Thursday, March 26, 2009

Is Khairy's victory an indication that majority in UMNO do not support Najib?

The defeat of Mukriz Mahathir was unexpected...but is it also indicative of the support that Mohd Najib Razak really has within UMNO...

I do not believe that Khairy won because the members support him - but rather he won because many of the members are not at all happy with Mohd Najib Razak, and they showed it by supporting Khairy

Of course the money/gifts that members received could have also been a factor - and this is based on the fact that UMNO Disciplinary committee did find Khairy 'GUILTY'...Mukriz was maybe just trying to rely on his goodness, his values, his personality, etc...
What are some of the political implications of Khairy’s improbable victory?

The first and most immediate implication has to do with Najib’s power and influence within Umno. If the ‘signal’ which was sent by Najib was not sufficient to ‘kill off’ Khairy’s chances to become the next Umno Youth chief, one has to wonder if the suspension of Mohd Ali Rustam is sufficient to pave the way for Muhyiddin Yassin to win the post of Umno deputy president and hence become the next DPM of Malaysia. We will find out within the next 12 hours. - Malaysiakini, 26/3/2009,
How Khairy managed the impossible

With regard to nominations, it was Mukriz Mahathir (74 nominations), Mohd Khir Toyo (62 nominations) and Khairy Jamaluddin (53 nominations)

But when it came to votes, it was the reverse with Mukriz Mahathir receiving the least of the votes, Khairy Jamaluddin polled 304 votes, enough to defeat Khir (252 votes) and Mukhriz (232 votes).

Mukriz Mahathir can reasonably be said to have been the choice of Mohd Najib Razak, and his cousin Hishammuddin Hussein, and in fact his allegiance started being expressed immediately after GE2008...

Umno Youth executive committee member Mukhriz Mahathir said he would support deputy president Najib Abdul Razak should he challenge Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for the party presidency. - Malaysiakini, 1/4/2008, Mukhriz backs Najib as PM

Asked if he would contest the Umno Youth chief’s post, he said this will depend on the decision of incumbent Hishammuddin Hussein.

mahathir khir toyo kmu forum 010408 03“I’ve not made that decision. Of course, I will have to consult my boss (Hishammuddin) to decide and announce where he will go next.”
- Malaysiakini, 1/4/2008, Mukhriz backs Najib as PM


His father and former Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, who also now seems to be supporting Najib for PM (but conditionally)...and Muhyiddin for DPM (or Deputy President of UMNO).
“One of the candidates couldn’t write in English, he couldn’t speak English and therefore (that was why) he did something wrong in Australia because he could not understand English. My choice is Muhyiddin (Yassin).”

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad made this sarcasm-tinged comments when asked by a reporter as to who he would endorse as the country’s new number 2 once current Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak takes over the country....“It is important for the party that only personalities 'beyond any suspicion' are in the leadership line-up,” he told a press conference at his KLCC office this afternoon.

He said it was important for Umno members to be aware that Umno had already been rejected by the people as reflected in its poor performance in the March 8 polls last year.

mahathir and rais yatim pc 190309 01“This is caused by widespread public perception that Umno is a party with corrupt leadership and therefore members must elect clean leaders in the party polls next week in order to restore public confidence in the party.

And for him, Muhd Taib who was arrested in 1996 for carrying RM2.4 million in cash in Australia is seen by the public as a corrupt person and does not exactly fit in the ‘clean character’ bill. - Malaysiakini, 19/3/2009, Dr M endorses Muhyiddin as DPM

Mahathir certainly does not support the corrupt - and let us not forget that Khairy was found 'guilty' - but was left off with only a warning.
Meanwhile, former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo has been cleared of all charges while Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin was found guilty but let off with a warning. - New Straits Times, 17/3/2009, Ali Rustam out of Umno deputy presidency contest
Was the victory of Khairy by reason of support for Khairy - or was it really an anti-Najib vote? I believe that it is the latter, taking into consideration the nominations that he got.

The 'barring' of Mohd Ali Rustam from contesting could have been the 'last straw' for some - a 'wake-up call' that Najib must be stopped, and if not 'checked'.

