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Cold truths from Umno’s overconfidence over GE15 By Praba Ganesan

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Publish date: Thu, 06 Oct 2022, 11:58 AM

OCTOBER 6 — It frankly baffles many in bars in Taman Tun or mamaks in Damansara Jaya.

As it stands, there is an incredible chance that by 2023 Zahid Hamidi will be Malaysia's 10th prime minister.

Ten usually marks maturity. Even if only symbolic — the assumption being if 10 consecutive leaders are voted in, that country is on the right democratic track.

Still, this is Zahid and middle-class Malaysia scratches its head furiously. At least there’ll be consistency, he will be the second PM to speak in Malay at the United Nations. (That’s tongue in cheek, I completely support external speeches in Malay).

By the way, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has just returned from his travels, primarily for the global forum in New York.

It’s not that affluent Malaysia cannot stomach an Umno prime minister after another — there’s been seven already — however it has in its mind the suave Khairy Jamaluddin or Tengku Zafrul Aziz. And even if it is not the health or finance minister, perhaps the corporate backgrounded Umno Deputy President Mohamad Hasan.

But Zahid?

Here’s to add salt to the wound.

Umno leadership is adamant for polls within the next eight weeks. This will coincide with flood season.

Umno figures even if people have to swim, float, walk tightropes or fend off crocodiles in the Rajang, there will be more than enough votes for them to win a simple majority in Parliament.

They may pitstop at courtrooms, for their corruption trials, between election campaign stump speeches. Their former boss is in Kajang Prison.

With all these impediments and the risk of being labelled uncaring, Umno remains confident.

Even in the worst conditions we are better than the rest, Zahid seemingly says from his pulpit. And his detractors cannot disagree.

That is the most damning part of the development, the pretenders have firmly affirmed Umno’s accusation of them, that they are just pretenders.

RIP ABU

Why does middle-class Malaysia not get it?

One might be down to the premise for victory.

The last 30 years, the Opposition has asked to govern because they are not Umno.

They won in 2018. And collapsed in 2020.

To return to power they cannot fashion their strategy around let’s gather all anti-Umno factions together, and win a binary race in an election under the heading “Anything but Umno (ABU)”. It is the crayon version of playground complexity where they ask the rakyat to pick the one they hate less.

In one corner is Umno, and at the other corner an ever “coming together” caucus of opposition parties gather to be the “other choice”.

Pakatan gathered forces at GE12, GE13 and GE14 and the unprecedented nature of the alliance — credit to Anwar Ibrahim — gave them votes.

The method had a shelf-life and it is now over.

The new way has to be about Pakatan being genuinely better than Umno, not just less worse.

Right now, Pakatan under PKR spends all its time drawing more partners than ideas, and as such there is no substance to their value proposition to the people.

This is not a secret.

PKR is weak and leads Pakatan

In a mini league of the last calendar year’s elections, November 2021 to October 2022, PKR would finish 11th or dead last. It has zero wins in the last year.

Granted, it only covers three states — Melaka (November 2021), Sarawak (December 2021) and Johor (March 2021) — or 166 state seats. In Dewan Rakyat count, it involved 63 seats — Melaka 6, Sarawak 31 and Johor 26 — or 28 per cent of the lower house’s 222.

But PKR won nothing and they contested in all three states. And it leads Pakatan overall. What does that say about the level of direction available to the coalition?

PKR’s inability to steer itself up, let alone the rest of Pakatan, leads to a festering sense of headless chickens. The desperate demands by various Pakatan leaders for elections to be delayed due to floods, celebrations and year end distractions only adds to Umno’s message, Pakatan is too scared to fight as it’s bound to lose badly.

Cat and mouse

There is an air of despondency in the camps outside Umno-Barisan Nasional.

Curiously it is from Umno where Pakatan expects help. Perikatan Nasional too.

When PM Ismail Sabri calls for elections, it will be his last effective decision. Which is why he has every reason to hold back.

And hold back he must, all in the Pakatan council hope.

This game of high stakes is set to climax in the weeks to come.

Much of the mystery is set to be unravelled at the Budget speech tomorrow. What the government plans to present, an election Budget or an austerity Budget to build resilience for the Ismail Sabri administration.

All pundits will watch carefully at what Zafrul says on Friday. It might spell a frantic October or a new round of recriminations when it dawns on people, the prime minister would like to remain the prime minister just a little longer.

It’s Umno’s game to lose, for now.

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

 

https://www.malaymail.com/news/opinion/2022/10/06/cold-truths-from-umnos-overconfidence-over-ge15/31937

Discussions
Be the first to like this. Showing 6 of 6 comments

Tobby

Good analysis of current political climate! As for Budget 2023, it's just a fake Budget! It will be more of politicial Budget! Post GE15, Umno will change the Budget for sure!

2 months ago

alenac

UMNO is overconfident that it will win with a majority in the next GE. The same can be said of Najib's last GE. Even in the middle of the night, Najib was horse-trading with Hadi. In the end, he lost and is now in jail. A GE is not a state election. Will the majority of the dominant community choose wisely? The result of the voting day will determine whether the majority will make a rational choice to better the future of the country or a fatal error that will set the band of kleptocrats, traitors and religious exploiters resume to share power all over again.

2 months ago

Michael Kwok

Let all determine in election.by the i had feeling lge is cursing the stock market die die die.means down,down,down.u know wht i got hedge again downturn.

2 months ago

Tobby

Qqq! Yeah, for the past few General Erection, the KL folks were the loudest and thought they shape narrative of Malaysia! However, lately the manglish speaking society is losing it's lustre! Those who speak manglish are now considered shiok with themselves as US and UK losing their global presence!
Look, if you want to influence majority rakyat to overthrow weak Umno, can you guys please narrate political views in bahasa! Don't be like Zakar Naik who only speaks Inglish(indian english)! Zakar Naik can't even convert the indians because Zakar can't speak tamil! Same with converting majority malaysians to overthrow non existent BN, you guys must make sure to spread your political narrative in bahasa!
If Harapan politicians continue to narrative in manglish, i am sorry, you guys are living in KL bubble!

1 month ago

Tobby

This is the cold truth for manglish speakers in Malaysia! We are no longer seen as fellow malaysians nor share politician sentiment of majority!
Scary still, we are witnessing rise of malaycentric society where those who can't speak bahasa are now view with suspicion! The era of the Lims are numbered!

1 month ago

Tobby

Yeah! Manglish is fast becoming a joke! Especially now where most English speaking nations are messing things up for the rest of the world!
I believe one of the reason why majority malays are becoming malaycentric is because, they are just fed up been degraded for not able to speak manglish! Remember how Tony Fernandes constantly berated malaysians for their poor manglish! Nowadays Tony is hiding under his own tail after he was exposed for not able to speak national language! And the fact that Airasia is not making money except for Malaysia and Thailand! So Tony should learn to speak thai and bahasa instead!

1 month ago

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