04 June 2013

Dr M: Umno attracting fewer talented leaders

 PETALING JAYA (June 4): The number of capable members in Umno has been decreasing over the years, and this has negative consequences for the party and the government, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

In a critical blog posting entitled Umno, then and now, the former prime minister said that unlike in the past, the party attracts fewer selfless and capable leaders, who instead tended to join its political rivals.

This, he said, resulted in fewer eligible candidates in a general election, while promising members fielded as parachute candidates for seats would be defeated.

Mahathir said the impact of having fewer talented people in the party was that it leads to a government made up of incapable people.

He said current leaders, from the division leaders up, are reluctant to allow new talents to come in, fearing they could pose a threat to their positions.

"They work to reduce the possibility of them being challenged, to reduce the likelihood that they will be replaced by people who are more qualified," he said, attributing this to the party's decline.

Malays 'disgusted' by party

The party, he added, did not receive the same support it did before because Malays were "disgusted" by the party and assumed it was no longer relevant and needed to be rejected.

Umno, Mahathir said, had strayed very far from its original ideals, where it fought solely for the Malay race, religion and country.

"But now, the Malays see Umno championing their individual causes instead of fighting for the race, religion and the country. Malays do not see the point of supporting those who were keener to look out for their own interest.

"If there was an alternative party, the Malays would support it. If the other parties are worse in comparison, only then would they continue supporting Umno. This is what happened in the 13th general election," he wrote in his blog today.

Pouring cold water on Umno's win in the recent GE, Mahathir said it was not because Malays still supported the party. The community, he said, had no choice.

The Malays, he said, were afraid of supporting former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the latter was allied with DAP, and this did not sit well with the Malays.

The community, he said, had therefore no choice but to support Umno.

"Umno however cannot depend on this. If it fails to purge itself from corruption and self-interest, the Malays would look for another champion," Mahathir wrote.


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