Umno sending sign as if BN ship sinking: Tham
Umno’s move to send a recee team to Sabah and Sarawak to spy on the Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Barisan Nasional (BN) is not only an insult, but also sending a panic sign as if the ‘BN ship’ is fast sinking, according to a senior leader from Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP). Datuk Tham Nyip Shen, who heads the SAPP’s think-tank, said that the recent statement by Umno Secretary- General Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor to send a recce team to the two States to check on. the MPs inevitably reminded one of the dramatic scenes in the blockbuster epic movie — “Titanic”, where its crew started fleeing as it sank. “While I cannot guarantee this (jumping ship) will not happen, I presume there are many ways to prevent this from happening, but definitely not by sending spies as this is no different from telling others that our own friends and allies are deserting us like the crew fleeing the Titanic. What about the voters who are the ‘passengers’ of the ship? How can we convince them to continue to support us?” he asked. The former Deputy Chief Minister also contended that there should be no such fear of BN MPs in Sabah and Sarawak defecting, if the Central Leadership treated Sabah and Sarawak with more respect and fairness. He added that BN should perhaps take a cue from the just-concluded Taiwan Presidential Election in which the once very powerful ruling party, Kuomintang which was voted out of power in 2000, was overwhelmingly voted back into power again by the people of Taiwan. In the recent election inTaiwan, Tham said the KMT won 2.21 million votes which were more than the ruling DPP, representing 58.45 per cent and 41.55 per cent respectively. “BN has much to learn from the Taiwan Koumintang. A temporary setback is normal but first and foremost, BN should take its poor performance in the last general election seriously as a wake-up call. It must work hard to bounce back stronger at another time,” he said. Tham reckoned that the BN should immediately organize itself, set up committees and sub-committees to study every issue that affects the nation and its people. Every single step taken must be carefully thought out and every statement made must be ‘politically and emotionally’ correct. “The BN should work hard to win back all that has been lost. The leadership should really make an effort to lead, at the same time groom new, young leaders to continue,” he asserted. Tham also reckoned that the BN component parties must strive to strengthen the BN spirit, stressing that it must be seen to be done. He explained that this was because apart from Umno, MCA and MIC, the rest of the component parties are treated as mere “followers” — or associate, members — who really have no say in major issues. While noting that the BN power sharing is a good concept worth keeping, he nonetheless reiterated that it must be practiced in its true spirit.