Following the March elections and the Permatang Pauh by-elections, the BN coalition has been buffeted by winds akin to a major hurricane that wreaks havoc and great damage.
Perhaps the loss was too traumatic as only 4 years earlier, the BN was returned with the greatest majority and the opposition was almost wiped out.
This article in malaysiakini shows how fragile is the cement that is keeping UMNO together when Penang UMNO backs Ahmad, Snubs Pak Lah . A year ago such an incident would be unheard of.
I wonder if Ahmad Ismail has adopted such a hard line as he wants to antagonise the Chinese or just to increase the pressure on the PM to resign.
It is quite possible that the top leadership of UMNO has lost the confidence of UMNO members at the grass roots level.
There have been calls for AAB to quit from many quarters, even UMNO members. The party has various mechanisms in place to reduce contests for the top leadership and in a party crisis, members will break away more readily and voice their discontent.
Of course this is the worst time for the party as morale is weak and any wrong moves could result in a major UMNO schism. If democratic principles had been religiously followed and money politics eradicated, UMNO would not be in this predicament now.