Muhyiddin will wait …. for now

By Hussein Hamid

UMNO is a Party disunited by defeat. Uneasy sits the crown on Najib’s head because he knows that Muhyiddin is not only a possible leadership alternative but Muhyiddin is the Man Who would be King. How long will Muhyiddin wait? Unlike previous Deputy Prime Ministers who were appointed by the Prime Minsters and thus owe an allegiance of sorts to the man who put him there – we know that Najib did not choose Muhyiddin as his Deputy. Muhyiddin appointed himself to the number two position. And wisely he sees leading UMNO and Barisan in the present political climate as too big a challenge for him to take on. And so he waits.

There has been a realignment of loyalties and factionalism within UMNO as the rank and file ‘allow’ themself to be converted to either the Najib or Muyiddin camps. The fact that there are two strong leadership contenders within UMNO should be indicative of a healthy check and balances situation much sought in the pursuit of good governance in any organization – but not so UMNO. The Politics of greed and nepotism requires patronage and loyalty to be bought not earned. The catch phrase for any UMNO gatherings of any number of more then one is “ADA PROJEK?” It requires a sharing of the spoils of politics at all levels from Cawangan to National level and that would be hard to do when resources are limited and Pakatan Rakyat are looking over your shoulder at everything that you do. In a perverse way, this need could prove the undoing of UMNO as the Nation moves towards the next GE on a wave of accountability, responsibility and transparency in all things Malaysian – especially Politics and Government.

The fact that UMNO now sees a need to allow two contenders for its Presidency shows, to those familiar with UMNO’s history, how desperate UMNO has become. Just as Pak Lah’s demise was decided at the last General election when Barisan lost four States to the Opposition, so was Najib’s fate sealed with the exposure of Razak’s Baginda’s RM500 million commission and the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

So why is he still there?

Again let us look at UMNO’s past. The transfer of power from Tunku to Tun Razak was over a period of time. That of Mahathir to Pak Lah also done over time. UMNO makes haste slowly. Even as we talk the ‘sahabats’ of Najib are already in discussions with the ‘sahabats’ of Muhyiddin to prepare for what is to come in the near future. Najib’s may come and Najib’s may go but they need still need to live.

Najib does not need to make a major mistake to lose his leadership of UMNO. He has already made the major mistakes! In fact he has made many major mistakes – Perak, MACC, his tenure in Mindef is filled with too many dubious tender awarded to cronies – Muhyiddin already has his work all cut up for him – he is giving Najib enough rope and Najib is obliging by hanging himself with it.

Will UMNO’s MP and its and rank & file come to their senses, submerge their differences and back only Najib? The longer that Muhyiddin remains as Deputy Prime Minister the less chance there is of that happening. And the longer this UMNO disunity continues, the harder it is for Najib to climb back on to the pedestal that Pak Lah and then Mahathir put him on.

Muhyiddin has shown has strengthen his claim to the throne by his ability to organized and lead in the recent Manik Urai by-election where PAS won with a majority of just 65 votes down from a majority of 1,352 in the 2008 general and state elections. Again the irony of it all. A win for Najib engineered by Muhyiddin is also another nail in Najib’s coffin.

Muhyiddin is also protected, for the time being, by the lack of an obvious leadership alternative within UMNO – Hishamuddin, cousin to the incumbent, will need time to be of any consequence in this race. So for the time being, Muhyiddin displays no interest in taking over from Najib now – at least on this side of the next General Election.

So for UMNO the die is cast – events have passed a point of no return. Najib is Prime Minsiter for now. Muhyiddin will take the mantle when he thinks fit.

Pakatan Rakyat, by contrast, is a coalition united by victory achieved in the last General Election. The people are worried about the economic down turn. Their jobs. What will the future hold for them and their families? They do not want the excitement of an Anwar versus Ghaffar Baba, A Pak Lah versus Mahathir situation. They want caution, stability and predictability in the leadership of Pakatan Rakyat. Do not let them down.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 18 August 2009 - 9:47 am

    The thing about Muhiyiddin is that he is UMNO traditionalist in reality. He may speak decent English but this is a man that believes in much of UMNO ways – going ultra, using state assets for party or any other means, UMNO is Malay and Malay is UMNO etc.. The man has the audacity to imply he knows better and is better than Nik Aziz as an Islamist – just like the Sultan think that he knows better than the Ulamas.. As medievally traditionally as it comes..

