Is Najib swaying to ‘psychic’ Daim?

Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz | May 12, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

Umno president Najib Tun Razak’s call for unity within Umno takes off from former finance minister Daim Zainuddin’s interview with Utusan Malaysia.


When former national economic adviser and ex-finance minister Daim Zainuddin said Barisan Nasional (BN) would lose five states in the 2008 general election, everyone laughed at him.

Former Selangor menteri besar Khir Toyo, whom Daim had actually identified to be the MB, were among the many who said the dimunitive Daim was out of touch, a pensioner and a has-been.

Daim was slapped with all kinds of other unpleasant “epitaphs” after his political demise. But when the results of the 12th general election in 2008 came around, people quickly realised how precise Daim had been.

Now when Daim speaks, Malaysia pays attention. Probably if he sneezes, Malaysia catches a cold.

As such, it must have been a welcome relief to hear Daim give out so many complimentary comments about Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his government.

So, when I met the Oracle of Syed Putra recently, I said just that. I told the Oracle that Daim’s compliments on an “overall basis” of Najib in the Utusan Malaysia interview was a much welcome endorsement.

But the Oracle cautioned me to read it carefully. To be precise, the Oracle said to read critically and between the lines.

Subtle criticism

Daim, the Oracle said, can’t be openly critical like me when speaking about a government of which he was once a member. Daim can’t also be openly critical of Najib. So, read between the lines, he reminded.

This interview with the Oracle was different from the others. This interview was replete with conditions and preconditions on Umno.

Umno can win provided this… Umno can win provided that… Umno can win provided the Umno president (Najib) manages firmly and shows more robustness.

Yes, continued the Oracle, the winning is based on so many conditions.

The machinery must be ready.

Najib and Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin must go down to visit the bahagians (divisions) and listen to the Umno members directly.

They shouldn’t trust the ketua bahagians (division chiefs). They tell only the good stories.

Don’t trust the intelligence sources completely.

Don’t listen to opinion polls by independent survey groups.

You pay the piper; you determine the tune to play, the Oracle said.

‘Rotten to the core’
So, when we read Najib’s speech at Umno’s 65th birthday celebrations yesterday (May 11), did we see Daim’s admonitions being heeded?

Umno should be 65 years old if we do not take into account the formation of Umno Baru in 1988. In that year, the original Umno was declared an unlawful party.

The causes for its illegality will forever be debated. The Umno we celebrated on May 11, 2011, is a new Umno with a different character and philosophical underpinnings.

We must not forget the description of Umno (this Umno, his Umno) by its former president and Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He described Umno as being a party “rotten to the core”. By this he must have meant it’s a corrupt party. Corrupt from the top to the bottom.

It’s not I who am saying this – Mahathir said it.

In an off-the-cuff speech at a luncheon of former ministers, he said the party is “corrupt from the top to the bottom”.

Get rid of fakes and factions

Yesterday, in his speech at Umno’s 65th anniversary celebration, Najib implored Umno members to carry out a bigger transformation in order to earn the support of the rakyat.

But the Umno president needs to be reminded that transformation must begin at the core – at the leadership circle.

To start, just get rid of the fakes.

The fake Tengku, for example, whose roots I searched but cannot be traced to any royal families in Pahang.

How on earth did this Achenese ,who was a one-time carpet salesman who was married to a Pahang royal family member, become a Tengku?

If he can become one, everyone else can also become one.

Then work on the factions within Umno. It’s a known fact that factions are tearing apart Perlis, Selangor and Kedah.

I hope the Umno people will ponder over Najib’s ominous exhortations yesterday.

“Kalau kita bersatu, tiada politik puak-puak dalam Umno, kita merupakan parti yang lebih kuat daripada parti-parti lain. Apakah semua (perjuangan) kita sudah selesai? Belum… kenapa masih ada cakap-cakap, masih ada lagi politik puak-puak, apa guna kita sambut ulang tahun 65 tahun kalau kita tidak bersatu?

(If we are united, no factions within Umno, we are a stronger party compared to other parties. Have all our struggles ended? No… so why is there still talk, why is there still factions? What is the use of celebrating 65 years if we are not united?)

This is an excerpt from the writer’s blog posting at sakmongkolak47. The writer is an FMT columnist

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 14 May 2011 - 8:56 am

    Najib obviously want an election ASAP while Mahathir think its should be postphoned. Its also clear Najib want to hear that its possible for him to win and win enough to hold on to power. For all their years of politicking, it appears that the top leaders of UMNO is still unable to predict the outcome or have poor confidence in their mechanics.

    Its why this election is going to be chaotic – we can end up like Libya no doubt about it.

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