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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Time to separate govt and political party

By Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz | FMT

A political party does not own the government. A political party may legislate but the implementation is carried out by civil servants who are beholden to the constitutional ruler.

We should be able to separate government and political party.

Development is not something unique to Umno. Every party that has power can carry out development.

As such, Umno can’t go around claiming only they can bring on development. The governments in Penang, Kelantan, Selangor, and Kedah also carry out development, indeed the development there has been achieved on more meritorious grounds.

These states have better reserves, operated and achieved surplus budgets and have been able to avoid wasteful spending. Those are sterling qualities of good governments.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak recently lectured the people not to repeat their mistake.

What mistake is he talking about? Is he alluding that the people’s decision in the historic elections in 2008 was a mistake?

The only mistake which people are now realising is that Umno and Barisan Nasional have fleeced the country. This is a government that subsidises its falsehoods on mounting debt.

The public debt in relation to our GDP is almost reaching the breaking point.

Yet the country’s incompetent and ignorant leaders are proclaiming it’s all right. And we have not even counted the value of guarantees given by this government to incompetent government-linked companies (GLCs) which, if they default, places all the questionable loans given to questionable people with questionable business proposals, on the shoulders of the people.

Umno has lost legitimacy

Don’t forget RM1.3 trillion of ill-gotten money has been spirited out of the country over a period of 10 years. A small percentage, RM130 billion, of which could have been injected into the national budget to finance development.

Also, we have the RM20 billion a year lost on leakages – an euphemism for corruption. Let us kick out the deceivers.

The fact is Umno has lost its legitimacy. It has forfeited all the powers it inherited since 1957 to accomplish what it set out to do, which was to uplift the Malays.

Why? Because it started on the wrong premise and that premise wasn’t adapted and evolved into the engine to uplift Malays first and then country.

This now, is the overriding fear of Umno because it can no longer defend its legitimacy and therefore its reason to continue to be in power.

The only reason why Umno is coming to its inglorious end is because its myths are no longer sustainable.

Umno has survived on several myths spun and drilled into the Malay subconscious over generations.

It has survived on the myth that Malays and Umno are inextricably linked. The myths we mean include: the fate of Malays rests on the fate of Umno; the fate of Malay rulers is linked to the fate of Umno; and the fate of Islam depends on the fate of Umno.

This is Umno’s trinity of falsehoods which formed the foundation of Umno’s legitimacy with the Malays.

A party that survives on myths and falsehoods and not sustained by principles, can never endure. And so it is that Umno has reached its end.

We can neither hasten nor postpone its demise.

The writer is a former Umno state assemblyman but joined DAP earlier this year. He is a FMT columnist.

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