Why Umno could lose GE15

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A vote for Umno is a vote for Zahid to become next PM.

Bernama

Who is the UMNO prime ministerial candidate if they win the 15th General Election? Since Ismail Sabri was pressured by party president Zahid Hamidi to dissolve the Parliament on Oct 10, nobody within the United Malays National Organization knows the answer. Only yesterday, five days later, an UMNO division in Kelantan proposed Sabri as the party’s candidate.

This means the turtle-egg man was no longer the “poster boy” because if he still was, the UMNO division did not need to go into trouble to nominate him. Previously, to trick PM Sabri to dissolve the Parliament and call for an early national election, Najib and Zahid – UMNO Court Cluster – had convinced the party to announce Sabri as the “poster boy”.

But that was before former Prime Minister Najib sent to Kajang Prison. The jailing of Najib means all the bets are off. Najib loyalist Puad Zakarshi has called the poster boy to be scrapped. Likewise, Zahid had instigated thousands of UMNO delegates and members to jeer and condemn Sabri for not interfering with the judiciary system to free their “Godfather”.

With Sabri’s reputation smeared within his party, do you really think he could still become the UMNO candidate as prime minister? Even if Zahid openly declares that Sabri, who ranked only third in the party hierarchy as one of three vice-presidents, as the prime ministerial candidate, there is no guarantee the UMNO president will keep his promise. Only fools will believe the gangster.

It was not many moons ago during the Johor state election when UMNO president Zahid announced that Hasni Mohammad would be nominated for a new term as Johor Chief Minister if UMNO-led Barisan Nasional coalition won. Yet, after it won 40 of the 56 state seats, Hasni was stunningly dropped and replaced at the last minute with unknown Onn Hafiz.

With UMNO being run based on deceit and lies by a bunch of corrupt and power-hungry leaders, it’s not hard to see why Sabri would not be allowed to walk the corridors of power again. Even if Zahid could not become the 10th Prime Minister, the next qualified man is UMNO deputy president “Tok Mat” Mohamad Hasan – not “Turtle Egg” Ismail Sabri.

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After the High Court acquitted Zahid of 40 corruption charges last month, he is on his way to become the next prime minister, or so he thought. Zahid is the only UMNO president since independence who has not become the prime minister, a humiliation he desperately wanted to redeem. However, the question remains if the UMNO gangster is qualified to become a Malaysia prime minister.

Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, one of UMNO warlords, revealed in June after he was dropped as the party Supreme Council member that the party chief was still eyeing on becoming prime minister at that time when Zahid was still facing corruption charges. Tajuddin mocked and ridiculed his useless party president as not qualified to lead UMNO, let alone as prime minister.

On Monday (Oct 10), the same day the Parliament was dissolved, Zahid said something incredibly stupid. At a Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) assembly, the UMNO president had described the upcoming national election as “the mother of all general elections”. Worse, he reminded many other Barisan Nasional leaders that they would be slapped with criminal charges if UMNO loses.

In a video clip that has since gone viral, Zahid turned to his deputy Mohamad Hasan, followed by UMNO minister Hishammuddin Hussein, MIC president SA Vigneswaran and deputy president M Saravanan, as well as Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) president Wee Ka Siong, reminding them that they would be prosecuted if Barisan Nasional lost.

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Zahid’s comments, although were laughed by the audience during the MIC gathering, was a brutally frank admission that all the top leaders named were involved in corruption. The only reason they have not been charged is because the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has been ordered not to prosecute them. But if Opposition Pakatan Harapan wins, they would be in trouble.

Even Perlis Mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, a known hardcore supporter of UMNO and Barisan Nasional, was incredibly stunned. He said – “Stunned after hearing how a politician can openly admit that their intention to win the general election is to avoid corruption charges against them in court. If that happens, this country will become a haven for corruption.”

But those Barisan Nasional crooks were not the only one warned by the Prime Minister Wannabe to win next month’s election by hook or by crook. Disgraced Najib Razak, who is currently serving a 12-year jail term and is disqualified to contest, has submitted his name to contest in the coming general election. This is the first time in history that a prisoner has shamelessly put forward his own nomination.

Najib’s desperation was so spectacular that his notorious lawyer, Shafee Abdullah, is vigorously seeking the Prison Department’s permission to allow Najib to campaign in the general election. It seems that all the UMNO crooks are throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, to win the national polls so that they can form a new government to save them from corruption charges.

Zahid’s open admission that Barisan Nasional leaders need to win to escape prosecution could be the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Malay voters, turned off by Najib’s thievery and had initially praised Sabri’s refusal to intervene in the judiciary process to free UMNO crooks, are now pissed off after learning that turtle-egg Sabri has been just another coward with no balls to face Zahid.

With the high prospect of Zahid becoming the next premier, some conservative Malay fence sitters might flock to former PM Muhyiddin Yassin’s party – Bersatu. At the same time, the pulse on the ground shows young voters have started engaging with opposition Pakatan Harapan, a dangerous development that could shock UMNO and deliver a repeat of the 2018 General Election defeat.

Yes, UMNO is not only rudderless after the jailing of Najib, but is increasingly toxic to Malay voters after Zahid forced PM Sabri to dissolve the Parliament during the monsoon season. While the Malay nationalist party hopes for an easy victory, a snap election during rainy season could backfire because the Malays are the one mostly living on lower ground and vulnerable to flood disaster.

True, the last time a general election held in the month of November was in 1999. Then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Asia’s longest serving leader, scored a decisive re-election victory, securing more than a two-thirds majority. However, it’s also true that Mahathir had won largely due to ethnic Chinese votes that swung in favour of Barisan Nasional.

Government-controlled news media was used to spook Malaysian Chinese of a repeat of May 13, 1969 bloody racial riots following the May 1998 riots in Indonesia. The Indonesia riots saw at least 10,000 people were killed and at least 168 cases of rape – most of the victims were ethnic Chinese. Business owners had to pay local thugs to protect them from the anti-Chinese violence because security forces were largely absent.

As a result, the Malay tsunami due to the sacking and arrest of Anwar Ibrahim, then-deputy prime minister and UMNO deputy president, failed to topple Mahathir. The overwhelming support from Chinese voters had saved Mahathir. MCA, a component party of Barisan Nasional, actually won 29 parliamentary seats, while opposition DAP (Democratic Action Party) grabbed only 10 seats.

PAS Islamist party, then part of opposition Barisan Alternatif (Alternative Front), won 27 parliamentary seats, cannibalising UMNO, which lost 17 seats despite winning 72. Beginning with the 2008 general election, followed by 2013 and 2018 elections, the Chinese voters have basically left MCA and never returned. The ethnic Chinese have learned to stay united – under DAP.

It was already bad that UMNO cannot leverage on its traditional Chinese votes to tip the scales when it needed them the most. It becomes worse when the majority of the conservative Malay votes are now split three ways – UMNO, Bersatu and PAS. It would be a disaster if opposition PKR could swing some of the Malay fence sitters to Pakatan Harapan.

And it certainly didn’t help that PAS has decided to stick with Bersatu as part of Perikatan Nasional to fight UMNO. While some arrogant UMNO warlords might not think the “disappointment” expressed by the King after he was pressured by PM Sabri, who in turn was pressured by Zahid, to consent to the Parliament dissolution was crucial, it actually matters to many Malay voters.

UMNO would pay the price for disrespecting and ignoring the Malay Monarch’s advice to prioritize people’s well-being instead of an individual’s selfish desire to hold a nationwide election at a time when floods are ready to strike. The Malays don’t need a rocket scientist to tell that it’s idiotic to go to the polls during the monsoon season. – Finance Twitter