Friday, December 11, 2015
Where will this quarrel lead to?
Been watching the political event within UMNO leading to the UMNO General Assembly unfolding than writing about it. From where we are, after listening to as many sources and sides, the concern is: Where will it head to?
Tun Dr Mahathir has never lost a political war and he is not likely to admit defeat now. From what RPK described, the game is no child's play and no resources spared to ensure a swift win. Thus far, Dato Najib has survived beyond their targeted deadline.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin has stepped up to the plate. It seemed consistent in adhering to the principle of "setiakawan" (comradeship) and refraining to fight his boss till he is disgraced. There is justification for him to do so. He has been sacked from position in government and denied opportunity to express his concern.
However, Muhyiddin is still hesitant in his move. The campaign message is still preliminary. Unlike Tun M, whose side is believed by sources willing to destroy UMNO to ensure a Najib disposal, Muhyiddin seemed still considering and reconsidering the impact on the party.
Maybe Najib realised this thus yesterday's speech. Among the most glaring message was one to Muhyiddin that "I will fight to the end. No retreat. No surrender." A fight has the long shot of ending Najib but it will ensure the end of UMNO in the next General Election.
In the midst of pre-GE slander game, we heard it from the horses mouth itself. Najib side has anticipated the current senario four years ago. They would have kept a close watch and gather all the dirt on Muhyiddin and Tun M.
After a long hiatus, which almost gave the impression he has ran out of bullets to attack, Tun M was stepping up his attack slowly towards December 3rd. He was more vocal when it was Dato Ahmad Zahid that made the explanation on the RM2.6 billion in Parliament.
Still, Tun M was repeating himself. Nothing new was exposed that could have shocked the establishment. Arul Kanda was comfortably giving one penerangan session after another. Noticably his press releases are now more offensive than defensive.
Najib is in a comfortable position after the Edra sales. The 1MDB rationalisation is on schedule and at least RM18 billion will be out of the book. By the time IPIC is executed, 1MDB is a relatively non-issue by then.
Thus no need for him to be at Parliament and subject himself to the opposition. He is after all a gentleman. Fight him in a ceremonial duel, not in a street brawl where the calculated odd is against him.
Furthermore, the argument favours him.
His detractors will not agree but he broke no law. There is no law against receiving foreign political donation. It is not unusual for political donation to go into personal account as held in trust. PKR did it. DAP did it. PAS did. Social media is exposing that Tun M also did it albeit in a big way.
Dato Ahmad Zahid was revealed it was done with the concurrence of Bank Negara Malaysia, so Tan Sri Zeti lied. MACC said it is not 1MDB money. It is repeated again.
Najib side is still holding back information and not revealing. The donor, now donors in the plural, does not want to be made known. It is quite logical and it is natural to get sceptical response.
Nothing is confirmed.
However, it is possible for few wealthy Arabs to chip in a couple of hundred million US dollar for a good cause. Their family holiday and shopping trip to Marbella could cost a hundred million, easy.
It is no secret that wealthy Arabs put aside the riba earnings from their investment for donations. However, the common folks would not have known that. They only by into Tun M argument that only a mad Arab will give so much money.
The prevailing scepticism may have encouraged Muhyiddin to start a new UMNO tradition of Deputy President delivering a winding up speech before the President deliver the opening address.
Muhyiddin expressed himself openly at Kelab Sultan Sulaiman, Kampung Baru Monday night. In a speech dubbed by many observers as nothing new and repeating himself, he expressed the same concern he made to UMNO Pagoh weeks earlier albeit with a different drum.
Though he was not firm, he did uttered the words "penipuan" and "salah urustadbir" and getting media headlines. That sounded like a war drum. It would have been taken by some Najib supporters as outright allegation.
More so, when Muhyiddin uttered Tun M's demand for Najib to take leave and consequently to resign in front of Tun M himself. Some observer felt Muhyiddin was dancing to Tun M's tune. He should be himself.
However, Muhyiddin is still not fully committal and still making third party demands from media social quotes. Some saw it is not the real Muhyiddin but just him dancing to the beat of Tun M as the raft for his late campaign to get a head start.
Some are more certain that he was a sacrificial gambit in Tun M's chess game for power.
Some media people claimed support for Muhyiddin is picking up after the stunt by a small group of UMNO branch heads. Puteri UMNO was quiet receptive to the presence of Muhyiddin and Dato Shafie Afdal into their conference. Pemuda was welcoming but measured. Wanita was respectable.
With the support for Najib in a sea of red at the opening ceremoney looks overwhelming, will Muhyiddin do the Johor Sports Club joget to a Kedahan violin play?
Najib did not mince his words when he said the constitutionally defined role of a Deputy President is to assist him. In a speech where Najib provide a glimpse of inner self to the audience, the message he said was he may be a gentleman, open, and engaging, but this Bugis warrior is no pushover.
It is just that this Bugis warrior is more a strategist than a street brawler. He did not sack Mahathir or Muhyiddin or Shafie but let them squirm in their seats as he dish back what was dished at him.
For Muhyiddin, it was a disgrace.
So winning and losing may not matter any more. He is aware that he won the Deputy Presidency in the absence of a stronger Tan Sri Ali Rustam and with Najib's help to beat Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib.
It is more a question of honour. Tun M would have liked him to take on Najib.
So the pressure from grassroot is to have party election before the general election. Majority opined that the delay was a Najib move to save himself. Many may be surprise if it is not about Najib.
Najib can wield power when the times come and get himself elected. Muhyiddin is not his worry. So as some inner circle player claimed, the delay was to save Dato Hishamuddin.
If not for royal intervention and the VP chai, he would have lost to Dato Mukhriz's ragtag campaign team. With several possible VP candidates surfacing, it is Hishamuddin that is under threat and needed that delayed party election.
If that is the case, Muhyiddin will be merely a sacrifical gambit to Tun M's chess game.
At his late age, the common folk will not likely to believe that Tun M is out in pursuit of something. Sometimes it is not the world reward but more of the need to keep going and push new boundary that is more important. To some, the thrill is in the deal than the earning.
One ex-Semangat 46 office bearer and long observer of Tun M hinted that his every political fight will have it's own set of agenda. There is something to gain in each of the agenda pursued. That is the opening to the real motivation behind the onslaught.
Some say the reward from shooting down Pak Lah was the double tracking project and Proton.
This time Tun M's main grouse is 1MDB which comes with it TRX, IPP and some energy and land deals. Also mentioned is the crooked bridge of Johor Baru. There is also murder of Altantunya, GST and BR1M.
So what is Tun M's real motivation?
If Muhyiddin decide to take on Najib, it will be based on the agenda of alleged mismanagement, cheating and corruption in 1MDB. His side claimed they have the proofs and the amount said to be embezzled by 1MDB into Najib's account is more than the RM2.3 billion.
We are still listening and open. However, the pudding must be in the proofs and not the rhetorics and suspicions. Thus far, it does not look like he understand 1MDB enough. Not when he had to rely on The Edge, Sarawak report and Merdeka Centre for information.
Can Muhyiddin sustain a fight based on only allegation of mismanagement, cheating and corruption? These days only a wali (saint) can do so. Not politicians, and especially no those that have held office.
As per our comment to some young reporters that there will not be much of an incident at the General Assembly, there will not be much after Christmas. The game is over in Najib's favour.
One senior political analyst (not the jual buku politik type) said Tun M also has lost it.
Muhyiddin should focus on being the Deputy President that support the President and help the party regain lost confidence. That will be a better ending to his illustrious career in politics that he himself never expected to attain.
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