If the Prime Minister, (Datuk Seri) Mohd Najib Abdul Razak resigns or is replaced, who is the most suitable and most likely to succeed him and what will happen to Malaysian politics?
These are among the many questions that have to be asked and answered.
But before that we will have to determine whether he survives the assault on him from within and outside Umno.
To begin with, doing away with Mohd Najib is not going to be easy. Certainly not as easy as forcing out (Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2009.
In the wider context, we Malaysians could very well be approaching the hell gate of weak government. Both the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) have their own sets of issues to be able to offer a credible choice at the polls.
For now, the more likely scenario is Mohd Najib survives as Prime Minister, Umno President and BN Chairman but the BN could lose the next general election. The redrawing of election boundaries could be to the advantage of the BN in the rural areas but may no be enough to offset voters’ rebellion.
To help us find answers to the above questions, let us consider the following:
1. Mohd Najib isn’t Abdullah. Showing Pak Lah the door in 2009 was a lot easier. He did not have as many apple polishers and jemuan (to borrow Mohd Najib’s own words when opening Kedah Umno Convention on March 14) as the incumbent.
2. Pak Lah did not have an ambitious wife. He had health issues. His did not have a support base as strong as Mohd Najib. Umno divisional, state and federal leaders were then less hypocritical and there was still some “perjuangan” (struggle) left.
3. Mohd Najib might not have played a key role in forcing Pak Lah to resign. But he must have learned a few lessons to avoid Pak Lah’s pitfalls. Mohd Najib has an ambitious determined wife who would want him to stay at all costs. On the other hand, Pak Lah’s wife, (Tun) Jeanne, is not ambitious woman and it was said that she urged him to resign.
4. Pak Lah did not have too many people depending on him for favours – political, business and professional. Members of his kitchen cabinet numbered less than 10. Mohd Najib has hundreds. He built his influenced by dispensing favours to as many people as possible. He runs the biggest Prime Minister’s Office in history and controls the party chiefs with the gifts of golden eggs (to borrow the expression of the Umno Secretary General Tenkgu aka Teuku Adnan Mansor) and surrounded himself with quasi government agencies which are not under the control of the Public Services Department.
5. He may not be liked and loved by Dr Mahathir, Umno veterans and bloggers, but he is loved by the upper echelon of the business community. The Bumiputera businessmen get contracts and blessings from him. The Chinese also get contracts from the government while at the same time they take advantage of marketplace uncertainties to buy back their shares, doubles their profits and transfer their wealth abroad. The Indian tycoons too benefited by being close to him and his household. They enjoy preferential loans and plump business deals, contracts and concessions. One of them – T. Ananda Krishnan – went a step further by providing loans to the government to bail out the ailing 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
6. Assuming that there is a hidden widespread dissatisfaction among Umno leaders and this would soon boil over and topples Mohd Najib, who would then take over?
7. (Tan Sri) Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin is the natural choice. He is the Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Umno President.
8. For months the expectation has been that he will lead the charge. But he has been blowing hot and cold, and many observers think that he would not mount an open challenge. He has been speaking out against 1MDB but unless he states his stand openly, Umno is not likely to rally behind him to shoo Mohd Najib away from Putrajaya. Like the legendary Jebat he risks being done in by Mohd Najib’s "Hang Tuahs".
9. All said and done, he is still the best person to take over. He stands a good chance of consolidating Umno and bringing back the support of the Malays. He hasn’t been embroiled in a major controversy of the proportion of 1MDB, his wife is likeable and his children are rarely seen or heard of. The only one the public knows is Najwa Mahiaddin because she is a singer and songwriter. An added advantage is the fact that he comes of a religious Muar family.
10. But he may not be so dearly loved by the non-Malays because he openly acknowledged that he is Malay first and Malaysian second in relation to Mohd Najib 1Malaysia branding. So he may not get full backing from the non-Malay parties of the BN, but he can count on the support of the anak negeri parties in Sarawak.
11. If Umno becomes stronger in the post-Mohd Najib era, the BN stands a better chance of remaining in power after the next general election three to four years from now.
