25 April 2015

Mahathir's roadshow begins...


In a move to expedite the removal of Prime Minister Najib Razak, his fiercest critic Dr Mahathir Mohamad is set to launch a series of talks beginning tomorrow.

His first talk is to take place tomorrow morning at 9.30am at the K-Klub in Taman Melawati, Kuala Lumpur.

This is a carbon copy of Mahathir's move to remove Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as the prime minister which started in 2006.

Then Mahathir launched his first series of anti-Abdullah talks at the very same venue, then named as Kelab Century Paradise, on June 24, 2006.

Mahathir's roadshow against Abdullah went on throughout 2006-2007, and it weakened Abdullah's resolve such that the March 2008 general election was a total disaster.

Abdullah resigned one year later, handing over power to Najib in April 2009.

“Tomorrow we are going to see history being repeated. Dr Mahathir will be giving his first talk in a series of talks at, yet again, the Kelab Century Paradise, now renamed the K-Klub,” said popular blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin today.

Writing in his Malaysia-Today news portal, Raja Petra said that it took Mahathir almost three years - from June 24, 2006 to April 3, 2009 - for Abdullah to finally resign.

“Mahathir cannot afford to wait another three years from tomorrow for Najib to also resign. It must be sooner than that, before the 2018 general election, assuming Najib decides to go for his full term of five years.

“If Najib decides to call for an early general election, say next year or 2017, then it is even more urgent that Najib has to go, and go soon,” he added.

Raja Petra said that Mahathir knows that it will not be easy to oust a prime minister.

He added that there was an attempt to push Mahathir out in 1987, six years after he took over as prime minister, and they (Umno) continued trying for another 15 years after that.

But he still managed to hold on to power until mid-2002 when he decided on his own terms and in his own time to let go.

Raja Petra said he expects Mahathir to launch a “no holds barred, no quarters asked and none given attack on Najib”.

This will basically signal that there is no longer any compromise and it has now crossed the point of no return, he added.

Mahathir however today refuted claims that he was going on a roadshow to make Najib resign. He said he was only attending some forums to which he had been invited.

“If I am invited to talk, I will attend,” he told reporters after a function today.

“If someone wants to know why I don't want Najib to remain, I will need to explain,” he added. - berita daily

The Sirul card yet unplayed - UMNO warlords get due warning...

While Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Najib Razak are at logger heads with each other, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin is playing the role of a fulcrum to balance the two of them. Or so he thinks or is deliberately giving out that impression to wow the Umno crowd.

Muhyiddin's people have let out that he would prefer that life goes on as usual for Umno and the government and the two feuding Umno leaders would come to their senses, strike a truce and reach a peace settlement. But is Muhyiddin really so altruistic?

Since Dr Mahathir has decided to fight to the finish, Muhyiddin has to 'bear with it' until the feud ends. Anyway, there could be something for him in the end if he plays it right.

Also, since it is starting to appear there will be landslide support for Dr Mahathir, especially after the latest two stunning revelations by whistle-blower website Sarawak Report, Muhyiddin may be thinking it would be wise now to show more support to the Dr M camp.

Indeed, the Sarawak Report revelations make it tough for Umno leaders and the Cabinet to continue to close an eye to Najib's alleged wrongdoings. If proven true, they could be jailed for negligence, failing to protect the people's interest and even be accused of complicity in grand larceny. That equals jail - long-term too.

Perhaps this is why Muhyiddin has started to put some real distance between himself and his boss Najib Razak.

Return the favor, Muhyiddin or be dropped by Dr M

Muhyiddin may be flattering himself that if Najib were to be removed, he is the Prime Minister in waiting; there is nobody else. But can he stand without Dr M's support and for how long must he be 'beholden' to the older man.

For that, Muhyiddin will have to gauge Umno's chances in the coming GE-14 and consider whether or not to cooperate with PAS whom he has labelled as a deviant party. This is in contrast with Najib, who has shown much tacit support for PAS president Hadi Awang in a bid to cut off Dr M's onslaught.

So, at this moment, where does Muhyiddin stand? The fulcrum is heavy on which side? To be frank, Muhyiddin is seen as pro-Dr M but he has not cut off his bridges with Najib yet.

This is a big no-no because this is not just any fight, but a war for the topmost post in Umno and the entire country. There can be no pussyfooting. Muhyiddin must be absolutely clear and he must send unmistakable signals down the Umno line on whom he is backing. Otherwise, stand aside for other more capable candidates.

Perhaps Muhyiddin is in a dilemma because initially, there was no clear support for either Dr Mahathir or Najib. Fence-sitters had outnumbered all others.. But that is changing very rapidly.

