Is Najib on his way out – from anu.edu.au

Posting an article from New Mandala from the anu.edu.au site. The article has several links to blog articles on Malaysia, including my blog article on ‘Kill the chicken to warn the monkeys. (The link is in red)

Is Najib on his way out?

February 9th, 2010 by Greg Lopez

In recent months several events point to familiar UMNO (United Malay National Organisation) intrigue. This occurs whenever there is a tussle for power at the highest level. Is Muhyiddin (who just launched his blog – Muhyiddin Yassin for Malaysia), Prime Minister Najib’s Deputy, attempting to overthrow his boss? Najib, who only came into power in April of 2009, is in real danger of not completing a term as Prime Minister (read here).

Muhyiddin has taken some tangential positions to his “boss”. Muhyiddin’s stance on hot button issues such as the “Allah” Court ruling — insisting that Christians drop the usage of the word “Allah” and backtracking on the formation of an inter-faith council to resolve the “Allah” issue through dialogue — were ominous. In fact, Muhyiddin demonstrated his fundamentalist credentials as soon as he became Deputy Prime Minister in April 2009 but strengthened them further in October 2009 (he made racist statements against Anwar Ibrahim), when it was clear that fundamentalists were gaining the upper hand in UMNO.

The context to this is simple — UMNO has two different views on how to remain in power — to become a Malay/Muslim extremist party to capture the Malay votes or to return to the middle ground — which had served it well for the past 52 years. Muhyiddin represents the first view while Najib the second. Unfortunately, due to Najib’s indecisiveness, he is considered the new “Pak Lah” (the former Prime Minister) while Muhyiddin is seen as the new “Mahathir” (read here). Despite, Najib’s policy prescription of “Malay Leadership”, it appears that UMNO is still about “Malay Supremacy” as represented by Muhyiddin.

Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan and policy agenda (read here, here and here) has been systematically rubbished by UMNO hardliners with the support of key government Ministers such as Muhyiddin and Malay/Muslim civil servants and non-governmental organisations bent on ensuring continued “Malay Supremacy” (more here, here and here).

Then there were the fire-bombings of places of worship (mostly Christian) after the “Allah” court ruling which shattered Malaysia’s facade as a peaceful nation where people of different faiths and races live harmoniously. Furthermore, a recent forum organised by JAKIM (the Islamic Development Department) blamed Christians for tensions in the country and a forum panellist threatened Christians with a repeat of May 13 (race riot organised by certain UMNO members after losing 2/3 majority in the Peninsula Malaysia in 1969) — a view which is supported by Muhyiddin but not Najib.

Several startling events point to insiders sabotaging Najib. The story of two missing jet engines which occurred during Najib’s tenure as Defence Minister surfaced after being “…solved…”. It was surprising that the scandal resurfaced under the eyes of Najib’s once trusted ally, the current Minister of Defence, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Since the scandal broke, two individuals, believed to be scapegoats have been charged.

The biggest set-back came a few days ago when the Prime Minister’s special aide, Nasir Safar , allegedly called ancestors of Malaysians of Indian heritage beggars and thieves and women ancestors of Malaysian Chinese  prostitutes.  This happened at, of all places, a 1Malaysia forum attended by the UMNO’s partners from the Barisan Nasional.  Nasir also threatened to revoke the citizenship of non-Malays who challenged the limit of 12 subjects that a student can take at the SPM (Malaysia’s equivalent to O-level) examinations (Muhyiddin is the current Education Minister who came up with this ruling which reduces the value of subjects such as Tamil, Mandarin and Bible Knowledge).

Several commentators have already suggested that Najib is facing unprecedented resistance to his reform agenda and is being sabotaged in the process (read here) as his middle of the road approach goes against the very being of UMNO.

Najib’s position is weak — both in UMNO and nationally. His ruling coalition is unstable with all key component parties facing leadership crises. The economy continues to falter and Malaysia’s weakening reserves suggests capital flight. Anwar’s Sodomy Trial and the “Allah” issue may drive moderates further away as fundamentalists push UMNO further to the right.  Judging by previous UMNO intrigue (e.g. May 13, 1969; Operasi Lalang, October 1987; Reformasi, September 1998), it is likely that Najib will have to resort to underhand tactics to save his position in UMNO — and as always it is innocent Malaysians — mostly likely opposition leaders and democracy that will pay the price.

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. CYC
    Feb 10, 2010 @ 17:18:20

    Najib definitely knew Muhyiddin is threat and therefore he has wisely move him from MITI to Education portfolio. MITI is seen as more powerful position to garner financial support compare to Education.

