The cooperation between the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) and the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) could be a threat to Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the coming by-election in Semenyih as well as in the 15th General Election.
Even though UMNO have allegedly committed so much transgressions and mistakes in managing Tabung Haji, Felda and 1MDB as PH claims, UMNO can still be a very strong political party especially with the partnership of PAS which has great influence on millions of Muslim Malays.
UMNO may rise and seize power again through its cooperation with the PAS and also through replacing its party members and leaders that have not been competent or corrupt with new, clean and smart ones.
Yes, UMNO might have done numerous mistakes in the past and as a result they have lost in the 14th General Election. However, this does not mean they are going to close shop and let PH do whatever they want in the country.
There must be an opposition party to “watch” the government, and we should not deny the fact that UMNO had been the strongest political party – Malaysia ever had. Why? This is simply because UMNO had ruled the country for 61 years since Malaysia had its independence and they have much experience in politics and their struggles.
UMNO or the PAS are not new born political parties to play with or to ignore, especially that these two parties are well known for defending and fighting for the rights of the Malays and Islam.
Well, people may argue that UMNO or the PAS have done some mistakes or sins that even non-Muslims would never commit, but there are others who would argue that we should not blame the entire party but only the leaders or the persons who allegedly have committed the blunders. Therefore, we should only throw out that person but not the entire party as long as this latter has not yet been contaminated.
By firing those who are suspected of having committed any wrongdoings and replacing them with clean qualified candidates, UMNO or the PAS may overcome their ordeals and rise to power again. The Majority Malays might be really willing to forgive and accept them again if they show a change.
I still remember, while I was covering a protest against GST by bersatu prior to the 14th general election, a Malay man told me, “I am not going to vote for UMNO any more …Because they cheated us, they did not provide us or prepare us with the right education, neither have they have ever fulfilled their promised, such us the plan 2010.”
It has become very clear lately that the Malays are in need of protection and care. They are also at fear, especially as the new government is gradually imposing new policies such as the rights for non-Muslims and non-Bumiputras to share the country’s wealth and to govern.
The Malays have been living in a comfort zone during Barisan Nasional (BN) regime and UMNO was the then dominant party. But now they have to compete with other races mainly the Chinese and Indians to survive. This poses a threat for some Malays who are worried about losing their jobs and positions.
Many Malays became unhappy with the new government following the appointment of a Finance Minister who is a Chinese and the Attorney General of Malaysia who is an Indian, besides appointing many non-Malay ministers and deputy ministers in the Cabinet for the first time in Malaysian political history. Some people feel that such appointments have sidelined the qualified Malay leaders to be in the government and participate in developing Malaysia.
Non-Malays taking over big portfolios in the PH government may have awakened the Malays to study hard, work hard and be prepared for a bigger challenge in future. The Malays must be prepared to think outside the box, think like a global citizen and challenge any race in the world. Living in a comfort zone, Malay supremacy, nepotism, autocracy, dictatorship, and slow motion have all gone in this era of technology of verifications.
Felling uncomfortable with the new government was manifested in the Cameron Highlands by- election recently where UMNO candidate won a landslide victory against the PH candidate.
The coming by-election in Semenyih would give a bigger picture on the current perceptions of the Malays on the new government. If UMNO wins again in this by- election, then Pakatan Harapan will have to be ready with a big slap on its face after Cameron Highlands victory.
The Election Commission (EC) has set March 2 as the polling date, while Feb. 16 will be the nomination day and early voting will be on Feb. 26.
The election is being called following the death of incumbent Bakhtiar Mohd. Nor (BERSATU) at the Kajang Hospital on Jan. 11 due to a heart attack.
In the 14th General Election held last May, Bakhtiar won 23,428 votes, beating the then incumbent from BN, Datuk Johan Abdul Aziz (14,464 votes); PAS candidate, Mad Shahmiour Mad Kosim (6,966) and S. Arutchelvan from Parti Sosialis Malaysia (1,293).
In the Semenyih by-election UMNO candidate is Zakaria Hanafi, 58, Assistant Administration Officer in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and permanent chairman of UMNO branch while an engineer, Muhammad Aiman Zainali, 30 will be PH’s candidate. He is also the son-in-law of the late Bakhtiar Mohd. Nor of BERSATU. – Malaysia World News