Monday, October 25, 2021

Umno and Bersatu - two unhappy peas in a pod

S Thayaparan

"And because Pejuang had no money, it had to depend on 'race and its anti-corruption campaign' to attract voters."

– Dr Mahathir Mohamad

COMMENT | The opening quote should give some cheer to Umno because at least the old maverick thinks that the party is still a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the Malay vote.

Well, it should also give some cheer to Bersatu because at this moment Umno does not have much money to splurge on elections.

And he’s right of course, or at least right in the way how these racial hegemons or wannabe racial hegemons think.

Earlier this month when talking about a possible GE15 confrontation between Umno and Bersatu, former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin said this (about which party people think is the best):

“Maybe they (the people) will consider the measures I had taken earlier or the assistance and stimulus packages worth over RM530 billion which were introduced, they will assess our efforts in managing and overcoming Covid-19 and the increasing vaccination rates.”

Individual minions in Umno have money but who wants to spend their money when Umno back in the day had control of the gravy train to ensure some sort of electoral strategy and has partial control now.

These days, the fates of various factions of Umno are entwined with the traitors from Bersatu that makes any kind of electoral strategy iffy.

When you claim to be the party for the Malays and you have two or god knows how many other parties claiming to be the same, you have to wonder how much money will be spent and who controls the coffers to actually make that boast true.

Who knows if Bersatu really intends to spark a three-cornered fight in this upcoming Malacca election and who really knows if Umno intends to duke it out with Bersatu and PAS because Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is as Lim Guan Eng says – weak.

For Umno to survive, the party needs to reassert dominance in the political landscape and this needs to be done with huge electoral gains.

For Bersatu, it has to demonstrate that it commands the majority of the Malay vote. Hence, it needs to demonstrate that it is not a political party that relies on other Malay parties to remain in power. Umno never did.

While Umno has an accomplished record of corruption and government malfeasance, it also has a track record of winning elections and in those days, when the idea of BN meant something, it had a track record of winning the popular vote. In other words, a majority of Malaysians voted for BN.

Now, of course, MIC and MCA mean very little and Umno, like the rest of the Malay uber alles parties, have to share the pie when it comes to the Malay vote.

The thing the Malay establishment feared all those decades ago, about the split in the Malay polity, has come true.

Malay unity

Malay unity has been the rallying cry of the establishment for years and the great lie that built a kleptocracy.

However, it does present a horrifying dilemma to Umno. Both Umno and Bersatu have said, if need be, that they will contest in “all seats”.

Umno, or at least a faction within Umno, has said that if need be, they will fight against Bersatu and PAS.

Bersatu was supposed to be the Umno of Pakatan Harapan - the linchpin for the new deal that would ensure that the races would cooperate in the old alliance way before the dark times of Umno ketuanan hegemony. It did not work out that way.

PRIBUMI Bersatu will be UMNO III, once those traitorous UMNO frogs (not mentioned by 'Tuk: like you Ass-binte) come into our grasp

Umno folks speak to me of the quagmire various potentates are in because nobody really has an agenda for Umno but instead are mucking around with anyone to hold on to power.

This is why someone like Tian Chua can “advise” Harapan to work with anyone to gain power but conveniently forgets that such power is transitory because nobody is really invested in forming a functional government with cohesive policy and shared responsibilities.

The old maverick back in May of this year advised Bersatu to return to the fold because if they went up against Umno they would lose, especially if Umno contested in all seats.

But according to the old maverick, they were more interested in the perks that came with power:

"Saya kata dalam PRU akan datang kamu akan kalah, kerana Umno tak sokong kamu. Jadi lebih baik balik kepada asal. Tapi mereka jawab mereka menteri dan menteri gaji RM70,000 sebulan. Jadi kalau kita boleh bayar RM70,000 sebulan mereka kembalilah."

But as he rightly pointed out in that interview, Umno was also fractured so going it alone would present challenges.

So Umno and Bersatu are in a kind of death grip when it comes to electoral strategy because let's face facts, Umno is weak because its leadership really does not have the cajones to kick Bersatu in the groin, electorally speaking of course.

Umno and Bersatu want to be the dominant Malay/Muslim party. You cannot have two parties competing to be the tent pole.

Even PAS understands this, which is why they have concluded that they gain more power by profiting from the fight between Umno and Bersatu while sneaking their Islamic agenda through the backdoor.

It would be interesting to see who crumbles first, Umno or Bersatu, and how much benefit PAS gets out of this unhappy marriage.

The reality is despite what pundits say, this Malacca election is a bellwether for Umno and Bersatu.

If Umno decides to “cooperate” with Bersatu then they have lost. And if Bersatu decides to go at it alone with its allies, it will be a fight worth watching.

Ultimately, one of them will be neutered in the Malacca election.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy. Fīat jūstitia ruat cælum - “Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”

kt notes:

In GE14 BN (essentially UMNO) won 79 out of 222 seats, whilst PAS obtained 18.

PH secured following:

(a) PKR 48
(b) DAP 42
(c) Pribumi Bersatu 12
(d) Amanah 11

PH totalled 113, having majority rule.

If the sly devious Mahathir had observed his promise to PH not to accept UMNO frogs, his miserable party would have stood at 12, just one seat more than the new Amanah.

But did anyone (other than the idiotic Lims & inner cohorts) believe the Evil Old Man would ever keep his word? Thus UMNO frogs jumped more like impala antelopes than amphibians the moment BN lost the election.

Just a reminder prior to the great migration post GE14:

BN had 79 seats whilst PRIBUMI had only 12. But of course once the frogs jumped over to PRIBUMI (after a kerbau-ish one-month hiatus), UMNO lost its numbers and political strength. If The Old Man was given more time, which he himself threw away because he couldn't have his own way as a minority (notwithstanding the UMNO frogs) in a multi-party coalition, he could have built PRIBUMI into UMNO III.

So he resigned without any warning to his so-called allies. Anwar was of course another reason.

Would UMNO ever forgive PRIBUMI? 

No, UMNO has no choice but to kill PRIBUMI off to avoid its own political death.


  1. Najib Bossku will provide the winning edge for UMNO.
    Many if the Faithful still swoon at the sight of him, or hearing his speeches.

  2. I loved the movie where two gangland gunmen hunted each other.

    One shot the other, but before he died he managed to fatally wound the other.

    That's how two tigers managed to kill each other.

    Hahahahaha...UMNO vs. Bersatu