12. The PR would lose its silver bullet if Mohd Najib resigns. He is its biggest asset. Things would be worse for the opposition if Muhyiddin succeeds in improving the affairs of the state. 1MDB will remain a major systemic risk but the new Prime Minister stands a better chance of sorting it out because he is not directly involved in creating the mess.
13. The PR can hope to build upon its sterling 2013 performance only if it thinks and acts beyond (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim, and play down ideological differences among member parties and concentrate on issues that they can agree on, especially the economy.
14. What the PR has that the BN does not is the youthfulness of leadership. This is its advantage. It should build on this instead of being caught in the past. Veteran PR leaders should pull back a little and allow the younger ones to shine.
15, As I have told many PR leaders, if they really want to rule, they must have a comprehensive set of economic policies, plans and programmes. They cannot hope to win power by merely taking advantage of the BN’s weaknesses. They must develop their own strength.
16. If they fail to do so, they will disappoint their legion of young multi-racial supporters and, by default, will give back to the BN the advantage it lost during the 2013 GE. - a.kadir jasin
Tolak Najib, Kadir tuding jari pada Rosmah
Mahathir dan isteri turut ziarahi jenazah ayah Anwar...
Dr Mahathir Mohamad adalah antara orang kenamaan yang tiba awal di rumah ayah Anwar, Ibrahim Abd Rahman (Pak Brahim) di Country Heights, Kajang untuk memberi penghormatan terakhir kepada jenazah bekas ahli parlimen dari tahun 1959 hingga 1969 dan pernah dilantik menjadi setiausaha parlimen Kementerian Kesihatan.
Pak Brahim telah kembali ke Rahmatullah jam 1:45 malam tadi di hospital Serdang kerana mengalami kesukaran bernafas. Allahyarham meninggal dalam usia 96 tahun.
Kehadiran Dr Mahathir bersama isterinya Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali mengejutkan kerana ia tidak dijangka tetapi menyenangkan kerana ia sudah pasti dapat mengubati kedukaan keluarga Pak Brahim dan Anwar.
Dr Siti Hasmah dikatakan berada lebih lama di rumah Pak Brahim berbanding Mahathir. Dr Wan Azizah dalam reaksinya terhadap kedatangan kedua mereka itu mengatakan ia memeranjatkan.
|Anwar diapit dua cucunya di sisi jenazah ayahynya.|
Tidak dapat tidak kehadiran atas rasa persaudaraan sesama Islam itu, yang tidak diduga itu memberi berbagai tafsiran sehingga ia boleh membawa kepada perkembangan baru politik negara.
|Kamaruddin Jaaffar dan Husam Musa turut ziarah.|
"Kita harap ada cahaya baru," katanya tanpa mengulas lanjut.
|Anwar berkata sesuatu kepada Azmin Ali.|
Selain Mahathir satu-satu menteri kabinet yang hadir memberi penghormatan terakhir kepada jenazah Allahyarham Pak Brahim ialah Menteri Dalam Negeri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Zahid yang juga tinggal di kawasan perumahan sama dengan Pak Brahim Ibrahim sempat membaca Yassin sebelum meninggalkan halaman rumah Pak Brahim untuk bergegas ke rumah kawannya yang juga meninggal dunia.
|Pergerakan Anwar dikawal rapi oleh pengawal penjara.|
Selain Zahid, Ketua Wanita Umno, Sharizat Abdul Jalil juga hadir untuk memberi penghormatan. Kehadiran Sharizat itu sekali lagi membuktikan Ketua Wanita Umno itu seorang terbuka dan sedia mengenepikan perbezaan politik dalam suasana berdukalara begitu.
|Minali bergambar dengan rakan baik Anwar.|
|Muhamad Taib turut sama hadir.|
Anwar yang dikawal rapi oleh pengawal penjara sempat membaca Yassin, memyembahyangi jenazah ayah dan bertemu beberapa orang rakan dekatnya sebelum itu dan juga bersalaman dengan tetamu.
