As we know, Najib has been endeavouring to regain the support of the Indians and Chinese, although his deputy and lieutenants have been either deliberately or unwittingly throwing big spanners into his works. UMNO realizes too late now that it has lost the support of the Chinese.
Thus, in fighting for its survival, it has been rumoured that UMNO is considering the option of abandoning its BN allies, mainly MCA and Gerakan, many of whose candidates had depended on Taiko for ‘safe’ seats in Malay-majority constituencies.
Not surprisingly, given the cruciality of GE-13, UMNO members want to have their own party candidates in those seats, arguing that their allies like MCA and Gerakan, apart from not pulling their own weight among the non-Malay voters, are likely to be shunned by the Malay voters. Thus, wouldn’t it more logical to have UMNO candidates in the Malay-majority areas, with a greater chance of winning?
This tactic (rather than strategy) may not be as assured as the UMNO members may want to believe. Unless the Malay-majority for such a seat is in the region of at least 90% of the constituency's voters, the beneficiaries of such an UMNO election approach may well turn out to be PAS and PKR instead.
Take for example, federal or state seats which have registered voters with the following ethnic percentages, say notionally, Malays 70%, Chinese 27% and Indians 3%. And for simplicity sake, I’m assuming all 3% Indian voters will go BN though I'll say something about this later.
If UMNO abandons its MCA and Gerakan allies whose candidates (presumably Chinese) had previously stood as BN candidates in the model constituencies, then it would not be out of turn to say that it’ll be likely all 27% of Chinese voters, even BN supporters, will automatically ABU.
And I wouldn't be surprised if MCA and Gerakan members (though probably not their leaders with 'interests' in an UMNO victory wakakaka) will role-play the French Maquis wakakaka. That will leave UMNO and PAS (or PKR) to battle out for the 70% Malay votes.
Unless UMNO is confident it can garner at least 51% of the voters in each constituency (in the general case, only Malay votes with perhaps a sprinkling of Indian ones), the seat will go to PAS or PKR.
The question that need to be answered then is: will UMNO be able to win at least 48% of the votes in a constituency from just Malay votes? ... to add to the 3% pro-BN Indian votes.
The UMNO prospects will dim further if the percentage in registered Chinese votes in a constituency increases.
But wait - Don’t forget we’re assuming all the notional 3% Indian votes will go to BN which I did qualify by stating my earlier assumption was purely for simplicity sake. We may expect in general that the Indian votes will be split 80:20 in favour of UMNO. Thus, it’s again not good news for UMNO’s proposed tactic for GE-13.
However, what will be in favour of UMNO (leaving aside the EC and other public institutions in this discussion) would be the deep loyalty of the ’heartland’ for UMNO and the support of the royals, whose judicious royal nods for UMNO can exponentially enhance the commitment of the heartland.
Incidentally in this UMNO proposed scenario, to go it alone and f* the MCA & Gerakan wakakaka, PAS may actually fare better than PKR, whose de facto leader is currently being blackened by UMNO's allegations of his close associations with Israel. True or otherwise, the barrage of UMNO's badmouthing will have an effect on his appeal to the heartland and consequently those of his PKR party candidates.
Unfortunately, many in the heartland will accept that there is truth in the allegations of Anwar's close affiliations with Israel.
Anyway, PAS had in an earlier forecast, predicted it could win in 60 federal seats with mixed ethnicity (say, Malays 65%, Chinese 25 to 30, and Indians 5 to 10%) at the expense of UMNO.
With this UMNO new election doctrine of playing it safe, PAS' predictions may prove prophetic. Maybe that's why the Erdogens have been successful in keeping a tight leash on the Ulama faction, probably whispering "Now, don't you guys f* it up when we are so close to realizing our dreams, so shut the f* up!" wakakaka.
But I wonder whether UMNO is falling into the 'play safe' ethnic trap that PKR had walked into in the Ijok and Hulu Selangor by-elections. Then, PKR considered the ethnicity of the party candidate for election overrode everything, including its claim as a multi-racial party.
By contrast, in the Ijok and Hulu Selangor by-elections. UMNO had daringly showed it was willing to stand an Indian in each of the constituencies. PKR on the other hand ignored firstly the appeals of its Youth vice-chief S. Manikavasagam and secondly, the arguments of Malaysiakini CEO Premesh Chandra, Dr Chandra Bose and at that time 'still PR-friendly' Dr Chandra Muzaffar wakakaka for PKR to put its money where its claimed multi-racial mouth was, by nominating Indian candidates as well.
But alas, in the Ijok by-election, Superb Superman Supremo bypassed his so-called buddy Nallakaruppan and parachuted in Khalid Ibrahim - wakakaka, another reason for Nalla to be pissed off with the Great One.
The same PKR play-safe mentality was again seen in Hulu Selangor, though of course at that time we weren’t aware that someone in PKR had already seen Zaid Ibrahim as a future competitor in the PKR leadership hierarchy and sabo him kau kau by providing UMNO with photos of Zaid’s imbibing forbidden ambrosia wakakaka.
Naturally, the Indians were utterly furious with Anwar’s choices for the Ijok and Hulu Selangor by-elections, and accused PKR of 'cakap tak serupa bikin' in its claimed multi-racial credentials.
To recapitulate, Najib and the BN not only won the two by-elections with an Indian candidate in each, but in doing so, that was, putting up non-Malay candidates, also the moral high ground.
But that’s all gone to waste because today the non-Malay voters won’t recall Najib’s daring 1Malaysia gamble in Ijok and Hulu Selangor, more so with this rumour of UMNO pushing aside candidates of its allies in a new UMNO gambit.
Just how in the world has the Chinese swung over from Tunku's UMNO to a once-feared PAS, and to such an extent that UMNO has to evolve an election strategy that assumes no Chinese support? Where's the muhibbah support that UMNO enjoyed in 1999 and 2004?
Big time f*up? That’s for UMNO to answer.