Tawfik Ismail: Umno a party of bottom feeders in stagnant pond

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Tawfik claimed that Umno had died in 1988 during the Malaysian Constitutional Crisis. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 ― A former party member has described Umno as a stagnant pond of water breeding only bottom feeder fish, saying the lack of direction caused their recent downfall in the 14th general election (GE14).

“From my point of view Umno was like a pond. It had no inlet, it had no outlet and it became very stagnant,” said Tawfik Ismail during his speech at the Anatomy of an Electoral Tsunami book launch in the Royal Selangor Club.

“In such a pond, fish which are of beauty cannot survive, all that can survive are the bottom feeders,” said the former member of parliament for Sungai Benut, which has been renamed Simpang Renggam.

Tawfik claimed that Umno had died in 1988 during the Malaysian Constitutional Crisis when the High Court ruled that Umno was an illegal party.

“It (Umno) had actually died in 1988, it was killed off. So what you have left is what appeared to be Umno but is not.

“I think we need to keep that in mind when we talk about why the tsunami changed things,” he said in reference to GE14.

He said Umno, by voting in the old guards as leaders during the recent party elections, showed the same mentality was still being employed.

“At the moment Umno is directionless. They don’t have any ideology or new ideas that attract young people. They are feeding on themselves. They are a self-supporting group.

“It's like a group of people who rely on each other to get themselves out of a certain mess,” he claimed.

He said the party remained the same post GE14, still filled with bottom feeders and have not changed their approach to politics.

“There wasn’t much change in the pond it was still bottom feeders, and we’re still getting the rhetoric.

“The garbage that’s coming out doesn’t inspire much confidence in the species which is now the Opposition,” he said.

He claimed considering how things like religion and race are still being harped on served as evidence for the lack of approval shown towards Umno and they have not changed their status quo.

Tawfik also claimed former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had tried to change the mentality of the party, but lacked support from the grassroots.

“Najib tried to make it a liberal party, but he wasn’t able to get that idea down to the bottom.

“He could only choose from the people available, and those available were like him,” Tawfik claimed.

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