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Apr 5, 2008

Finally, an Umno leader sounds appealing to all Malaysians

themalaysianinsider - KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — He could have chosen the safe and narrow path and only appealed to Malay nationalism. But by going further than any Umno leader (prime minister included) since March 8 and telling his party faithful that their relevance is tied to their appeal to all Malaysians, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has managed to:

• Elevate the current political debate engulfing the ruling party.

• Put some distance between himself and others like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who also want Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to step down.

• Offer Umno a road map of meaningful reform.

Pity, that the nearly man of Malaysian politics delivered this significant speech in the back of beyond in Kelantan rather than a national stage. One of the stark images after Election 2008 is how Umno, MCA and other component parties of the Barisan Nasional seem to be stuck in a quagmire of old thinking and perimeters.

Each party is fixated with becoming relevant to their own communities and staying in their communal silos. Umno wants to return to being the unrivalled champion of the Malays. MCA and MIC want to be more vocal champions of Chinese and Indians respectively. more...


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