But reading between the lines of the letter, I must say that BN in order to survive in the political arena of this country MUST change it's ways. UMNO and BN are too narrow minded. If PAS is able to adapt changes by inviting non Muslim to contest in the general election, UMNO and especially UMNO must change to be relevant.
So to UMNO and BN, please take heed to the call of the person whom you love before...
------- Mahatir's letter below
THE recent decision of a senior Gerakan leader to take a job under the DAP Government of Penang should not be taken lightly by the Barisan Nasional if it wishes to survive and regain support of its members and supporters.
The Gerakan leader may be motivated by a genuine desire to work for the good of Penang and Malaysia. But it may also be because loyalty to the Barisan is now based on personal gains or fear of punishment of some kind.
This is especially so among the leaders. There is no genuine love for the objectives said to be the raison d’etre for the party’s existence. They are all fighting to get a piece of the cake that the party would be able to distribute when it wins elections. They could become Ministers or Mentris Besar or Deputy Ministers or Speakers. They could get contracts or licences, APs etc.
When the party loses, these will not be forthcoming. The reason for supporting the party would disappear.
The rank and file on the other hand stands to gain nothing, win or lose. The party is not any longer for the general good of the country but only for lining the pockets of the leaders. So why should the ordinary members help the leaders to line their pockets?
The party can keep on making promises but the members know that these promises are empty.
Supposing the Opposition are smart enough to provide good Government, to look after the interests of the ordinary people, to lead a Spartan life like not flying in chartered planes when going to Kuala Lumpur or taking excos and divisional heads on jaunts to foreign countries, then those people who voted for the Opposition out of anger against the Barisan in 2008 would transfer their loyalty permanently to the Opposition.
When that happens, the Barisan, Umno and other component parties can forget about recapturing the states lost to the Opposition. Their turncoat members (saboteurs as they are classified by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) will remain turncoats and will actively work against the Barisan t the next election. To lose once is bad but to lose a second time in Malaysian election is an unmitigated disaster.
The window of opportunity will close pretty soon. Unless drastic actions are taken now, there would be no time to rehabilitate the Barisan and Umno and indeed all the other Barisan component parties for the next election. When this happens and Barisan is totally defeated, the leaders who mismanaged the Barisan will go down in history as betrayers of the parties that had so successfully defeated the Malayan Union, gained independence for the country and developed it to what it is today.
The leaders still have a choice. Continue supporting a person under whom the Barisan and its component parties were defeated or stop being self-serving and return to the true national struggle. You may gain something for yourself personally today but your children and grandchildren will pay a terrible price. The choice is yours.
DR MAHATHIR MOHAMAD.