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Malaysia does not belong to Umno

Written By kadayan chronicles on Monday, 27 October 2008 | 18:23

Written by TaSigung Tia

That is the basic thing that Malaysians need to understand...
Can society ever extricate itself from Umno’s party penetration?
OCT 25 — The recently ignited debate about the dominant position of Umno within the ruling coalition may yet be the most fruitful of all the soul-searching attempts endeavoured by Malaysians to understand the electoral surprises of March 8.
Aside from obvious disagreements among the Barisan Nasional’s members about how that dominance came about, and who are to blame for it, there are at least two related fields that promise a good harvest for interested analysts.
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These are first, party penetration of the state, and second, party penetration of the society.
In democracies where the government occasionally changes hands, a healthy distance is maintained between political parties on one side and the civil service, business groups and social networks on the other.
Because of the conditional nature of power in such societies, politicians and party structures do not have the time and the coercive clout they need to infiltrate and colonise low-level associations. Society at large remains significantly independent of parties in power.
At the other end of the scale, we have party dictatorships, as in the case of China. There, especially before capitalist reforms were carried out, the party has been starkly relevant in the daily decisions of normal people.
Malaysia’s democracy lies somewhere in between these two polarities. Component parties of the BN and its predecessor, the Alliance, have been in power throughout the country’s existence. The ruling parties, at least on the peninsula, have been Umno, the MCA, the MIC and Gerakan. themalaysianinsider.com
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