We have heard of the middle income trap; a situation where a country which attains a certain income will get stuck at that level. For its citizens there will be a majority earning in the middle income range with small percentage of poor, rich and the super-rich. Those in the middle income group will most likely fall into the poor group although a few maybe be able to join the rich; but the majority will be trapped with increasing debt to make ends meet. There is also a low income trap or the poverty trap. But the UMNO trap is unique of a corrupt race based party.
Trapped being racist
UMNO is only for the Malays and later it changed a bit to allow other Bumiputeras. Therefore UMNO has to choice but to play the race card all the time and ultimately it has to be racist. UMNO can never give a convincing explanation to the other races that it is not racist. It is also impossible for a postgraduate trying to produce a thesis to prove otherwise; it will be a futile endeavor.
Why is it not racist when UMNO is Malay and Malay is UMNO? That is what UMNO members and supporters believe in anyways! But still UMNO being UMNO, will be able to pay a Professor Kangkong to prove that UMNO is not racist. No matter what, UMNO is trapped in its being racist.
Trapped without bright leaders
Next we recall back what Mahathir said, “So if somebody who is better than them comes in, then they feel their position is threatened. So they try their best not to allow better qualified people to come in”, he added. UMNO has no more bright young leaders. However it is not a brain drain; it is much worse. Firstly UMNO is not facing a brain drain because those in UMNO are not bright either. Secondly like Mahathir said, UMNO simply won’t allow people with bright ideas, with brain, to join the party. UMNO is trapped with being a brainless party.
Trapped with money politics
In the earlier days of UMNO when their leaders were trying to negotiate Malaya’s independence from the British, UMNO managed to collect donations from the Malays to provide the funds for the negotiating team. But now, it is reversed; UMNO hands out money to its members and leaders. Even the membership fees are paid by UMNO. Everything that UMNO does depend on money. For UMNO money is like water for the fish and oxygen for living things to stay alive.
Mahathir said, “In my time UMNO was strong. Now it is not. If you support so and so, you get contracts, you get all these perks. Whether the party is down or not, it is irrelevant to them. They must be holding their posts and getting their perks.” In the end, which is now, UMNO is money politics and money politics in UMNO. UMNO is trapped in money politics.
When money is the oxygen in UMNO, the politicians need not be clean, in fact the dirtier the better. With the meager income of being an MP or even a minister (compared to the needs of their constituencies), how can they have enough money to make their voters happy? Their voters will ask for many things; pocket money to attend events, bus and taxi fares after seek help from their MPs, money to repair something, donation for some events, charity and help for the need and the list can be one meter long. So the UMNO politicians are bogged with ensuring they have enough money to spend and please their voters. When people have been fed with money from the UMNO politicians for their continuous support and to make things work, every UMNO politician has to get as much money as possible, no matter how; but the easiest way is via corrupt practices. UMNO is trapped with corruption.
Despite all the efforts, there are things that money can’t buy and even if money can be used, UMNO does not have enough money. What UMNO will do is it to manipulate, flip-flop, cheat and lie. UMNO will divert the issue, point fingers and blame others. Make empty promises. Yes, it is UMNO who always make empty promises. One good example is when Isa Samad promised the Bagan Pinang people in Port Dickson that it will be a military town. Isa Samad is not doing anything about it because he is busy trying to manipulate and make money from the listing of the FGVH Bhd. Port Dickson is still the same mediocre tourist town catering for the poor middle income people. Then of course, UMNO politicians will have to create money-making schemes leading to scandals. Everything that the UMNO/BN does, that involves money will somehow be a money-making scheme for UMNO and its cronies; you can name it. We know MAS bail outs, Tajuddin Ramli owing Khazanah Nasional RM486 million out of the court settlement, the RM7.3 billion useless Scorpene submarines scandal, the RM250 million NFC cowgate scandal and the ridiculous expenses reported by the Auditor General for 2010. The list is also a meter long. UMNO is trapped with corruption.
UMNO has also been cheating in every election. UMNO has used the Election Commission whose top officers are purportedly UMNO members to falsify the electoral roll, mis-used the postal votes, to do gerrymandering and to impose unfair restrictions in reducing the campaign period. UMNO has used all the government machineries to its own advantage.
UMNO has used the law, the courts and the police to intimidate the people who support the opposition and to defeat the opposition. UMNO even used the monarchy to stay in power. UMNO has used the draconian ISA to jail top opposition leaders. UMNO has used the police, the AG, the government hospital and the Chemistry Department to fabricate Sodomy I and Sodomy II. Government servants who are inclined towards the opposition have been transferred to far away postings with very short notices. The people who do not support UMNO/BN will be left out in the development and progress. Petrol royalties are not being given to Kelantan and Terengganu, while Sabah has been deprived of its oil resources. UMNO can never act according to the law and good practices. UMNO will always abuse the power which was attained illegitimately in the first place by cheating during every election!
Trapped in time
UMNO can never change. When there are voices for change, they will be sacked from UMNO. Mahathir was sacked from UMNO by Tun Abdul Razak. Musa Hitam, Tengku Razaleigh and Anwar were all removed from power or sacked by Mahathir. UMNO can never be pragmatic and changes with time. When Malaysia becomes more liberal in future when the majority of the people prefer non-race based party, UMNO will still be the same trapped in its own time warp. In the end UMNO won’t be able to pass the test of time. It will be irrelevant to the majority of the Malays. Even now, the Malays have several choices; they have PAS, PKR and DAP. UMNO may say that the Malays are divided and won’t be strong but PAS, PKR and DAP are under Pakatan Rakyat. In future Malaysia will embrace the two-party system and every Malaysian can vote either for BN or PR.
However we should not get trapped forever with UMNO. UMNO is for the Malays only. We are Malaysians and we can be truly Malaysians without UMNO and for that matter without MIC and MCA too. We can live without BN in power, they have around too long, give them a chance to be a strong opposition.
Vote UMNO/BN out and don’t get trapped with them for the rest of our lives and furture generations.