This may be a suggestion out of the left field but it’s nonetheless an experiment worth trying. After all, he is Ketua Bahagian Umno for the area.
Have some guts, Umno. Just do it! Put up Jamal in Sungai Besar.
The Malays need a hero.
Nothing to lose from fielding Jamal
I do not reckon that there are any more Chinese votes for BN to lose, especially after the Adenan decision to omit a Chinese YB from his triune of Deputy Chief Ministers.
Sungai Besar is only one seat that will not affect the BN’s hold on Putrajaya or standing in opposition state Selangor even if Jamal Sekinchan fails in his bid.
Furthermore, since there are going to be twin by-elections, Kuala Kangsar can be used as a sort of double blind trial or a control group to see how the Chinese might be inclined to vote at this juncture (as if we don’t already know).
If there are the diehard optimists who insist the BN race formula is still intact, then prove your point in Kuala Kangsar.
There’s really nothing for Umno to lose except one seat – i.e. if Jamal sinks, BN will still have 132 MPs as against Pakatan’s (DAP+PKR+PAN) mere 72 MPs.
There is no imminent threat even if Sungai Besar slips from Umno’s grasp. Mind you, in 2013 the late Noriah Kasnon squeaked through on a thin majority of 399 votes.
Umno can gain much from this experiment of nominating Jamal Mohd Yunos.
It’s worth the calculated risk because then Najib can find out how far right his voter base has shifted since the Chinese tsunami. This is a crucial element the Umno president has to weigh for his GE14 campaign strategy.
For all that the Umno elites/snobbish establishment know, KBUs like Jamal are the ones most popular on the ground.
The only reason why Umno might want to err on the side of caution in choosing to sideline an obvious choice – i.e. the area division chief – is a fear of Chinese voter backlash.
This albatross (nak jaga hati pengundi Cina) needs to be unshackled because Chinese votes no longer factor in the BN political calculus, at least certainly not in the peninsula.
BELOW: Challenge to MCA
Note that DAP did not lose any urban seats in Sarawak with more than 70 percent Chinese voters, barring the sole exception of Repok — table here.
I believe a right winger like Jamal would stand a better chance against a PAS conservative under our present circumstances.
I also believe that a personality like Jamal’s would be acceptable to the Malay grassroots even if the Chinese hate him. But then again, is there anything Melayu that they don’t hate or disdain? (Urm, maybe Nasi Lemak, but that’s about it.)
Najib’s 1MDB and 1Malaysia concepts have both upset the Malay polity which are his party constituency. The cost of Najib’s “moderation” posture is the increasing alienation of Malays from Umno, particularly over Islam controversial issues such as the daylight robbery of kalimah “Allah’ by the Christians.
Najib is losing the war of attrition where traditional Umno support is being chipped away, including by Dr Mahathir and his Protuns who are in cahoots with the DAP.
Worldwide the trend – Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, Brexit, anti-immigrants/refugees – do not favour open borders or multiculturalism. Many communities are turning to and embracing nativism.
The recent Dayak tsunami was a show of parochial spirit too.
Adenan was adamant that Sarawak is for Sarawakians. He boldly locked out the troublemakers from entering his state. Sarawak voters made it clear that they rejected outsiders. Only the Chinese chauvinists voted a non-Sarawak party based on race allegiance.
Adenan, on the other hand, stamped his authority by picking two Dayaks as his DCMs. He did not pander to the Chinese.
Najib should do likewise. Stop pandering.
The public perception is that Najib’s position is only being bolstered by large infusions of cash and pulled by the gravy train. In this regard, Tun Mahathir has been very successful in badmouthing him with the label “Cash is King”.
So. The Umno machinery is necessarily kept well-oiled but Najib fails to appeal to the kind of fierce loyalty predicated on firm ideology that does not depend on money.
Tun commands loyalty and belief. PAS commands loyalty and belief. Adenan commands loyalty too through his Sarawak haka. They fire up their supporters with ideological faith.
Najib’s native Umno constituency – rural folks, Felda settlers, Kg Baru urban working class, the civil service, Sabah Muslims – don’t want and don’t care about the ‘Moderation’ mirage.
This particular ‘Moderation’ in our Malaysian context is a dolled-up philosophy that has few takers among the people who actually vote Umno.
Like Sisyphus, Najib is pushing ideas that are of benefit only to his political opponents. Moreover his “transformasi” has the reverse effect of making him unpopular with Umno voters.
BELOW: Wardina – Najib’s NUCC councillor – prefers Australia and is in fact living in Brisbane, the last anyone heard
Recall how badly his Global Movement of Moderates was received when it was earlier helmed by Saifuddin Abdullah. And where is the NUCC now with its Marina-Wardina & Gang poster girls?
Najib must make a right turn to the direction that will enhance his chances of remaining as PM after GE14.
Jamal Sekinchan is a maverick who is capable of pepping up the lacklustre Umno brand. He can win in Sungai Besar. His bosses must be canny enough to take the plunge, that’s all.