This is where UMNO went wrong - DEMOGRAPHICS. Perhaps UMNO is trying to unite all Malays under their organization with their current political play. But has it ever worked? I still see PAS as strong and as healthy as ever. They are standing tall and mighty with a fortress built in Kelantan over many years.
UMNO even lost Terengganu in the previous GE although they won it back in March 2008. However, Barisan Nasional led by UMNO lost Kedah, Perak and Selangor. Of course, Gerakan leaders have their fair share of a slap by losing Penang to DAP.
If we look at the demographics in terms of population set up, the Malays form 65% of Malaysia, 27% are Chinese and 7-8% of Indians. Other ethnicities include Bumiputeras (taken into account in the 65% figure) and "lain-lain" will be approximately 1%.
UMNO faces a new Opposition. Not in the non Malays but Pakatan Rakyat. UMNO cannot take on Pakatan Rakyat on their own. UMNO needs the support of the Malays and also the non Malays. This can only happen under the umbrella of Barisan Nasional.
Allow me to quote part of M Bakri Musa's article Thrust forward our arguments, not our kerises.
Malays are dangerously polarized along cultural, religious and socio-economic lines. Worse, those fracture lines converge; affluent, liberal, urban, secular Malays versus their poorer, rural, conservative, Arab-oriented brethrens.
Further, disputes between Malays and non-Malays are over material matters, like scholarships, access to contracts, and economic opportunities. These are what Albert Hirschmann calls "divisible conflicts;" they can be resolved through negotiations and compromises. Splits among Malays on the other hand are over core values; they are "indivisible conflicts," not readily solvable and thus more dangerous.
Consider this: Umno Youth leaders have regular golf games with their counterparts in Singapore’s PAP but have yet to engage PAS Youth members in any goodwill gestures. They do not even attend the same mosque!
UMNO must not forget that not all 65% of the Malays support them. PAS, PKR and now even DAP has the Malay support. Remember Tunku Aziz's recent entry into DAP? Let us assume PAS, PKR and DAP gets 25% of the Malays' support and if UMNO has 40% of the Malays' support, is that enough for UMNO to govern?
And playing by their current game, I think the non Malays will opt for other Malay leaders in the likes of PAS and PKR Malay candidates. We all know the Constitution of Malaysia well but we do not play up the sensitivities of races. We watch our words and our actions.
Also, let us face the facts. 27% of the total population in Malaysia cannot effect any changes of equal rights. Or should I say 35% non Bumiputeras?
UMNO knows it perfectly. MCA, MIC, DAP knows it too. The climate of fear set upon by UMNO that when Pakatan Rakyat takesover as Government (as claimed by Anwar - on Sept 16), the Malay rights and official religion position of Islam will be affected. Is that so?
Allow me to remind UMNO on statistics again. There will be in total 132 Muslim MPs and 90 non Muslim MPs. If democracy is at full fledge, it is obvious what UMNO is harping on is a wrong political play.
What UMNO should do is show the solidarity of Barisan Nasional together with their component parties such as MCA, MIC, Gerakan and PPP. Show it to Pakatan Rakyat why Barisan Nasional is the best party over five decades of governance.
UMNO, leading Barisan Nasional, should instead convince the people why Pakatan Rakyat will not be stable and unfit to lead the country from multiple point of views on progression economically, politically, socially and of course in terms of education.
UMNO should tell the people all they know about the man said to be the 6th PM of Malaysia - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. UMNO and BN should reach out to their communities and all the people of all walks and races that BN is still the party in charge, relevant and stronger than before where one tsunami hit will not sink the ship because Barisan Nasional is not a ship but a bouncing ball.
Barisan Nasional, when hit by "tsunami" will bounce back higher than before. That is what BN, led by UMNO, should tell the people of Malaysia. Oppression, ISA and racial strategies will not work.
Personally, I used to watch the TV and read the papers. Barisan Nasional leaders attending the component parties' Conventions and General Assemblies as a show of solidarity, unity and progress.
I have always been happy to see the semangat muhibbah of leaders like Tun Dr M, Tun Dr Ling, Datuk Seri Samy Vellu and Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik holding their hands high and mighty up in the air in a linked chain shouting the words ~ Hidup Barisan !
Bring me back those memories where every single Malaysian from all walks of life and races live in harmony and prosperity. Come on UMNO. You can do it !
Give me the Barisan Nasional that the majority of Malaysians loved ! Do not make the people sigh and move away to Pakatan Rakyat. Bring back the hope of the people in Barisan Nasional. Shine once again, UMNO. Unite again, Barisan Nasional.