I was tempted earlier to write my predictions about who would win the UMNO elections; but then I thought maybe it would be a waste of time. In any case, the result is out and it is clear that almost all posts were won by Najib’s men, except for Khairy for the youth head.
It is quite clear that UMNO is still deeply rooted in it’s tradition, that is members will likely to vote (or to support) candidates that are seen to be linked to the power at the top (i.e. president). That has been the case. Furthermore, if the person are willing to dish out goodies, in forms of cash and other benefits (via promises), then it would be an easy path to victory. Those who lost clearly did dish out cash, but lacked the credibility in their promises of promised benefits, as delegates doubted their ability to do so, since they are not seen as President’s men.
Furthermore, it is very likely that the President, since he has no challenger, can easily at the back, play the power game of throwing his “silent” support for candidates that he want to win. The only position that he seemed not to have enough influence is the Youth. The real problem there is quite simple: Khir Toyo, never wants to be labeled and worked as Najib’s candidate, as Mukhriz seems to be a better candidate to claim that (as Najib get his post due to Mahathir’s pressure o Pak Lah). Therefore his choice was only to use money generously. Mukhriz on the other hand suffer from Mahathir’s dilemma and can never shae it off; and his refusal to play with money was his own doing by losing his best chance to win. On the other hand KJ has been seeding his “investments” for many years and he has guarded his seeds very carefully by continuously showering them with money till the last day. He succeeded in doing that, and that was the main reason for his win.
I have not seen the full MT lists, but what I can conclude is that the old dogs of UMNO, Syed Hamid, Rais, etc;, all lost, hence the rise of the new blood in UMNO. But the lost by old guards are because of their refusal to play with money, and the new guards are more readily to do so.
Therefore, despite all the talks about eradicating money politics within UMNO; the results just affirmed that it was exactly money politics that play the winning game. So the message is clear and that is how UMNO is internally solidifying itself as the money machine. The Malay card, PKR bashing, and others are just rhetoric to excite the halls and feel good activities to ensure that the convention went with enough issues to talk about.
All that happened is better, because it seems that by day, UMNO becomes an easier party to defeat. All the opposition need is better organization, more qualified people, and election machineries. They will have a good chance, come 2012.