From Terence Netto
The first signs that DAP’s decision to work with Umno in Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government are bearing fruit is now discernible.
A couple of Umno leaders, albeit anonymously, have chided those among their ilk who continue to blame the DAP for the party’s continuing poor performance in the polls.
These leaders were quoted in a news report in Free Malaysia Today as saying that Umno leaders who finger the DAP for the Malay party’s anaemic outings on the hustings are barking up the wrong tree.
It took courage for these leaders to say what they said even if they sheltered under the cloak of anonymity.
Merely saying so, albeit anonymously, was a welcome step towards self-correction and improvement.
“I have seen the enemy and he is us,” was the famous quip of a character called Pogo in an American satire on self-preparedness.
The self-scrutineers in Umno noted that DAP had made more sacrifices towards making the unity government, not only at the federal realm but also at the state level, work.
They pointed out DAP did not ask for representation, in terms of posts and portfolios at the federal and state levels, commensurate with their parliamentary and state tallies.
Merely by doffing their hats to this realistic calculus, those Umno self-scrutineers are pushing their party towards critical self-examination in preference to self-pity.
In time this ought to lead to examination of the triad of accusations that Umno has long fostered among the Malays, that DAP is anti-Malay, anti-Muslim and anti-royal.
These accusations are myths that have created bogeys in the Malay psyche, allowing manipulators from within their leadership fold to obtain their selfish ends at the expense of the Malay commonweal.
Discovery of this larceny, committed in certain instances on a grandiose scale, may yet lead to the dawning of consciousness among the Malays of Pogo’s realisation that the enemy is more often within than without.
In the event, DAP would see that their decision to partner Umno in the unity government was a step towards removal of myths in the Malay mind they could not dispel by the assertion of fact and the pleas of reason.
Terence Netto is a senior journalist and an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.