From a few reliable sources, the UMNO candidate for the coming by election in NS will most likely to be the former MB, who was once suspended from the party because of money politics.
While the chances of winning for UMNO is greatly enhanced by this person, since the area is his base and stronghold, the selection of this person as a candidate will have great repercussions.
After 308, BN parties have been talking about changes. But fOr most of the component parties other than UMNO, they cannot change much within the confines of BN politics, since in the reality of Malaysian power politics, UMNo holds sway of the direction and determines major policies that the government implemements. What can smaller parties like MCA, Gerakan , PPP etc do to change the perception of the people towards the coaltion? Nothing major except by voicing out more often within the Barisan, and small cosmetics changes like strengthening bureaus and be more vocal in public.
Apart from these minor cosmetic changes, the fate of all the component parties is in the hand of UMNo, and if UMNo fails to convince the people that it is truly reforming, the fate of all other component parties is sealed…
UMNO of course knows about this and its top leaders are trying very hard to introduce reform. So far, certain changes have been slowly introduced, like in the concept of KRAs and KPIs, and the promise of tackling corruption and bad governance.
While there are promises and professed intentions of tackling corruptions , people are still waiting to see any concrete evidence of whether the government is sincere in dealing with this rogue problem which has so often been the cause of the falls of empires and dynasties in the past. The ruling coalition must be committed and show that it has the resolve to walk the talk.
Even though the ACA has given way to MACC with more bits and power, the perception has remained negative. In fact, ask the people living in Klang Vallye, and most of them will say that they do not believe that corruption level will come down.
What is needed for BN in general and UMNO in particular is to make radical changes and show the people that it is 100percent committed to push through these changes.
One of the most pressing things to do is to select people with good standing, with no baggage and seen to be clean and conscientious to be their leaders and candidates.
What better chance to prove than in the selection of candidates for the various by elections ? In the present situation where the credibility of the various component parties is so low, the first and foremost consideration for any selection of candidates should be that the person must be very clean and with untainted background. In by elections, where the winning or losing of the seats does not affect the balance of power, winnability of the seat should be secondary.
In the last by election in Penang, Permatang Pasir, a person with a certain baggage was chosen, and people all over West malaysia could not believe that the coalition is serious to want to change for the better. What else to explain how a person who has a baggage was chosen; except for people to come to the conclusion that lessons of 308 have not been fully understood and learned.
So with the coming by election, winnability should again be secondary. What is of primary importance is to project a determination to change for the better, and what better chance than to show to the whole country that a powerful warload with a past will be sidelined and a clean candidate be chosen, a person with an impeccable past and is sincere in serving the rakyat with conscience and hard work. Do not tell me that there are no such candidate around. If it is so, then the whole coalition is doomed..
Veteran leaders liek Dr Mahathir and Tengku Razaleigh have come out to warn UMNO not to choose someone with a tainted past. I think this message should be heeded, not only in this by election but in all undertakings of all component parties, be it UMNO, MCA , Gerakan, PPP or others including the opposition parties.
To win a seat but to continue losing the credibility war, it would be like winning a penny but losing the pound.
This is very clearcut to the rakyat watching from the side, but unfortunantely, those walking the corridors of power often seem so adept in shooting not the enemy but ownself in the foot, that time and again, obviously wrong decisions are made.