AFTER more than 70 years of leading the country, Umno no longer represents the aspirations of the people who have largely lost faith in the party.
“Umno has lost its spirit, identity and integrity and it no longer inspires the people,” said Umno veteran Zainudin Maidin.
Zainudin, who was formerly chief editor of Malay-language paper Utusan Melayu, said he had covered all of the country’s former prime ministers as a journalist, adding that the current era was the worst that Umno has ever experienced with the loss of confidence, economic downturn and political instability.
“The Malays once lost confidence in the leadership of Tunku (Abdul Rahman), but they never lost confidence in Umno.
Former Wanita Selangor chief Rakibah Abdul Manap said she was disappointed that Umno was now despised and shunned by the people.
“In the past, we wore our Umno uniform with pride and dignity. Others, the opposition, feared us but it’s different now. Umno is shunned,” she told The Malaysian Insight.
After more than three decades of being in Umno, Rakibah said she was disappointed that iconic leaders, such as Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Muhyiddin Yassin, were no longer with the party.
“(Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin) were people I once loved and respected. I don’t understand why it has become like this.
“If the leaders of today are wrong, then they should treat them like their own children and advise them nicely. That’s how you show responsibility and love for one another. But now, after a small mistake, they leave the party.”
Dr Mahathir formed Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) last year with former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin.
Former Kedah menteri besar Sanusi Junid, who followed Dr Mahathir’s decision to leave, said Umno no longer existed in its original form and has abandoned its struggles.
“I’m actually not interested in thinking about the Umno I used to be a member of because I feel that it no longer exists.
“(It is now) a party with the same name (but) does not have the spirit and goals of the Umno that I used to be a part of,” he told The Malaysian Insight in a text message.
He said Umno leaders of the past would never be “entrapped in money” as the current crop of leaders were.
“The true Umno will not burden its own race and shame the country. The Umno leaders that I know, whatever their weaknesses, would not fear taking the side of truth.”