    The advantage of muhyiddin is he has backing of Dr. M and understandably making use of Malay supremacy as lethal weapon. Najib actually advocates Malay Supremacy policy but due to current needs he has to shift to middle ground. Hence, UMNO leaders actually are at the mercy of their hungry and greedy warlords. Either they kow tow to them or out they go like AAB. Unless and until the emergence of another Dr. M , unity is a forgotten terms as far as UMNO is concern.

    Hence, as long as other component parties of BN like MCA, MIC , Gerakan..etc remained chaotic and divided, UMNO will not achieve unity as various faction will try their very best to entice support from the A, B, C team within MCA, MIC and Gerakan.

    So, who is going to get the tiger year grand ang pow? Najib or Muhyiddin ? Just watch who is sharing the same plate of food , and who dance together in the ballroom. You solve the puzzle.

    I don’t care what is the outcome as I am more concern when can we have a change of govt. who cares if the new govt may not live to my expectation. Reformation will come only when return from visiting HELL.

    Like

  2. batu giant
    Feb 10, 2010 @ 18:06:23

    no wonder everytime PM is moving 1 step forward, then some with brain in the wrong heads around him decide to move other direction. sad sad sad.

    Like

  3. cilipadi
    Feb 10, 2010 @ 18:39:33

    This is very real.

    So many ghosts, Mongolian, Chinese, Indian, Malay, known and unknown refuse to let go this guy & his cohorts…..

    Look from outsider’s point, better to go for snap general election…. he has no choice

    How to run away from ghosts? Ghosts are in themselves, how to run?

    Ghosts makan cili, …… siapa rasa pedas?

    Like

  4. chabalang
    Feb 10, 2010 @ 20:36:15

    This sounds SCARY. We all know what the UMNOputras is capable of doing to stay in POWER…

    Dr Hsu, any kind advice to dish out? Do we get ready our ticket out of the country?

    Like

  5. Dr Hsu
    Feb 10, 2010 @ 22:48:08

    chabalang
    NOt only all of us should be worried, even our neighbours are getting very worried.

    A Hong Kong based international organisation has stated that the risk of instability has gone up. (MI reports).

    This has never been the case.

    Like

  6. ahoo
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 10:57:35

    As the chinese saying goes,…. in any crisis there is opportunity. From the many happennings in current political scene, there is opportunity for change. Things will get worse (muddy) before the new dawn approaches. The dark nights are there before we appreciate the new morning with new hope for a new beginning.

    Let us not read too much into the socalled infighting of the current ruling regime. For all we know they are merely playing ” chess game ” with ” old horse ” as their coach. Warlords as the ringside cheer group waiting for their common enemy to be devoured. The local MSMs’ are good at churning out news to divert attention from the main issues at hand. Using political infighting as a decoy to plan their major coup on the remaining states not in their hand. Using underhand tactics via proxies in NGOs’ to create pressure for the state govt in the name of race & religion.

    Don’t throw in the towel just yet and before anything good can come out of any crisis there is bound to be instability, financial difficulties and maybe even political unrest. Over a decade ago there were limited international coverage but today scene is entirely different. Despite controlling the local MSMs’ instant news via internet reaches the whole world and for good or bad they cannot just sweep it under the carpet anymore like before. The whole world is watching us and listening and it bode well for the people that racists days maybe numbered.

    Like

  7. CYC
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 11:16:54

    Before I wish everyone ” A Happy and Wholesome Year of Tiger”, allow me to digress a little on the rotten politics and culture of Malaysia.

    For all youngsters out there, when u go back to your hometown for CNY please convince your elders in the village to abandon MCA and Gerakan. Reassure them these 2 sinking ship can’t protect them and the patronage system practice by BN will be destructed once they lose the election. Ask them to do favour for their next generation instead by booting out this two toothless mouse.

    For those who are affiliated with Chinese NGOs, please forgo a little “money making” kangtow and reject the infiltration of MCA leaders into your association because that will ensure neutrality and apolitical stand of your association.

    For those TAR college and UNITAR undergraduates and graduates, u don’t owe MCA a life time loyalties or obedience simply because u once studied there. U pay fees and most of the funds were donated by the general public and dun forget that many people in college board of trustee are there for a purpose including financial gain.

    For those highly educated, please never overestimate your intelligence and underestimate the strength of the under educated, revolution can’t succeed without participation of peasants not the rich and famous.

