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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Is Najib still in control of the country or are these his final months as PM?

Sulaiman Kamal | 12:12 PM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Who is running the country? Isnt it Najib anymore? Has anyone any idea? We know there is talk that Najib’s time is almost up. The amount of controversy surrounding him seems to have peaked to such levels that a State Mufti has even joined in to condemn Najib’s government as weak, lacking trust and full of corruption.
PKR communications chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad also alleges that Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has taken over the administration of Malaysia from his boss Najib Razak, as the row over a Parliamentary Select Committee heats up. Najib had pledged his administration would wait for the outcome from the PSC before calling for fresh elections. But just days after announcing it, he went back on his word and his latest statement on the matter is that polls can be held any time from now.
“People used to joke about Rosmah running the country. Now it’s Muhyiddin who is running the country,” Nik Nazmi told reporters.

Too much scandal
But how can Muhyiddin be running this country? Can he actually do that? Is Najib that powerless? Isn’t he supposed to be the CEO of Malaysia, and considered the most powerful man in the country? With all the resources at his disposal, it is a wonder that Najib did not use it to consolidate his power. Now his henchmen are stepping all over him, and news of him stepping down in the near future is being constantly played up in the media almost daily.
Although no one thinks Najib is clean, given his long and scandal-tainted career of 33 years in the civil service, he still managed to attain the premiership and become the top man in this country. If he cannot lead, who else in this country is worthy to take his place? Are the allegations really true that he and Muhyiddin are just seat-warmers until the bald man himself takes his 'rightful' throne? What happens then to Hishammuddin? What part does he play in the equation or is he going to be DPM forever?
It is beyond doubt that no reform will be implemented to the Electoral Roll prior to the general election, which is very likely to be held soon. Barisan Nasional is expected to win with a slight majority too, if not a two-thirds majority! But still Najib may not get to stay on when the UMNO party elections are held next year. Some even think he may be pressured to announce a succession plan in December, when the party's general assembly is held.
Why didn’t Najib reshuffle his Cabinet when he had the chance to earlier on? The man on the street is puzzled at the internal going-ons within UMNO. No one has the right answers or knows the real purpose behind the power struggles. But the move to get Najib to step down seems to be shifting into top gear lately with both sides of the political divide stepping up criticism of his administration.
UMNO warlords to blame, not just Najib
Other than the Perak Mufti, an ex-US ambassador has put forth damning evidence of a past plot to keep Anwar Ibrahim down when it looked like he would challenge his boss Mahathir Mohamad for the job. Anwar was then the deputy prime minister and led a faction in UMNO calling themselves the Wawasan 2020 team. They were extremely popular with the UMNO grassroots and Malay community. Najib had then agreed to be Anwar's DPM if they managed to win against Mahathir in the party polls.
But to be fair, Najib's troubles are his own doing. All his enemies did was to highlight his scandals which he and wife Rosmah Mansor brought on themselves. Allegations of shady submarine deals and murder still constantly pop up in the press, with less and less people coming to his defence. The on-going sodomy trial, sex video controversy and his mishandling of the Bersih 2.0 march has weakened him politically, perhaps even fatally as a national leader.
Even before Najib's ascension to the premiership, he was dogged by scandal and there were serious attempts to stop him from taking over as the new Prime Minister. Appeals were even made to Kelantan prince Tengku Razaleigh to offer himself as an alternative but the UMNO warlords wanted none of that.
So if UMNO as a party has been weakened even further because of the Najib administration or misadministration, to a large extent its own Supreme Council leaders too have to bear the blame. The Altantuya trial and Scorpenes scandal were already full blown and yet to placate Mahathir, they allowed Najib to take over from Badawi.
Taking Malaysia nowhere
Since then, Najib has done precious little to salvage his premiership as he stood by to allow rabble rouser NGOs like Perkasa to take to the streets undermining the race and religious tranquillity in the country.
Malaysians today look at him in helplessness as extremism keeps rearing its ugly head with all sorts of UMNO-linked NGOs offereing 'jihad' or holy way against Christian groups over Bibles, "Allah", proselytization and what-not.
By now, few Malaysians will be sad to see him and Rosmah go. His early exit leaves behind a mountain of unfinished work, which his successors will surely sweep into the rubbish bins as soon as he clocks out. What a waste of money and if you billed the past 3 years lost to the nation, the tally can easily come up to hundreds of billions.
What if Najib refuses to throw in the gauntlet? Quite a ridiculous proposition when there are so many vultures and cows eyeing the precious throne. Indeed, it would be difficult for him to fend them off. His flip-flops, hesitancy, slow responses to controversies and his indecisive attitudes have not endeared him to many Malaysians.
So between him, Muhyiddin and the Pakatan Rakyat, it is most obvious which one will be the people’s choice.

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