We shouldn’t approach GE15 with a GE14 mindset

Opinion  |  Nathaniel Tan
Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | We are likely underestimating how different GE15 will be from GE14. Change comes slowly, and understanding just how much things have changed may take time - which is all the more reason to get started early.

The most important difference between GE14 and GE15 is the role of Umno. Approaching GE14, Umno was still an undefeated behemoth, their fingers on every rein of power in the nation - the biggest bully in the playground.

The near instant disintegration we are seeing in Umno today post-GE14 was not difficult to predict. For decades, the party has been predicated on feudal politics of patronage. It was the job of the underlings to keep the bosses in power, and it was the job of the bosses to feed the underlings.

As long as the bosses controlled the tap of government resources, the well- oiled Umno machine marched merrily on. Without the tap, however, Umno is almost literally nothing. Feudal patronage is not one of many aspects of Umno; feudal patronage is Umno.

There is no way for Umno to turn back into the Leviathan it was in the run-up to GE14. The way things are, there is no way they could privately raise the money they’d need to in order to behave as they once did.

It would be presumptive to say that Umno will not exist at all, but it would not be presumptive to say that if it is a contender in GE15, it will be a very, very different type of contender indeed...

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