Perem Segar thinks that BN must change their political ideology to survive.

Some of the Barisan Nasional (BN) affiliated political parties must change their political ideologies to survive in the future. This short article will touch some points without going into serious details.

In Malaysian politics, equality was never truly given any serious thought until 2008 when Pakatan Rakyat utilised this concept of equality and a more multi-ethnic political party. Pakatan introduced political ideologies into Malaysia such as liberalism and a welfare-based society. This could have resulted in the massive swing of the minorities and the Malays to Pakatan, compared to the traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian political parties (race-based political parties).

We can see that Barisan Nasional (BN) has been unable to regain its two-thirds majority since 2008, and this was even more evident in the 2013 elections where the ruling party even lost the popular vote. At times like this, race and religious based NGOs like ISMA and PERKASA began to pop up, trying to strengthen the racial and religious divide on the basis of ‘Malay supremacy’ and Islam. PERKASA has even opened its first branch overseas in London defending Malay customs and Islamic traditions from human rights and liberal pluralism that clashes with its traditions, apparently trying to ‘educate’ the youth. This is because PERKASA knows it has no influence over the educated young, who see things beyond racial lines.

It is worrying to see that such NGOs are neither condemned nor ostracised by the authorities, while similar race-based NGOs such as HINDRAF — who were fighting for the marginalised Indians — were charged under sedition for apparently causing racial hatred and instability. The question that arises from the lack of determination by the authorities to tackle race and religious based NGOs like PERKASA and ISMA that label the Chinese and Indians as trespassers and other retarded statements along those lines can only mean two things — that these NGOs have the government as a patron, or that the government just doesn’t think that these actions are causing racial hatred or instability, and benefits their position as the government.

What the government doesn’t seem to realise is that as the country progresses and becomes more liberal in its thinking, and are able to see beyond race and religion, BN will have no legitimate political ideology as they have no other stance other than protecting the Malays (UMNO), Indians (MIC), and Chinese (MCA). We have the law the protect us — we don’t need to know that you are protecting the Malays or Chinese. The people will start asking what you can contribute for the betterment of the country other than these racial and religious based ideologies.

What BN should do now is to mature from the race and religion mindset and start developing proper political ideologies in order to garner more support from new voters.

Maybe it should first abandon race-based admissions to its political parties and start envisioning the type of country they want — whether they want a welfare state, free market state, libertarian stance, communitarian stance, or one of the many political stances available for them to pick other than race and religion. Start debating these issues instead of which race is supreme or which religion is supreme.

Start practising real democracy with proper political ideologies and a democratic framework or end up being irrelevant due to the lack of political maturity. The new voters will be sick of hearing about ‘Malay supremacy’ and Islam as a political slogan. If BN wants to survive in the future with the ever increasing young voters and ever decreasing old voters, it has to shift away from race and religion based politics and start developing proper political ideologies.

Who knows, maybe UMNO will mean United Malaysians National Organisation one day? That would be a truly 1Malaysia. As Churchill said — “To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often”.


5 replies on “BN Needs an Ideological Makeover”

  1. But CAN the BN change? That is the real question. The situation now is reminiscent of Spanish Francoism at the tail end of its life. Young, intelligent, idealistic Malaysians are no longer joining BN. The coalition is filled with rent-seekers hoping to get squeeze a few last drops into their pockets before the whole system implodes. It does not seem that the BN has the resources to change; it will go the way of Francoism. Hopefully the Malaysian transition to democracy will be as smooth as the Spanish one (which only happened recently after all).

    Even so, one must hope that the BN will rise from its ashes 10-20 years down the line or that somehow or other a truly multi-racial, multi-religious alternative to PR emerges. Only then will we have (the beginnings of) a fully functional multi-party democracy. We have a long, long way to go. Especially compared to the Indonesians.

  2. Well, "why change when nothing is broken"? And they are/will still be in power as long EC is in its existing form…….

Comments are closed.