Sim Kwang Yang the writer who was a former MP Bandar Kuching 1982-1995 in this Malaysiakini report http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/90700 headlined UMNO’s Arrogance can destroy BN summing it all up as this round of infighting as the last straw in the camels back. Its a comprehensive wirteup by the MP and of course there are a lot of home truths there.

As i was making my rounds with the Hari Raya visitations to relatives houses and close friends I sense a common disappointment with our PM Abdullah who seems not in control of UMNO and thus the country. Everyone said Mahathir was a leader who rules with his iron fist but everyone especially the business community was happy as the economy was stable and there were many job oppurtunities. So my question is simple which usually lights up the conversation,” IS UMNO good for Sarawak or PKR?” Both are National Parties and PBB,PRS,SUPP and SPDP are local based parties.

One thing that comes up from the conversations is that there are too many generals now in UMNO and they are given the free rein to talk to the press unlike Mahathirs’s time. Our PM should have looked into the Press freedom of all the UMNO supreme council members.He should have learnt from Mahathir but when I said NO TWO MASTERS are the same they nodded. 

PKR is a hot topic and many would like to give PKR and Anwar a chance in Sarawak come 2010 in the next state elections. Has the Malay ground shifted from PBB to PKR like in Peninsular Malaysia has shifted? Has PBB been lossing touch with their Malay ground, the reality that ordinary Malays have to confront in their struggle for existence everyday in the face of high inflation and dwindling spending power.PBB is still relevant in Sarawak and their true tests will come when they face PKR in the fight for the Malay/Melanau areas in the next elections.Where does this put UMNO in the state context? There is a strong following of UMNO protem members and they should now be seen together to put on a united front with the PBB to win over the ones that has shown allegiance to PKR. As we always say,”THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS.”

Its a choice for the people in Sarawak and UMNO needs to reengineer,reinvent and rebrand or else they will be IRRELEVANT. The people in Sarawak has seen how PKR and Pakatan has performed in the polls in the last GE12. A lady supreme council member from Sarikei with PRS  was quick to point out to me,”It looks calm but the ground level can shift overnight and we would even be caught with our skirts and pants down.” Too much infighting within the BN parties is the cause and  she hopes that BN parites will reengineer to suit the local political scenario. NO more overconfidence and arrogance or “WE ARE FINISHED.” 

The Malay sentiments will be easily swayed when they see a rush of people moving towards PKR and there is nothing that we can do unless we look after the GRASSROOTS. An architect who was once a firm believer of PBB policies and no one goes against UMNO is now even talking like she knows PKR very well and has no qualms on who is beside her. That is the way the people speak now. Do not try to say to your leaders everything is alright.

The ballot boxes are the channels which will determine who are the powers in Malaysia or Sarawak in the next 2 and 5 years respectively. We cannot hide from the PEOPLE who are the NEW MASTERS. PKR or UMNO or for that matter PBB,PRS,SUPP,SPDP or DAP your fate is in their hands. We say,”LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE……………