Sunday, April 12, 2015

Mahathir - Najib Faceoff - what's the end ?

1. Without doubt, Tun Mahathir has his reasons why he feels Najib should go. Even before the 1MDB issue, he was already saying that Najib is weak and should go. Recently, he has given a host of reasons, surprisingly including the Altantuya issue which is often harped on by PKR.

2. Najib has replied on national TV that he is answerable to the people and to UMNO and not to any one individual. The country practices democracy and UMNO is not a party without its checks and balances. Rightly or wrongly, Many UMNO leaders see that there is greater role for UMNO leaders other than the President since Tun Abdullah's time which is continued in Datuk Seri Najib's tenure.

3. Najib clarified on national TV that Mahathir wanted BR1M to be scrapped and the crooked bridge to be built. People no longer see the need for a crooked bridge and BR1M is seen as direct "subsidy".

4. The move to oust Tun Abdullah out of power by Tun Mahathir has left BN weak with losing 5 states - where Penang and Perak also fell into the hands of PKR.  It was during Najib's time that Perak was wrestled back to BN. BN and UMNO leaders recognise this.

5. It was also during the last elections that Najib managed to secure more UMNO seats than  the previous elections.  Najib had to deal with a BN that was already weakened by the infighting between   Mahathir and Abdullah that led to even Mahathir quitting from UMNO.

6. Today UMNO leaders are weary of further infighting and they are more concerned with strengthening UMNO, and going back to focus on welfare of the Malays in particular. They want to relook at many policies that have been put in place before and "tweek" them where necessary. Times have changed and hence, the approach too must change.

7. Najib's style of leadership does not require him to hog the headlines all the time and to have the say in all things. He seems quite prepared to trust his respective ministers to carry out their duties which settles in we'll with them. He is probably the first Prime Minister who does not monopolise the front headlines!

8.  People are also beginning to realise that Najib is not as spineless as he was painted out to be. He has made decisions which are politically dangerous for him such as abolishing the ISA  and introducing the vision of 1Malaysia.

9. Sure, 1MDB is a matter that must be addressed carefully so that nothing is amiss. The AG, police, PAC and others have been tasked to delve into the matter. As expected in any democracy, not everyone is happy with the measures taken. One has to wait to see if there is any scandal involved or it was just another commercial transaction gone awry or on its track. Those responsible, it was promised, will be held accountable.

10. If BN wants to serve the people well, it has to strengthen itself and rid itself of internal strife and conflicts. It has to stay united.

11. Whatever Tun Mahathir's good intentions, I doubt that UMNO wants to set a precedent of a "coup of sorts" by previous UMNO Presidents. Then, no UMNO President post Mahathir is safe.

Peace !

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