Umno's gain is the nation's loss

I refer to Malaysiakini report Isa scores a landslide win , majority of 5,435.

The huge majority won by BN’s Mohd Isa Samad at the well fought by-election at Bagan Pinang against his PAS rival is a major morale booster for Umno which suffered several by-election losses in a row previously. But one sparrow does not make a summer. Bagan Pinang is Samad Isa territory just like Permatang Pauh is Anwar Ibrahim’s lair.

For a tainted politician like Isa Samad to win the by-election makes one wonder if Malaysian voters does not care about their lawmakers being clean and not indulging in any activities which border on corruption.

Isa Samad has given the wrong signal to Malaysians in that one can be tainted but as long as the person is popular among the masses, he can still be elected to high office.

Compare this ex-menteri besar’s situation to another former president of Korea, Roh Moo Hyun who committed suicide just because he was charged with corrupt practices. He was not even found guilty by the court yet.

Even the former prime minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert had to resign from office due to allegation of corrupt practices. These two nations do not equate corrupt practices with ‘technical offences’.

Now you know why Korea which lacks natural resources is one of Asias economic giants compared to Malaysia which remains stagnant until now. Corrupt practices and abuse of power are ‘a way of life’ in this country without the parties involved feeling guilty.

Being the ex-MB of Negeri Sembilan for more than 20 years makes Isa Samad a popular figure in the state and the people’s perception is that he was not charged and found guilty of corrupt practice ny a court of law and that makes him ‘clean’ in the eyes of the voters.

To be fair to Isa Samad, he was not the only politician in Umno who was embroiled in scandals. Since it is the norm for politicians holding the fort to remain in their office by ‘all means’, Umno members and their top guns closed one eye to money politics as long as they were not caught red-handed.

Political analysts will have to digest and decipher the results of the by-election to see whether the support for the ruling party has changed for the better and whether the Malays and non-Malays have opened up their hearts to the new premier leading our country.

Pakatan Rakyat will have to do a post-mortem to find out why their winning streak finally met its Waterloo at Bagan Pinang. Is support for the opposition front waning due to people being fed-up with their leaders bickering in public and lack of direction on how they will govern the country in the future?

BN has learned it lesson and is trying its best to win back popular support by getting closer to the public with a slew of incentives to make the common people’s lives better. PM Najib Razak has so far proved himself to be a better leader than his predecessor and it would be a tough call for his nemesis Anwar Ibrahim, the de facto opposition leader, to overshadow him.

The win by Umno candidate at Bagan Pinang is very timely for the new Umno president who will for the first time make his grand entrance as the supreme leader of the party and the government at the Umno general assembly today.

Malaysians will await his maiden speech to see the direction our country is going. Will it be business as usual or will the new premier take the bull by the horns and reform the party and government for the better?

Judging from Isa Samad’s ascendancy from a zero to a hero regardless of his tainted past to become a state assembly person again, it looks like reform for the betterment of the nation’s will take a back seat as long as Umno doesn’t give two hoots about integrity, honesty and clean living as ethos for their lawmakers to follow once elected.

Umno’s gain is the nation’s loss.