Its this time of the year as UMNO will conduct its Annual General Assembly or fondly known as PAU over the next few days. PAU used to be an event well celebrated by many political junkies like Songkhran in Thailand. Over the last few years, the President’s opening and closing address was a funny affair due to Najib’s over-the-top antics.
This will be a historic event as it will be the first time that UMNO conducts its General Assembly as members of the Opposition, both at the Federal level and in many states.
This year’s PAU is expected to be a solemn affair. Delegates expect to be able to talk freely, openly share their views and get a lot of things off their chest. Perhaps it may be a time of collective grief as UMNO members finally come to terms with the fate that has be fallen them.
No doubt delegates will be focus a lot of their ire on the reasons behind UMNO’s loss. It is left to be seen whether 1MDB or Najib becomes fodder for their anger. Perhaps some may also target their fury on UMNO MPs who have jumped ship or at the lack of direction by the current leadership. Some may also hammer the BN component parties for their unhelpful comments as well as share their own views on UMNO’s proposed collabaration with PAS.
Nonetheless, we believe that PAU is an important date for the country and hopefully will get adequate coverage. Eventhough UMNO is in the Opposition, it still commands a lot of media attention because UMNO is a massive party. For us, PAU is much more important than DAP, PKR or Amanah’s own Annual General Assembly. For example, the status of a Ketua Cabang PKR just does not have the same feel as a Ketua Bahagian UMNO, who more often than not is considered as a political warlord.
This should also be the time that we hear from people like Pasir Salak MP, Tajuddin Abdul Rahmam and Bera MP, Ismail Sabri. Other warlords that should speak up include Padang Rengas MP, Dato Seri Nazri Aziz. Leaders like Dato Seri Idris Jusoh should also weigh in on this electoral pact with PAS as they stand most to lose if UMNO decides to withdraw from the East Coast. I do hope that KJ gets to speak on setting up a Non Malay Supporters club because there is a segment of Non-Malays who support UMNO because of the perceived prestige associated with the party, mental illness, stresses in life or because they suffer from Stockholm Syndromme.
We also think that UMNO faces only a short time in the political wilderness. That is not to say that PH is doing badly, after all if PH can shave RM 20 billion from the budget,it is definitely a great accomplishment.
But this is because PH has yet to be accepted by the rural folk who might swing massively back to UMNO in the next several years. The promises to reinvigorate FELDA has yet to materialse and palm prices have slumped. However, if UMNO loses another 5 or 10 MPs, it may be difficult to recover.
But all the best to UMNO, and we look forward to providing our coverage on their gathering.