NST says: Get on with the Job
IT’S been five weeks since the general election. The Barisan Nasional was returned to power, albeit with a smaller majority and the loss of five states.
Enough is enough.
People are getting fed up with Umno’s moaning and groaning, the political wayang and sandiwara its cast of characters is playing up and down the country.
The truth is that the people have long been disgusted with the kind of boorish, loutish behaviour that Umno leaders had exemplified because of their grip on power since independence in 1957.
Brandishing the kris was hurtful to the non-Malays but the party leadership did nothing to take the Umno Youth chief to task for the menacing and insulting gesture. Which was why he was emboldened to repeat it and provide extra impetus for the Chinese and Indians to abandon the BN at the polls.
It also did not go unnoticed that the leadership put up with the racist and inflammatory rhetoric of the delegates at the televised 2006 Umno general assembly.
Then there was the desecration of the temple under the watch of the then Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo which did so much to outrage the Hindus throughout the country and turn them against the ruling coalition. And Dr Khir had the cheek to award a broom to a local council president, when neither he nor the party president could control the warlords who held the party to ransom over the choice of candidates, and stabbed the party in the back when they did not approve of the candidates.
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is now paying for these and other acts of omission, including the undeliverable promises of change that he made when he first became prime minister in 2003.
Every other day, he has had to deflect attacks by party members and ex-leaders who conveniently have absolved themselves of any fault. But every day that he is sidetracked by party bickering is another day affairs of state are neglected — the nation and the people are the losers.
Abdullah has said that he has got the message; he has accepted responsibility for the unkept pledges; and this time, he vows he will deliver on his promises and set the country in order before he retires.
That is, in fact, the verdict of his mandate, and he should be allowed to get on with it. But all the worms crawling out of the Umno woodwork — especially the retired and those with shelf lives past due who have found new breath in their calls for a party coup — won’t let him.
They don’t get it. Abdullah is not solely to be blamed and everything will not suddenly be all well again if he goes. Umno from the roots to the high branches all have to share the blame for their silence, their greed, arrogance and shenanigans that have turned off voters. So stop the navel-gazing and infighting.
If they have to fight among themselves, at least have the decency to keep it civilised and behind closed doors. They don’t have to drag the whole country through their infernal politicking.
There are more important things than private peeves and settling of scores.