Tokoh wartawan Datuk A Kadir Jasin hari ini menggariskan perbezaan antara bekas perdana menteri Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dan penyandang sekarang Datuk Seri Najib Razak, berkaitan kedudukan mereka di tampuk kuasa.
Kadir, yang rapat dengan seorang lagi bekas perdana menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, berkata berbanding Abdullah atau Pak Lah, Najib lebih sukar ditangani.
“Pak Lah tidak ada isteri yang bercita-cita besar,” tambahnya yang dilihat ditujukan kepada isteri Najib, Rosmah Mansor, yang sering berdepan tanggapan negatif orang ramai.
Kadir juga berkata Timbalan Perdana Menteri Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin akan menjadi pilihan semula jadi untuk menggantikan Najib jika beliau berundur.
“Isterinya disenangi dan hal anak-anaknya jarang dilihat atau didengar. Satu-satunya yang orang ramai tahu ialah Najwa Mahiaddin kerana dia seorang penyanyi dan penggubah lagu.
“Kelebihan lain apabila beliau datang daripada keluarga kuat agama daripada Muar,” katanya..
Berikut adalah sebahagian dari tulisan A.Kadir Jasin yang dimaksudkan itu..
These are among the many questions that have to be asked and answered.
But before that we will have to determine whether he survives the assault on him from within and outside Umno.
To begin with, doing away with Mohd Najib is not going to be easy. Certainly not as easy as forcing out (Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2009.
In the wider context, we Malaysians could very well be approaching the hell gate of weak government. Both the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) have their own sets of issues to be able to offer a credible choice at the polls.
For now, the more likely scenario is Mohd Najib survives as Prime Minister, Umno President and BN Chairman but the BN could lose the next general election. The redrawing of election boundaries could be to the advantage of the BN in the rural areas but may no be enough to offset voters’ rebellion.
To help us find answers to the above questions, let us consider the following:
1. Mohd Najib isn’t Abdullah. Showing Pak Lah the door in 2009 was a lot easier. He did not have as many apple polishers and jemuan (to borrow Mohd Najib’s own words when opening Kedah Umno Convention on March 14) as the incumbent.
2. Pak Lah did not have an ambitious wife. He had health issues. His did not have a support base as strong as Mohd Najib. Umno divisional, state and federal leaders were then less hypocritical and there was still some “perjuangan” (struggle) left.
3. Mohd Najib might not have played a key role in forcing Pak Lah to resign. But he must have learned a few lessons to avoid Pak Lah’s pitfalls. Mohd Najib has an ambitious determined wife who would want him to stay at all costs. On the other hand, Pak Lah’s wife, (Tun) Jeanne, is not ambitious woman and it was said that she urged him to resign.
4. Pak Lah did not have too many people depending on him for favours – political, business and professional. Members of his kitchen cabinet numbered less than 10. Mohd Najib has hundreds. He built his influenced by dispensing favours to as many people as possible. He runs the biggest Prime Minister’s Office in history and controls the party chiefs with the gifts of golden eggs (to borrow the expression of the Umno Secretary General Tenkgu aka Teuku Adnan Mansor) and surrounded himself with quasi government agencies which are not under the control of the Public Services Department.
5. He may not be liked and loved by Dr Mahathir, Umno veterans and bloggers, but he is loved by the upper echelon of the business community. The Bumiputera businessmen get contracts and blessings from him. The Chinese also get contracts from the government while at the same time they take advantage of marketplace uncertainties to buy back their shares, doubles their profits and transfer their wealth abroad. The Indian tycoons too benefited by being close to him and his household. They enjoy preferential loans and plump business deals, contracts and concessions. One of them – T. Ananda Krishnan – went a step further by providing loans to the government to bail out the ailing 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
6. Assuming that there is a hidden widespread dissatisfaction among Umno leaders and this would soon boil over and topples Mohd Najib, who would then take over?
7. (Tan Sri) Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin is the natural choice. He is the Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Umno President.
8. For months the expectation has been that he will lead the charge. But he has been blowing hot and cold, and many observers think that he would not mount an open challenge. He has been speaking out against 1MDB but unless he states his stand openly, Umno is not likely to rally behind him to shoo Mohd Najib away from Putrajaya. Like the legendary Jebat he risks being done in by Mohd Najib’s "Hang Tuahs".
9. All said and done, he is still the best person to take over. He stands a good chance of consolidating Umno and bringing back the support of the Malays. He hasn’t been embroiled in a major controversy of the proportion of 1MDB, his wife is likeable and his children are rarely seen or heard of. The only one the public knows is Najwa Mahiaddin because she is a singer and songwriter. An added advantage is the fact that he comes of a religious Muar family.
10. But he may not be so dearly loved by the non-Malays because he openly acknowledged that he is Malay first and Malaysian second in relation to Mohd Najib 1Malaysia branding. So he may not get full backing from the non-Malay parties of the BN, but he can count on the support of the anak negeri parties in Sarawak.
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