Playing the Barisan Nasional blame game — Stephen Doss

11 May

MAY 11 — There is a tendency after every election for winners to amplify their wins and take sole credit for their performance, and for losers to find convenient scapegoats.

It would be easy for anyone to look at the results of the 13th general election and classify the winners as Barisan Nasional and the losers as Pakatan Rakyat. Not so.

In actual fact there is much more for Pakatan Rakyat to be happy about than Barisan Nasional, for one they are riding an uptrend in terms of total number of votes received, not to mention an increase in the number of seats, both at parliamentary and state levels.

Barisan Nasional is expected to react the same way that they did after the 2008 general election, which is to look for a convenient scapegoat. For Umno it was Pak Lah, for the MCA it was Ong Ka Ting.

Fast forward to 2013, already Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek are now feeling the heat.

Unfortunately, Barisan Nasional will again refuse to acknowledge that the rot had set in years back, not 10 years back, not 20.

Just like all political parties which have governed for years without interruption, arrogance, corrupt practises, cronyism and nepotism have become second nature and barely noticed among members.

The political parties are loath to change because they want to; most of them are forced to change, just like the LDP in Japan, the KMT in Taiwan and the Congress Party in India.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad did a grave disservice to Umno and BN when he pinned the blame for the 2008 results on Pak Lah, and BN lost a golden opportunity to reform itself and hence, they are now suffering from having to form a government with the humiliation of having lost the popular vote. And those who think that by putting the blame solely on certain individuals are going to change anything are making the same mistake.

Even if there is a change in leadership within the BN, but without recognition that brand BN has been damaged because of widespread corruption, concentration of wealth among the economic elite, arrogance of thought and action among the rank and file, a dearth of talent among its ranks, then the BN can expect to continue in its free fall, they should not be surprised if their share of the popular votes keeps dwindling.

There are some within the BN who see the 13th GE results as opportunities to climb the ladder, nothing more. They deliberately try to avoid looking at the real reasons why they are now in a downward spiral.

If that is the case, Good Luck Barisan Nasional, you’re gonna need it come GE14.

* Stephen Doss reads The Malaysian Insider.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.




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