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12:19pm 01/12/2022
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A second chance for Umno to be accepted by all Malaysians
By:Prof Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi

Let’s not mince words, Umno got the worst beating in GE15 than its whole recent history. Not even 30 seats.

Kalah Teruk! Not only were they rejected by Malaysians, they were almost rejected by their own voter base, the Malays.

Not only were they rejected by the Malays, they were rejected by their own mantra of race and religious narratives.

Their “one vote for PH is one vote for DAP” uttered by none other than the former prime minister who had to ask DAP for help in the MoU of BN and PH, won many votes… for Bersatu and PAS.

Umno did not get their return for its race card investment. Actually, their infighting was the turning point and the use of TikTok influencers by others had blindsided many, including me, who never received any TikTok because I don’t subscribe to such populist things.

Umno was on the verge of irrelevance when a unique opportunity came… an Agong, and also, I think, a Divine intervention.

Suddenly, Umno became the center of hope for Malaysians who had rejected this party. Its leader Zahid cast as the most hateful villain of corruption, suddenly became the hero to save Malaysia from the clutches of greedy politicians, arrogant leaders and crazy Mullah à la Taliban politicians.

Amidst the defection and cowardice of selfish BN MPs, the Terrible Ten, Zahid wielded his power as a leader and whipped these dangerous Sepuluh Jahanam back into the fold.

One of these MPs wanted to be sacked, and I hope eventually he would be, as he, I assumed, was the ring leader to reap much from a PN-BN alliance, thus destroying our Malaysian way of life forever.

It seems Umno is still not out of its nine lives yet. But where would it go now?

Using race and religion was always easy for Umno after the long absence of great leaders like Tun Razak, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Hussein Onn and the most maverick of them all, Dato’ Sir Onn Jaafar.

Leaders starting from Tun M through Tun Abdullah Badawi, DS Najib and then those other two accidental PMs, race and religion were always the cornerstone of their narrative of survival.

Well, sorry Umno but that narrative has been hijacked by PAS and Bersatu and has been made more toxic and potent by the extremist party claiming Islam as their creed of governance.

What new narrative can Umno now sell to the Malays? And can they further claim to be the moderate Melayu willing to work with non-Malays?

MCA and MIC are two parties that no longer have any reason to live after their lackluster performances and opportunist leadership wanting to work with PAS and Bersatu just so they may become menteris.

Now I understand why Malaysia has never found a recipe for harmony when there are two ingredients which will always willingly spoil the broth.

So, can Umno reinvent itself and offer the Malays something else? Can Umno single-handedly sell a new Malay narrative to Malaysians and not just one ethnic group? The simple answer is… why the hell not?

Tunku Abdul Rahman was loved by all Malaysians. Dato’ Sir Onn left Umno to form Parti Negara, a Malay leader with the heart of all Malaysians. Tun Dr. Ismail must be added to that group.

Tun M… sorry-lah! Najib… tak payahlah! Badawi… tak tahulah!

With a sprinkle of some Islamic progressive values, Umno can reinvent itself into a Melayu Global narrative.

Zahid is now the president of Umno. He became president when Najib stepped down and the Umno election verified his throne.

I saw Zahid using the easy race and religious narrative to inspire his members. But now, that narrative is no longer relevant… to Umno.

The Melayu-Islam narrative is now with the Anwar Islamist group and the Hadi extremist gang. Both are taken. The Melayu Konservatif narrative now belongs to Bersatu.

There is only one narrative left, that is the Melayu Progresif narrative of Datuk Sir Onn and Tunku Abdul Rahman.

With a sprinkle of some Islamic progressive values, Umno can reinvent itself into a Melayu Global narrative.

What is the Melayu Global narrative?

The Melayu Global is not afraid of the DAP. The Melayu Global can be more efficient, more accountable and more visionary than the DAP. The Melayu Konservatif only seek to prevent the DAP from holding any power by any means possible. The Melayu Global is not afraid and welcome any man-to-man challenge at any level.

The Melayu Global is not afraid of the Evil Christian narrative. Why should it? The Melayu Global hold the Verses of the Qur’an that says Islam and the previous Books of Faith are one and the same… a single brotherhood.

The Melayu Global reads all books of faith in order to command the higher spirituality above petty identity of religious politics. The Melayu Global can understand English and Mandarin and not like the Melayu Ustaz who understands neither.

The Melayu Global has no fear of stepping into a church or inviting Christians to a mosque as it follows the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and not the teachings of Melayu Ustazs.

The Melayu Global has no fear of either Anwar’s Islamists or Hadi’s Extremists for it follows a middle path that does not have to show off their piety and faith by showing off clothing, speaking in Arabic or how long their beards are. Tak payah. Tak perlu pun!

Finally, the Melayu Global will contribute to world peace and act as arbiter for warring nations especially between Asians and others and between Muslim countries and others.

The Melayu Global will work with all groups supporting the humility of all faiths and the dignity of all humanity.

The Melayu Global will be part of an international network of economy, social enterprises and spiritual bridge between societies.

The Melayu Global workers will be in the highest demand as they are industrious, willing to change and appreciate all communities.

Once upon a time, the legendary Hang Tuah wanted to learn 12 languages in order to be the Renaissance Malay of his time.

It is time for Zahid and Umno to emulate the spirit of Hang Tuah, the visions of Dato’ Sir Onn and Tunku Abdul Rahman, and eclipse those that would use race and religion for conflict and also those that would use religion as part of a political agenda of reinventing the Perlembagaan Negara.

The new Umno could be a global one instead of a petty group of arrogant Malays vying for power using any and all means to justify their ends.

From the ashes of defeat, Umno is poised for a new narrative that could bring it to its glory days of leading Malaysia and all Malaysians to true prosperity and harmony.

(Prof Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is Professor of Architecture at a local university and his writing reflects his own personal opinion entirely.)

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