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Friday, June 29, 2012

Dr M makes his first move: Mukhriz Kedah MB 1st stop, PM next

Dr M makes his first move: Mukhriz Kedah MB 1st stop, PM next
Mahathir Mohamad has finally made his first public move towards getting his son, Mukhriz, into his former job - that of Prime Minister of Malaysia. But before the grand finale, Mukhriz has to undergo an apprenticeship of sorts first - as the Kedah Mentri Besar or chief minister.
Although not so young at age 48, Mukhriz has failed to sizzle in terms of talent, leadership or political savvy. He is certainly not ready for the top job, with critics even predicting that he won't get the cushy Kedah job either unless Mahathir pulls out all stops.
Indeed, the balding and mustachioed Mukhriz has not made any lasting impression on the nation and if his father had not pressured Prime Minister Najib Razak to appoint him the deputy trade minister, few Malaysians would have noticed his efforts at all.
“I would help him but what he does, what position he holds, is up to the party. If he is nominated for mentri besar, I will still support him. (Umno) normally does not nominate someone for mentri besar; we do not know whether we are going to win so it is usually a nomination of either state or federal seats,” Mahathir said during an interview with online television station The Malaysian Observer (MobTv).
Can PAS be displaced so easily
Speculation has been rife that Mahathir had initially eyed a vice presidency at their Umno party for Mukhriz, paving the way for him to become the next deputy prime minister. However, as Mahathir himself admitted, Mukhriz could not command enough support.
Even in Kedah Umno, Mukhriz and his dad are facing a challenge from other established division leaders who do not see why they should have to give way - pointing out that through the years both father and son had spent most of their attention on federal matters rather than on the state.
One such leader is the Kedah Umno chief Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah.
Recently, when asked by the media to comment on talk that Mukhriz was being considered for the Kedah chief minister's post, Ahmad Bashah dryly pointed out that the state government was now held by the Pakatan Rakyat. The current MB is PAS' Azizan Abdul Razak.
Ahmad Bashah minced no words when he reminded his party to focus on wresting back the state government rather than build castles in air for Mukhriz, who is currently the Kedah Umno deputy chief.
Indeed, at the recent PAS rally held in Kedah, nearly 100,000 members turned in a show of support that startled Umno, with party strategists rushing to alert Najib and Mahathir.
Selling Mukhriz based on his 'youth' but is Mukhriz really so young
Kedah voters rejected old faces in the 2008 election when BN led by Umno lost the state, with Pakatan winning 20 of the 36 state seats. This 'youth' factor is being used by the Mahathir camp to 'sell' Mukhriz.
A slew of media articles have been churned in the Umno-controlled newspapers that extoll his 'fine' qualities, with 'friendly' anaylsts publicly opining that he is the best choice for Kedah because he is popular amongst people below 50 years of age.
Meanwhile, Mahathir acknowledged that his son had failed to shine. He said Mukhriz was still “struggling” to establish himself politically. Mahathir blamed this on himself as he had refused to let Mukhriz go into politics when the latter was younger.
“As far as Mukhriz is concerned I knew he was interested. By not allowing him to go into politics when I was PM, he couldn’t start as early as I did. So he did not have that head start. He’s struggling, finding things very difficult, he has to establish himself,” said Mahathir who was the country's 4th PM and ruled from 1981 to 2003.
More bogus and humbug?
Mahathir reiterated what he has often said in various press interviews before - that he did not want to be accused of nepotism or trying to create a family legacy.
“It was very selfish, I was thinking about myself. I told them no politics, no business with government. After I retire they can do it,” said Mahathir.
Sad to say, few Malaysians find Mahathir credible any more. Most blame him for the country's endemic corruption and cronyism.
And if he was indeed truthful, it is odd how two of his other sons have made the list of richest men in the region if he only allowed them to get started on serious business after his retirement in 2003.
Malaysia Chronicle

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