March 1, 2016
COMMENT: I am not surprised by the latest Tun Dr. Mahathir move to quit the party he created, which was renamed UMNO Baru, to replace UMNO (1946) which was outlawed by Justice Harun Hashim after 1987. I regard it as a preemptive action on his part to forestall his sacking from the party. On that score, Dr. Mahathir is not like Muhyiddin Yassin.
Lest some of us may conveniently forget. UMNO Baru is not UMNO. UMNO Baru was Mahathir’s creation with a new constitution that gave the Party President almost absolute powers. It is very difficult to dislodge the President because the rules for party elections are skewed in favour of the incumbent.For that, we must thank the Tun. Furthermore, UMNO Baru is the Godfather of crony capitalism and money politics. While UMNO 1946 was a party of Malay school teachers and housewives, the party which Najib inherited and used to his advantage is a party of elites and businessmen. Corruption is the lifeblood of UMNO Baru where, as Najib rightly puts, “Cash in King”.
What impact does this Mahathir move have on Najib? For that, I need the advice of our MH370 bomoh? Since he is probably on Najib’s payroll, the Bomoh will likely tell me that Najib will survive because he is kebal (invincible protected by the spirits and Rosmah’s famous shamans). So, Tun Dr.Mahathir’s resignation can only be treated as a mosquito bite. UMNO members will continue to support Najib as long as he has the cash to buy their loyalty.
Mahathir and his band of loyalists will be frustrated again. They cannot count on Pakatan Harapan since DAP and its partners do not trust him. Mahathir only wants to remove Najib, but he is not a reformer.So we are stuck.
UMNO will not change; the Pakatan Harapan is divided and leaderless; and there is little civil society can do to unseat Najib except to urge Mahathir on. The incumbent President cum Prime Minister is very much in control of the levers of power including the ability to declare a state of emergency under the new NSC Law, if the situation warrants. As a nation, we are in a state of political paralysis.
More than I care to admit, Najib is obviously a very astute political man who has surrounded himself with very sharp strategists.–Din Merican
Frustrated with Najib Razak : Dr. UMNO Baru Quits the Party
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has quit UMNO over his opposition to Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak. He announced this in Putrajaya today (February 29), saying the leading Malay ruling party was no longer what it used to be.
“The focus is how to keep Najib as Prime Minister.UMNO no longer is performing the task it set for itself way back in 1946,” he said.
This is the second time the former Prime Minister has quit UMNO, the first time in May 2008, over unhappiness with Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi the then Prime Minister who had led Barisan Nasional to dismal results in the general election that year.
Dr Mahathir said UMNO was also dedicated to upholding the “wrong things” Najib had done.
“I feel embarrassed to be associated with a party that supports corruption,” he said, adding that UMNO, like Najib, believed “cash is king”.
“I am giving up on party Najib, there is no more UMNO”.But he said he would consider returning to the party if Najib was successfully removed.
“I am still UMNO at heart. I am trying to make sure Najib will not continue to be PM of this country.
“If UMNO is revived, yes, but at the moment, there is no UMNO. My wife joins me in leaving Najib’s party,” he added, referring to his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.
Dr Mahathir, who was Prime Minister and UMNO President for 22 years until his retirement in 2003, has been criticising Najib relentlessly over state-owned investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the RM2.6 billion donation.
His criticism of Najib began more than a year ago over the Finance Ministry-owned 1MDB of which Najib is advisory board chairman, and only grew more intense after The Wall Street Journal’s report last July of the donation.
Dr Mahathir had also hit out at Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali for not pressing charges against Najib after the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s investigations into the donation and another Finance Ministry-owned firm SRC International Sdn Bhd, which had been implicated in the transfer of money to the prime minister’s personal bank accounts. – February 29, 2016.