This was how Umno performed in the 14 general elections since 1959:
In the best year Umno won 57% of the seats and in the worst year, which is this year, Umno won 24% of the seats. Umno’s ‘normal’ performance is between 35% to 50% of the seats in Parliament.
In short, the only time Umno ever won more than 51% of the seats was during GE2 in 1964. The other time Umno won just 50% of the seats was in GE1 in 1959, soon after Merdeka. Even in GE11 in 2004, four months after Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over as Prime Minister from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Malaysia’s Second Merdeka), Umno won just 49% of the seats. In all other times it was less than 50% of the seats.
Hence, other than GE2 in 1964, Umno was NEVER able to form the government on its own. In 1959 and 1969, Umno needed its coalition partners in the Alliance Party to form the government. And from 1974 to 2013, for ten general elections, Umno needed its coalition partners in Barisan Nasional to form the government.
The oil belongs to Terengganu, Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak but the federal government has been stealing it since 1974 and has been giving back just 5% to the states
In other words, never mind who leads Umno and who won the party presidency yesterday. It does not matter whether Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah or Khairy Jamaluddin becomes the Umno President. Even if Mahathir goes back to Umno and takes over as Umno’s President, Umno will never be able to win the general election on its own. The only way Umno can win the general election is through a coalition, even if Mahathir takes over as Umno’s President.
So, Zahid needs to look into some form of strategic alliance, electoral pact or unity government with other parties. There are 222 seats in Parliament and even in its best year the most Umno can win is 100 seats — and half that in its worst year. So Umno needs partners and there are no two ways about it.
Mahathir has already declared that Pakatan Harapan will NEVER work with Umno. The political parties in Sabah and Sarawak will work with anyone who can give them what they want. Sabahans and Sarawakians want certain things and if Pakatan Harapan cannot give it to them, or refuses to give it to them, then they will work with anyone else who will.
Sabah and Sarawak care more about MA63 than about Barisan Nasional, Pakatan Harapan or 1MDB
At 25% or 57 of the seats in Parliament, Sabah and Sarawak decide who gets to form the federal government. Terengganu and Kelantan are just like Sabah and Sarawak — very parochial and fiercely independent. They, too, feel like they are being treated as anak tiri by Putrajaya. Give them what they want and they are with you.
And that is what Zahid needs to focus on. But first Zahid needs to reinvent Umno to look more appealing. Maybe a facelift, tummy-tuck and bum-lift are in order to look more appealing. But cosmetic surgery alone is not enough. It is no point just looking good if you no longer possess the prowess. You not only have to look young but you need to feel young and act young and perform as young as well. But then Umno is still all those tired old faces. Sigh…
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin