Many people increasingly see the upcoming general election as a battle royale – a fierce battle between good and evil where the ‘good’ is ascribed to the opposition and the ‘evil’ is seen as Umno-Barisan Nasional.
Umno-BN should accept the fact that its leadership is primarily to be blamed. The leaders at the helm and the parasitical little Napoleons hanging on and around the leaders out of pure self-interest and for handouts are the ones who have soiled the good name of the party, which once upon a time served all Malaysians well.
In this battle royale, the mounting public opinion on social media and at kopitiams is that Umno-BN is the most corrupt political party in the country.
Such public opinion is not mere perception. Although Umno-BN warriors may be quick to brush off the growing public opinion as mere perception, Patriot has reasons to believe otherwise.
The ‘evil’ labelling of Malaysia’s longest ruling party and coalition has much to do with the former Umno president and former prime minister being found guilty of corruption and now serving a 12-year jail term.
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This jailing steals the crown: never in our history has a prime minister been found guilty of such mega-corruption. His conviction only confirms the rot and stench that has long permeated the entire party leadership.
Several more Umno or BN leaders are either on trial, awaiting trial or standing in queue, waiting to be charged if the party does not win the general election.
Public opinion was fuelled when Umno president Zahid Hamidi himself publicly claimed this would be the eventuality if they lost the general election. It was a very confession at the recent MIC party assembly, adding to the disrepute and shame, not only to him but to all in Umno and the entire BN coalition.
Zahid may have said this in jest, as some suggest. But is this the kind of announcement that should be made at a party assembly in full attendance by MIC members? Even a high school student would have known better.
When an election is around the corner, a leader’s speech should be one that motivates, inspires and calls upon party members to build unity and strength to face the challenges confronting the party.
What Zahid spewed at the MIC assembly is certainly no laughing matter. It must have hurt the feelings of those he had named or singled out – that they too may face corruption charges should Umno-BN lose the election. Their body language said it all – their uneasiness when Zahid mentioned their names.
The public are no fools. Public opinion was simply reinforced.
Hence, there is weight to the shared opinion among many ordinary people who believe that Umno-BN has leaders who are indeed corrupt and only waiting to be herded to court.
Recently, both the sultans of Perak and Selangor issued strong statements, unequivocally calling on all their subjects to reject corrupt and greedy leaders.
What compelled the sultans to make such statements? Patriot believes it must be the severity of the offences committed by our political leaders with no limit to their greed and corrupt means.
We therefore call on those who will cast their votes on 19 November to be extremely sure about whom they will vote for.
Malaysians, in respecting the call of our rulers and all right-minded leaders, must reject candidates who are alleged or known to be corrupt or who have proven themselves to be incompetent and irresponsible.
By not voting for all those who have failed the people and the nation, Malaysia can at least be assured of ushering in a clean and responsible government.
Our beloved land has had enough of unscrupulous and unworthy politicians. The decades of putting up with corrupt regimes must end with the upcoming general election.
The people certainly deserve better politicians this time around.
Retired Brigadier General Dato’ Mohamed Arshad Raji is president of National Patriots Association (Patriot)