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Desperate

  • Umno needs the support of East Malaysians and non-Muslims in order to return to Putrajaya. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

By LIM SUE GOAN
Sin Chew Daily

Despite the fact Ahmad Zahid Hamidi led a contingent of top Umno leaders to attend the opening of PAS general assembly, party leaders appear to be still undecided over the cooperation between Umno and PAS as they still struggle to look for alternative ways to make a political comeback.

Umno supreme council member Mohamed Nazri revealed that majority of party leaders had signed a statutory declaration to authorize party president Ahmad Zahid to negotiate with other political parties, including Pakatan Harapan component parties and PAS, in a bid to recapture the federal administration.

Ahmad Zahid later confirmed that the declaration had been signed by all 51 Umno MPs.

Meanwhile, prime minister's media and communications advisor A Kadir Jasin admitted that PPBM was one of the parties targeted by Umno, and that several Umno leaders approached Tun Mahathir over possible cooperation so that Umno could become a part of PH government.

All this points to the fact that Umno is desperately trying to recapture the administrative right in the shortest time possible. Nevertheless, given the fact that PPBM is already a ruling party, why would it share the power with Umno?

Lest we forget, Umno was abandoned by the voters in GE14 because of greed and corruption. Any PH component party trying to collaborate with Umno is as good as digging its own grave.

Kadir said Umno could no longer tolerate days without power and money four months after the general elections, describing the party as a chick without its mother -- cold, hungry, utterly terrified and fumbling to look for a refuge.

Umno's cooperation with PAS would not help mitigate this pain for the simple reason PAS is equally penniless.

Umno used to bask in the "money is king" euphoria during Najib's time but is struggling now after the cash line is severed. Umno's mouthpiece Utusan is tightening its belt and withholding its employees' salaries, for instance. The same desperation is believably felt by the party grassroots. If this dilemma were to go on, many party members may have to find a different way out for their own survival.

The party, in essence, lacks any strategy to bring itself back on its own feet again and is now fumbling for a drift wood to stay afloat.

Little wonder Nazri has offered to campaign for Anwar Ibrahim in Port Dickson, and Ahmad Zahid said it was Nazri's own will and there would be no disciplinary action against him.

How unprincipled a party could get for allowing its leaders to campaign for rival parties?

While Umno's plan to cooperate with PH component parties is not going to work, its tie-up with PAS will not help mitigate the dilemma of "no money and no power" nor guarantee a return to power in four years' time, as East Malaysians and non-Muslims strongly resist PAS.

Of all the 222 parliamentary seats in the country, 31 are in Sarawak, 25 in Sabah, 69 with more than 40% of Chinese voters, 85 with more than 35%. Umno needs the support of East Malaysians and non-Muslims in order to return to Putrajaya.

Moreover, the cooperation only benefits PAS but not Umno. While Umno members can vote for PAS, PAS members will not support Umno because they abhor the culture of corruption, as evidenced by the outcome of the by-elections in Sungai Kandis and Seri Setia.

Umno has lost its direction and has angered the civic society by attempting to block the PH government's resolution to abolish the anti-fake news act.

Umno's indecision is also bogging down the other BN component parties. MCA has no idea which way it is headed to, and MIC has nowhere to go but to follow Umno's footsteps to work with PAS.

MIC's decision will frustrate many of its supporters, eventually taking the party closer to its own demise.

If BN is eventually dissolved in favor of a new opposition alliance comprising Umno, PAS and MIC, as proposed by Hadi Awang, MCA will be forced to go its own way.

 

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