    Najib at least is capable of some change, but not Muhiyiddin – he is incapable of seeing the wrongs with what UMNO does – he think its just execution problems.

    And as a traditionalist, he will take a shot at top job if he has a shot. And this guy is a decent gambler.. Look at how he avoided the pitfalls of UMNO general assembly by not being as dirty as the other contendor, needed Najib to back him, and came out winning..His attack on Badawi that toppled him was a pretty precise bet.. This is not a man without skills BUT as a traditionalist its limited by his tradition, by his lack of real knowledge/awareness NOT intelligence and instinct. This guy got good instinct but bad foundation and he does not know it..

  2. #2 by SpeakUp on Tuesday, 18 August 2009 - 10:37 am

    I like this about BN political parties. Always love camping one. MCA always has Team A and Team B, UMNO of late has been Team PM and Team DPM, MIC … well some try to do camping but usually kena from that big ogre la. Interesting people in BN.

  3. #3 by GreenBug on Tuesday, 18 August 2009 - 12:04 pm

    Good analysis. If Muhyiddin could make the move on Pak Lah, what is to stop his ambition and make a move on Najib even after the coming Permatang Pasir by-election. Afterall, its Zahid Hamidi running the by-election and not Muhyiddin, and he could pile the blame on Najib. Already rumors are abound that Muhyiddin is coordinating the actions at Utusan which has badly tarnished the Pm’s 1Malaysia momentum….

  4. #4 by BoycottLocalPapers on Tuesday, 18 August 2009 - 10:29 pm

    When Najib in trouble later, Muhyiddin would do the same to Najib what he did to Abdullah Badawi.

  5. #5 by monabeanz on Wednesday, 19 August 2009 - 9:40 pm

    Saya seorang pelajar yang tinggal di tmn tasik titiwangsa, kebelakangan ini, kawasan tinggal saya datang kontraktor menimbus sampah dan tanah dari tempat lain ke kawasan kampung kami selama 4 bulan secara haram. Setiap hari datang lebih dari 50 hingga 100 buah lori masuk ke dalam kampung kami. Aktivity ini menyebabkan masalah pencemaran, kerosakan jalan, banjir dan ia juga bahaya kepada SRK Setapak, Jalan Air Molek, KL kerana pelajar menggunakan jalan tersebut sebagai jalan utama. Penduduk kami telah banyak kali melaporkan kes ini kepada DBKL, tetapi pihak berkuasa juga tidak melaksanakan tugas. Pemberita dari The Star dan Sin Chew Jit Po juga pernah melaporkan melalui akhbar 13/08/09 tetapi pihak kontraktor juga tidak menghiraukan . Bukan ini sahaja, kontraktor bertindak macam samseng tersebut juga memberi gugutan matian melalui sms(private number) kepada penduduk yang membuat laporan dan menyatakan bahawa mereka akan melakukan aktivity tersebut dengan lebih ganas. Walaupun pihak kontraktor memberitahu bahawa mereka mendapat kelulusan dari pihak DBKL dan tuan bagi tanah berkenaan, tetapi sampai sekarang, pihak kontraktor juga gagal mengeluarkan lulusan itu. Pada 12/08/09 saya dan penduduk kampung telah membuat laporan di balai polis Setapak kerana tidak puas hati terhadap pihak kontraktor dan pihak berkenaan kerana gagal menyelesaikan masalah kita .Kami berasa sangat risau bahawa kawasan perumahan kami akan dibanjiri, sebab rumah kami di kawasan yang rendah. Jadi kami berharap yang berhormat Uncle Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader dapat datang ke kawasan kita untuk memberi bantuan kepada kita secepat mungkin. Ribuan terima kasih.

  6. #6 by monabeanz on Wednesday, 19 August 2009 - 10:04 pm

    the contactor is threatenng us n tell us tat he is kongsi gelap… i really dunno wat to do… hopefully Uncle Lim will contact us a.s.a.p through email, i will give u more details info once u contact me.. it is urgent… thx u very much…

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