QUICK TAKE: The current political imbroglio must not be seen as a fight among self-righteous, disillusioned Umno Baru members.
For the past year, Umno Baru rebels have accelerated their demands for Najib Razak to give plausible explanations for the RM2.6 billion donation and the 1MDB scandal.
They have forgotten that the ordinary rakyat, and opposition politicians, have been battling with the Najib administration, to come clean, over these same issues, since 2010.
The Umno Baru rebels have been slow on the uptake, but as long as we fight as one for a transparent and clean government, that is all that matters.
Former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been interested in the 1MDB scandal since September 2014. Other Umno Baru members took their cue from him and started to question their president, openly. One such person is Anina Saadudin, from Langkawi.
Anina is a plucky lady. She had the courage to take on the mighty Umno Baru machinery. Her incessant criticism of Najib, and his donation, upset the Umno Baru top brass.
Why? The reason is simple. Anina is only an ordinary party member, and a woman. If a woman, without seniority in the party hierarchy, can be so daring and quiz the leaders, others like her, throughout the nation, may start asking awkward questions.
Anina’s refusal to back off, forced the party to sack her, in September, 2015.
She may have regretted admonishing the party president with crude words such as “urinating” or “going for treatment”, but she shares the frustration of the rest of the nation who are not allowed an avenue to properly channel their complaints.
Anyone who criticises Najib is charged with sedition. Online and social media users face intense scrutiny from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Corridor (MCMC), the internet watchdog. Lawyers face similar examination.
So, isn’t it natural for Anina to take her former president to court, to force him to explain to Malaysians how RM2.6 billion fell into his private bank account.
When Mahathir announced that he and his wife had quit Umno Baru, Anina said that many Umno Baru leaders would emulate the former PM.
She claimed that at least half of the three million Umno Baru members, had already “quit the party in their hearts”.
Like Mahathir, she agreed that Umno Baru was “Najib’s party” and said, “Umno is now a party for only Najib. It’s a party for thieves and their henchmen.”
We are pleased for Anina to continue her struggle with Mahathir, but her remark is disturbing.
She said, “Our core struggle is to revive the ‘real Umno’. In fact, we do not wish to establish a new party.”
What is the real “Umno”? Umno Baru is Mahathir’s creation, and it championed only one race.
It is hoped that Anina will see reason and realise that a political party based on race is not relevant in 21st century Malaysia. The faster Umno Baru enters the transition phase, the better it is for all. – The Ant Daily