Umno should just ban all non-Malay political parties - By Commander (Rtd) S THAYAPARAN Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, July 17, 2017
Malaysiakini : “A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with
such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties,
classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless
in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends.” - Henry A Wallace
COMMENT | Communications and
Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak claimed “the opposition coalition
can never match BN, which has a track record of cooperation between the
different ethnic groups and tolerance between its leaders, without
compromising party principles”. This brings us to the question of what
exactly are Umno’s principles.
We know from the National Civics Bureau (Biro Tatanegara, BTN)
courses that Umno’s principles are an unholy brew of racial supremacy,
religious bigotry and corporatism that was endorsed by a compliant
Malaysian polity, resulting in a cascade of religious and racial issues
that compromised every facet of government. With the ouster of the
charismatic, jailed political prisoner – Anwar Ibrahim – from the Umno
fold, the contemporary Umno narrative is one of loss of power and
influence by attrition.polity, resulting in a cascade of religious and
racial issues that compromised every facet of government. With the
ouster of the charismatic, jailed political prisoner – Anwar Ibrahim –
from the Umno fold, the contemporary Umno narrative is one of loss of
power and influence by attrition.
The Malay vote is the most important vote to Umno. I wrote about how
the dialectic in the Malay community is a threat to Umno hegemony, which
is the real reason behind the racial and religious sabre-rattling. This
is the existential threat Umno is facing – “what would happen if a
majority of Muslims in this country decide that they have had enough with state religious authorities intruding into their lives?
They have had enough with money going into religious organisations
while essential services that benefit their community are underfunded
and mired in bureaucratic corruption. What would happen if they grew
tired of the hypocrisy of the state where Muslim elites were immune from
the harsh glare of Islam but the rest of the polity was not?”
While the non-Malay component parties of Barisan National scramble to
discover their relevance in a post-Pakatan era, the reality is that
their days of being handmaidens to Umno warlords are over. Most
non-Malay opposition supporters have realised that it is better to have
no representation in an Umno Parliament than the compliant non-Malay
representation that the traditional mainstream component parties
Just a couple of articles ago, I asked what can the MCA
do for Umno – “the answer to that is MCA obviously cannot do anything
much for the ruling BN coalition anymore. How do you remain relevant
when you have lost your voting base? Umno does not need MCA to win
elections. The dodgy meme that the current Umno prime minister is a
“minority” prime minister is as fallacious as the so-called 'Chinese
The split in the Malay polity
The Chinese community has borne the brunt of the dark art form of the
propaganda warlocks of Putrajaya, but what has really rattled the Umno
hegemon is the split in the Malay polity. While their former master
strategist – Dr Mahathir Mohamad – has thrown in with the opposition,
the only viable Malay/Muslim political party left is PAS. And those
folks are really kooky.
When you have Umno members, ministers and the prime minister claiming
that the Chinese would usurp the power of the “Malays” if the
opposition ever came to power, this is the very definition of racism.
When you claim that “Islam” is under siege by make-believe non-Islamic
bogeyman, this is the definition of religious bigotry.
Because the Registrar of Society (ROS) is playing coy with the DAP by
not officially asking them to hold re-elections and there is an
established chain of events that point to a conspiracy between the
executive and a public institution, the only conclusion any rational
person can make is that Umno and ROS are acting mala fide against the
When you consider the racist rhetoric coming out of Umno power
brokers, government ministers and government institutions, the religious
bigotry from the same, Umno should just drop this charade of democracy
and ban all non-Malay/Muslim political parties. This way, the Malay
community, or least that section of the Umno voting base, will not have
to be encumbered by the existential threat the non-Malays supposedly
pose to their “bangsa” and “agama”.
If banning the DAP is not enough, they could also partially ban PKR,
since it has non-Malay members and this could possibly pose a threat to
Umno/Malay hegemony. However, even if you ban non-Malay/Muslim political
parties, the problem persists in that the non- Malay polity will still
vote. If non-Malays vote, what is stopping non-Malays from voting for
opposition candidates who do not support the policies of Umno? If the
Malay vote is split, then non-Malays, especially in the urban areas, may
cast their vote for independent non-Malay candidates. So, perhaps the
answer is banning all non-Malay/Muslim candidates.
But – and this is an important “but” – non-Malays who do not have a
choice of non-Malay candidates may vote for Malay candidates who do not
support the polices of the ruling hegemon. These Malay politicians may
become proxies to non-Malay interest and in this way, subvert the
policies of “bangsa” and “agama”.
This would also mean that the utilitarian value of the non-Malay
component parties would be non-existent. If it is true that non-Malays
would rather have no representation than representation of BN component
parties, then the fig leaf of inclusion could be discarded. There would
be no need to govern by consensus. Instead, Umno could rule by fiat.
This would mean that, in order for Umno to safeguard the “Malays” and
“Islam”, the only candidates that should stand for elections are those
Malay candidates who support the policies of Umno as they relate to
“bangsa” and “agama”. But how does a political hegemon ensure that
people vote in the “correct” way?
More importantly, how does the hegemon ensure that the “correct” candidates stand for elections? So, what Umno really needs are only Malay candidates who support its
policies and a voting public that would vote the correct way. There are
only two options, as I see it.
1) Umno could give the illusion of choice and have various Malay
political parties that are, in reality, just another head of Umno like
the mythical hydra; or
2) Just cancel democracy and have members of Umno vote in their candidate.
Of course, by this time there would be no need for the non-Malay vote
and by this, I mean that non-Malays would not have the vote.
As long as Umno members continue their racist and religious bigotry
against the DAP and, by extension, all non-Malays, these are the only
two options to the logical conclusion of our fascist end.