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Can Umno rise or crumble further?

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Umno cannot rise alone but the BN component parties have sunk with Umno as well, writes JD Lovrenciear.

The answer to Umno restructuring and rising from its historic fall from political grace lies not within Umno unfortunately.

It is weighted down by its entire entourage of component political parties except for one that conditionally indicated two weeks before the general election that it would be pulling out after the election.

myPPP was fortunate in that sense that it already registered its unwillingness to be dragged down by the ‘Big Brother’ when its president M Kayveas challenged the BN leadership over the allocation of seats.

As for the rest and in particular the MCA and the MIC – the loudest of the coalition after Umno – they are themselves factors contributing to the fall of Umno. They are also as much the determining factors if Umno wants to rebuild and rebrand itself.

Many pundits are claiming that Umno must have a new line of leaders if they are to make any headway in the next five years. Others suggest that Umno must rebrand itself as a multiracial party if it wants to see sunrise again.

The answers or solutions do rest within Umno. The undisputed facts are as follows:

As long as the MCA, the MIC and other friendly parties within BN did not challenge the Umno leadership over the 1MDB worldwide scandal but remained blind, deaf and dumb to the scourge, Umno was unable to resurrect itself.

But if the BN partners were to question 1MDB now, if even within Umno some are saying, “Yeah, we cannot accept so much money kept in homes” – well, it is too late.

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The outcome of the general election was all about the voting public’s frustration over the ridiculous 1MDB. Added to that was the citizens’ disillusionment over corruption that stank within the corridors of power while the BN component parties focused on other issues.

When the 1MDB case goes to trial and Umno leaders take the fall for corrupt acts of commission and omission; when the dragnet expands to catch other corrupt practices that were conducted with impunity such as land scams, unaccounted wealth, abuse of public funds and a whole litany of crimes against the nation; aligned parties too will feel the heat.

As it is, some Umno and other BN leaders are attempting to come clean in anticipation of the stormy weather heading in their direction. But you cannot hide ill-gotten wealth. You can pay legal eagles royally – but the battle is already lost in the court of public opinion.

In all probability, Umno and its faithful BN parties may take a much longer time to ever come out of this stigma smelling like roses.

Umno cannot rise alone. The BN component parties have sunk with Umno.

Pakatan Harapan has a highway of opportunities ahead of it in the run-up to the next general election. But it will be judged with the new found courage and determination of the rakyat.

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