The scene at the PWTC today is obvious - the loud, boisterous campaigners have disappeared, parking is much easier, the crowd has become thinner, the stall holders have lowered the prices of their goods, at the press centre the number of reporters has dropped and certainly the attention has shifted elsewhere. The excitement is over now that the polls have been concluded.
The analysts are busy compiling the statistics to digest which winners garnered the best support. Muhyiddin and Shahrizat with over 60 per cent of the votes certainly proved themselves convincingly. The losers, especially the defeated Mentris Besar, must be licking their wounds and wondering where they had gone wrong, even if it was obvious in some cases. A few overstayed in their positions, a few over-rated themselves, a few were regarded as corrupt and some were just seen as incompetent.
But the good news in Umno is that Muhyiddin is regarded as the choice of Najib Tun Razak, even if the latter said nothing. They make a good pair with their strong background in economics. The victory of Mr Clean - Mustaph Mohamad, and getting the highest votes for the supreme council seat augurs well for Umno. Although he keeps a low profile, he gets his work done and is well regarded for being a fair person. As Higher Education Minister, he initiated the move to apppoint many non-Malays to senior positions in universiites.
Najib's next move would be to name a new Cabinet. It is likely he would only do so after the three by-elections. Several big names including those appointed by his predecessor would be dropped, particularly those who lost in the party polls. There is talk that he may break new ground - there is nothing to stop him from excluding a few of the winners. Some of the supreme council winners have tainted reputation even if they were voted in. Obvously, Najib cannot detach himself from the public sentiments in his assessment. Accomodating them, or worse, rewarding them may cause bigger damage to Umno and the Barisan Nasional.
The question is whether he may want to appoint professionals and technocrats, who are not in politics, to some portfolios that need expertise that politicians do not have. There will be plenty of lobbying over the coming days and many would have done so, even before the polls, but Najib realises that his new line up would be crucial for the survival of the party. Failure is not an option, that's for sure.