When the British politicians were squabbling about their empire that were crumbling under their eyes – William Pitt, a reformer, then called everyone that unless they reformed, then they will lose all their control over the vast British Empire. The call was well taken and accepted, as everyone agrees that was what is the best for them to save the situation, with only one problem: everyone was not willing to let go their privileges and position that has been well fought and preserved over the years of political involvements (and to the effect that they have invested so much to get into their current positions). The reforms involved them letting go these privileges and personal sacrifice for the benefit of greater good. However as history dictates it: they all are unwilling to let it go and hence eventually everybody came back to same old fold, and reform never happened; and eventually the British lost America, and Pitt retired as a very frustrated and lonely man.
UMNO today, is in the exact same situation: call to reform, means massive changes and sacrifices that has to be made by those same people who called for reform. Because, the fact is, they are the source of the problem, not the people. Deep in their hearts, they know that; but at the same time they have fought thus far (and invested thus much), could they now just let it go? The normal thing for human being in that position is: I will not let it go. I just change my rhetoric and approach so that it seems that I have changed. But at the core of it, everything remains the same (or even worse).
Thus only a fool would believe in such. Unfortunately, there are so many fools out there; and in fact in the case of the British example above, the whole Nation remains foolish, until the damage is too big and too late and little can be done. Therefore, the real test whether Malaysians are foolish (as a majority that is) or not will be seen in these three upcoming by-elections and for sure in 2012.
History of UMNO is pretty much written; but the Nation history is not yet. UMNO has its history written because they have acted and behave in what the history has predicted. However, for the Nation, the judgement is still open and out there, as the March 2008 has proven. In any case, the PR, PKR bashing, and the new rise of so called Malay nationalism in UMNO is nothing different than what those British in late 1700’s were doing: you need some demon to demonize people; and in their case, the French and native Indians were the demons – that the British colonies need the British Government to protect them. While the fact were, the French people and Indian natives were already cooperating with the colonists to free all of them from any external domination whatsoever. That’s history took it course and was written and so will UMNO’s history.