‘Muhyiddin the next PM’ posters: Umno warlords give Najib DUE WARNING

Maria Begum
'Muhyiddin the next PM' posters: Umno warlords give Najib DUE WARNING
It’s finally out in the open. The tussle between Prime Minister Najib Razak ad his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin is gaining steam as the country hurtles towards its 13th general election in which the ruling BN coalition is expected to lose its 55-year hold on the federal government.
“I am not surprised at the latest developments. There have been rumblings of the rivalry for a long while now. Muhyiddin’s men can smell blood and they want to ensure he gets his turn at the PM’s chair while they get their share of the goodies accordingly,” PKR vice president and Johor chief Chua Jui Meng told Malaysia Chronicle.
“They blame Najib for delaying the general election until now when it is obvious BN has lost its edge and all of them will have to struggle and fight on the ground to defend their seats.”
Jui Meng was responding to news reports of mysterious posters appearing in many strategic parts of Johor, which is Muhyiddin’s homestate, agitating for the Pagoh MP to replace Najib as Umno president and consequently prime minister.
The poster shows Muhyiddin with Malaysian flag in the background and the wording ‘Kami Mahu Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin Sebagai PM Sebelum PRU 13′ (We want Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as Prime Minister before the 13th general election) as well as ‘Selamatkan Barisan Nasional’ (Save the BN).

Master of procrastination, worsening the BN’s chances
Images of the posters, which bear the BN and Umno logos and also carry the words ‘publication of Johor BN’, have been widely spread on Facebook. Malay youths distributing the posters at busy areas and shopping malls in the Johor town centers like Skudai have also been spotted. The posters first began appearing in noticeable quantity on Merdeka Day last Friday.
Perhaps it is coincidental but the indecisive Najib surprised the nation on Sunday when he gave his strongest hint yet that GE13 would be in November, the 11th month in the calendar. 11 is his favorite number.
Umno watchers do not think it was a voluntary comment. They believe the 58-year-old Najib finally gave in to pressure from party mates to hold the polls this year. Among these are Muhyiddin, who had openly pushed for a September election.
Former premier Mahathir Mohamad too had called for GE to be held by this year, but those close to Najib and his influential wife Rosmah Mansor have privately said the first couple are more in favor of holding the vote next year after the effects of the Budget 2013 have kicked in.
“It is an open secret many of the top Umno warlords are fed up of the procrastination. They believe Najib worsened the BN’s chances by allowing things to drag on. It gave the Pakatan the chance to raise more issues against them and many of the expose’s from PKR, DAP and DAP hit bulls-eye,” said Jui Meng.
“The Muhyiddin posters are an unmistakable message to Najib. That he better stop trying to be a maverick and listen to the majority wishes of the Umno warlords or they will openly revolt against him. They may even throw him out before GE13, that is what they are telling him. The same thing happened to Badawi and Mahathir was behind it. Mahathir is now keeping quiet but chances are Muhyiddin’s camp would not have acted without the old man’s OK. Mahathir is still powerful in the Umno top circles because of his money.”
Exasperated warlords might even dump Najib before GE13
Jui Meng did not discount the possibility that Najib’s rivals in Umno might even try to remove him before calling for GE13.
However, it was more likely that Najib would be allowed to carry the torch for Umno and BN at the crucial elections where the Pakatan are now favored to win if there is “no cheating at the ballot boxes”.
“If BN loses, Najib would be sacked or forced to quit immediately. If BN clings on, he would be given a bit more time but still have to step down at the Umno party elections which must be held by October 2013. Whichever the outcome, Najib’s turn as Umno president and prime minister is over. In the past 4 years, all he has shown is he cannot do the job, sorry to say,” said Jui Meng.
Johor was one of the few states that the Pakatan Rakyat led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim failed to make a mark on during the 2008 election. However, all bets are off in the next GE widely expected to be held in November, with the Pakatan expected to sweep the non-Malay dominated areas plus several core Malay seats.
So positive has the feedback from the Johor ground been that PAS has decided to deploy its vice president Salahudin Ayob to contest a seat there. If Salahudin and Pakatan wins the state, Salahudin is expected to be named the Pakatan’s Mentri Besar or Chief Minister.

Not us! says Umno Johor: Really?
Meanwhile, Johor Umno has denied that the posters were published by the party and has lodged a police report over the matter. They claimed the posters were a desperate tactic of the Opposition’s aimed at causing a rift between the Umno leaders.
“It is a provocation by quarters attempting to undermine the unity of Johor Umno and BN, which are now focusing on the preparation of the party machinery.“It is unacceptable to link Johor BN as the party responsible for the publication of the posters,” Johor Umno Youth chief Zulkurnain Kamisan was reported as saying in the media.
“To me, this is a strategy of desperate people who want Johor Umno and BN to quarrel and break apart. However it will not at all dampen Johor Umno and BN’s spirit and determination.”

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