On the 23rd September 2009, I tweeted that Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad should announce his willingness not to contest in the Bagan Pinang by election. This would see to it that his magnanimity ultimately defines the man. By taking the initiative and volunteering himself out of the candidacy, he will portray himself as an Umno leader not so hard-up with power; a trait which many perceive as extinct in the recent years.
As the top man in Telok Kemang division, he must lead by example and be cognisant of his colourful yet tainted past. He was found guilty of money politics and was suspended from being an Umno member for 3 years.Yes sure, he had done his time. He had lost his vice-presidency. He lost the incumbency of being the head honcho in Negeri Sembilan. His reputation suffered. He lost friends, etcetera… etcetera.
Now he feels that this by election will be the vehicle for his comeback. Many think that should he win this by-election (and there is indeed a strong undercurrent that BN can win this particular one), it will be some sort of a redemption for this feisty man who had been the Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan for 22 years (1982 to 2004).
If he is aware of all the baggage that comes with his track records, he would intelligently opt for the aforementioned strategy. He should even announce that he will work tirelessly to ensure that whoever is the candidate of this by-election would win it handsomely.
But this is not to be.
Apparently, the Telok Kemang Umno Wanita Chief and the Division leader of Seremban chipped in their views and supported Isa Samad’s candidacy.
It seems that all of his followers want him to contest in this by-election. They don’t seem to get it. On the very same day, the Telok Kemang Youth Head even said:
“I don’t see how Isa’s record can be a liability to Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the Bagan Pinang by-election”.
Isa Samad will be a liability for BN because even IF he wins Bagan Pinang, it will be a pyrrhic victory due to the fact that BN nationwide has to contend with several allegations:
1) Umno still have to rely on a tainted leader,
2) Talent pool in Umno is non-existent,
3) Umno is not serious in purging bad apples, and
4) Umno has not changed its ways.
And who will take the most hit? Indeed, your very own Umno President.
Yes, no doubt that Isa Samad has contributed a lot to the development of Negeri Sembilan. Nobody can deny this. Negeri Sembilan was one of the fastest growing state back in the 90’s. Of course, many people can see that Isa Samad is one of the most faithful member in Umno where eventhough after he was caught and suspended, he is still loyal to the party. Even when BN was bashed left, right and centre, he remains a loyalist.
Unlike some who quickly headed towards the exit door to comfortably sleep with the enemy as soon as things did not go their way, Isa Samad’s attitude should be made an example to all BN members.
Too bad he chose not to pursue the logical next course of action, which is to publicly abstain himself from being nominated. As Tun Dr Mahathir said it last weekend:
“Isa would endear himself to all”.
Not just to the people in Bagan Pinang, but all over the country. So forget what the Youth Head was talking. Forget what the Wanita Chief had said.
They must listen to the views of the common people.
One regular commentator by the name Shah had this to say regarding this issue:
Again not sure where to place my disgust. Just a short note on the Bagan Pinang by-elections. With members insisting on nominating Isa Samad and Isa Samad (Ex MB AND Minister) shamelessly agreeing, I have nothing much to say except that these are such people that brings the downfall of UMNO and BN. After all that have happened, after all that has been said they remain clueless. Continuing to show their arrogance and complete disregard for the people.
Unless a miracle happen and that the leadership being sensitive to the people do not agree to nominating Isa Samad (which will result in the members that want Isa to probably sabotage the by-elections) it will be RIP UMNO and BN.
If it is another repeat of the Permatang Pasir fiasco I am aghast and …………. (speechless)……………
Ironically, Isa Samad has the support from one person who had shamelessly sleeping with the enemy. Zaid Ibrahim in his blog article, literally gave his support for Isa Samad to contest!
Zaid who is now representing a party which is against all the alleged corrupt practices in Umno had actually given his unequivocal support for Isa despite the latter’s tainted past.
I guess birds of a feather flock together.
Zaid made fun of certain factions in Umno who are trying to tell the leadership not to nominate Isa Samad as the candidate and instead, he is asking the Umno leadership to respect the wishes of the voters in Bagan Pinang.
He set aside all the money politics in Umno and brushed it off as a non issue. Of course, being one who was suspended by Umno for money politics as well, Zaid has no qualms in seeing Isa Samad constesting in this by-election. Is he preparing the justification of his own candidacy in the next general election too?
How hypocritical for him to chide Umno for money politics but at the same time, trying to absolve Isa Samad for the same offence.
When there are Umno members desperately trying hard to cleanse Umno from corruptive elements, here we have a member of the opposition whitewashing an Umno leader of money politics. No wonder the opposition finds it hard to identify the best candidate for the role of their Prime Minister.
Now, how could BN win Bagan Pinang?
If Isa Samad wants to find redemption, he should throw his support behind the candidate that he had helped to identify in order to gain maximum firepower.
As the divisional leader of Telok Kemang, it is incumbent upon him to ensure the victory of Bagan Pinang by-election no matter who the candidate is. If he is as strong as his supporters had said, if he has the support of the people in Bagan Pinang, then it should be no problem for him to help attain this victory.
It is his KPI as the Ketua Bahagian Umno Telok Kemang to deliver the victory. If he is not the candidate, and BN could still win this, then Umno and BN in its entirety can say that regardless who the candidate is, BN still have the support from the people. The Permatang Pasir debacle involving Rohaizat Othman can be construed as the failure of the candidate; not the party.
Umno should realise that it can get stronger if they make this simple analysis:
Could BN win the Permatang Pasir by-election even if it was not Rohaizat being the contestant? Why not?
If it still no, then no matter who the candidate for several by elections to come, BN can never win anything.
Remember, Isa Samad can only get his redemption if he helps in winning the Bagan Pinang by-election; not as a candidate, but as the force behind it. He can be the bigger man in this, or he can be small by balking and sabotaging the by-election should he not be selected as the candidate.
The choice is his and the Umno members in Telok Kemang.