COMMENTARY, Oct 13 — Melaka Umno has a leadership problem and this will be the biggest obstacle when it comes to winning the next general election.
Quite simply, the state does not have a commanding leader. Melaka Umno needs someone whose leadership is respected by grassroots members in the state.
The impasse at present is about credibility and charisma.
Melaka Umno used to have strong leaders such as Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik and Tun Mohd Ali Rustam whose leadership drove development in the state to what it is today.
The question now is: Who does Umno have at present to lead the state in the coming state election, if it is held and who will lead the state in the coming general election?
Umno seems to have no second level leaders in the state; those who seem to have the credibility to lead are either chopped down as soon as they show these qualities or they just do not want to be involved in state-level politics.
The crisis which led to the fall of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali is all about leadership. Assemblyman Datuk Seri Idris Harun claimed Sulaiman was a front for the man who was actually running the state — state Speaker Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh.
Idris himself was chief minister for five years until the 2018 general election.
Whatever the quarrel that ended up in a war between Idris and Rauf now has affected BN’s chances of scoring better results in the next general election as its citizens seem to be angry with both which inevitably affects Umno’s position.
This is also where DAP thrives but has never been able to capture the state; the Umno chief minister had been steering the state to an economically vibrant position until it was captured by Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the 2018 general election.
And now heading into the upcoming general election, Melaka Umno is in deep trouble.
While Idris may not be the leader Melaka Umno members want, the same goes for Rauf which will see BN going leaderless into the next general election.
Adding fuel to the fire is Umno is now contemplating whether to go it alone or with the unresolved pact of Muafakat Nasional (MN) where PAS is acting as though it holds the key to victory for Umno or Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
In such a situation, it is up to Umno leadership to resolve the problems fast before the situation gets out of control.