There were rumors speculating that Sabah’s Parti Warisan President, Shafie Apdal may rejoin UMNO, should UMNO/BN regain control of the Federal Government after GE14. It was also rumored that some ‘big shots’ in UMNO has been enticing Shafie Apdal to rejoin UMNO. I firmly believe that these rumors are the work of those ‘pencacai’ within UMNO who have noticed glaringly the ‘Warisan Tsunami’ that is battering the shores and interior of Sabah, where thousands have responded to the call that UMNO is no longer the party of choice that can lead Sabah out of its political, economic and social doldrums.
Sabah UMNO has underestimated the popularity of Shafie Apdal, thinking that Sabah UMNO under the leadership of Musa Aman still retain absolute control of Sabahans. Unlike UMNO in Peninsular Malaysia where the majority of its members are Malays, members of Sabah UMNO are a mixed lot and are not necessarily Malays by race, but are comprised of indigenous races that have been categorized as Bumiputeras. Herein lies the difference i.e. being Bumiputeras, their social, religious and cultural beliefs differs substantially from the Malays in Peninsular Malaysia. Hence, UMNO cannot treat Sabah UMNO members who are in the main Bumiputeras, in the same way as they treat the UMNO Malays in the Peninsular.
Like UMNO Malays in the Peninsular, they can easily be indoctrinated by falsehood to retain their loyalty and allegiance towards UMNO. To quote some examples of the propaganda that UMNO thrives upon its members are (1) the notion and believe that UMNO is the only party that can defend Malay rights and the protector of their faith i.e. Islam. (2) that the Malay dominated opposition political parties are merely pawns to the non Malay dominated opposition political parties. (3) that should the opposition pact wins the General Election, the Malays will be subservient to the non Malays, and the national leadership will be dominated by non Malays. (4) the religion of Islam will no longer be the official religion of the state should the opposition takes control of the Federal Government. (5) that the Malay language will no longer be the official language of the state.
The above propaganda themes has been UMNO winning formula for many years, but with the advent of the social and alternative media, such propaganda may no longer be UMNO’s winning formula. I know full well that it was the firm control by the government upon the media i.e. print and electronic that had won them the elections since independence, and especially the Malay population to their side. And UMNO’s propaganda theme as enumerated in the above paragraph has always been consistent. But with the emergence of new Malay dominated political parties working alongside non Malay dominated political parties within the opposition framework, I firmly believe that UMNO’s propaganda and long tested winning formula, and coupled with the recent scandals of UMNO political leaders that has rocked the nation and the world, has drastically weakened UMNO stronghold upon the Malay voting population. Certainly, the Malays have now opened their eyes to the scandals of the UMNO leaders which has shamed the Malay race, and more importantly desecrated the good and noble name of their religion i.e. Islam. This could well be damning upon UMNO in the upcoming General Election. And what other option does UMNO has to rein upon the Malays, other than money that will be scattered throughout the nation; not in the millions anymore, but maybe in the billions.
But in the case of Sabah, can UMNO break Parti Warisan’s growing popularity by throwing money to the voters like they do in the Peninsular? I think not, because Sabahans are not predominantly Malays. This is the sad reality about my race.