‘Umno must compete without killing opposition’

Umno cannot bank its resurgence on the demerits of its opponents.

Nothing is more depressing, when imams don’t seem to know what they are talking and even worse by saying they admit they don’t know anything about this new product.

Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz, Free Malaysia Today

Umno must adopt elements of the new nationalism – declare war on corruption and mediocrity.

We know the Pakatan Rakyat people haven’t got superior quality people too. Even they are scrapping the bottom of the barrel which is abundantly clear when they are forced to accept renegades from ruling coalition partners.

Umno cannot bank its resurgence on the demerits of its opponents. It must rebound on its own native strengths and capabilities.

Hence rather than applying resources in trying to blow out its opponents, Umno better spend them on rebuilding Umno.

Most times the ‘win-win’ is the most effective approach: ‘You can compete without having to kill the opposition.’

The choice has to be made by ‘hard-headed thinking.’

So, the task for right minded Malaysians is to find hard headed thinkers.

Management authors Nalebuff and Brandenburger (1996) when advising on ‘co-opetition’ argued that a strategic and or tactical stance is decisive.

They said, and I quote: “For example, in many markets, it’s a positive gain when new competition arrives. If you’re running the only antique shop for miles around, far fewer people will call than if half-a-dozen others cluster round you.

“The more companies supply connection to the Internet, and the more sites that are established on the World Wide Web, the more users will pile in – to the advantage of everybody.

“You have to be both Dr Jekyll and MrHyde, because:

• There’s a bias towards seeing every new player as a threat

• But many players complement you as well as compete with you

• Look for complementary opportunities as well as competitive threats”.

‘Islam Hadhari bombed badly’

How do hard-headed and clever planners react to this kind of scenario?

Most probably, the hard-headed politicians will react to this seemingly gentlemanly theory by pointing to the innumerable cases where those thuggish competitors have attacked by undermining successful initiatives with me-toos.

They retaliate in kind, believing they are likely to win.

Take for instance the introduction of Islam Hadhari. Umno flooded the market with this brand hoping to undercut the Islam which PAS is offering.

PAS retaliated by offering its Islam through the usual and more cost effective method – that of ‘selling’ their products and services through the ubiquitous suraus and mosques.

Umno wanted to do it with much fanfare and festivity.

In the end, our understanding of Islam Hadhari is probably not much better than our understanding about it when Islam Hadhari the brand, was first announced in 2005.

I think, in the classic Hollywood terminology, this is one Islamic show that bombed badly.

No one talks about Islam Hadhari nowadays and the former major-general Jamil Khir Baharom, who now sits as minister in the Prime Minister’s office is left with the responsibility of how best to salvage the idea.