Will Zahid sack Prime Minister Ismail Sabri from UMNO if the Registrar of Societies (ROS) does not approve the UMNO constitutional amendment to further postpone UMNO party election until after the 15GE?

The question that is being asked by politically-aware Malaysians is whether the UMNO President, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and the former UMNO President and former Prime Minister, Najib Razak, will sack Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri from UMNO if the Registrar of Societies (ROS) does not approve the UMNO constitutional amendment to further postpone UMNO party election until after the 15th General Election.

UMNO Secretary-General Ahmad Maslan said yesterday that apart from complying with the ROS and hold its internal election as required, UMNO has a ‘Plan B’ if the ROS rejects the UMNO constitutional amendment, although he declined to reveal what ‘Plan B’ is.

I fully agree with the Johore Opposition Leader and DAP Deputy Secretary-General Liew Chin Tong that UMNO has become the source of political instability causing the nation to undergo two government changes and now it wants to destroy a third government in four years.

Liew said Malaysians must unite to reject the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional coalition if they want a better future.

I understand Liew’s disappointment that the new Umno leaders had not rejuvenated the party following its electoral defeat in 2018 but instead chose to fan hatred towards the elected Pakatan Harapan government.

This is most obvious in the recent faux pas committed by the UMNO Deputy President, Mohamad Hasan, who highlighted that there is no change in the stand by UMNO/BN on the monstrous mega multi-billion dollar 1MDB financial scandal, which caused Malaysia to be regarded by the world as “kleptocracy at its worst”.

Just like in the years before the 14th General Election in 2018, when no UMNO/Barisan Nasional Minister/leader dared to condemn the 1MDB scandal, the same position continues after 2018, especially in the last two years when UMNO Ministers were in two governments since the infamous Sheraton Move conspiracy in February 2020.

UMNO has broken into two camps – the “Courts Cluster” and the “Cabinet Cluster” but they all together in the “1MDB Cluster”!

In 1979, at the UMNO General Assembly, the then Prime Minister and UMNO President, Hussein Onn warned that Malaysia will be destroyed if its leaders were “dishonest, untrustworthy and corrupt” and expressed the hope that the RM100 million Bank Rakyat scandal would be a “bitter lesson to other government institutions and agencies including companies and subsidiaries set up by the Government”.

However, Hussein Onn’s warning 43 years ago that Malaysia will be ”destroyed if the leaders are dishonest, untrustworthy and corrupt” fell on deaf ears and will be proven true before Malaysia’s Centennial if there is no reset of Malaysia nation-building policies and principles to get out of the present trajectory of a kleptocracy in the next three to four decades.

It is tragic that there seems be no Hussein Onn in the top UMNO leadership today.

Who will step forward in UMNO to be the Hussein Onn of today before UMNO and Malaysia are destroyed?

This is one reason why in the past half a century, Malaysia has been losing out to more and more countries in various fields of human endeavour.

Malaysia lost out to Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

Will we lose out China and Indonesia before the end of this decade in the annual Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI)?

Will we lose out to more countries in economic development, even to Indonesia and the Philippines, come 2,040 or 2,050 – well before Malaysia’s Centennial?

Is the 22-month Pakatan Harapan government the cause of Malaysia’s decline in the last half-a-century?

It is not. In fact, if the Pakatan Harapan government had its five-year mandate and not been sabotaged and toppled by the Sheraton Move conspiracy after only 22 months, a solid start would have been made to reset the nation-building policies and principles of the country and to reform national institutions.

Clearly, UMNO and Barisan Nasional are not only the cause of Malaysia’s present political instability, they are responsible for Malaysia losing out to more and more countries in the last half-a-century.

Is Malaysia a lost cause, and its fate only to end up as a failed state like Sri Lanka before Malaysia’s Centennial in the next three to four decades.

I do not think so. We must not give up hope and yield to despair and hopelessness.

We must continue the reset and reform efforts started by the 22-month Pakatan Harapan Government to see them to fruition to bring about a reset of nation-building policies and principles and institutional reforms so that Malaysia can become a world-class great nation instead of a failed state before Malaysia’s Centennial.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri