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Monday, February 29, 2016

Saifuddin: Dr M unable to force a strong Najib out



By quitting the party again, Dr Mahathir Mohamad is not likely to succeed in forcing Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to step down as he had done in the case of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi eight years ago.
“There was a lot of dissatisfaction against Abdullah then. It is the same now with Najib's leadership,” said former Umno supreme council member Saifuddin Abdullah who has since joined the opposition.
“Mahathir quits the party, hoping to pressure Najib to step down.
“However, both Najib and Abdullah have different characteristics and styles of leadership. I am not saying Abdullah was weak, but Najib is a stronger president with extra control on the party's power structure,” he said.
Mahathir had announced his exit from the party together with his wife Siti Hasmah today.
This was the second time Mahathir quit party. The first was in 2008.
The fact that Najib never left the cabinet and he once led Umno Youth has secured his position in Umno as many of Umno division leaders were Najib's contemporaries in the youth wing, noted Saifuddin.
“Najib may just ignore Mahathir,” Saifuddin told Malaysiakini, adding that Mahathir has been out of power for too long now to be able to shake Najib.
“Najib will only be affected morally but not politically as he is holding Umno's power structure,” said the chief secretary of Pakatan Harapan.
He said the opposition was waiting to see if Mahathir would champion a course to bring change to the country.
'Umno critical'
Former information minister Zainuddin Maidin, meanwhile, said Mahathir quitting the party would destroy the support Malays had for the party.
He said he expected the party to face difficulties in the next general election.
“Umno is now in a critical state. It is very hard for the party to recover,” he said in a blog posting.
He likened Mahathir's announcement to a huge slap against Najib.
“This would definitely tarnish Najib's already bruised damage,” he said, adding that the world would look upon's Najib's leadership badly.
Zainuddin, who is known as Mahathir's supporter, said his former boss was ready to lead a campaign to topple Najib.
“I am sure Mahathir will not return to Umno this time,” he said. -Mkini

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