POLITICAL OBSERVERS: BN must remain united or be manipulated by Opposition

Sept 16, the date Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claimed he would lead the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government to Putrajaya, may turn out to be nothing but just a ’pipe dream’.

Political observers believe the ’mess’ faced by Barisan Nasional (BN) is a fallout from its loss in the Permatang Pauh by-election on Aug 26.They regard it as a critical point for BN as the opposition will use its weakness to manipulate the situation.Universiti Tun Abdul Razak former dean of the Humanitarian and Social Science Faculty, Prof Datuk Dr Ibrahim Ahmad Bajunid said BN had to remain united to prevent it from being exploited.

“In a critical situation like this, all the party leaders must be united. Don’t pick a fight.

“Manipulation by the opposition will create confusion in philosophy, ideology, idealism and policy,” he told Bernama.Ibrahim said BN should indulge in creative thinking, including self-criticism to find solutions to the current problems by “thinking out of the box”.

He described it as reformation where leaders had to give priority to the country and people instead of personal and party interests.“Leaders who put the country and people above personal interest will live in history. Many leaders can talk of reforms but what and who are the reforms for?

“Those who talk of the reformation concept are actually pursuing their political career, not for the good of the country and people,” he said.

“They are going for personal satisfaction and do not give a hoot to what happens to the country and people.” Ibrahim said BN had many good policies, but the objectives were not achieved due to poor implementation brought about by abuse of power and corruption by politicians.

“They may be small in number but enough to create a ’sense of helplessness and hopelessness’. New leaders with high ethics must come forward for the sake of the country and people.

“The people want wise leaders, not smart ones. Wise leaders have good eating habits while smart ones eat in haste. Like fastfood, they are fast but not for fine dining.”

He added that the leadership problem not only existed in BN but also in the opposition.Prof Datuk Dr Zainal Kling said although BN was still strong, the leaders should sit down and thrash out their problems.

“The big problem is that the leaders do not know how to translate the constitution into reality,” he said.The occupant of the Tun Ghafar Chair at Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris said the failure of BN leaders to explain issues convincingly made the opposition seemed consistent and strong.

“The people cannot see the direction as leaders cannot translate the philosophy and convince them of the Malaysian race concept being championed.

“They see PR as a choice that offers a Malaysian vision with direction although they are just mere political rhetoric,” he said.Zainal said BN’s strength would depend much on Umno, the main pillar of the coalition.

“Umno must find a way to form a policy where everyone has a role to play and will stand to benefit,” he said.“Firstly, BN has to recover its strength. This can only happen when Umno make changes so that its integrity as a Malay party that caters for all races is no longer questioned,” he added.

With such straightforward views, perhaps it is time for BN leaders to revisit the birth of the Alliance Party which later evolved into BN.

They should also recap the independence achieved via the close cooperation and unity showed by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-haj, Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun V.T. Sambanthan.

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