COMMENTARY, Aug 30 — Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s Cabinet which was unveiled last Friday erased the dominance of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) while making sure component parties of Perikatan Nasional (PN) were given a fair share of governance.
Former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had picked Ismail as deputy before he stepped down and not any of the leaders from his own party which left many questioning his decision.
There is an old Malay saying: “Jika benih bagus, ia akan menjadi sebuah pulau bila di campak ke laut (If a seed is good, it will become an island if thrown into the sea)”, and this seems true of Malaysia’s political scenario.
Umno, the biggest Malay party, has suddenly re-emerged to lead the government in completing the job of containing the Covid-19 pandemic and spearheading economic recovery — the two major problems that plague all nations in the world at present.
Umno, the backbone of BN, has been chosen, considered as by default, since BN is not a member of the PN coalition.
All this after the bitter experience it went through following its defeat in the 2018 general election.
Bersatu is now left wondering about its role in national politics.
What started as a party to replace Umno with the objectives to champion the Malay cause, protecting the royal institution and Islam, it now finds itself searching for new causes.
Ismail’s next agenda is to position himself as party president come the Umno party election which was postponed until the end of next year but has since been rejected by the Registrar of Societies (RoS).
Incumbent party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is facing charges for corruption needs to ponder deeply whether to hang on to his position until the court case ends or sacrifice his position for the sake of the party.
If Ahmad Zahid willingly steps down and allows for the party election to carry on by the end of this year before the next general election, then Umno is on its way to achieve its past glory.