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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

ON TRACK FOR NEW PM IN M'SIA BY YEAR END: Najib's polls delay pushes Muhyddin into Ku Li pact

ON TRACK FOR NEW PM IN M'SIA BY YEAR END: Najib's polls delay pushes Muhyddin into Ku Li pact
Supporters of Prime Minister Najib Razak are gloating over talk that his deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, was now a redundant force incapable to gathering enough strength to make a challenge for Najib's job.
But they should not be too happy. The deadline by 'anti-Najib' forces to install a new Prime Minister is still intact - 'by the end of this year', said a political source.
"Postponing the Umno election by 18 months is a crafty move by Najib to stall Muhyiddin and other rivals. But while it is a big setback for Muhyiddin, there are still other ways to achieve the goal of ousting Najib. In fact, it now forces Muhyiddin to move more decisively towards the camp controlled by Ku Li (Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh)," said the source.
It's been no secret in Umno that Muhyiddin's 'over-cautiousness' in not declaring his interest to challenge Najib at the coming Umno election, which was originally slated for 2016, gave Najib the space he needed to make the postponement.
Under pressure to resign, Najib has taken on a more aggressive stance and has even threatened a Cabinet reshuffle after Raya. If Muhyiddin and Rural Minister Shafie Apdal - both of whom have been outspoken against Najib's mishandling of the 1MDB financial scandal - are dropped, they will be further sidelined as the loss of office will dim their influence in the party.
Umno supreme council or Parliament
Many options are being weighed by Najib's detractors to remove him from office. But the 2 main options on the table were to get enough numbers to carry a no-confidence vote against Najib at either the Umno Supreme Council level or in the federal Parliament.
The main players in Umno, but they need the help of the Opposition
It is believed Muhyiddin favored the Umno supreme council route, as did former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. Former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin, still an influential power broker in Umno, however favored taking Najib out in the Parliament, a method which Ku Li is also said to prefer.
"Muhyiddin is now in a dilemma. His supporters are not happy with him for being so slow. If Najib dumps him and Shafie, there will be a revolt in Umno but it may not be enough to shake Najib off his perch. Look at Anwar's sacking in 1997; the Malay community was split down the line and they even threw eggs at Mahathir for fabricating the sodomy charges. Yet Mahathir could get the supreme council to close ranks behind him. Najib can do the same," the political source said.
Ku Li able to get the votes from the Opposition
This might be why Muhyiddin and Mahathir will have to take a more conciliatory approach towards Ku Li, who has the backing of the Opposition.
Splintered due to differences over ideology, the trio DAP PKR and PAS can still form an electoral pact where seats allocation will be the main motive
Although the Pakatan Rakyat led by jailed Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim is now defunct, two of the tripartite coalition DAP and PKR plus a large portion of the third party, PAS, are willing to cross the floor to stand behind Ku Li.
"Even though Pakatan is no more, we can form an electoral pact so that we won't crisscross on seats. As long as we maintain 1 for 1 on seats contest, we can beat Umno-BN and topple Najib in GE-14. Having said that, if there is a no-confidence vote against Najib, for sure the majority of the Opposition will support it, especially if it is Ku Li organizing it," MP for Batu Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.
As for Umno watchers, they say the bets are on for Muhyiddin to come to an agreement with Ku Li.
"It is all a matter of numbers and the courage to move. Muhyiddin will be the PM even if Najib is toppled via a Ku Li-led no-confidence vote in Parliament. No reason for Ku Li not to make way for Muhyiddin as this will stabilize Umno after Najib's ouster," the political source said.
"Remember, Malaysia still has to go through GE14 and this is where Pakatan has their chance to win the federal government on their own. There may or may not be any unity government with Umno-BN or any grand alliance after GE14 but the purpose to take out Najib is to prevent Malaysia from becoming a totalitarian state. To stay in power, Najib has already turned Malaysia topsy turvy, imagine what he will do if he wins GE14." Malaysia Chronicle

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