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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shahrizat's next move: Will it trigger an all-out Umno revolt against Najib


Shahrizat's next move: Will it trigger an all-out Umno revolt against Najib
There are many people who are very unhappy with Prime Minister Najib Razak and for so many reasons. Some may not be happy because Najib was not the elected prime minister and feel that he is not up to the job in being the top decision-maker for Malaysia, and Malaysia has not been any better since he took office.
Perhaps at this point in time, it is those within UMNO who are the most worrying for him because they are the insiders. They could be genuinely dissatisfied with Najib’s bad performance in the economic sector because that in turn has shrunk their gravy train. The huge and generous slice of UMNO cake has never been so dismally small. UMNO members are also dissatisfied because Najib only wants his own people in the list of 'winnable candidates'.
UMNO two-facedness
In the November annual assembly, Najib thought he scored a coup by forcing a resolution out of delegates to let him be the final decision maker, but oddly did not recognize they were just dishing out the same sort of hypocrisy that his administration has become famous for. Take Idris Jusoh, who was the first to leap to endorse Najib's resolution, assuring he would gladly give up his state assembly seat if that would help UMNO win the GE-13 war.
Now with just a month past, Idris is singing a new tune. Idris has just days ago warned that if his arch rival Ahmad Said was allowed to contest, UMNO would lose the Terengganu state government. Does anyone believe infighting no longer exists in Terengganu UMNO as it claims? More pertinently, does any one believe UMNO members really trust Najib to be fair in allocating seats to rival camps and that the party is still one huge happy family!
Perhaps, above all Shahrizat is still the UMNO member with the potential to hurt Najib the most. Like Idris Jusoh, who is hell-bent on not letting any other UMNO leader be the next Menteri Besar of Terengganu except himself, Shahrizat is stepping up for war. She is busy marshallng her resources to ensure that Najib and his advisers do not throw her to the wolves while using the RM250mil NFC financial debacle as a battering ram against rival factions. These include the camps led by deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin and former premier Abdullah Badawi.
NFC takes on a different virulent life-form in UMNO
Since the NFC quagmire was exposed by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's PKR party, it has acquired a life of its own within UMNO itself. It has become an enormous bargaining tool used by Najib to squeeze his party mates and nip in the bud a widely-expected challenge from Muhyiddin for the presidency in2012. To other Malaysians, NFC is about the decadent state the country has reached after decades of rampant corruption but tellingly, to the UMNO folk, it is just another internal battle, albeit a major one which has already escalated into Phase One of a Mother of All Civil Wars.
A 'Plan B' which has all the unscrupulous trappings of another clumsy Najib maneuver, involving a relative of the Shahrizat family alleged to have been bribed to turn against her, is unlikely to succeed since it is no longer easy to convince a cynical Malaysian public, who were thoroughly disgusted by the Datuk T sex DVD sprung against Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim earlier this year.
Another reason is of course, the GE-13 or 13th General Election, is too close by.
Civil war has begun
Meanwhile, as Najib braces for his duel with Muhyiddin, their supporters have begun firing buckshot at each other. Najib's close aide and deputy minister Awang Adek has been exposed as having accepted 'contributions' which he insists are funds meant to finance his UMNO division, but which could very well turn out to be part of some sort of money politics.
The same sort of information has been revealed about Muhyiddin’s senior private secretary, also receiving money, with Muhyiddin promising to investigate. However, it is an open secret that funds collected by the senior aides are ultimately on behalf of the top leaders, prompting many to ridicule Muhyiddin for his "false assurance".
In Shahrizat’s case, it is going to be very complicated because if she is compromised, so too would UMNO be. First, with Shahrizat still in UMNO the NFC quagmire will be connected to UMNO, which is too bad. Then if Shahrizat was to be side-lined, dropped, forced to quit or even sacked, Shahrizat and her sympathizers will feel that Najib has been unfair and failed to do his presidential duties well.
Shahrizat weighs options
Shahrizat has several options. Being an insider she knows many things and she could easily engage another whistle blower to write in the blog complete with facts and evidence of whoever she is up against at this point in time.
The trend has been set and the impact of using bloggers has sent shivers down the spines of many UMNO leaders. Shahrizat could just wait and see but she might as well make a pre-emptive move because she has nothing to hide now and she just want to save her family.
This bloggers war is bound to create further dissatisfaction in UMNO against Najib, who recently launched a multi-million ringgit cyberspace 'station' complete with cyber-troopers and bloggers using government funds to attack the opposition. His rivals in UMNO can be sure that they too will be at the receiving end and will wonder why public money is being used to further Najib's interest.
Obviously, to aggravate Najib, those unhappy with him will begin alliances with Shahrizat. Party insiders say Muhyiddin has already made contact as far as this issue is concerned. The DPM, who is also UMNO deputy president, has already told the reporters that no decision has been made on Shahrizat.
As for former premier Mahathir Mohamad, who despite urging Shahrizat to quit before she is chased out, might also help Shahrizat - not for her sake but for the Machiavellian purpose of putting more pressure on Najib to ensure that Mahathir 's people including his son Mukhriz is on the list of winnable candidates.
All bets are off, a free-for-all has begun
Effectively, the crafty UMNO chieftains and warlords have with one stroke of the NFC scandal torn to shreds Najib's prized 'winnable' candidates list. All bets are off. None of the PM's men can be assured of contesting a seat. A free-for-all power grab has been declared and it is now open season in UMNO, Malaysia's oldest and largest pirate ship!
As such, Malaysians can expect to be astounded by shocking revelations. Khir Toyo, Altantuya, Scorpenes, over-priced arms procurements, corruption in the Iskandar region involving the Badawis, perhaps even First Lady Rosmah Mansor's US$24 million diamond ring might make a comeback in the media headlines in the months leading to snap polls, widely expected in March 2012.
Malaysia Chronicle

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