Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Truly, UMNO-BN has been checkmated by people's power

Never have we witnessed UMNO/BN in such paranoia until Bersih 2.0 got going. And the most painful lesson, amongst several others that Bersih 2.0 has forcefully taught UMNO/BN is that the rising middle class citizens of Malaysia are more politically mature and better informed than what the politicians within the corridors of power always thought.

In the very first place, UMNO/BN should never have underestimated not only the citizens but also a whole spectrum of people-representation forces that make up this 21st century social fabric.

To begin with, NGOs today do not operate in isolation. They are riding on the networked society, traversing the world through the 21st century’s technological breakthrough. They are akin to swamps that descend on any issues anywhere in the world in a show of solidarity marshalling global opinions of fame and doom.

Even if local governments try to outlaw any NGO, the damage that these new age NGOs can inflict on errant leaderships can be easily understood from the developments in the world today and in these past two decades.

The other truth is, in any nation that proclaims to rule with democracy, the mantra of ‘divide the citizenry while battering your opponents’ – is long gone with the advent of the 21st century’s global call for the benchmarked true democracy and civil liberties.

New ground rules

In this age and times, the ground rules for power and control are fast changing. To remain in power one must demonstrate leadership, not control. And that calls for acknowledging your democratic opponents as collaborators and not attempting to annihilate them. The industrial revolution styled leadership and power brokering has seen sunset.

Citizens today, particularly the rising global middle class who are the real economic powerhouses of the future are championing that their demands are met through the channels of NGOs and political parties that propagate democracy as understood in this new age technologically driven society.

NGOs have quickly reinvented themselves to serve the changing framework of society that has been liberated with communication technology.

And political parties are building collaborative bridges with people-centric organizations with proclamations to meet civil society demands.

Likewise, professional groups and associations as well as religious bodies are quickly aligning themselves with the tides of change that is set to sweep the globe where values, beliefs and cultural frameworks are being revolutionized by the networked society.

UMNO/BN has in essence handled the Bersih 2.0 saga not only badly and to its own disadvantage but very obviously has re-affirmed the public’s suspicion that it may have outlived its very purpose.

Even if its leaders have made clarion calls to re-invent or even ‘transform’ the party, the barrage of actions and in-actions from UMNO/BN quarters have only proven that the UMNO political party and its BN coalition may face a steep uphill challenge and even risk going off the cliff.


Bersih 2.0 has very clearly – although much to the embarrassment of the UMNO/BN party wigs and even its followers, demonstrated that emotional outbursts, knee jerk orders and accompanied threats to bolster the politicians’ show of power and control does not work in today’s world where there is a resurgence of people participation in leadership and national destinies.

For as long as UMNO/BN remains adamant and deeply rooted in its old age politics, its demise will be inevitable. The very fact that Malaysia’s sovereign ruler His Majesty the Agung had to intervene is already a setback for UMNO/BN’s leadership.

It is also an irreversible signal that in today’s growing transparent and accountable, global, political environment, the independence and separation of powers are the very safety nets for political survival in a networked society. Hence as long as UMNO/BN continues marshalling the various gentries and agentries – namely the media, the law enforcers and unthinking street rowdies, to force swing the pendulum of public opinion, the survival of that political party/parties is timed-out.

A scan across the global media clearly hints how the failures, glitches and sheer lack of integrity and leadership within UMNO/BN have been showcased to the world community.

Hopefully, if UMNO/BN desires to either be the ruling political party or even end up being in an effective opposition position, it must wake up from its blinkered views about the rising tides of the middle class population in the networked society wher the flow of space and time flows are dramatically being challenged.

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