In a few days thousands of UMNO soldiers will converge on the battlefields of Kuala Terengganu. Their object? To help the UMNO defenders in KT. Meanwhile the UMNO soldiers in KT will dig in, their resolve steeled to win by any means necessary.
The question on every one’s mind will be, can UMNO win? The spectacle of the KT UMNO digging in, putting up a fight and the sight of thousands converging to help out the defenders, is reminiscent of the
I get amused when journalists write about politics. Something they hatched in their imagination are offered to us as a palatable menu. They read chicken entrails and elevate them to respectable prognosis. One such example, is the reporter Zubaidah A.Bakar’s take on the choice of PAS’s Abdul Wahid Endut as its parliamentary candidate. Therefore to enliven things up, I offer my take.
Whether Abdul Wahids’s choice as candidate is a reflection of a power struggle between the factions in PAS, does not influence the outcome of the elections. It does not improve UMNO’s chances. UMNO must win not because of the imagined strife within PAS but must do so despite the strife, if one does indeed exists.
You see, if you try to analyse PAS through UMNO’s eyes, you get spurious results. They don’t think as UMNO people do. They are not into whether decision A strengthens the Erdogan faction or decision B, fortifies the Ulama faction. Their principal interest will always be, will any decision A or B, further the interest of Islam? That is the final solution. They know where their loyalties lie. UMNOniks don’t.
UMNO’s decision matrix is totally different and at once at variance with PAS’s. In UMNO, they see whether decision A is good for Najib’s people, decision B good for Pak Lah’s people, decision C good for KJ or KT or MM’s interests. Compared to PAS’s denominator, all that of UMNO’s are insignificant. UMNO goes into the KT by elections as a fractious group, not PAS.
PAS people differ on appearances not on fundamentals. They may quarrel about petty issues, but everything is resolved on religious principles. On that, PAS does not quarrel. So I wouldn’t take UMNO’s imagined dissension within PAS as being crucial for their victory. In fact and on the other hand, if UMNO does that, it serves only to confirm that UMNO is weak. UMNO must win on its strengths, not on the perceived weaknesses of others. Savvy?
UMNO will never win if it doesn’t understand how a PAS operative works. Always, the common denominator is religion. That is a constant. No PAS member ever disputes if the decision taken is done according to religion. Once taken, the support for their candidate is ABSOLUTE and TOTAL. Can we say the same of UMNO’s Wan Farid? No? On that point, who wins?
The PAS candidate YB Abdul Wahab Bin Endut may be a 4 or 5 termed ADUN. Yet, he is barely known outside. Everyone was thinking it could be Mat Sabu or Syed Azman. These are well known personalities.
Pas says it sent out 72 party stalwarts to stalk the feelings of the grassroots. They finally came out with Abdul Wahid. Wahid means number one. Perhaps in the minds and hearts of the Terengganu people.
Pitted against Wan Farid, the senator, the ketua UMNO bahagian Kuala Terengganu, Wahid is a lightweight. Wan Farid is well known at national level politics.
In recent weeks, he has stormed the hustings. He has been busy campaigning, establishing relationships with the voters. One day visiting an Indian couple, the other day chatting with an elderly Malay couple. This has been possible because UMNO decide to announce his candidacy very much early on.
PAS took several weeks and decided to announce its candidate late. UMNO decided its candidate very early. What does the difference tell you?
By pitting an unknown to an UMNO heavyweight, PAS shows its VERY CONFIDENT. Why offer an unknown for national level politics? Unless PAS has done a better homework evaluating the rakyat’s feelings.
PAS has chosen its candidate meticulously. It sent out 72 pulse feelers on the ground. That should allow them to read moods better than UMNO.
UMNO’s candidacy was decided by Pak Lah. And Najib, is he says so. The Ketua Perhubungan was reported by my sources as saying even he wasn’t aware of the decision to pick Wan Farid. He would have preferred Zubir Embong, the education officer, not the other Zubir. Idris Jusoh, the other warlord wanted someone else, but he is now a nobody. Who listens to him nowadays?
It has been lean pickings for Wan Farid. Meeting up with old people and with an Indian couple, only serve to indicate that Wan Farid is facing an uphill battle.
For several reasons.
- Wan Farid faces the wrath of Mat Said’s followers. Wan Farid has been associated with the excesses in the application of Terengganu’s compassionate money or wang ehsan. He was seen as the Trojan horse to coral Terengganu’s oil money.
- The defeat of Wan Farid is a secret wish by many of Mat Said’s followers.
- Idris Jusoh would like to see Wan Farid lose so that it becomes the first failure of Mat Said the man who bumped him off as the MB.
- The choice of Wan Farid was forced from above. These people don’t vote for Wan Farid. The people of KT do. The people have spoken to the PAS 72 who went around gauging the support.
The odds appear to be in favour of PAS.But I pray, KT will not be an 'almost a victory' like Dunkirk.