What will happen to the country? Everyone is now talking about Dr Mahathir and his latest move, quitting rom UMNO.
Dr Mahathir’s latest move will of course distract the attention from the Royal Commission report on Lingam. That maybe the triggering factor but I do not think that that is the main reason for his latest move.
Many people are saying that by quitting, Dr M hopes that some UMNO MPs may follow and that would cause instability in BN government , with so much talks about Sabah MPs quittng and forming a new paty to join Pakatan. If a group of UMNO MPs quit, then it would be the catalyst for Sabahan MPs to leave BN and join Pakatan, and the beneficiary will be ironically be Dr M’s nemesis, Anwar.
BUt personally I do not think that any MPs from UMNO will follow Mahathir, not even his own son Mukhriz. Some of the veterans (meaning those toothless former UMNO leaders) may quit, like Sanusi.
SO why do Mahathir still do this?
I think that he is hoping that many grassroots who are not happy about the present leadership in UMNO will quit. And if this group is sizeable enough, it may put pressure on Pak Lah to step down earlier than he has planned. Because if grassroots leave in droves, the party will be weakened, and no powerbrokers would like to see an UMNO with a weakened base. They will be forced to persuade Pak Lah to bring forward his succession plan. There might even be an EGM for UMNO delegates, if enough grassroot members leave.
But UMNO grassroot members are known to be fiercely loyal. In the past, after Onn Jaffar resigned from UMNO, UMNO did not sink. Instead Onn Jaffar became a spent force and irrelevant in Malayan politics .
I think this time the same thing will happen. SOme grassroots may leave but not enough to cause a big earthquake. Pak Lah will be weakened further but he will still hold on to power.
The danger is of course Dr Mahathir will try to fan racial sentiments again, like after 1969. He is a good orator and writer, and I am afraid his words may stir up racial sentiments again, which is bad for the country. If he does that, UMNO will be forced to become more radical, and that would put MCA. MIC, Gerakan in a spot. If things come to that, either these parties will quit BN, or if they choose to remain, many MPs from these parties may jump ship and cross over to Pakatan. That would again cause the collapse of Pak Lah’s govenrment , and a new fresh election might be called; an election, I am afraid will be fought very viciously and racial card may be used again.
Will things come to that? Let us just keep our fingers crossed.