It seems like the Barisan Nasional coalition might be heading for a split following the fact that more and more component parties like MCA, Gerakan, MIC and PPP are beginning to criticize their senior partner Umno for being over conservative and resisting changes from within in order to present itself as a true multi-racial coalition.
Instead, ever since after the 8 March general election, Umno is still harping on his old concept of upholding racial supremacy “ketuanan Melayu” over other ethnicities, thus immediately fending off any attempts or efforts by several quarters from within the coalition to initiate changes and rebranding to make BN come out with a non-racial approach in its policies.
A call by MCA for Umno to do away with the “ketuanan” was immediately responded by the Umno youth chief Hishamuddin Hussein as questioning their rights. Gerakan later joined in by supporting MCA’s call to an end of the supremacist policies in Umno, while PPP started to call for the ISA to be reviewed and amended, and would leave BN if changes are not carried out. MCA too, later supported PPP’s move by also calling the ISA to be repealed.
Well, as long as the current Umno leadership insist of maintaining its trends and resist any drastic changes, the current policies in the BN and the government would remain as it had 50 years ago, which could spell the end of MCA, Gerakan, MIC and PPP. These BN component parties kept on believing that for any real change to happen, it must be driven by Umno. Then, do they actually have enough guts to leave BN anyway?
SAPP had left BN and might be considering to join Pakatan Rakyat to rid the Umno’s dominancy in Sabah, while a large number of Dayak political and community leaders in Sarawak had also made their move by joining PKR en bloc thus, resulting the current state BN to be on alert of the recent mass defection.
Meanwhile, MCA’s opinion seems to be splitting as its party president Datuk Ong Tee Keat had formally distanced himself and his faction from party deputy president Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek who had earlier mentioned that they do not accept “ketuanan Melayu” but only the Malay leadership instead which had eventually shows that the two camps in the MCA is also heading for a clear split.
Umno, with its well known brand in money politics is also brandishing its internal politickings openly with infightings and factional tussle for party positions, with dissatisfying leaders making press releases and bringing their tussles to the civil courts to address their frustrations. Looks like the Umno delegates may also end up electing various factions into the top leadership echelon on March 2009 next year like their counterpart MCA which may see a continuous split from within.
MIC with Samy Vellu promising a rebranding exercise from within does not seem wanting to change in actual fact by saying that he intends to run for another term for the party presidency. When some dissatisfaction arose, he called in another conservative to challenge him in order to demonstrate his “willingness” to be challenge and to reflect the “democracy” in his party. Other MIC youngsters were either too obedient or sub-servant to fight a battle with the Samy Vellu faction to effect a real change.
Gerakan with Dr Koh Tsu Koon had helm, was still hoping to convince their master Umno to lead the change from within the coalition of which saw no hope at all in actual fact. However, Dr Koh had not given up his effort and still pursuing his Umno friends to come out with a more multi-racial friendly concept in order to win back the people’s trust. First of all, the big question mark is will Umno listen to Gerakan?
PPP under M.Kayveas is seem to be still uncertain of its future undertakings, but only moved short by calling for the ISA to be repealed and not abolished. The PPP leadership had so far refrained from making a more drastic call for changes which may affect its relation with Umno for fear of being further sidelined. PPP’s threat to pull out of BN was merely a copycat tone in support of its bigger partners like MCA, MIC and Gerakan. If these parties did not make their moves, will PPP ever make its own move then?
The other BN component parties like, SUPP, PRS, PDS, PBS, PBRS, UPKO and LDP are regionally tied up with their states in Sarawak and Sabah without any real interest in national politics as a whole. The Sarawak BN parties were apparently being sub-due by the much stronger PBB for decades while the Sabah parties were force to toe by the Sabah Umno’s line after having the rotation of the state’s chief minister position abolished.
Well, the BN don’t really have clear direction after all.