Perak power grab showcases Umno forte – backroom deal-making and political manoeuvring

…Having said this, I remain very troubled by the series of events and the underlying feelings of injustice that have prompted the unforgettable phrase ‘patik mohon derhaka’.

While most non-Malays will feel appalled by the transition, there is, however, a less clear-cut mood amongst the Malays, especially the older Malays.

To them, the entire episode can be under-scored by anxieties that the mainstream Malay media have played up – issues of special rights, race and religion.

In contrast, many PAS supporters are outraged by what has transpired and images of tear gas in Kuala Kangsar in particular will only serve to increase party recruitment amongst the young.

It’s important to note that the change in power in Perak does not constitute a BN “victory”.

As we know, exuberance in Umno circles is hardly a good indication of the sentiment on the ground.

We have witnessed a debacle, a series of events that has created mountains of ill-will, resentment and anger which will simmer for many years to come.

Now, for a coalition like BN, whose reputation is already in tatters, what has happened in Perak serves to confirm our worst suspicions of a lack of principles in their political manoeuvrings even though many argue that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim started it all.

As far as I can see, neither the BN nor Umno had attempted to reform themselves.

Instead, introspection and reflection have been replaced by backroom deal-makings of the past.

For those who want to know what will happen next, the answer is quite simple.

Had the Sultan decided to dissolve the State Legislature and call for an election he would have passed the challenge of forming the state government to the people.

The responsibility for success or failure would have remained with the people of Perak.

Finally, Umno has secured power without reform.

This is the kind of victory Umno likes – the kind of victory that requires no sacrifice or changes in its practices.

The party of Merdeka has inadvertently unleashed powerful forces that will further undermine the Malay ethos it seeks to champion as PAS’ supporters and the young become ever more suspicious and distrustful of all mainstream institutions.


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