UMNO HERE FOR THE LONG RUN

Mem­bers’ loy­alty, power-shar­ing be­hind party’s rel­e­vance, say aca­demi­cians

New Straits Times - - News - AS­SO­CIATE PRO­FES­SOR DR NEIL­SON ILAN MERSAT

LAILI IS­MAIL

KUALA LUMPUR news@nst.com.my

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...

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