Port Dickson was UMNO’s Armageddon

Raggie Jessy

Dato’ Seri Haji Abdul Hadi Awang told newsmen earlier today that the low voter turnout during the Port Dickson by-election was a sign that people are angry with Pakatan Harapan for reneging on its promises. Speaking to reporters in the wee hours of the morning, the PAS president implied, that though he respected the people’s decision, the by-election should never have happened as it was merely to advance someone’s political career.

I concur.

On the second point, that is. As for the turnout, I am of the opinion, that not only was the majority convinced that Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim would bag the trophy, many did not see PAS or UMNO to be a force that needed reckoning with. That is to say, even if UMNO were to have fielded a candidate, I doubt that the turnout would have been any different given the majority Anwar received. Let us not forget, that this majority represents the voice of voters who agreed that Anwar be made the eighth Prime Minister of Malaysia. So unless you’re telling me that voters would have preferred an ordinary UMNO candidate to Anwar for the role, I can assure you that his landslide win was more or less a done deal.

And I kid you not.

There is no version of this in which you can come off unscathed insisting that an UMNO candidate would have changed the tide. The only possible way Anwar could have suffered a beating during the by-election is if voters were so cheesed off with Pakatan that they’d have gone with “Anything But Anwar.” But then, every other voter knows that PAS is reluctant to work with Zahid and isn’t capable of forming government by itself. So even if Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Hadi were to have contested Anwar themselves, nothing would have changed.

Let’s face it – everything that Barisan seems to be doing these days is sending clear signals to voters that the coalition hasn’t the faintest idea what to do. For the past month or so, all we’ve heard Zahid say is how he and his team have formalised strategies to bring about UMNO’s entry into government. That’s quite like telling the people that “we in UMNO will do anything to wield power even if it means working through the backdoor.” Basically, Zahid has openly admitted that without power, UMNO isn’t capable of functioning properly despite it being an independently registered entity with the Registrar of Societies (RoS).

It’s pathetic.

So pathetic, it is no longer farfetched for me to say that the so-called Perjuangan Melayu UMNO stood for all these years is dead. Zahid made it tacitly clear that the Malay struggle no longer has a bearing on the party as the objective is now to “get into positions of power first and decide what to do later.” Put differently, UMNO is no longer about the rights of the rulers or the Malays as it now comprises a bunch of “power hungry beggars” whose only ideology is the quest for dominance.

Seriously, it’s pathetic.

It’s about time we came to terms with the fact, that due to the 14th general election (GE14), we now have four distinct segments of voters to contend with. The first and second segments comprise all the usual suspects, i.e., those who will either die for you or want to see you dead. The third segment comprises mainly of fence-sitters, or those who are neither here nor there but can easily be cajoled if you played your cards right. The real problem lies not with this segment, but the fourth segment, a segment I casually refer to as the “segment of opportunists” among those I consider to be friends.

And it’s true.

This segment comprises mainly of those who support you not because they like you but because they believe your victory to be a sure thing. Barisan Nasional probably had the biggest number of supporters in this category given the number of years it ‘reigned supreme’. But following its disastrous outing during the May 2018 election, support from this segment is likely to have seeped into Pakatan’s voter banks given that each day, Barisan’s comeback is looking more and more to be as good as the likelihood of getting Elvis to play us an old tune from his grave.

Hadi may be right.

Pakatan supporters may be cheesed off with Mahathir for not having delivered on pledges. But Hadi must remember, that Port Dickson came on the heels of an election where a sizeable number of people punished Barisan for the high cost of living. Now, it wouldn’t matter to me if you insist that Barisan’s downfall was the result of lies spread by Lim Kit Siang or if the devil himself spread those lies. At this juncture, one has to contend with the fact, that if indeed Pakatan lied, one needs a credible and able opposition to defend people against those who spread lies.


But here I am, risking life and limb to write these long articles, and there you have, people like Zahid Hamidi and goons from the Majlis Kerja Tertinggi (MKT) UMNO signing pacts with the very people you’re calling liars.

Makes sense?

Pakatan may have reneged on its promises, granted. But I assure you, that should the 15th general election (GE15) be held tomorrow, Barisan would suffer a beating far worse than the one it received back on the 9th of May 2018. People are aware, that even if Barisan were to return to power, it would never be able to fulfil the same promises Pakatan broke no matter what it says or does. So don’t kid yourself into thinking that Mahathir’s failure to deliver on pledges will tip the scales in UMNO’s favour.

Hate me for saying this, but in my books, UMNO is as good as dead and gone.