Muhyiddin Yassin, who many believed was the preferred choice of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to be the Deputy Prime Minister - was certainly not a 'close pal' of Mohd Najib Razak.

But alas, he fumbled when he chose not to offer himself as a candidate for Presidency - settled to contest for just the Deputy Presidency.

Over the months, Muhyiddin has become more and more pathetic. He has been voicing support for Najib - and how he will make a good he will be a 'loyal follower' and support Najib's plans and vision....blah..blah. Unfortunately, Najib has been silent..

Some say that Muhyiddin should have been like Shahrizat Abdul Jalil - and gone ahead to offer himself as the Presidential candidate. But then, not a single division nominated him as a candidate for the post of President...

At the end of the day, in fact the members nominated 2 other persons to challenge him for even the post of Deputy President - and then the Disciplinary Committee, a few days before election, barred one from contesting.

So, his only challenge is now with a former Selangor MB, who, I believe, is also not an MP now, i.e. Mohd Taib (a.k.a. Mike Tyson..)...

Mohd Ali Rustam (now 'barred' from contesting) would have been a more real challenge.

If Muhyiddin wins with a small majority or if he loses, then maybe it would be an indication of what people feel about Najib (or maybe the race to monitor is the vice-president race, where Najib's cousin and former UMNO Youth Chief, Hishammuddin Hussein Onn, is contesting..)

Muhyiddin had his window of opportunity...and he missed it. Now, even if he wins, his political future may not be that bright...
"I have been able to cooperate all along. He knows my style, and I know his. If you ask me, we can cooperate. People say we complement each other.

"No leaders are alike but the ambition and spirit of struggle are one. That's important.

"The direction is the same, the vision is the same, the style different. Datuk Seri Najib is more handsome than I, he is younger than I. It's okay. There is no problem."
Muhyiddin said he hoped all quarters would not be influenced by claims that it was unnecessary for Umno to elect someone outspoken to a post below that of party president.

"Of importance is establishing a strong leadership.

"Two strong heads are better than one strong head or 10 heads because the problems we face are complex.

"It is one thing to handle political problems, it is another to handle economic problems.

"The economic issue will grow into a critical issue and this can add or reduce our political dividends.

"If we are not prudent in managing the economy we will lose out in terms of dividends. We need wisdom in managing the economy in a recession."

When asked what he would do first if he wins the Umno deputy president contest, Muhyiddin said: "Firstly, God willing if I win, I have to realise that I am not the No. 1, that I am the No. 2.

"I have always looked back at the history of Umno, that when you are No. 2 you have to act as the No. 2 and not as the No. 1. That is dangerous.

"When people ask about the vision, I say it is not my vision. It is his vision which I am aiding. The No. 2 man must behave as the No. 2, feel as the No. 2 and speak as the No. 2. I am very aware of the fact and I have to behave."

He said party members and the people would observe whether the No. 1 and No. 2 could work together and there would be various pro and contra views and, as such if elected, he would play any role given to him by the No. 1.- New Straits Times, 21/3/2009,
Muhyiddin: Najib and I complement each other

At the end of the day, we will really never know whether the membership of UMNO supports Najib Razak as President - as they never had the chance to vote for him, and the present quota system when it comes to nominations makes it very unlikely for there to be any contest when it comes to the post of President of UMNO...

The victory of Khairy indicates that Najib, who may have had support before, has now lost it...

Hence, again I reiterate that when Abdullah Ahmad Badawi resigns - it will be important to really be sure that Mohd Najib Razak has the support of the majority in the Dewan Rakyat. We cannot assume that all BN MPs...or all UMNO MPs want Najib to be the next Prime Minister.

Maybe, the majority in BN (UMNO) may want Khairy Jamaluddin to be the next Prime Minister...or maybe even Muhyiddin to be the Prime Minister...

Then, Najib, as President of UMNO, can really focus his attention in re-building UMNO and its image in preparation for the next General Elections which may end the UMNO led-BN rule of Malaysia.

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