Perlepasan yang diberikan oleh pihak penjara kepada Anwar disambut baik oleh anggota keluarga dan juga mereka yang hadir. Tidak ada sekatan dan Anwar juga dibenarkan untuk bersama keluarga seketika di dalam rumah Pak Brahim.
|Sebahagian orang ramai yang hadir beri penghormatan.|
Tiba awal di kediaman Pak Brahim ialah ahli jawatankuasa Pas, Kamaruddin Jaaffar, bekas MB Selangor Muhammad Mohd Taib yang kini juga selaku Timbalan Ketua Penerangan Pas. MB Selangor Mohamed Azmin Ali juga hadir dan ikut menyembahyangi jenazah. - Mohd.Sayuti Omar@msomelayu blogpost.
Dr M's presence stirs talk of 'new light' in anti-Najib...
Pak Brahim was also a past parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Health. He passed away on 5 April, 2015 at 1:45 pm in the Serdang hospital after suffering breathing difficulties. He was 96 years old.
Now, the presence of Mahathir and his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali cannot have escaped notice. It was surprising because it was not expected. Nevertheless, it was a pleasant surprise because it certainly help cure the grief of the extended Pak Brahim family, which includes Anwar's.
Siti Hasmah stayed longer in the house than Mahathir
Siti Hasmah was said to have stayed longer in Pak Brahim's house than Mahathir. Anwar's wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah in reaction to the Mahathirs' arrival said she was shocked.
Wan Azizah said Mahathir and wife came on the basis of their friendship that existed before.
Siti Hasmah is known to have a close relationship with Wan Azizah and regarded her as a sister during the time when Mahathir and Anwar were in the same government. (Anwar was Deputy Prime Minister to Mahathir before he was controversialy sacked and jailed on trumped-up sodomy charges).
Perhaps the presence of a sense of Islamic brotherhood can lead to new developments in national politics.
"I see the presence of Mahathir as a welcome development. It did not happen by accident," commented a PKR leader. He welcomed Mahathir's presence and saw it as a good sign.
"We hope there is a new light," he said without elaborating.
New beginning for Dr M, Anwar? - "We wait"
When asked whether such a thaw in Mahathir's previous frosty ties with his former deputy was linked to Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is now openly counter-attacking Mahathir's criticisms and calls to step down, the leader at the funeral would only say "we wait".
What was important is the new willingness Mahathir has shown to approach Anwar.
Apart from Mahathir, a Cabinet minister who came to pay his last respects was Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Zahid who also lived in the same residential area with Pak Brahim. Zahid read the Yassin before leaving Pak Brahim's home to rush to the house of some other friends who had also died.
Indeed, the presence of Zahid is not so surprising because the Umno vice-president was previously part of Anwar's inner circle in Umno even though he is now considered as the second boss after Najib.
Kind-hearted gestures from Zahid, Shahrizat
Besides Zahid, Wanita Umno chief, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil was also present to pay her respects. Shahrizat's presence once again proves the Wanita Umno chief is open and willing to set aside political differences during trying times.
Previously when PAS MP Dr Lo'Lo 'died, Shahrizat was among Umno women leaders who came to pay their last respects.
Anwar, who is currently serving a five-year prison term, arrived from prison to his father's house around 10:00 am and was taken back to the prison around 2:30 pm after his father was laid to rest.
Anwar, who was closely guarded by prison guards, read the Yassin, funeral prayers and met with some friends nearby and also shook hands with guests before he left.
Anwar was also allowed to be with his family for a while in Pak Brahim's house.
Some PAS leaders were present to pay their last respects and pray for the late Pak Brahim.
Among them were PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, vice-president Datuk Husam Musa, and committee member Syed Azman Syed Mohamad PAS.
Other guests included PAS committee member Kamaruddin Jaafar, former Selangor MB Tan Sri Muhammad Mohd Taib, who is now also the deputy chief of PAS' information bureau. Selangor MB Mohamed Azmin Ali also attended and participated in the funeral prayers. msomelayu.blogspot.com
Were armed guards really needed for Anwar?