Malaysia Dateline

Najib’s return and Muhyiddin’s sad ending

Zahid Hamidi’s latest Facebook posting on their readiness for GE15 is a crystal clear indication that Zahid Hamidi and Najib Razak are likely to have reached a deal for Najib’s return as Umno President. The optics is clear.

The strength of Najib’s base within Umno’s culture and structure of patronage is still very much uncontestable as pointed out by Liew Chin Tong. Najib’s cash-is-King philosophy is still very much alive and kicking, which explains Zahid’s subservience to the point of relinquishing the top seat in Umno.

The Umno grassroots and party machinery have been preparing for snap polls, and the clarion call to war is loud and clear. This would mean that Najib will be the Prime Minister if Umno and whoever they choose to work with were to achieve parliamentary majority with a new slate.

It must be pointed out that prospective and perhaps even imposed low electoral turn out, due to COVID19 as well as the political-fatigue-induced electoral apathy is a natural advantage for Umno.

Umno is posturing clearly- albeit not saying it- that it doesn’t need nor want Bersatu as an electoral coalition partner. The overlap in interests and seats are blatant, and the raison d’etre of Bersatu was to be the direct contender of Umno in all Umno seats.

Umno and Muhyiddin’s Bersatu’s marriage of inconvenience was always, and will become increasingly untenable. What more with Muhyddin’s minority Prime Ministership that leaves only crumbs for Umno in the former’s grand scheme of things, the anger and resentment of Umno leaders have clearly reached boiling point.

This is coupled by Muhyiddin’s reluctance to expedite the erasure of both Zahid and Najib’s criminal prosecutions. Not because of Muhyddin’s love and adherence to justice, but the expediency of being able to keep them held at ransom.

Muhyddin on the other hand has his hands full with his own crises,with his own MPs, ministers scheming and plotting beneath the undercurrents, making plays to unseat Muhyiddin with anyone and everyone.

There is a sizeable representation of guilty conscience and anger among the Bersatu MPs who are stuck between a rock (following ‘party’ orders) and a hard place (sticking to Bersatu’s founding principles of killing off Umno and sending Najib and Zahid to jail for their crimes). It would be no surprise that Muhyiddin will have an exodus of MPs aligned to him re-pledging allegiance to Tun Mahathir like Shahruddin Salleh.

Umno will have no problems with ‘going for broke’ in its quest to return to absolute power without having to play second fiddle to Muhyiddin’s Bersatu. Furthermore, with all this volatility, Muhyiddin will likely set aside his hesitation in moving against Najib and Zahid with all the readily available materials through the courts.

Both Umno and Muhyddin’s Bersatu are on the verge of a big showdown for their own survival. It would be no surprise to see Umno MPs withdrawing support to trigger snap polls to clean the slate.

All of this whilst Malaysia and Malaysians are entering our deepest and darkest economic doldrum we’ve ever seen as a nation due to COVID19.

——————

Writer is DAPSY National Chief and Perak State Assembly Person for Pasir Pinji.