This was because in the past 20 months after the last general elections, the Bangsa Malaysia vision was repeatedly the greatest casualty as when the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad delivered the most un-Malaysian 43rd National Day message last year, which offended right-thinking and decent Malaysians regardless of race and religion and deeply hurt the feelings of the Malaysian Chinese, especially when he likened the Malaysian Chinese Organisations’ Election Appeals Committee (Suqiu) to communists and terrorists like Al-Ma’unah or when UMNO tried to promote “Malay Unity” talks with PAS or when in the recent UMNO General Assembly, Mahathir made the baseless accusation that Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press had conspired with DAP to incite hatred of the Chinese against the Barisan Nasional government, resulting in the BN loss in the Lunas by-election.
If the Barisan Nasional is genuinely committed to the promotion of Bangsa Malaysia or equal partnership in the Barisan Nasional coalition, the Barisan Nasional convention would have been an annual affair and not held once in six years - as the last BN convention was in 1995 - with the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting as infrequently.
If not for Mahathir marking his full 20 years as Prime Minister next Sunday, the BN convention yesterday would not have been held at all.
Mahathir’s braggadacio cannot hide the fact that the Barisan Nasional is facing a great crisis, particularly among the young generation of Malaysians, especially in his acute denial syndrome in refusing to admit to the multiple crisis of confidence in nation-building stemming from his increasingly undemocratic and repressive rule, as evidenced by the recent Internal Security Act arrests.
Mahathir is not the first UMNO leader to predict the end of the DAP, but like other UMNO leaders in the past three decades, it is the DAP which bade them goodbye and not the other way round - and Mahathir will be no exception.