The reservations and opposition by UMNO leaders, like the UMNO Deputy President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Vice President Datuk Shafie Apdal and former UMNO Deputy President Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad about the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s role in the two mega scandals in the country – the RM50 billion 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion ‘donation’ in Najib’s personal banking accounts – and by the 14 UMNO Branches in Telok Kemang calling for Najib’s resignation must be given serious consideration.
In fact, the battle between Najib’s 300 UMNO chieftains and the three million UMNO members will be a major factor to determine the fate of Malaysia, whether Malaysia will hurtle headlong to become a rogue and failed state because of breakdown of rule of law, rampant corruption and abuses of power, and the collapse of good governance or whether Malaysia can pick herself up, re-strategise and reunite to strike forward to fulfill our national potential when we were on verge of becoming one of the Asian tigers before the 1997 financial crisis.
I agree with former International Trade Minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz that Malaysia can rise from its current state again as the country has all the factors for success.
The issue before the country is not whether to save UMNO, the Barisan Nasional or any of the Opposition Parties, but whether to save Malaysia.
The recent Merdeka Centre poll in August showed that Najib’s government has for the first time lost the approval of the majority of Malay voters – with only 31 per cent of Malay voters satisfied with the government from the 52 per cent polled in January this year.
The government’s overall approval rating also plummeted to 23 percent, the worst since the polls started in 2012.
As for Chinese voters, only five percent approved of the government compared to 11 percent this January.
If opinion polls are conducted now, with so many detrimental developments in the past two months nationally as well as internationally, public support for the government would have plunged further – to less than 25% for Malay voters or only some 15% to 18% among Malaysians as a whole.
I believe that the placard “Mana RM2.6 billion” (Where is the RM2.6 billion) which opposition MPs displayed in Dewan Rakyat after Najib’s budget speech resonated in the hearts and minds of 30 million Malaysians, even among the three million UMNO members, and a few UMNO/BN Members of Parliament as this the topmost question they want answer from Najib’s 2016 Budget speech.
If the three million UMNO members are given a chance to state their position, I will not be surprised if a majority of the three million UMNO members are highly embarrassed by Najib’s failure to give a full accountability of the two mega scandals afflicting his administration – which had caused the Malay Rulers to issue an unprecedented statement on October 6 calling for an early end to to 1MDB investigations.
The problem is that the three million UMNO members have no voice or rights at all as compared to the 300 UMNO chieftains, as Najib has bought the support of the 300 UMNO chieftains whether at the UMNO Supreme Council or at the UMNO Divisional chief levels.
This is why I say that the battle between Najib’s 300 UMNO chieftains and the three million UMNO members will be a major factor to determine the fate of Malaysia.
(Speech at the “Support and Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang” and “Mana RM2.6 billion?” Kopitiam ceramah in Batu Pahat on Sunday, October 25, 2015)