UMNO is undoubtedly one of the strongest political organizations in the world. It's very well oiled political machinery has ensured its existence and dominance as a political master in Malaysia for more than 50 years. Malaysia has emerged from a backwater entity to an economic powerhouse in South East Asia courtesy of the shrewdness and foresightedness of its leaders in balancing the needs and sometimes nonsensical demands of the various ethnic groups . Despite some minor racial incidents through out the years , the country has managed to progress reasonably well in terms of its economic and nationalistic journeys. But the voices of frustrations with the organization are getting louder and more vocal. People especially the young are not happy with the way the country is run and managed. They need Malaysia to be more open and their leaders more transparent in their political decisions. The discontentment among the new generation of Malaysians especially the Malays towards UMNO stemmed from the organization's own doing.They need not point the blames onto other political parties or entities. They have to put the blames squarely on them. The opportunistic oppositions are merely riding on the negative momentum towards the government of the day.
For one, UMNO carries the stigma of a very corrupt party. The party has had many cases of perceived weaknesses in fighting corruption. They are so many cases of cases of corruption involving UMNO such as the cases involving Tan Sri Muhammad, Khir Toyo, Rahim Thamby Chik and scores of their leaders past and present. The list is endless and it goes to the echelon. This is the major weakness of UMNO. Their so called fighting of corruption merely involves creating beautiful slogans and building good image of fighting it and nothing else. I don't think they are really serious in fighting this scourge. Whether this is true or otherwise this is the perception. And perception is reality.Most Malaysians regardless of race believe that most UMNO members are corrupt to the bone. If they want the Malays to support the party again they need to be serious in fighting this. In general, the Malays would still want to be with UMNO but they want radical changes made to the party. They are still cautious about moving on to another ship as it is still not ready to sail.The alternative party is still hazy and rudderless.
Secondly , I believe most UNMO leaders have lost their spirit of fighting for the Malays. They have lost the fighting soul which is the basis for the establishment of the main political party of the Malays. The die hard UMNO veterans such as Dato Onn, Tun Abdul Razak and to some extent Dr. Mahathir really served the Malays. They were in the party not for the ministerial post or money. They were there to fight for the Malays. Their main aim was to help the Malays and ensure their political survival of the placid people. But the young ones are in UMNO for the money and lucrative contracts. They are there to enrich their families and themselves. They just could not care less about the survival of the Malays. They are there in the organization to fight for their own survival. These leaders will only go back to the roots ones they have fallen or not elected to contest in the elections. This perception of the Malays about UMNO still holds true. That is why Malays are in droves joining other parties such as PAS and PKR. They have even formed the PERKASA as a saviour for the Malays. They have lost trust in UMNO. It is no more the party that protects the Malays
Thirdly, UMNO has lost its prominence because lots of UMNO members are arrogant flaunting their wealth and most of them only play the role of apple polishers. They will only "bodek" or impress upon their leaders. They will not bring up real problems of the Malays. They only talk about the Malay issues in order to get elected. To the UMNO members what is important is their own political survival. The Malays and their problems are not important. Just look at the UMNO gatherings . The UMNO members would just swarmed their leaders to impress them. They would just follow them wherever their leaders go. That is the political culture of UMNO. If they continue with this mentality and attitude I'm not surprised that the Malays will support the opposition and their leaders will bring on the Chinese in order to get greater political mileage. Ultimately, the Malays would lose out as the Chinese will extract concessions from Pakatan in which they will ultimately demand changes to the Constitution. The political scenario is so scary .
If UMNO wants the support from the Malays it would have to reform . The reform must be genuine and serious. If this is not done I believe UMNO will only last for another term and later Pakatan will takeover Putrajaya. The opposition wave is getting stronger by the day. No matter how smart Najib is in maneuvering this political mess , the outcome will still be negative if the reforms are shorthanded and cast only in beautiful slogans.