    For those in Business, think long term and not easily swayed by little sweetener. It takes only 22 years for u to realise who stupid we are to think that little sweetener will lead us to eternity.

    For those who worship leader blindly, please see for yourself how filthy rich are descendants of Chiang Kai Shek, Yasser Arafat, Ferdinand Marcos, Suharto, Mahathir, Samy Vellu and Ling Liong Sik. And don’t forget the “Savior of the Chinese Community” Tan Koon Swan who make many of your parents and grand parents bankrupt by introducing Koperasi to induce them to make him and cohorts rich.

    GONG XI FA CAI .

    Like

  8. Trackback: Is Najib on his way out – from anu.edu.au | Dump Blog
  9. A true Malaysian
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 12:01:04

    Hey guys,

    Highly recommended write-ups. I hope Malaysian Evangelical Churches learn some lessons from Pastor Rony Tan (Singapore). You read on and you know what I mean.

    http://sdhammika.blogspot.com/2010/02/pastor-tan-tapes.html

    and, of course, this site

    http://kennethism.com/2010/02/10/pastor-rony-tan-of-lighthouse-evangelism-needs-to-apologise-to-gays-and-lesbians-too/

    Like

  10. Ken
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 12:06:53

    Why speculate? There’s no clear sign of a power struggle right now. Of course one can string disparate events together like the loss of jet engines and Nasir Safar’s outburst into a conspiracy but they may be really independent events for all we know.

    I agree Nasir’s racist outburst is the manifestation of something deeper rather than the accidental product of a loose tongue but it’s far fetch to extrapolate it to a Najib-Muhyiddin power struggle. Mahathir himself has come out to say he is satisfied with Najib’s performance. It’s fair to say that any attempt to push out Najib will not succeed without the old man’s backing.

    There seems to be no good reason to get Najib out promptly. His 1Malaysia is more or less an empty slogan with no political will to amend the racial discriminatory policies. I don’t see why Muhyiddin should be so impatient to create a political upheaval to grab power. By the way, the Education Ministry is traditionally seen as a stepping stone to the premiership, not MITI.

    So what is served by all this intense speculation Dr. Hsu? I don’t see any real basis for it.

    Like

  11. A true Malaysian
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 15:34:43

    What ISD said

    ‘Pastor Tan’s comments were highly inappropriate and unacceptable as they trivialised and insulted the beliefs of Buddhists and Taoists. They can also give rise to tension and conflict between the Buddhist/Taoist and Christian communities. ISD told Pastor Tan that in preaching or proselytising his faith, he must not run down other religions, and must be mindful of the sensitivities of other religions.’

    The Home Affairs Ministry, on what the Internal Security Department told Senior Pastor Rony Tan

    What pastor said

    ‘I sincerely apologise for my insensitivity towards the Buddhists and Taoists, and solemnly promise that it will never happen again.’

    Senior Pastor Rony Tan, in his statement posted on his church’s website last night

    Read here for full story http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_488212.html

    Like

  12. A true Malaysian
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 15:37:12

    Urgent Message From Pastor Rony

    I have received a number of emails from people who have been saddened and hurt by the testimonies of an ex-monk and an ex-nun. I realized that my presentation and comments were wrong and offensive. So I sincerely apologize for my insensitivity towards the Buddhists and Taoists, and solemnly promise that it will never happen again.

    When we have received those emails, we immediately removed the video clips from our website. I urge those who have posted those clips on the YouTube to remove them as well.

    After reading the frank views from those emails, I was also prompted to tell my members not only to continue to love souls, but also to respect other beliefs and not to ridicule them in any way, shape or fashion.

    Let’s put our goal to build a harmonious Singapore a top priority.

    http://www.ronytan.com/

    Like

  13. disgusted
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 19:17:28

    Spiritual knowledge is more crucial than “religious knowledge”, hence as seen (per se) people like Pastor who learn “the truth” from textbooks and mountain writings.

    There is a huge difference in semantics, the fiery word, “religion” and “spirituality”.

    Religion can be controlled by men of power with an agenda to control others instead of living in a world based on wisdom, truth and compassion.

    Every human brain/mind is a powerhouse of spirituality within.

    So religion is like a snake, grasp wrongly and you get bitten. Religions (all religions at surface) so far have failed to solve human problems and some still, worse enhancing wars and violence “in the name” of religion.

    Spirituality is the only answer to wisdom, not brand names and an air of superiority complex.

    I believe in the Pleiadians anytime than our political “ass…”

    Like

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