Monday, 21 May 2018

The Abrupt End to the Hegemony of Umno

A Kadir Jasin

In the name of God, the merciful and the compassionate

I HAVE never started my post with a reminder. But I now have. The opinion expressed here, in this blog, is entirely mine. It has nothing whatsoever to do with my position (for now) as the head of media & communication of the Council of Elders (CoE).

As has been for the past 12 years, this blog in mine and the content herein is mine. They do not represent or purport to represent other individuals or organisations.

I have to make this absolutely clear because of late some journalists and media organisations had either intentionally or out of ignorant linked my opinion here (and also in my Facebook) as representing that of the CoE.

The CoE has nothing to do with my blog and Facebook, my writing in Sinar Harian and Dewan Masyarakat. So I appeal to journalists and organisations quoting from my blog, Facebook and my columns in Sinar and Dewan Masyarakat not to link it to my for-now position as an apparatus of CoE aka the Council of Eminent Persons.

[Anonymous comments will not be published. Please use real or pseudonym. Thank you.]

NOW to my opinion. This time its about the end of the Umno-Barisan Nasional political hegemony.

As we now know, the hegemony of the United Malay National Organisation (Umno) and the BN came to an unceremonious end on May 9.

On the was to conceding defeat
The 72-year old Malay party and its BN coalition were swept away by the “tsunami Malaysia” after being in power continuously since independence in 1957.

The self-proclaimed Bugis warrior, Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, had finally steered his Bugis pinisi into the eye of the storm and sank.

Remember his famous heroic cry? "Saya ingin mengulangi, setelah layar telah dikembangkan, apabila sauh telah dilabuhkan, pantang ketua kapal dan anak-anak kapal menoleh ke belakang.”

Literally translated, once the sail had been raised and the anchor dropped, the captain and its crew would not look back.

Unfortunately, Najib the sailor wasn’t like his seafaring ancestors. He got his command wrong. He asked for the sail to be raised but ordered the anchor dropped.

The mast broke, the sail torn and the ship sank. The BN lost the federal government and eight out of 12 state assemblies up for grabs.

It would appear that Najib really believed that it would be plain sailing for the BN until the counting of votes commenced in the evening of May 9.

The first sign of trouble was when older voters in the 1st and 2nd streams did not all sided with the BN.

In the past, voters in these two streams, who are made up of pensioners and older people, overwhelmingly supported the BN. But it wasn’t the case this time.

It soon dawned upon the BN representatives at the counting centres that they would fare worse when ballot boxes from the streams comprising of younger voters were opened and counted.

Their fears became a reality and the people soon got wind of the ouster of the BN when television stations were slow in broadcasting the results.

The pro-government Election Commission went an extra mile to delay the announcement in the hope that the postal and early votes would lift the BN’s fortune. But the BN was in such a deficit that these votes did not help.

By early morning of May 10 it dawned upon Najib that the BN did not have enough seats to form a government hence the phone calls to the Pakatan Harapan’s Ketua Umum, Anwar Ibrahim, though the good offices of the latter’s good friend, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

They were futile calls. Why should Anwar want to cooperate with the Bugis pendekar (marshal art exponent) when his party and its coalition partners had won more than enough seats to form the government?

It was clear that Umno and the BN did not expect the the shift to be so large that it could not be made good by early and postal votes.

The rest is history and now the once belligerent Najib will have to face the music. Umno and the BN had gotten rid of him. He said he resigned. But I would like to believe that his position had become untenable.

Tomorrow he would have to report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in Putrajaya to have his statement recorded.

For several days now the police have been carting away an extraordinary amount of cash, gold bars, fantastically expensive wristwatches and handbags, and documents for Najib’s Taman Duta residence and hideouts said to be owned by tycoon Desmond Siew Choon of the Pavilion fame.

A preview of what is likely to happen to Najib can be based on the case involving his good friend, Mohd Isa Samad - the disgraced chairman of Felda.

On August 15 last year – incidentally also a Tuesday – Isa was arrested at the MACC headquarters after having his statement in relation to the purchase of hotels by Felda was recorded. The following day he was taken to court and was remanded for five days.

The same could happen to Najib. But unlike Isa, who was not charged for his offences, Najib may not be so lucky.

The whole world knows that there is a case pending against him – the SRC International Sdn Bhd’s money that allegedly went into his personal account.

So, the Bugis pinisi had not only sunk but its master now faces the risk of being charge with piracy.

As for the crew who survived the May 9 tsunami, they have to decide if their “Javanese” first mate is good enough to take them to the stormy seas once again.


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