Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he heard the people's voice in last weekend general elections and admitted it would be "the last of him" if he doesn't live up to their expectations.
Would it be the last of him or the last of UMNO if he stays on until the next elections ?
He vowed to bring changes to lessen racial tensions, inflation and rising crime rates.Going by his track records whether these promises will translate into actions would make a good guessing game.
"The majority is still with me" he added "I am in charge"
The rising racial tensions, rising crime rates and rising costs of living occurred during his term of office. With rising crude oil prices keeping domestic prices at favourable level would not be an easy task. When asked how he intends to achieve this he said "There will be some other formula" without giving any specifics. It can only mean he has not yet found the formula.
Recent events have shown that UMNO hasn't changed and is unlikely to change its political culture to bring the people back to the fold.It is still very much entrenched in its culture of intimidation, cronyism and corruption.
The recent demonstration in Penang over the NEP issue by its members was a clear sign of intimidation and double standards. Students were allowed to get involved in political talks when it is his government policy that forbids students from any involvement in politics. Its members can demonstrate, others cannot. They seem to have 'carte blance' and without any intervention from the authority.
The PM hasn't woken up to the fact that not only he has driven the people away from him,UMNO and BN, he has also distance some of the rulers.What happened in Perlis and Trengganu was a clear sign of the Sultans displeasure against him. The rejections of prime minister's choice of candidates for menteri besar by the Sultans is unprecedented under previous prime ministers.
Calling for his resignation has become a crime. Newly elected MP, Mukhriz Mahathir is going to face the music.Some sycophants in the party have called for his sacking. The PM has left the decision how to deal with Mukhriz to the keris-wielding provocateur and the abominable son-in-law.
In a civilised and politically matured society the action that Mukhriz took would just be ignored and without any retribution. In UMNO, the politics of fear and intimidation are the only weapons they know how to use to silent the critics.
The only way UMNO can restore itself to its former glory is to have radical change of its top leadership sooner than later.
Five years may not be enough time to repair the broken bridge.