The UMNO party elections has just concluded.
And the winners are – the UMNO Warlords up and down throughout the country. Feudalism is still the name of the game.
To those unclear in the nuances of UMNO politics, it is perhaps important to give a bit of background on the subject.
The UMNO Warlord is a special kind of UMNO person. He is characterized as having been a Ketua Bahagian for decades, exercising almost Emperor like control over his division. The division members, the rank and file, depend on his good graces for either small time business opportunities or even a good pat on the back. In true UMNO fashion, he may be aiming for the dynastic rule – he as UMNO Ketua Bahagian, his wife as Ketua Wanita UMNO for the division and the son as Ketua Pemuda.
Most importantly, the UMNO Warlord tolerates no dissension, no open debate and no conflicting view on even the most basic of issues. It his way or the highway.
This election saw many powerful UMNO warlords propelled to positions of power. We had Zahid Hamidi as President, Mohammad Rahmat as Deputy and as vice presidents, Ismail Sabri, Mahadzir Khalid and Khaled Nordin. This means we have warlords from Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Pahang and Johor dictating the party’s future direction.
Other warlords that tried and failed will be Annuar Musa from Kelantan and Tajuddin Abdul Rahman from Perak. However, they should not worry because UMNO in its present form will be totally pro warlord. It will continue to harp on race and religious issues from now to the next General Election.
At the division level it was virtually no change from the leadership before GE 14.
Critically however, UMNO may now see an exodus of MPs who are not aligned to the warlords. In fact, currently UMNO has only 51 MPs after former Puteri Umno chief Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin quit the party because she was disappointed with Umno’s failure to elect fresh faces for the party leadership. Jo Ghani, a successful businessman and a great success as a Minister who failed to secure the Vice Presidency may be tempted to leave. If Khairy leaves, he may succeed in bringing with him another 10 UMNO MPs leaving UMNO with only 40 MPs by the end of the year.
Perhaps, it is precisely at this time Bersatu has to make some serious inroads into the UMNO ship. Bersatu definitely needs to increase its share of Malay MPs to ensure that the next 5 years is devoid of race and religious polemics.
UMNO delegates having taken stock of the clear signal given by the rakyat retorted : “The problem is with you, not with us.”