything, but Umno has become nothing!

Come on, it has only been four months. Can Umno please stop running around like a headless chicken? If Umno is one of the country’s biggest parties, it should behave like one.

As I see it, Umno lost its raison d’etre a long time ago. Before its downfall, it was just a party running the government and reaping benefits from it. There was no mass movement or mass support for the party.

How many Umno leaders and members truly understand that the party they participated in has lost its ideals? How many truly understand that the party is chocked by patronage, money and power?

If there is a battle to be fought, could Umno leaders and members ever engineer a Bersih-like rally? Could they organise anything at all without an allowance, free T-shirts, transportation and even accommodation? How is Umno being financed now, through membership fees?

Dr Mahathir Mohamad went to a Bersih rally to galvanise support for his nascent PPBM and Pakatan Harapan (PH). Does Umno know how to engage with right-minded NGOs today even though it has lost power?

It takes time to learn how to be an opposition. If you don’t believe me, ask the many PH leaders about the ordeals they went through over the last few decades. I think the PH government has not even harassed the opposition yet.

Time will heal everything. Umno needs time for the dust to settle. Umno needs time to rebuild with a consistent message and action while the members need the tenacity to believe in and uphold the party’s principles and struggle. And of course, PH needs time to make mistakes or to become corrupt. I don’t think all this is going to happen in the next few months – after five to 10 years, maybe.

Looking at the time horizon, I think Umno needs leaders in their 40s or 50s, not in their 60s and 70s.

TK Chua is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.