IT IS intriguing that UMNO is portraying itself as the game changer leading to the 15th General Elections (GE15). Citing the outcome of the elections in Malacca and Johor, its leaders have gone on record to state that they are confident of victory even without PAS.
Encouraged by its performance in Malacca and Johor, UMNO seems to think that it can surf the tide in its march to Putrajaya. While it is acceptable to adopt an optimistic attitude, UMNO needs to shed its blinkered narrative by having regards to developments post the Malacca and Johor state elections.
When Malacca and Johor went to the polls former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was still the poster boy of UMNO and the Barisan Nasional (BN). The narrative back then that Najib was a victim of political persecution may well have made a difference.
But since his conviction, UMNO and the BN cannot play the “political persecution” song any longer. That is so when the UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has – in no uncertain language – stated that he had placed his trust “from day one” in the integrity of the judiciary and, inevitably, endorsing Najib’s conviction in the said equation.
While Zahid has sought comfort in his acquittal, there ought to be rumblings within UMNO’s die-hard “Bossku” admirers in drawing comparison between Zahid’s acquittal and Najib’s conviction. That may well make a difference among a segment of the UMNO voters.
We the voting citizens will not forget nor forgive the culprits of the “Sheraton Move” episode which brought down the democratically elected Pakatan Harapan (PH) Government.
I, for one, would be inclined to believe that the voters would not mind to show their disdain not only towards UMNO and the BN coalition but also BERSATU and other individuals who were instrumental in dislodging the legitimate PH Government.
Between the 2018 polls and now, our youths have been empowered to cast their votes for their choice of government. Thus, it is my view that that they are the ones who can make a difference in GE15.
And I am convinced that our young voters would be voting for a transformation of the political landscape with emphasis on issues such as eradication of race-based politics, climate change, food security, affordable healthcare, meritocracy and the likes.
But that proposition is easier said than done for the simple reason that our young voters are not patriarchal to the politics of the opposition!
Thus, the inevitable challenge is for our opposition to adapt to the aspiration of the young voters by formulating a manifesto that would be youth centric. As a nation that is fast moving towards an ageing population, the “old horses” have a moral obligation to ensure a youth secession plan by having regard to the fact that they are the hope for a nation sans race-based politics.
Central to the collapse of the PH Government were the unprincipled “frogs”. With the anti-hopping law in force, the era of “frog hopping” will not be a cause of concern. Political parties can no longer scheme to attract elected representatives with the lure of positions or – as always speculated – monetary gratification.
Interestingly, the said anti-hopping law has placed the onus on political parties to garner the numbers to form the next government. But pundits say that the likelihood of a single political entity securing an absolute majority is rather impossible.
But then, miracles do happen!
K. Veeriah is the Malaysian Trades Union Congress’ (MTUC) Penang Division secretary.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.
Main pic credit: fulcrum.sg