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From Semenyih to Rantau

  • Mohamad Hasan has come to the realization that Umno needs PAS more than PAS needs Umno, and that PAS has its own calculations and could even abandon Umno if such a need arises.

By TAY TIAN YAN
Sin Chew Daily

BN is on the verge of collapse, but thanks to the effort of Umno and MCA each giving in at the BN supreme council meeting, the coalition that has existed for half a century manages to pull through.

MCA's motion to dissolve BN has not been adopted, but it has somehow managed to get BN sec-gen Nazri removed.

Nazri is a highly impressionable guy who would often say or do things that could bring lethal damages at a critical time.

Prior to the 2018 general elections, he lashed out at Robert Kuok, triggering the wrath of the local Chinese community, resulting in the defeat of BN and MCA.

It was a single incident that has drained the largest number of Chinese votes out of BN. As a result, GE14 marked the lowest Chinese support of BN in history.

Before the Semenyih by-election, he reportedly said Chinese and Tamil primary schools must be shut down. Although he later denied having said this, the damage had already been done, and BN's support among Chinese voters remained pathetically low.

After that, he claimed that MCA and MIC could quit BN if they were not happy.

Such an arrogant attitude has irked his Umno comrades.

Former minister in the PM's dept Abdul Rahman Dahlan wrote on his Facebook that BN's sec-gen should make peace and not instigate or confront others.

The internal war will go on if Nazri remains BN sec-gen, and this Nazri alone is more than enough for MCA to tackle.

Tengku Adnan is not a good candidate for the post either. His image is anything but uplifting, not to mention his involvement in corruption cases.

However, during such a transitional period, it looks like he is the only candidate they can come up with.

Umno has gone extreme during the last two by-elections, getting very close to PAS without taking into consideration the feelings of its BN allies.

That said, acting Umno president Mohamad Hasan has adopted a dovish attitude in trying to win over MCA and MIC during the BN supreme council meeting.

Umno has gone all out at the first consultative meeting with PAS, but Mohamad Hasan's goodwill has not been reciprocated. Hadi Awang absented himself from the meeting, and the Islamist party's attendance line-up was only half that of Umno's.

Umno's wish to "formalize" the relationship between the two parties does not work. PAS has stated very clearly that it only wants a cooperation, not merger nor a common logo in elections. The relationship is at best a form of cooperation only during elections.

Hadi Awang announced several days later that PAS not only could work with Umno but also Mahathir and PPBM.

Now Mohamad Hasan has come to the realization that Umno needs PAS more than PAS needs Umno, and that PAS has its own calculations and could even abandon Umno if such a need arises.

PAS may not come to Umno's rescue in Rantau this time.

Unlike Semenyih, Rantau is a mixed constituency with 54% of Malay and 46% of non-Malay voters. Moreover, PAS' influences in Negeri Sembilan are not as strong as in Selangor.

Mohamad Hasan can only count on Malay votes to win Rantau, and even then not all Malays will support him.

In other words, he will still need a certain number of non-Malay votes to get elected.

He is dropping a stone on his own feet if he chooses to mess with MCA and MIC. Perhaps these two parties may not help him with too many non-Malay votes, boycott from their members will definitely not benefit him in any way.

Mohamad Hasan is a realistic politician. Under such circumstances, he has no choice but to soften his position and keep BN intact in order to tackle the challenges that lie right before him now.

Although Chinese and Indian voters are not very happy with the PH government, there is no sign they would go back to BN anytime soon.

 

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