Malaysiakini in In for a hectic week as PM decides poses a lot of questions on UMNO’s coming party election.
First and foremost is whether AAB will go, though the majority of political pundits think he will. But Dr M reckons he will not.
Second and more interesting than the above is whether Muhyiddin Yassin will go for broke and contest the No 1 position rather than the deputy president post as 'shotgun' to Najib, which many have already accepted as a virtual fait accompli in the same manner as they've reckoned AAB will step down for good.
Thirdly, as a bit of a sideshow but nonetheless quite intriguing is whether Ku Li will face a déjà vu by leaving UMNO to join PKR, as is now rumoured.
Let’s discuss the third case first. With the current belief that AAB will go in favour of a Najib-Muhyiddin leadership, Ku Li knows his last stab at UMNO No 1 post is virtually as good as lost, sadly forever.
With AAB now touted as the sacrificial goat to be sembelih (ritual slaughter) at the altar to appease the Ketuanan Melayu ideology for his unforgiveable leadership responsibility for the last general election ‘disaster’*, the UMNO caucus and membership may be mollified enough to grant Najib a honeymoon period to show his leadership mettle.
* in arrogant avaricious assessment, still considered a ‘disaster’ despite the BN coming out with 140 seats in a 222 seat parliament
And Dr M may be expected to stop his undermining campaign once his blue-eyed boy is PM. So, where does that leave Ku Li?
Both Star Online and Malaysiakini have told us that Ku Li just had a tête-à-tête with Pakatan Rakyat leaders, including Anwar Ibrahim, Abdul Hadi Awang and Lim Kit Siang. Where Anwar Ibrahim is concerned, UMNO smells froggie danger.
Ku Li he said the meeting had been 'in the context of old friends meeting up', and that he had met the Opposition leaders in his capacity as a statesman – wow!
This has been the part which made a sweetie laugh rather sweetly, when Ku Li claimed the PR leaders had ‘sought appointments to see him for discussions over the country’s future’.
Ku Li did a man man lai stating: “As a statesman, I am open to meeting all politicians, regardless if they are from Barisan Nasional or Pakatan. This is especially crucial when we have to steer in a storm of political and economic uncertainties, made worse with global issues such as the US financial meltdown.”
I wonder whether Anwar had offered him the No 1 spot if he crosses over, with Anwar accepting the No 2 spot in a new PR government ….. well at least for a short while ;-)
Theoretically it’ll be a coup of sorts for PR if Ku Li walks across. Maybe some UMNO MPs may follow, though of course Anwar will be hoping for a tsunami.
The argument for Ku Li walking across will depend on his presidential prospects within the old party, but once he senses he has been left by the wayside he may feel, at his age of 70, he has nothing more to lose if he joins PR.
What about Muhyiddin? With a far younger Najib holding UMNO’s No 1 position he won’t have a chance in hell of ever ascending to that post and the PM-ship, save if Najib stumbles or the BN loses badly in 2013.
If he challenges Najib and loses, the consequences will be fatal for his political career a la Ku Li.
No doubt Dr M had earlier encouraged him to ‘go for it’ but I suspect that was within the context of his (Dr M’s) frustration with Najib for not being assertive enough to openly challenge AAB. Perhaps Dr M had believed that a wee nudging by ostentatiously switching his backing (temporarily) to Muhyiddin might give Najib a scary shove to his backside.
Najib is just not that sort of person to 'openly' challenge someone (unless he is a Chinese wakakaka), but that doesn't mean he hasn't been manoeuvring, manipulating and machinating Machiavellian-ly within his party.
Now that it appears Najib will be taking over shortly (though Dr M still suspects AAB may yet have something up his sleeves to stall that), I reckon Dr M’s provisional support of Muhyiddin has passed its ‘use-by’ date.
Anyway, does Muhyiddin have the numbers? Or, as has been suggested, will he team up with Ku Li to challenge Najib? Ku Li at 70 gives a far brighter career prospect for 61 year old Muhyiddin.
Perhaps Ahmad Zahid’s surprising announcement of his candidature for the No 2 job has been a warning shot across Muhyiddin’s bow, that he (Muhyiddin) will be better off by remaining as Najib's partner?
There is of course a new bizarre conspiracy theory, that Zahid, once a very close political colleague of you-know-who, and who was detained under the ISA for speaking out for that person, could well be a ‘sleeper’ wakakaka. Da? Nyet?
Zahid's rapid ascendancy in UMNO from political pariah to political power within 10 years surely must be a testimony to his political ability, manoeuvrings and connections.
If in that remote possibility of him becoming the new No 2 in UMNO, and assuming he has been indeed a ‘sleeper’, will he bring back you-know-who?
kaytee believes that even if the preposterous conspiracy theory of Zahid being a 'sleeper' has some substance, the overriding reality is that there’s no long term loyalty in UMNO or for that matter, any political party.
Just ask Dr M, Ku Li, Ling L.S and they would tell you that such is the nature of the political beast where it’s every man for himself (sorry if I leave out the ladies but look upon it as a compliment rather than an insult).
Thus if Zahid becomes the new UMNO No 2 by one shot in a million, he’ll be definitely preparing, promoting and presenting himself for the No 1 position rather than worrying about an old association which in the last 10 years had already crossed far too many bridges.