6 days after the earth shattering 14th General Elections, UMNO perhaps in still in a state of shock and unable to comprehend what actually hit them on the night of May 09th 2018.
The sheer scale of UMNO’s collapse in Peninsular Malaysia is mind-boggling and many electoral analysts will still find it hard to believe some of the results. And these results were obtained even after the EC under “the Hashim” had done all it could to help ensure UMNO’s victory through gerrymandering and delineations designed to reduce the voting influence of ‘forces unfriendly to UMNO’.
Some statistics should help drive this point. Take for example the case of Kubang Pasu in Kedah. In 2013, UMNO which was represented by “Jo Derhaka” won this seat with a majority of over 10,000 votes. In 2018, UMNO lost this seat by 13,000 votes to Bersatu’s Amirrudin Hamzah. That was a voter defection of 31%, or about 1 out of ever 3 people who voted UMNO .
And the mysterious thing about this election is that this was repeated in many other places throughout the country.
Tactically this is very clear on the election map.
Going into the election as the Government, UMNO was defending a large swathe of territory which can be divided into 3 central command zones. The first would be the Western seaboard ranging from Perlis right down to Johor Bahru. The middle segment was the Titiwangsa range which included Pahang, Negeri Sembilan and Northern and Central Johore. And the last segment was the East Coast, from Trengganu right down to Pengerang in Johore.
Immediately when Parliament was dissolved, UMNO attempted to marshal its ground forces at its key strongholds throughout the Peninsular but their old Race, Religon, Royalty and even Ringgit tune was no longer popular.
Using U-boat tactics borrowed from World War II, the DAP began to organise as “Wolf Packs” to hunt down each and every MCA and Gerakan Ministers who were often spread out and isolated throughout the open seas. They successfully sank many battleships and even aircraft carriers.
On the land, UMNO was not having much luck either. Their weaponry was also focussed heavily on a ground war and they lacked air supremacy. Pakatan Harapan on the other hand made use of their superior airpower to launch “night time raids” on almost major towns and cities throughout the Western seaboard and paid no attention. Many UMNO vote banks were burnt to the ground especially the fortified political bases of Muar and Johor Bahru.
Because of this preoccupation with defending the Western seaboard, they completely missed the presence of a silent enemy in their back yard, which was “the PAS.” The PAS were secretly organising throughout the East Coast states and were awaiting the signal from their Spiritual Leader to amass at Rhu Rendang.
Going into the election, many UMNO soldiers thought that “the PAS” and UMNO were on friendly terms as UMNO even lent money and machinery for PAS to wage campaigns against the DAP. However, the PAS soldiers only pretended to be warm and friendly with UMNO on the outside – on the inside their sights were set on Victory.
The first clearest sign of the devastation that was to come arrived at 1900 hrs at UMNO Headquarters in PWTC at May 09, 2018. For 2 weeks, PH forces had been devastating UMNO strongholds with relentless aerial bombing, using the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB) called 1MDB. Weak, demoralised and most importantly running out of money, UMNO members began to desert posts. Langkawi, Sepanggar and the Bajau stronghold of Kota Belud fell soon after polls closed, other decades old strongholds such as Kangar and Jempol at 1900 hrs, followed by crushing defeats in Segamat, Labis, Bakri, Muar, Batu Pahat, Tanjong Piai – culminating with a total rout at Johor Bahru.
On the Eastern front, PAS Mechanized Units began their advance on UMNO positions shortly after dawn.
They caught many UMNO troops by total surprise as they did not expect such a ferocious assault from somebody they had considered to be a joint ally in defence of the realm. In fact, many UMNO leaders in Terengganu were still found to be trapped in their own respective Rumah UMNO when they were ambushed by PAS votes, which claimed the political life of the Terengganu MB, Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif. There were however cases of valour, the most famous of which was Dato Azeez who courageously fought a rear guard action to prevent Baling from falling into the hands of the enemies.
If Hadi was counting on forming a Unity Government (“U-G”) with the UMNO, he probably began to see the chance slip away as the picture of UMNO’s devastation became clearer. Though they were many backroom negotiations, but Najib just did not have the numbers.The reign of Malaysia’s 6th and most controversial Prime Minister was finally ovet.
The Electoral Commission informed the Palace of BN’s defeat in the afternoon of the 10th. The King consented to receive the leadership of Pakatan Harapan several hours after that. The UMNO Supreme Leader conceded defeat at about 7:07 pm and at 9:43 pm, Putrajaya fell as the Grand Marshall of Pakatan Harapan, Tun Dr Mahathir, accepted BN’s surrender as he signed the instrument of his appointment as Prime Minister of Malaysia.