UMNO HERE FOR THE LONG RUN
Members’ loyalty, power-sharing behind party’s relevance, say academicians
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UMNO’S staying power in ruling Malaysia can be attributed to the tenacity of its machinery, contributions and members’ loyalty, political analysts say.
Political pundit Associate Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said the party had been consistent in nation-building, which contributed to its longevity.
“Umno remains in power because of its structure and contributions to nation-building.
“Although it faced many challenges, it has survived, relying on its members and machinery.
“When most of the (major) parties around the world lost, Umno has managed to pull through because of the legitimacy of its authority through institutionalised mechanism,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.
Political analyst Professor Dr Azizuddin Mohd Sani said Umno needed to keep innovating to stay relevant.
“Now, they have the right ingredients but they need to invest in young leaders to keep up with the times.
“If they fail to produce vibrant leaders, the party may not last in the next one or two generations,” he said.
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak Social Sciences faculty dean Associate Professor Dr Neilson Ilan Mersat said the power-sharing concept adopted by Umno was essential to its longevity.
“The relationship between Umno and other Barisan Nasional component parties is symbiotic and mutually benefiting.
“Power-sharing is essential for a multi-ethnic society like Malaysia, be it through a pact via a grand coalition or just a single but multiracial party,” he said.
At Umno’s 71st anniversary celebration yesterday, Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Umno remained the strongest party in the democratic world as its members were loyal and willing to make sacrifices. He had said the secret to the party’s survival had been in its people-centric approach and that it had stood the test of time by championing Islam, Malays and Bumiputera and Malaysia as a whole.
Powersharing is essential for a multi-ethnic society like Malaysia...