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UMNO Still Has Not Learned Its Lessons

The recent comments of UMNO Youth Leader Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki clearly shows that the party has not understood why it has been defeated and disgraced.

Speaking at their General Assembly, Asyraf claimed that UMNO has never been racist, or denied other races’ their constitutional rights.

He has also reportedly said “I want to warn those who have become arrogant not to forget their origins or stir up the hornet’s nest.”

This sort of rhetoric shows that UMNO has not learned the lessons of 9 May 2018.

Most critics of UMNO and its brand of politics has not disputed Malaysia’s constitutional settlement, including the special position of the Bumiputeras or Islam as the religion of the federation.

Rather, what was critiqued was its selective interpretation by successive UMNO-led governments to justify the continuation of failed policies, corrupt practices and political repression.

Indeed, many Malays have seen through UMNO’s so-called championing of the Malay race as a hollow sham, a mere smokescreen to disguise their mismanagement of the country’s wealth as well as their utter inability to uplift the community.

Moreover, successive UMNO-led governments failed miserably to create a shared sense of Malaysian nationhood and respect between the different ethno-religious groups.

Repeated incidents reactionary behaviour of certain UMNO leaders—including waving the keris and calling non-Malay Malaysians “pendatangs”, made many Malaysians—both non-Malay and Malay—feel unwelcome in the country as well as afraid of the future.

The UMNO of today is totally a different creature compared to the days of Onn Jaafar and Tunku Abdul Rahman and Asyraf’s shameful comments prove this, as does the multiple recent defections of certain leaders from its ranks.

UMNO, I repeat, has not learned its lesson. It deserves no support or consideration whatsoever from Malaysians until it does so. This is is unfortunate as New Malaysia not only needs a strong and effective government, but a credible and respected opposition.