... or incumbents?
On TV3 evening news yesterday, UMNO President, Dato Najib was quoted expressing concern for money politics and abuse of power. But, with the electoral college system of voting, that call could fall on deaf ears.
The delegates at Cawangan have long heard rumours of Division delegates returning home with money in their suitcase after a party contest. The casual talk at coffeeshop and coffeehouse is that it is time for them to taste the Government program to "merakyatkan ekonomi."
A trickle down effect they say. But, for 60-70 thousand? Too much isn't it to suggest buying votes.
From the many chats last night we had, they claimed that is not Najib's biggest worry. Sometimes we wonder how do they know but they said Najib is more worried that cousin brother, whose been there for him, might not make it.
The title Menteri Amaran Dalam Negeri created by Husin Lempoyang in January 2010 [read here] is creating more damage than just a tease meant to forewarn him of chow the ground is looking at him. Naughty ... this Husin Lempoyang. Wonder who he is?
As we see it, Hishamuddin will be in trouble because he has rubbed off many groups and factions the wrong way. For one, he is not likely to get Wanita UMNO support. There are many other leaders in which he promised but delivered differently.
As we wrote yesterday, "To another group, he said one thing. And another, different thing.
Giving assurances and guarantees that he never kept.
On his job, Mr Forewarn failed and seldom made a mockery of the government and party. Tired of his amaran and mintak maaf, then blame others for making his hands tight."
There have been many failed rural projects in Sabah and Sarawak that found it's way into the 2010 Auditor General report. Indiscretion of rural budget could be scorned at as misusing fund meant for the poor.
At one time, this blog had raised about leakages in MARA and MARA Inc.
Dato Shafie Apdal may have been regularly teased as lanun for his Bajau Laut roots but it requires substantial proof. Diverting fund from government projects require a colluding group of high government officers for leakages to happen. It usually leaves paper trail.
Our preference for a VP from Sabah is for one of the Aman brothers but one must admit that to win VP, one must have national level standing and prominence. This is a natural handicap for Sabahans who tend to be indifferent towards national politics.
Perhaps, Sabah politics is exciting enough than for them to meddle in national politics.
|Campaigning or promoting??|
Politically, Shafie has the national standing than other Sabahans, except perhaps Dato Anifah Aman. While some say, his power base in Sabah is only in Semporna and Tawau, he has support in other Semenanjung states. His wife or some claim wives are from Semenanjung. He is entitled to, okay?
It is an added advantage to lead a Ministry that can trickle down assistance to the rural folks.
Furthermore, Sabah is a strong supporter of Najib and even Datin Seri Rosmah has wide appeal there. The Aman brothers will lend support if Najib request. Off course, how it will be translated to vote from the branches delegates is another story.
For someone to say Najib is concerned for Hishamuddin, it is a rather simplistic assumption.
When Dato Mukhriz met PM to seek his "blessing", he was open to Mukhriz exercising his democratic rights. [Read Bigdogdotcom here]
One can't see him protecting Hishamuddin if he could finally appoint Khairy as Minister despite him unable to deliver the youth votes he was assigned to. It is inevitable and rumours of Pak Lah threatening to pull out 10 BN MPs need more details to be credible.
If there is truth that there had been many horse trading behind close door to make way for Hishamuddin's passage, why did Dato Ali Rustam filed his borang yesterday in the late afternoon?
Don't tell us someone decay on a deal to place him as PNB Chairman but gave him PUNB instead.
His late filing was merely an attention grabber. People close to him was spreading rumours of him being given UMNO Secretary General position in exchange for pulling out from the race.
Heard fast one were made on Tan Sri Isa Samad too.
Rumours have been spreading all of last week of FGV CEO's office being raided by MACC last Friday. Among others he is being investigated for accepting salaries from both PEMANDU and FGV. Isa maybe short but let's not be too fast to accuse him of having long hands.
If there is any truth, that is a matter of Emir Mavani's and not directly Isa
Isn't it convenient that all this police report and MACC raid by MAYC and on FGV come about during UMNO election time? Surely all these complains, accusations and talks would disappear in four weeks time.
If we had wrote "This rubbish of no contest" and express ourselves for a clean contest in "Akram wants Pemuda to continue to carry the "obor"", these are glimpses of what we meant as ungentlemenly conduct.
Isa should be given a chance to contest because he was victimised when he won the Vice Presidency during Pak Lah's administration.
Ali may have lost in the last general election but he is entitle to contest. What more he is a former Vice President himself and were together with Tan Sri Muhyudin as Vice Presidents when Isa was suspended.
When rumours of Dato Mukhriz intention to run for Vice President surfaced, Zahid responded to say that those wishing to run should get consent from the Prime Minister.
We are not interested to rundown front-runner Zahid and believe he deserve to get the highest votes. If Zahid had gained himself significant ground at expense of Hishamuddin when he made the remark "tiada lagi amaran" upon assuming the Home Minister post, praise Allah for his humble background enable him to understand the ground better.
Thank his lucky star that PM did not thought of Hishamuddin's political fortune when he switched their positions and he seized the opportunity well. Zahid had long strategised himself to be in position to replace Tan Sri Muhyuddin when he retire on his own accord.
However, that was an unfair thing to say and borders on ill intent. There is no issue of Zahid being desperate and most vulnerable with Muhriz entry into the foray as claimed by some numbnuts in Tian Chua's Malaysian Chronicle here. Even if directed to do so, Zahid does not need do so.
