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Date: 14 Dec 1999
WILL THE CULPRIT OF UMNO’S DEFEAT PLEASE RESIGN ROSLAN SMS
Despite securing a handsome 2/3 majority from the recently concluded general elections, UMNO lost 32 Malay majority seats to the Barisan Alternatif with PAS grabbing 27 and Keadilan having 5. They also lost Trengganu besides Kelantan, another Malay state previously under their wings. According to a Media Statement released by the PAS Youth Chief Hj. Mahfuz Omar, who himself is a newly elected MP at UMNO’s expense, this sudden drop in UMNO’s popularity signals serious dissatisfaction and disbelief among the Malay voter towards UMNO to continue leading the nation.
PAS increased its representation from 8 in the previous Parliament to 27, its highest ever achievement to date. Previously its best record was in 1974 when PAS was a member of the BN it won 14 seats then and earlier on in 1959 it had 13. With 27 seats PAS becomes the dominant opposition representative in Parliament, with Ustaz Dato’ Fadzil Mohd Nor as the new Opposition Leader as agreed upon by leaders of the BA. BN is set to face stiff opposition in this new Parliament through a strong and good combination of professionals and ulamak.
With growing Malay opposition in Parliament and loss of control in two Malay states, UMNO members deserve a good explanation from its leaders as to the cause of their defeat. Surely somebody has to bear the moral responsibility to this dismal performance by them, the worst in its political history. Only in Kedah do we see the former MB Sanusi Junid man enough to step down, whilst in other states such as Trengganu and Kelantan, where UMNO lost miserably, Wan Mokhtar and Ku Li being UMNO state chiefs respectively refuse to admit guilt.
During the aftermath of the 1969 Elections when the Alliance lost its 2/3 majority, the Tunku were mercilessly bombarded with calls to step down by certain quarters in UMNO. However that year UMNO merely failed to capture Kelantan and lost 12 Parliamentary seats to PAS including in Kota Setar where Dr. Mahathir lost to Yusof Rawa of PAS, yet the Tunku were pressured to take the blame. Among the strongest critic then was Dr. Mahathir himself who attributed his lost to Tunku’s weakness as UMNO President and PM. But today UMNO lost 32 of their Parliamentary seats and were denied rule in two Malay states yet not a single leader in UMNO dare speak out demanding Dr. Mahathirs resignation as UMNO President.
It is indeed a fact that BN had managed to regain its 2/3 majority however, UMNO singly has performed well below expectation. Having 4 Federal Ministers as casualty of the elections is exceptionally serious and Dr. Mahathir as UMNO President should morally be responsible to take the blame. Seriously the sudden strong shift of Malay support from UMNO to BA candidates nationwide is solely due to their hatred and loss of confidence in Dr. Mahathir. The Malays could not swallow underhand tactics and lies applied by Dr. Mahathir and his cronies to win the elections through chronic manipulation of the main stream media. Their strong protest through the elections should bring a clear message to Dr. Mahathir that he had failed as a Malay leader and that his time is over. The Malays are sick of Dr. Mahathirs antics. UMNO leaders should come out and be brave enough to convene an EGM and throw a no confidence vote to this man. Unless some drastic action is taken against the culprit, UMNO shall slowly but surely sink into the wilderness and the Malays shall eventually decide to abandon them altogether.