Umno is too big to fail but …

As for the welfare and the financial health of the country with its RM407 billion national debt, we better change government before it is too late.

Nawawi Mohamad, The Malaysian Insider

The Najib blunders that you have been reading about in the news are worth watching carefully. Like many have said, the situation has now morphed into something much bigger than a Umno crisis — it could batter the entire BN stability, which is pretty fragile anyway, in view of the impending general election. Nevertheless, like many have said, the best way for Najib to move forward on his reform agenda is to call a poll — to gain a fresh mandate and also to find out what Malaysians think of him. After all, he was not elected by the people of Malaysia and neither was he elected by the members of his party.

You have read a lot about Gerakan, MIC and MCA, but the problem in BN is Umno. Umno has long been governed poorly. Umno is too big to fail but with all the blunders, it might also be too big to bail. Even Mahathir might not be able to credibly bail it out along with all the other Umno leaders. So what can be done? There is no one solution that can solve the myriads of teething problems so the only way to solve the issues is through change and sacrifice.

First the bickering in Umno must stop. The Majlis Tertinggi must get the right criteria to determine who the winnable candidate is. Candidates should only be chosen based on this set of criteria and those who don’t have the required attributes must sacrifice themselves no matter what. If Umno still insists on candidates being nominated at the grass-roots level, it simply won’t work. Why is this so? Umno’s grass roots are divided amongst themselves and this division will result in an overall weak foundation for Umno and for any party for that matter.

The next thing Umno must do is to drop all leaders who are tainted by scandal and wrongdoings. This exercise could also be used to mould potential leaders for the next generation and mould those with integrity, charisma and calibre. Umno leaders must also change the culture of fighting for top posts — and the associated view that they are lucrative positions.

Umno must then admit its mistakes, ask forgiveness from the rakyat and turn over a new leaf. This can be done immediately by looking through the Auditor General report and bringing the wrongdoers to justice. Sacrifice some veteran leaders who have tarnished the party’s image. This way Umno will be seen as moving against corruption, willing to take action and removing the bad apples while still maintaining most of its leaders.