“UMNO needs to do some soul searching after GE15”

FOR now, UMNO will not be interested in doing some soul-searching. It is gung-ho with the thought that it can still win the general election. 

Majority of the non-Malays, including in Sabah and Sarawak, have lost faith in UMNO to lead the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition since the last General Election. 

What makes Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi think otherwise is anyone’s wonder. Maybe, the only reason I can think of his demand that caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob dissolve the Parliament despite all the signs that if UMNO went ahead with GE15, is because he is too desperate. 

It would also mean that UMNO will most likely lose many seats that it once held. For now, UMNO is likely to lose its bid for Putrajaya once again. 

Rakyat no longer stupid

“Kita Jaga Kita” is a strong hashtag that clearly tells us where the people are heading to. 

People no longer care about the politicians. Although they will come out to vote, and most likely put Pakatan Harapan (PH) back in power, they are also ready to trounce those who are corrupt, self-seeking or arrogant. 

After the flash floods of 2021 which hit Sri Muda, and other parts of the country, cabinet ministers of the then government under Ismail Sabri, were mostly having their vacation overseas. 

Kita jaga kita mural (Photo credit: Astro Awani)


When the flood hit  Kelantan, it was the people of Kelantan that suffered the most, but UMNO’s own machinery was never activated to help the people. At the very least, DAP had its volunteers in Kelantan to help the people, although DAP is not fielding any candidate in Kelantan. 

It was the ordinary rakyat that went all out to help their fellow citizens. This has at least prompted PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar to tell people that she is now ready with the kayak. Should a disaster hit, the incumbent MP would be kayaking in her Permatang Pauh constituency to help the people. 

In fact, Nurul is not the first to use the kayak to tell people that she is on the ground. Bangi MP, Dr Ong Kian Meng spoke about his kayak last year. Meanwhile, a video has gone viral showing UMNO and Pas incumbents doing all sorts of “on the ground” acting. I laughed when Tony Pua said he is not the longkang minister, but both Pua and UMNO are no different. 

Just like Pua, UMNO politicians are also hardly on the ground. They only appear when there is a general election. What is worse is that many of the cabinet ministers themselves are hardly found in their seats when parliament was in session. 

So, whenever they turn up with the money to give away, people will happily receive, but in their hearts, they will say, “Celaka betul!” Wait and see! The time they have been waiting for has finally come.

The message strongest

The message that the Malays themselves will trounce UMNO this round is strongest during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Most of us, regardless of race, religion or political affiliation, are suffering badly from the impact that the pandemic had on the country’s economy.

Whilst official statistics show good signs of economic recovery, everywhere the businesses appear sluggish, if not at a “standstill.” 

Most of us in the middle-income group are already facing the brunt of the economic slowdown. 

If things continue to persist, it is unlikely that any of us will vote for UMNO ever in this lifetime. UMNO has to start to do some soul-searching and bring back those who are more altruistic with people orientation to lead the party. 

Self-seeking politicians will only lead the party further down the slippery slope. So, UMNO politicians like former prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and UMNO president Ahmad Zahid must do some soul-searching.

UMNO leaders may still think that UMNO is relevant today but people have already sent the message to UMNO for some time. It is just that the messages have gone on deaf ears.  – Oct 27, 2022


Stephen Ng
Kuala Lumpur
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.


Main photo credit: The Malay Mail

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