Barisan disintegrating as Umno in crisis, says veteran newsman


(TMI) – With lynchpin party Umno engulfed in a leadership crisis, other component parties of ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) are disintegrating or going their own way, said veteran journalist Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.

The former group editor of Umno-controlled English daily New Straits Times said this could be seen in the prolonged infighting in ethnic Indian party, MIC, and the increasingly independent tone that the BN parties in Sarawak were taking over various problems.

Umno, meanwhile, has been dealing with internal attacks against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and rebuttals against his critics through cybertroopers and government-controlled media.

Kadir said BN’s problems would hamper its ability to maintain its support especially from the non-Bumiputera communities.

For instance he said Najib, as Umno president and chairman of the BN coalition, appeared unable to prevent MIC from tearing itself apart due to a leadership tussle.

“In the MIC, the challenge against the lightweight President G. Palanivel started from the early days he succeeded the autocratic, but hugely popular Tan Sri S. Samy Vellu in December 2010.

“Despite being the smallest of the original Alliance/BN parties, MIC is important to the grand old coalition because the Indians generally support the BN.

“With the Chinese-based MCA and Gerakan having been rejected by the Chinese, continuous Indian support is crucial.

“But a weak MIC could drive away BN’s Indian votes,” Kadir wrote in his blog.

Najib was unable to aid the MIC as he faced growing discontent from within Umno, he added.

BN’s Sarawak’s parties appear to be carving out a path of their own in preparation for the state’s elections which must be held before June next year.

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