To Muhyiddin Yassin: You can’t lead, if you cannot fight back

October 30, 2015

To Muhyiddin Yassin: You can’t lead, if you cannot fight back

The UMNO Ampu Man is in danger of being suspended or sacked by PM Najib. Fight or Not to Fight, that is not the Question.

ANALYSIS by Geraldine Tong | UMNO Deputy President Muhyiddin Yassin has to fight back if he is suspended from the party, or else he will be branded a coward, a political analyst says.

“It will be humiliation for Muhyiddin, and serve as a lesson for other party members. I Dr Wong Chin Huatpredict he will put up a fight if he is suspended. Not doing so will mean he’s a coward. If he doesn’t fight back, he will be seen as a loser. If he just accepts his fate, then he will be doomed. Supporters will say he does not dare to fight back,” political analyst Dr. Wong Chin Huat, a Research Fellow with Penang Institute, told Malaysiakini in an interview.

Wong’s view comes following speculation that Muhyiddin may soon be suspended as the party’s Deputy President, especially after he berated UMNO members as cowards for abandoning him after his dismissal as Deputy Prime Minister.

Wong said if the former Deputy Prime Minister is suspended from UMNO, he would not be the only victim. Several other UMNO leaders would probably be suspended as well, like the party’s Vice-President Mohd Shafie Apdal as well as UMNO veterans Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Dr Mahathir Mohamad, he predicts.

Up the ante and quit?

If they choose to fight back, they would most likely quit the party in a show of defiance, said Wong. However, before quitting, they might do a roadshow to gauge support for them among UMNO members as well as among members of the public. “If the support is high, then they could up the ante to fight back (by quitting),” Wong said. Muhyiddin’s suspension would not immediately affect Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, he added.

“Suspending a few people will not change a thing. What would change the course of the game is an open split. The discontent against Najib in UMNO and (among) the Malays could well build up (with Muhyiddin’s suspension),” he said.

Edmund Terence GomezFellow analyst, Dr. Terence Gomez said the current situation in UMNO is an indication of desperate times for Najib, as there appears to be a lot of unrest among the grassroots. This was made worse for Najib when Muhyiddin joined forces with several other BN veterans, such as Shafie, Tengku Razaleigh and Mahathir, at a press conference criticising 1MDB and the abuse of law under Najib’s administration, Gomez said.

“You have such senior leaders, former and present ones, coming together to take on the prime minister. This is certainly not good for him (Najib). Najib is acting to nip this all in the bud,” Gomez said. However, he warned that this situation is a double-edged sword for Najib.

Possible groundswell of dissent

If Najib does not deal with the situation, the protests on the ground may grow and dealing with it may put the Prime Minister in a more difficult position among the grassroots as well. On whether the grassroots would react badly to Muhyiddin’s suspension, Gomez noted that UMNO is a party based on patronage.

“Like Mahathir said, Najib thinks everyone can be bought. Money politics is a key feature of the party. The problem for Najib is that this is a party of three million members and there’s only so much money that he will have available for distribution to the grassroots to contain the mutiny that’s emerging from the ground,” Gomez said.

He also argued that the implications of unrest within UMNO were very serious and if not dealt with, could very likely cost the party and its BN allies, the next general election. UMNO members might think they could get away by staying silent in the short term, but they would lose out in the long term, he said.

Voters also discontented

“The discontent is not just within the party, but among the electorate as well. So they (UMNO members) have to think very carefully on how they would have to deal with this issue,” he said.

TWan Saiful Wan Janhink-tank Ideas chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan said suspending Muhyiddin would consolidate Najib’s position in the party – for now at least – and he agreed with the other analysts that the long-term effects could be disastrous for Najib.

“He (Najib) is setting a very bad precedent. In the future, despite him being elected as Party President, others in UMNO can also gang up against him.If the next Deputy President becomes very strong, he could also gang up with other leaders to remove the president,” Wan Saiful said.

Suspending Muhyiddin would break the party structure and respect for the party hierarchy, he said.It would also show how insecure the current leadership in the party is, which will worsen its impact on the party.

“It will perpetuate the rule of one person. It’s no longer about the supreme council or the members, it’s all about saving one person.More people will see Najib for what he is – a person who is trying desperately to consolidate his power,” Wan Saiful said.

However, he admitted that Muhyiddin lacked enough grassroots support to battle back from within the party.”I think the voices complaining against Najib will become louder (after Muhyiddin’s suspension), but I don’t think these voices will become bigger in size,” he added.

