This is a good article from the NST, which is also a timely remember by an UMNO member to all UMNO leadership.
I like Tengku Putra's parting statement best "Let's be nice to our own as we are to the rest". Basically sums up the feelings of many Malays in Malaysia.
Don't antagonise Umno supporters
By Tengku Putra Haron Aminurrashid Jumat
SYAWAL is a time for the Malays to forgive and, in turn, seek forgiveness physically and spiritually, reconcile differences and renew relationships. But where politics is concerned, condemnation seemed to be the order of the month.
It was with much regret that I had to read comments made by Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and supreme council member Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, both in their positions in the party by appointment only, against Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa).
When Perkasa spread its wings to Johor, I saw up close the interest it created among the Malays, especially among Umno branch leaders and members.
One reason why they joined was because while being a member of the party, they needed a Malay non-governmental organisation (NGO) which was in a safe position to be more aggressive in defending the rights and privileges of the Malays as enshrined in the Constitution.
More directly said, they see Umno as having lost the guts to defend the affirmative action policies whenever it comes under attack by the other leaders, who continue to question Malay rights.
Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak is making inroads and much effort in uniting the people with his 1Malaysia concept. I dare say that he is doing this almost single-handedly.
At the very least, Umno leaders should, in turn, maintain and nurture the little support that the party has left remaining from the Malays. What they should not do altogether is antagonise the NGO that is not only vocal but also generally in support of Umno.
Perkasa may be extreme in its demands, but we were not at any time held hostage or at ransom by it. I do not think Datuk Ibrahim Ali can influence Umno members within Perkasa to do that either.
However, saying that Perkasa is made up of "rejects" and declaring that Umno does not support them have severely hurt the feelings of the party's supporters.
I dreaded having to deal with this issue while making my Hari Raya Aidilfitri rounds with Umno branch leaders in the Pulai and Johor Baru divisions.
Instead of basking in the celebrations, we were bombarded with remarks and questions regarding the reckless statements made, which I dare say was not the official stand of the party.
Most of the Umno members in Perkasa are actually members of the Umno machinery, the engine of Barisan Nasional, during elections. Most of them are branch leaders and several others are those who lost by small margins in the divisional elections two years ago. Their continued contributions to the party and nation should be embraced and welcomed, not mocked.
If we take the effort to check, we will discover that a good number of them won in the last delegates' meeting to represent their divisions in the Umno general assembly in October last year.
Are we to imply that these leaders in their own right have absolutely no influence or significance at all to Umno in their respective divisions? Can the party even afford to be that arrogant with those who strongly support our struggle?
If Johor, Sabah and Sarawak are termed as BN's fixed deposits, then these Umno leaders, current or otherwise, with much influence are our bond. Should we be discrediting them at all?
Umno leaders should help the president and his deputy and not handicap them with unnecessary statements at the most ridiculous of times making us, the grassroots, having to work even harder than the party has to by moving a few steps backwards just to clean up the mess made by the top officials.
A political observer said Perkasa was playing the role of Umno Youth. He is partly right, for if the wing played its role of pressure group instead of the diplomat in Umno, Perkasa wouldn't even have to exist.
We have to reach out to the other races but, at the same time, preserve the feelings of the Malays, especially the ones we have secured as our loyal supporters. Observe the Malay proverb, yang dikejar tak dapat, yang dikendung berciciran.
Bumiputera NGOs can either unite or divide the Malays. If winning the next general election is our greatest concern, then Umno should nurture and preserve the already secured votes while reaching out for the rest, not antagonise the former while overstretching the latter.
I trust the Johor Umno Liaison Committee will bring this matter up in its next convention prior to the general assembly.
Malay unity is close to the heart of this state, the bastion of BN. Let's be nice to our own as we are to the rest.
Read the article in full here.
The writer is the vice-chief of the Pulai Umno division.
I believe Perkasa would not be a threat to UMNO, and leaders in UMNO tak payah nak jolok sarang tebuan lah. The bees can be helpful if you are nice to them, but may sting if feel threatened.