With the appointment of the 9th Prime Minister looming over the citizens of Malaysia, there is still a lot of uncertainty whether Ismail Sabri or Anwar Ibrahim will emerge victorious. As the entire UMNO party is finally unified in supporting one candidate, rumours seem to confirm that it is certain Ismail Sabri has enough numbers to claim majority in Parliament.
With the appointment of Ismail Sabri as the 9th Prime Minister, UMNO will likely also go on to claim victory when elections finally hit Malaysia in 2022 if they play their cards right the next year. UMNO’s masterplan began with the toppling of the Pakatan Harapan government in exchange for positions by Perikatan Nasional. Although UMNO under PN was heavily condemned by netizens, the majority of hate was still aimed at Bersatu and the traitors of PH. UMNO played it smart by convincing the citizens that they were in support of the PN government but not the Prime Minister, which resulted in UMNO splitting into several factions. The appointment of the 9th Prime Minister has however unified them over a common goal, to become the government again.
Assuming they do manage to bring Malaysia out of the current crisis, UMNO will be regarded as heroes by the time the next election hits. It is useful to remember that although UMNO is under heavy criticism from netizens, the majority of voters especially from rural constituents will vote along racial sentiments rather than the individual. After all, let us not forget how easily Malaysian’s forgive and forget. Top that off with sentiments painting UMNO as a hero, expect heavy losses from the opposition at that time. Furthermore, UMNO will now become the sole Malay party with Bersatu out of the way the next election, and if Pejuang throws their support behind Ismail Sabri, they will likely lose credibility, making UMNO the only choice for votes based on racial sentiments.
If UMNO is smart enough, they would probably be vying for several key positions under Ismail Sabri, most importantly they would try and take over the Home Ministry, Health Ministry, and the Communications Ministry to ensure they will be able to effectively spread useful propaganda in preparation for the next election. This will also give them time to eliminate all paper trails if they had made any unsavoury deals during their time under PN. One major threat to UMNO would be youth voters should the UNDI18 bill be passed in parliament. Given that the younger generation are often more rebellious and tend to be anti-government voters, UMNO will likely prevent the bill from being passed.
To ensure their victory in the next election, UMNO will also have to start building up an individual capable of taking on the role of Prime Minister. It is important they do it quickly and give opportunities for this individual to gain publicity and support in order for him to shoulder the weight of the party by GE15. It will be risky if UMNO continues to rely on the older members who are losing their appeal with the current generation and should therefore find a face capable of attracting support from various political blocks.
If all of this has been UMNO’s plan from the beginning, perhaps it is useful for citizens to stop linking stupid statements made on television with the actual intelligence and experience of a UMNO member. Having 60 years of experience in controlling a country is no small feat and certainly one that could not be done without enough skill and knowledge in politics. It’s something the opposition may need to learn in order to beat them again in the future.
Kage is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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