Yeah, Yeah, BN Will Lose Penang Again, For Sure!!

Instead of focusing on the “real” opponents and challenges, the delegates chose to play to the gallery and, in the process, may have further alienated their allies, Gerakan and MCA.

New Straits Times

PENANG Umno, it appears, is in the mood for a fight. Unfortunately, it is not spoiling for one with the opposition.

While there were no fisticuffs or chair-throwing incidents, the month-long campaign indicated trouble ahead for the big picture — Barisan Nasional’s future in the state.
Ironically, it is in one of the divisions that saw a new chief win uncontested that could derail BN’s hope of returning to power in Penang come the next general election.

Abdul Jalil Ariffin was returned as Bukit Bendera head, but the manner in which Datuk Ahmad Ismail, the former division chief, was welcomed showed who was boss.

Despite still serving his three-year suspension, Ahmad was given a warrior’s welcome at the delegates conference on Nov 9.

He was presented with a keris, which he kissed and raised to shouts of Hidup Ahmad and Hidup Melayu as a group performed silat.

This incident was, unfortunately for BN, not isolated. Other divisions passed some strongly worded resolutions on the state Umno’s relationship with Gerakan.

Instead of focusing on the “real” opponents and challenges, the delegates chose to play to the gallery and, in the process, may have further alienated their allies, Gerakan and MCA.

At a time when its major BN partners are embroiled in a “cold war” with the party over Ahmad’s allegedly racist remarks, the state Umno delegates seem to have failed to come to terms with the reality that the road ahead in Penang is not going to be smooth, especially in a society undergoing socio-political changes.

Political analyst Khoo Kay Peng said what happened in the polls was a clear indication of “broken politics” within BN.

“The next general election could be held within the next two years and the entire BN partnership is going to face its toughest test ever.

“If Umno and its partners continue with the same game of one-upmanship, the outcome is going to be a foregone conclusion.”

Khoo noted that 26 of the 40 state seats in Penang have non-Malay majorities.

In the last general election Umno could only deliver 11 of the 15 state seats it contested.

“This clearly shows that Umno cannot go it alone in Penang. The biggest losers in this whole mess are going to be Gerakan and MCA. They have to ensure that immediate measures are taken to solve the impasse.”

While the immediate challenge for the newly elected division chiefs is to reunite Umno members who were divided during the campaigning, the long-term task for the party is going to be even more challenging.

Reconciliation with Gerakan and MCA is going to be tough as Bukit Bendera delegates want Ahmad’s suspension to be rescinded.

The party polls in Umno, MCA and Gerakan are over. It is time for the state leaders to start handing out olive branches to one another if they want the big picture to be a beautiful one for BN.

One Response to Yeah, Yeah, BN Will Lose Penang Again, For Sure!!

  1. Patricia says:

    Yup, at least they are waking up to the reality. Finally. Better late, than never, eh?

    Pat

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