Additional reporting by Norman Goh

10 thoughts on “To Muhyiddin Yassin: You can’t lead, if you cannot fight back

  1. Criticize or oppose leadership and lose your post and membership.
    This is normal international culture in politics-corporate-religious-charitable-NGOs and any other organization.
    Leaders only want ‘yes’ followers even if the country/organizations gets destroyed in the process.

  2. Muhyiddin is in a quandary because he is, as he claimed to be, an ‘AHLI UMNO TOTOK’ (Genuine Member of UMNO). How could he do anything more by ‘fighting back’ without being construed as a FAKE (as opposed to TOTOK) and being accused of trying to be disloyal to UMNO and to destroy the Party? He could well be, in reality, fighting the corrupt personalities in the leadership of the Party in order to save UMNO’s image & name from being soiled. But members of UMNO have long been confused by the Party’s propaganda that conflates personalities in the leadership with UMNO itself. To these confused members, ‘fighting back’ against the corrupt leaders of the Party is akin to fighting to destroy UMNO when in fact the fight is the struggle to save the Party. The confused members cannot differentiate personalities from UMNO, the Party. To them, disloyalty to the leader, however corrupt or wrong he may have been in his actions in the name of the Party, is disloyalty to the Party. So, in many ways, the leadership expect blind loyalty and nothing less from members. This situation is made worse by the practice of the feudalistic culture of patronage making members dependent on the leaders who usually keep the cream and distribute the crumbs. This attitude and stance can be seen from the motto that CASH IS KING.

  3. UMNO constitution gives the President absolute power. He can sack anyone.
    The UMNO President is actually a dictator with such power. All division leaders have to kow tow and they are rewarded by supporting the President
    Division leaders are given financial benefits like contracts, cheap land, share option, posts with high salaries in companies etc. Almost all of them drive a new Mercedes
    In USA, political leaders cannot sack any member as it will lead to tyranny
    If a leader can sack rival, competitor or challenger, he can remain in power for life

    What about the opposition parties???


  4. Quote:- “Not doing so will mean he’s a coward”

    Wrong. Not fighting back means he is also just as corrupt, and every UMNO member knows it.

    A black pot could never fight the black kettle and win. Simple as that.

    Just plain Karma for the once arrogant “Malay first” hero.

    The corruption between Najib and the rest of them in UMNO / BN is only a matter of degree.

    From the point of view of an UMNO division chief or Supreme Council member, he knows both are equally corrupt, and neither could claim any high moral ground. It therefore boils down to which of the corrupt two pays more cash.

    The country’s salvation could never be from or by these people doing a ceremonial changing of the guard. It must come from the people themselves in voting them out in a GE.

    Give the opposition a chance and if they too fail after 5 years, then we have to accept the fact that Malaysia is beyond redemption and will go the way of all 3rd World failed state, descending either into chronic poverty, or a never-ending cycle of inter and intra racial conflict and violence.

    With so much glaring evidence and hindsight, the majority Malays still do not wake up, especially at the next GE, then the blame can now squarely be put on them.

  5. The problem facing the Malays in this country is that, the choice between UMNO and the Oppositions is like choosing the devil that you know and the deep blue sea that you don’t. Damage has been done. But the question is which side is liable to cause greater damage if given the next five years?

  6. Johari bin Hj Surin Surin – Stop being a fooled Malay. There is no more UMNO TOTOK. No risk no gain. Take the risk for once – DISCARD UMNO. Vote PAS for a change and let’s see what hudud can do to many of those Blindly Loyal UMNO Malays.

  7. More people will see Najib for what he is – a person who is trying desperately to consolidate his power,” Wan Saiful said.

    CORRECTION: a person who is trying desperately to save his own (and his wife’s) skin.

  8. At first, I thought since I could not remember anything Muhiyiddin said, I would not miss him.

    But I just noticed wikipedia said this. This is pelik! Looking back Muhiyiddin is authentic while Najib is phoney. Between authentic and phoney, it is hands down authenticity that I will miss. Race ( perhaps Religion also ) before nationhood. Chinese (assuming culture) first, Malaysian second. In church, it is indeed always Jesus first. Perhaps, we are the ones who are not as authentic as Muhiyiddin.

    in March 2010 by stating he was “Malay” first rather than “Malaysian first”.[6] He also said that there is nothing wrong with other races doing the same; for example, the Chinese could claim themselves to be “Chinese first, Malaysian second” and same for the Indians. On 13 July 2010 he said that anyone was free to form an association, including Chinese or Indian versions of the Malay rights group Perkasa.[7] Prime Minister Najib came to Muyyiddin’s defence, denying that his statement was inconsistent with the “1Malaysia” concept promoted by the government.[8]

  9. It is becoming a worthless task speaking about this, Even i am asking my self why am i reading this! IMPUNITY has now new meaning

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