He says he will go one step further and say that an Umno defeat in the next general election is not only good for the party but also good for the country.
KUALA LUMPUR: Suspended Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang agrees with veteran newsman Kadir Jasin, a former Group Editor-in-Chief of the New Straits Times, that a spell in the political wilderness, if not warming the Opposition benches in Parliament, would be good for Umno to purge its corrupt soul.
“He said Umno’s reaction to defeat would determine whether or not it could make a comeback.
“If Umno could rebuild itself, Malaysia would move closer towards being a democracy with a two-party system.”
The DAP veteran was commenting on an interview that Kadir had with Free Malaysia Today (FMT). “I welcome Kadir Jasin’s courage to speak the unpleasant truth, which is an indication that Malaysia was ready for a quantum leap in our democratic experiment.
“I will go one step further and say that an Umno defeat in the next general election is not only good for the party but also good for the country,” said Lim, who is also DAP Parliamentary Leader, in a statement.
“Kadir Jasin said it is only after Umno suffers defeat in a general election that it’s likely to work towards regaining the prestige it once had.”
In the interview with FMT, said Lim, Kadir said that Umno can rebuild itself with a new leadership that opens up opportunities for the younger generation, but it will probably do so only if it loses a general election. “Without defeat, Umno will remain the way it is.
It will be thinking only of what the party needs to do to stay in power instead of what the public really wants,” Lim quoted the veteran newsman as saying.
“Kadir feels that the Malays today are adventurous and that they now have the courage to stand up and say that they no longer need to stand under one umbrella.”
Kadir reinforced his arguments with examples from recent history which illustrated that political parties that had been dominant for too long would degenerate but would rebuild themselves after defeat, said Lim.
“He cited the cases of Taiwan’s Kuomintang, Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and India’s Congress Party.
“These three parties, he said, chose to heed their wake-up calls and realized that they must fulfill their responsibilities in a democracy.”
Malaysia has yet to become a normal democratic country, added Lim, as it yet has to undergo at least one peaceful “turnover” of power through the ballot box. “Scholars say that a country cannot claim to be a normal democracy without two peaceful ‘turnovers’ of power through the ballot box.”