What happened on March 8 was merely a very timely rebuke to Umno for its arrogance, corruption and shrill racist rhetoric.
If Umno hopes to head off its decline, the party needs to acknowledge the limited appeal of its political language, not to mention its ham-fisted strategy and policy implementation. Perhaps the party is content surviving off support from amongst rural Malays, Sabah Muslims and the south of the peninsula?
But if Umno wishes to reclaim the west coast – the economic backbone of the nation – the high-octane and ugly promotion of Malay rights has to be jettisoned: alienating valuable vote-banks doesn’t make electoral sense.
Furthermore, the skewered execution and the preponderance of politically well-connected Malay beneficiaries have also angered the majority of urban Malays who feel that they have the requisite ‘know how’ whilst lacking the all-important ‘know who’.