Trying to scare Dr M with the MACC? YOU MUST BE JOKING, NAJIB!
Raised eyebrows, annoyance, snorts and sniggers. Those were the among
the most common responses to a plan by Umno President and Barisan
Nasional chairman Najib Razak to seek the help of the Malaysian Anti
Corruption Commission to vet the ruling coalition’s candidates for the
forthcoming 13th General Election.
To make it worse, there has been nothing but an ominous silence to this
proposal from the most powerful man in Umno today, Najib's former boss
and ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad, and with good reasons too.
Mahathir's son, Mukhriz, is unlikely to make the grade given the
father’s reported US$ 44 billion in assets and the flight of US$ 200
billion in dirty money last year. In fact, few if any of the top leaders
in Umno would be able to make the grade, with the entire plan already
ridiculed by the public and tagged as an eye-wash to curry favor in a
most childish way with voters.
Trying to scare the Devil or negotiating better exit terms
is Najib trying to do? As far as the general perception goes, Najib
along with Mahathir should to be among the first to be axed given the
former's humongous Scorpene corruption and Altantuya Shaariibuu murder
scandals. Can the 59-year-old Najib really be so fatuous as to believe
that by roping in the MACC, whose own integrity is in doubt, it will
make things right with voters?
Come on, voters are already sick and tired of the Umno-BN's neverending
story of bribery and plundering of the national coffers especially. So
what is Najib after? Is he trying to warn Mahathir and his own deputy,
the also corruption-tainted Muhyiddin Yassin, to back off? Red-hot on
the Umno grapevine is talk that Mahathir and Muhyiddin have struck a
deal to push out Najib before GE13. Is Najib trying to signal that he
won't be giving up so easily and if he has to, he will fight back?
Those who are watching the developments in Umno will know soon enough.
However, given the strength of Mahathir's sinister character and
Najib's weak indecisivness, few believe Najib can do much to scare
Mahathir. That would be like a kitten trying to take on a wolf.
At the most, it might buy the PM and his wife Rosmah Mansor a few more
months in power, allowing them to make a more advantageous and graceful
exit. Instead of relinquishing the premiership before GE13 as Mahathir
and Muhyiddin are said to have demanded, Najib might get to lead Umno-BN
into GE13 before stepping down as Umno president at the party's
internal election due to be held later in 2013.
Mahathir conducted a purge of Umno, BN candidates
is not an easy man to cross and few have survived doing so. His most
successful opponent remains his chief thorn in the flesh - Anwar
Ibrahim. Not Najib. For now until GE13, Mahathir may continue to say
good things about Najib but this can change anytime. Author Barry Wain
did not call Mahathir a maverick for nothing. Mahathir is indeed the
power behind the throne and all eyes are now on the 87-year-old as he
twists and turns to keep his grip on Umno and protect his family and
their enormous wealth.
Upon assuming power in 1981, Mahathir decided, unilaterally, that his
Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah (Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy)
administration would not field undeserving candidates. Mahathir was
judge, jury, and hangman in this case. No MACC or ACA for him! The
candidates knew it had nothing to do with their being 'undeserving' but
that this was his way of purging BN of candidates put up by his
predecessors and bringing in his own faction members.
Many Umno and BN members who held party posts were not fielded as
candidates in the General Election (GE) simply because they weren’t with
him or he simply didn’t like their faces. To add insult to injury, they
weren’t compensated with other government posts either because his aim
was to finish them off politically and bury them for good. Yet, his
losing candidates in party elections were not only fielded as GE
candidates but were rewarded with other government positions when they
lost at the party and GE levels.
Ruthless, mean, vicious, vindictive - these are all words used to
describe Mahathir, and another strongman politician in Malaysia - Taib
Mahmud of Sarawak.
Najib is no better than this duo. He and Rosmah are just as
controversial and unpopular. But for his own self-preservation, Najib
should know why he must get Mahathir and Company out of the 13th GE.
Mahathir’s regime was anything but clean, efficient and trustworthy as
evident in, among others, Barry Wain’s book, “Malaysian Maverick –
Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times.” According Wain's research, during
Mahathir's administration US$ 100billion was lost from the Malaysian
Mahathir stabbed Hussein Onn in the back and betrayed Razak
Malaysia's third prime minister Hussein Onn, who was also Najib’s
uncle, had not selected Mahathir as his Deputy Prime Minister, Malaysia
would have had a different history. Hussein erroneously thought that
since Mahathir was a lone ranger in politics and did not have any
grassroots support, he would not be a challenge to him. Mahathir,
however, being the wily Keralan that he was, managed to outmaneuver
Hussein out of office in what’s seen today as virtually a coup d’etat.
