February 3, 2016
UMNO Post Mukhriz–Najib Razak stirs Hornet’s Nest?
by K H Su
Tun Dr. Mahathir reaps what he sows
The demise of Mukhriz Mahathir as Menteri Besar (MB) of Kedah was a foregone conclusion the moment Ahmad Bashah led 14 UMNO assemblymen in a press conference to call upon Prime Minister Najib Razak to replace him.
Mukhriz’s ouster is least surprising given that all who publicly criticised Najib or had lent support to former premier Dr Mahathir Mohammad in baying for the PM’s blood had already fallen by the wayside. Muhyiddin Yassin and Shafie Apdal were dismissed from their posts. Mahathir himself was emasculated, and reduced to a petulant whiner devoid of new ideas to fire the imagination of those who had pinned their hopes on him for a change of government.
There is little doubt that Mukhriz is a victim of circumstances. While many are sympathetic, they attribute his ill fate to a comeuppance occasioned by his own father’s past actions. What goes around, comes around, so they say. We reap what we sow.
Mahathir himself had brought down so many erstwhile powerful politicians, including former Kedah MB Osman Aroff (pic above). He has the distinction of having a hand in the making and unmaking of a Prime Minister, from Tunku Abdul Rahman to Pak Lah. And let’s not also forget that he was instrumental for the elevation of Najib to the premiership. But this time around it is his own son who is suffering ill fate at the hands of the man he once declared was his choice for PM over Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Questions now abound as to what Mukhriz will do next. Mukhriz, popular though he may be with the ordinary Kedahan, is not seen as one with much strength with the grassroots. His rise is attributable to his father’s influence, albeit waning rapidly in recent times. It is nevertheless quite likely that any move Mukhriz makes after this will only be in concert with his father. Sadly he has yet to come out of his father’s shadow for his own good.
Time For Mukhriz Mahathir to R&R
Muhyiddin and Shafie have chosen to remain in UMNO and bide their time for a future opening in the revolving door of local politics. I expect Mukhriz to follow suit, for any rash decision will only consign him further into the wilderness. Pak Lah, Rais Yatim and Shahrir Samad were in the same boat, but they bided their time as well and were rewarded. But so long as Mahathir continues to whine, Mukhriz will be kept out of the inner circle.
Critics of the Kedah crisis allude to Mukhriz’s ouster as a harbinger of doom for Barisan Nasional come the 14th general election. While the Opposition has publicly condemned Najib for his treatment of Mukhriz, as expected, they must have smelled fresh opportunities henceforth. Wan Azizah (pic below)in her vitriolic attacks on the UMNO leadership over the Kedah issue, has conveniently forgotten what happened in Selangor only months ago that was even more protracted and messier.
The Kedah crisis evoked afresh a sense of déjà vu in a political landscape, shaped largely by the hands of a former long-serving PM. The excitement lasted only weeks unlike the infamous Selangor fiasco. It is good for Kedahans that the crisis has ended as the Kedah royal household did have a headache but a smaller one than that of their Selangor counterpart.