Our concern is Zahid's remark cast a negative image on UMNO as though it is still stuck in the ice age.
In this UMNO election, we are most uninterested in who will win or lose but to see that UMNO project a change in attitude and show some development in political maturity. Otherwise, den tak boleh tolong.
Political maturity includes none of the cheap tricks. One such trick is for someone to get Dato Zaid Ibrahim to give complimentary remark of Mukhriz, thus create a negative association of him. [Read MI here] Hope Dato Ahmad Shabery Chik's boys was not up to it.
In a democrasy, everyone has rights to stand for a position and it is feudalistic to seek consent to exercise their democratic right. Restu or pay respect yes, but permission, no such thing!
Prior to the submission of borang yesterday, there was a press conference held by all the incumbent Vice Presidents.
They said they worked well together and complimented each other thus in not so many ways were saying, they hope they could maintain status quo. Hishamuddin said they worked well together to organise previous UMNO General Assemblies. It is expected to be tedious but didn't know organising an UMNO General Assembly is an insurmountable task these days.
And the three of them said they are proposing and seconding each other's borang. It is a pathetically artificial and hypocritical. It is a great act of camarederie but why not propose and second the borang for Ali, Muhriz and Isa.
Surely not, because their intention is to prop up someone among the incumbents. The term used in UMNO is berakit (rafting). Someone's popularity is used to lift another up.
In the entertainment world, creating a rumour of an affair by a male artiste with a rising young starlet helped to gain attention for the male artiste. That sudden popularity brings in job. In no time after the male artiste gets much gig, one will hear a dramatic lover's quarrel but usually end amicably.
Their excuse could be that it is within the election rules but such act will be openly criticised in a matured democrasy.
It is an attempt to deceive the voters and create a false perception to overshadow the poor credential of a particular candidate. It is tantamount to an abuse of power to use the party machinery and rule they are involved to developed for their own advantage.
For UMNO veterans, it should remind them of the old game led by Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim to fortify himself to move for Deputy President and later, put the chess board together to seize power from Tun Dr Mahathir.
In 1993, Anwar led a Team Wawasan of himself running for Deputy President, Muhyiddin, Najib and Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib for Vice Presidents, and Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Chik for Youth Chief.
Anwar defeated the late Tun Ghaffar with a blietzkrig attack that denied Ghaffar minimal nominations. Muhyiddin came out first, Najib second and Muhamad third to oust Tun Abdullah and beat Tan Sri Sanusi Junid. Rahim beat Isa Samad.
Soon after, Anwar started to killed off his fellow Team Wawasan, starting with Rahim and Muhammad. Najib became competitive in his pursuit of Muhyiddin that Muhyiddin was knocked off in the subsequent UMNO election.
The speculation was to deny him out of the Anwar's succession plan. When he was voted back in during Pak Lah's Presidency, it was not made easier as he came third. Many believed he would have made Deputy if Dr Mahathir had not stepped in to insist on Najib.
Team Wawasan became a beginning for more divisiveness in the party. If this manouvre by the three incumbent Vice Presidents is to create Team Wawasan II, then it means a turmoil is to come after the UMNO election. Only different is, the immediate objective is not positioning for the Presidency but to replace Muhyiddin.
By right, each candidate has to operate by their own strength (and also weakness) because the name on the ballot is not a team or faction but individuals. By campaigning as a team, it denies other capable leaders a place in the party top leadership.
Recall back to our posting here of the need for UMNO to rejuvenate itself. Not so much as putting in high places of young people before the fruits is ripe but new bloods.
By age, Najib is now 60 (born 1953), Muhyiddin is 66 (born 1947), Zahid is 60 (born 1953) and Shafie is 56 (born 1957). Only Hishamuddin is the ugly duckling at 52 (born 1961) that was supposed to bloom into that beautiful swan.
Mukhriz is born in 1964 and now 49 of age. Isa is 64 (born 1949) and also Ali (born 1949). Does it seemed too many 60 something around?
By the look of it, Mukhriz's age may represent a more possible challenge to Hishamuddin's premiership ambition. That is unless Khairy appear later to deny Mukhriz again. Khairy and Hishamuddin have collaborated in the past.
But that is still many more years to come. If Mukhriz gain entry now, be it at Hishamuddin or Shafie's expense, they will have to contend with the Khairy factor later in the process to return in the running.
However, it is not as easy as what one thinks for Mukhriz to replace Hishamuddin.
The ground can talk of losing confidence with Hishamuddin for their unhappiness with government decisions relating to politics and security.
They can be fed-up with his endless amaran and yet not decisiveness when the time comes, it is disappointing or too late. Not to mentioned, controversies he put himself into.
This time around it is difficult to predict the factor/(s) to be considered by the 130,000 branch level delegates.
Performance as Minister is only part of the consideration. Relationship, affiliation and past or present favours is another. Bloodline is important in feudal UMNO and Hishamuddin's bloodline is the same with PM's.
Whatever it is, Ali Rustam is miles ahead of everyone with his personal "touching." He has reached every other divisions in the whole country and met elders and head of states. So it may not be about Hishamuddin and Mukhriz but Hishamuddin and Ali.
Do not discount Isa's Felda network.
Whatever it is, UMNO election is a family affair and not to be taken too seriously. As an incumbent, the manouvring and overzealous appearance in the media is making Hishamuddin looking so desperate.
Be cool la... You are an incumbent.