Oleh DR RASHIDI MOHAMED PAKRI MOHAMED
United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) is a prominent political party in Malaysia, with a rich history and a significant influence on the country's politics.
Since its inception, UMNO has played a pivotal role in shaping Malaysia's governance, particularly in championing the rights and interests of the Malay community.
Lest not forget what UMNO stands for. We stood for our nation unweaveringly.
Since it was claimed that UMNO is in a "very dark place" let’s evaluate how UMNO has been faring in recent years, examining its performance and impact on the Malaysian political landscape.
UMNO has a long-standing history, dating back to its formation in 1946, when Malaysia was still under British colonial rule.
The party was instrumental in the fight for independence and has consistently represented the Malay community's interests, promoting policies that aimed to uplift their socio-economic standing.
UMNO played a crucial role in forming the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional (BN), which held power in Malaysia for over six decades until its defeat in the 2018 general elections.
But the 2018 general elections marked a turning point for UMNO.
For the first time in Malaysia's history, the opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan (PH), led by Mahathir Mohamad, successfully ousted the ruling BN coalition.
This defeat significantly impacted UMNO, as the party was associated with the corruption scandals that plagued the BN government.
Subsequently, UMNO faced internal divisions, leadership struggles, and a loss of public confidence.
Following the loss in 2018, UMNO underwent a process of introspection and rejuvenation.
The party worked towards rebuilding its image, distancing itself from past corruption allegations, and addressing concerns regarding governance.
UMNO's subsequent collaboration with other political parties in forming the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition in 2020 helped it regain some political relevance.
In 2020 UMNO's participation in the PN coalition granted it a share of power, with some key UMNO figures securing prominent positions in the government.
However, UMNO's role in the PN coalition has been marred by internal divisions, as some party members expressed dissatisfaction with the coalition's policies and the party's position within it.
There were disagreements that led to UMNO's withdrawal of support from the PN coalition and further fragmenting the political landscape.
UMNO's electoral prospects remain a subject of debate. While the party still maintains a strong support base among the Malay community, it faces challenges in expanding its appeal to a broader spectrum of the electorate.
The next general elections will serve as a crucial test for UMNO, as it seeks to regain power and position itself as a viable alternative to the ruling coalition.
Moving forward, UMNO's success in Malaysia will depend on its ability to address internal divisions, redefine its image, and articulate a clear vision for the country's future.
The party needs to demonstrate its commitment to good governance, inclusivity, and socio-economic progress for all Malaysians.
It must also adapt to changing demographics and evolving public expectations to remain relevant in an increasingly diverse society.
We acknowledge that UMNO's performance in recent years has been marked by both challenges and opportunities.
The party's historical significance and strong support base among the Malay community provide a foundation for its continued relevance in Malaysian politics.
Fortunately now UMNO is actively navigating internal divisions, rejuvenate its image, and appeal to a broader electorate to secure a sustainable future.
As Malaysia's political landscape evolves, UMNO's ability to adapt and address the concerns of all Malaysians will ultimately determine its long-term success.
Let’s just put it this way .. in case of if you can’t beat them, join them is not an option .. at least be “if you can’t beat them, don’t bash them.“
DR RASHIDI MOHAMED PAKRI MOHAMED ialah Setiuasaha Penerangan UMNO Bahagian Titiwangsa. Tulisan ini adalah pandangan peribadi penulis.