Tengku Razaleigh: Time for BN to face the truth and restore itself

The following is a press statement on the outcome of the 2008 general election by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Gua Musang member of Parliament and Umno division chief

Dateline: 10am, March 9, 2008

Barisan Nasional (BN) has been defeated and shamed on a scale without precedent in our history. Alongside losing our 2/3rds majority in Parliament, we have lost a record number of states to the opposition, including the premier state and the home state of the prime minister.

This is not just a blow to BN and to Umno but to the nation as a whole. We now face a period of uncertainty such as we have never experienced before. BN and Umno’s legitimacy and strength have been the bedrock of national unity and of Malaysia’s successful development since Independence. All this is now in question.

The Malaysian electorate’s rejection of BN in key areas has serious consequences on our ability to execute our national development plans. We have won enough seats to form a federal government by simple majority, but because of our losses, including our stunning defeat in the Malay heartland states of Kedah and Kelantan, people are now saying that Umno has lost its legitimacy to represent the Malays. The other Barisan component parties have already lost their leadership role as representatives of the other major races of this country.

This is a historic crisis, and we must face it without further denial, self-deception or media spin.

The honesty with which we interpret this result, and the decisiveness with which we act on it, will determine whether we still have a future with the people.

To begin immediately the process of restoring ourselves, the leadership team must wake from its slumber, face the truth and accept full responsibility for this debacle.