Plodding in his style, Muhyiddin is a sort of 'Johnny come lately'. He must be careful not to miss the boat. Once Dr M gets in gear and the tide of support swings over to his camp, he may no longer be so keen to endorse Muhyiddin.

As one Umno insider told me, 'If I were Dr M, I would certainly ask - where were you when I needed you?'

Ku Li in the running and the more popular choice

Indeed, the situation is changing and very rapidly. From top candidate, Muhyiddin is now seen as needing to convince Dr M and former finance minister Daim Zainuddin that he is the right man who can lead Malaysia out from the woods.

Speculation is swirling Daim prefers Tengku Razaleigh to be interim PM. Ku Li may be older, but has much more political finesse and is more reformist-minded than Muhyiddin could ever hope to be.

There is indeed fear among the non-Malays and the moderate Malays that Muhyiddin might turn out to be another Najib once he is in power. Muhyiddin's Malay first, Malaysian next declaration will never be forgotten - so how to lead Malaysia out of racial politics?

Therefore putting Muhyiddin in the PM's chair may be another disaster. And at age 90, Dr M may not have another chance to get things right for Malaysia.

Of course despite being the Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin is closer to Dr Mahathir than to Najib. It was also Dr Mahathir who 'appointed' Muhyiddin DPM while anointing Najib as PM. So Dr M may feel he should give Muhyiddin the first option to succeed Najib.

But if Muhyiddin is going to put his own skin first, why should the older man bother to help him.

That is why Muhyiddin could be seen trying to placate Dr Mahathir, and even declared albeit under a thin veil, “Let me assure you, sir that you are not alone,” said Muhyiddin during his keynote speech at an anti-war forum at the Putra World Trade Centre recently.

But all in, that was still too-cautious a statement - over which Muhyiddin is likely to lose out to Ku Li in the eyes of Dr M and Daim.

These two top power-brokers are expert at this game. In their estimation, the time is now ripe and they want those in their camp to openly push and fight for space in the Umno hierarchy - starting at the top, with Najib's ouster.

Don't hide behind the lalang, conspirators to grand national larceny will be punished

Former minister Zainuddin Maidin, a known Mahathir die-hard, has minced no words when he ticked off Nur Jazlan for ambivalence in his criticism of Najib. "Why the need to hide behind 'lalang' (tall grass)," boomed Zam in his much-followed blog earlier this week.

Indeed the tide is turning. The Mahathir camp is advancing with confidence, hence its aggressiveness.

Another former minister Rais Yatim, known for his closeness to Tengku Razaleigh, has broken ranks with the Najib camp. Not only did Rais, the former Law minister, advise Najib to answer Dr M's questions on 1MDB and Altantuya's murder, he even commented that Najib's men were no longer able to help the PM.

Indeed the 'stars' in Najib's Cabinets appear to be sorely lacking in calibre and these include guys like Ahmad Maslan, Ismail Sabri, Hasan Malek, Shahidan Kassim and so on. Who are these people? What could they do for Malaysia except create more circus and smokescreen for corruption.

Some might ask, what if Muhyiddin swung back to the Najib camp. It's not impossible but it would be most foolish and dangerous. The scent is already unmistakable. The weight of the 1MDB data is just too great for Najib to bear. He cannot escape and those who shield him will be tarred with the same brush.

Even that great actor Khairy Jamaluddin knows enough to play to both sides, although he may be feeling some heat after some of his Youth members were accused of a plot to topple Najib.

Sirul is yet to come

And Sirul is yet to come. It's mind-boggling how Najib can think he can escape Dr M's wrath.

Yes, Dr M has not even gotten into the Altantuya murder yet. Najib's ex-bodyguard has yet to reveal who ordered him and his colleague Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri to kill that Mongolian beauty allegedly involved in the notorious Scorpene scandal.

Perhaps this is why Dr M and his camp have shifted one gear up. From fearful silence, to ambivalence, to quiet support, they now want Umno leaders to openly back their call to Najib to step down.

They want a revolt no less. And as Mahathir has reminded just a day ago, calling for a change in the government leader is not Sedition.

And if Muhyiddin and his Umno-BN colleagues are savvy politicians, they should take heed. Or risk being dropped off from Dr M's list of favored ones, or worst still appear on his infamous blacklist!

To be fair, Dr M is not the only driver in this Umno conundrum. The people are watching. Even the Malays have a breaking point. They may not vote for you even if you are 'Malay first' and Malaysian far behind.- Nawawi Mohamad, Stan Lee,Malaysian Chronicle

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