This was how Mahathir repaid Abdul Razak, Najib’s father and Hussein’s
brother-in-law, who brought him back to Umno after having being sacked
by Tunku Abdul Rahman for being one of the three arch villains behind
the May 13 race riots. The other two arch villains were Razak himself
and then Selangor Menteri Besar Harun Idris who prevailed on the former
to re-admit Mahathir into Umno.
The issue that Mahathir used against Hussein was the allegation that the
latter’s wife was virtually running Petronas from her house. The Dap
mysteriously received, now believed to be from Mahathir, documents in
the post on the allegation and on Exxon allegedly stealing Malaysian oil
on the high seas unknown to Petronas. Then Dap secretary-general Lim
Kit Siang ended up in Court as a result of the documents as Exxon fought
back with a legal suit.
The story, as it goes further, is that Mahathir had Hussein’s office
completely cleared out when the Prime Minister was subsequently in
London for medical attention.
He also reportedly spread rumours, in hinting at the allegations on
Petronas/Exxon, that Hussein had a “terrible heart condition” and would
be stepping down as Prime Minister upon his return “for health reasons”.
Mahathir’s regime was a time of great rumour-mongering and all of which
subsequently turned out to be true since they originated from the man
It was Dap, albeit inadvertently, who helped put Mahathir in the Prime Minister’s chair.
Now, Najib has the opportunity to settle scores on behalf of Hussein,
his father and Tunku and embark on a real purge of Umno and BN members
he shouldn’t field as candidates. But will he rise to the occassion or
is the latest MACC ploy just to negotiate better exit terms for himself
If Najib had the guts ...
if Najib could summon up the courage to launch a fight-back, then his
primary purpose of bringing in MACC would be to eliminate those who are
not in his camp.
This would include Muhyiddin, who is in cahoots with Mahathir to
undermine him. However, MACC or no MACC, it would be difficult for Najib
to drop Muhyiddin and get away with it. He would need a more complex
plot and there is no enough time to get one going. However, Najib can
get poetic justice by fielding only Muhyiddin from the latter’s and
It would not be a good idea for Najib to pack the list of BN candidates
with only his people. He should include some from the Tunku, Hussein,
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Musa Hitam and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah camps as
well. This is the time for them to make a comeback and help neutralise
Mahathir who never really had any grassroots support in Umno.
Mahathir survived by first pitting Musa Hitam and Tengku Razaleigh
against each other not once but twice. He himself was returned
unopposed. This is a feat he stage-managed. If either Musa or Razaleigh
had taken on Mahathir for the Umno Presidency then, they could have
Mahathir used everyone and betrayed them
having used Musa to neutralize Razaleigh – hinting that Razaleigh won’t
be Deputy Prime Minister if he won -- subsequently spread rumours that
the Mahathir-Musa 2M Administration would henceforth be the Mahathir
Mohamad 2M Administration. Musa resigned and played into Mahathir’s
Mahathir then brought in veteran Ghaffar Baba, a strong grassroots man
who had the backing of Malay teachers who then formed the bulk of the
Umno membership, as his Deputy Prime Minister. It was Ghaffar who helped
to pull in votes for Mahathir as Umno president in the face of a
combined assault by Razaleigh and Musa for the Presidency and Deputy
Presidency. Even then Mahathir would not have made it had he not
received the backing of votes from 30 illegal branches created by him.
As history has recorded, Mahathir used Anwar Ibrahim to 'kill' Ghaffar
Baba. Subsequently, he had Anwar incarcerated on trumped-up sodomy
charges because the latter realised that the former was a grave danger
to Umno, the Malays and the country.
Mahathir’s past will catch up with him in the present to haunt his
future. It should be evident when Najib announces the list of Umno and
BN candidates for the 13th GE and the Mahathir-Muhyiddin camps find they have been left out in the cold.
Even if Najib disappoints, even if he chickens out and submits to the
older man's will in exchange for more largesse, time has is running out.
And it's not just for Mahathir but for the bad brand name that Umno has
become thanks to selfish leaders who through the decades placed their
vested interests way ahead of the party's.
It’s highly unlikely that anyone dropped from the Mahathir and Muhyiddin
camps would be fielded by Pakatan Rakyat, led by Opposition Leader
Anwar Ibrahim. If at all, Pakatan should only consider accepting
candidates from the Tunku, Hussein, Badawi, Musa Hitam, Razaleigh and
Najib camps who had expected to be fielded by BN but were not. The doors
are fast closing even on this group. Brimming with young talent,
Pakatan might not have space!