The “Empire” strikes back?

In January this year, after Anwar was acquitted by the High Court, many were of the opinion that the next GE would be held very shortly, probably in March.

I held a different opinion, and when asked by Singapore ST’s reporter for my opinion, this was my reply, and I quote from STimes (click here):

But Mr Najib has also gained a reputation as a cautious operator, under pressure to return a two-thirds parliamentary majority to the BN.

As such, there may still be surprises in the coming months which may affect the timing of the election, noted former Gerakan leader and political observer Hsu Dar Ren.

A controversy over the alleged misuse of public funds for a cattle project, for instance, flared two months ago, and continues to threaten the position of Umno’s women’s wing chief Shahrizat Jalil.

Datuk Seri Shahrizat’s husband heads the cattle project.

“Najib will have to settle outstanding issues like this before he calls for an election,” said Dr Hsu.

It is now certain that GE will not be called in March.

The prevailing perception is that PM   is under pressure from various groups,  most notably the OLD HORSE , who still has  tremendous hold on The Big Brother. Not to mention the deputy who often says things that contradict the No.1 ‘s 1Malaysia concept.

But No. 1 is clearly trying to fight off the perception of a  yes man that he was  made up to be when  he ascended to the No. 1 position in 2009.

The recent appointment of Pemuda Head as head of a government-linked body, and the news that his father-in-law the former PM is to be retained as candidate is a clear case that NO. 1 is now playing the same game of the OLD Horse using  the same tactic that the Old Horse played  on No .1 previously, Divide and Rule. He is letting Mr Old Horse taste something that the latter has been giving people to taste.

Previously, because of the pressure fromOLD Horse, the Pemuda Head has not been appointed to any government position, in a move by the Old Horse  to weaken the young man’s power base to clear the way for his own your-know-who.

Now, this appointment of a government linked body is not as powerful as a position in the cabinet, but the very appointment itself is symbolic of the NO. 1 going his own way.  It is like saying that: look, I can go my own way and make things difficult for you-know-who, if too much obstacles are put in my way.. It is a signal of fighting back, but whether this would be enough for No 1 to survive is anybody’s guess.

With the power struggle within the Big Brother, No. 1 has a clear choice: call an election in End-of-May-early-June period so that he can put his own team up to undercut  the strength of his potential challengers.  The only thing against this move is perhaps that there are so much of outstanding issues at the moment –the cowgate, the RareEarthGate, threat of another Bersih walk etc– if these are not resolved, No 1 is not sure of a convincing victory in the next GE. That means he would be going the way of the Sleepy-Headed, even if Big Brother wins a simple majority.

Is this the beginning of his fightback to push through some of the more moderate policies to win back some middle ground? It is of course anybody’s guess, and as a political observer, I can only say that I wish him best of luck.

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. yoda-this-word
    Feb 29, 2012 @ 17:25:15

    The Return of the Jedi

    Like

  2. iamyuanwu
    Feb 29, 2012 @ 22:53:36

    Oh please wish him no luck.
    There can be no good things to come from the current gahmen.
    I don’t actually trust the ex-con chieftain in PKR either.

    I have a feeling he is like the many freedom fighters of past & present: the perfect person to bring people together and the be the drive and symbol of change/revolution. But probably not the right man to lead Msia (due to his baggage, past, or whatever)

    Like

  3. BeWildered
    Feb 29, 2012 @ 22:59:19

    Too little too late. The situation the Big Brother confronting is like a third stage cancer. Time has run out.
    The yesterday incident in Peneng is a test run for desperate measures to get out of this desperate situation. But the world is different today compared to 43 years ago. It may be a one way play with no turning back.

    Like

  4. Li Li Fa
    Mar 01, 2012 @ 09:47:12

    These players know for sure that they have no friends, neither enemies in politics. A friend today could be an enemy tomorrow, and vice versa. That is the stark reality of politics; especially so in this land where everything goes in Bolehland, a phenomenon exemplified during the Old Horse regime.

    Reluctantly, I have to say that it is a ‘dogs eat dogs world’.

    However, given the current situation, the No:1, of course, wishes to stay as No:1 and is trying his level best to fend off with his jedi-strokes to bring the other factions into submission and under his control.

    That is why, the No:1 is condoning that his cabinet members and previous leaders included should declare their assets. Already cash registers are counting. Bankers, accountants and auditors will be very busy.

    Even letters written to a foreign PM are to be revealed.

    Giving the Old Horse something he had had given to people to taste, is one of the ways to contain the situation, which is getting a too plenty on his hands. Notwithstanding, the No: 1 has so many issues to handle he has to summon his utmost political will to call for the next general election.

    Perhaps a little sugar will help the medicine to go down for all factions.

    The people are waiting.

    Like

  5. klm
    Mar 01, 2012 @ 15:18:06

    Mr. Najib have many baggage from his past. As someone said there are so many hands holding his *&^% that he is not his own man. On top of his past, his better half is the most hated female in and out of UMNO. These are enough to sink him.
    He just have to wait for the guillotine to drop.

    Like

  6. Dr Hsu
    Mar 01, 2012 @ 15:31:05

    iamyuanwu

    All the crows in this world are black ( raerly white crows are reported, but this is a rarity, as rare as the blue moon).

    Cheers!

    Like

  7. sonny
    Mar 01, 2012 @ 16:47:48

    The world is changing and the malaysians are not left behind. I foresee by the next 2 GE ie the 15GE, LGE , a capable and clean leader will be fully accepted by the majority and he will helm the PM job for the betterment of Malaysia.
    Looking forward to this coming golden years

    Like

  8. klm
    Mar 02, 2012 @ 16:33:18

    I heard today the election could be set for next year. Mr. Najib dont have confidence to call it this year. He is bribing here and there. He told Kelantan you help me, I help you.

    Like

  9. Dr Hsu
    Mar 03, 2012 @ 09:49:06

    klm
    I have a feeling that this time, Pm may even wait out his term and let Parliament dissolve on reaching the full 5 yearterm. There are just too much of outstanding issues to risk an election now. But will next year be any better? again anybody’s guess.

    One thing is certain. Apart from UMNO, the other componenet aprties in West malaysia, MCA, Gerakan, PPP are all doomed.

    The frustrtation of not being able to win has translated to acts of violence, which may even escalate if no action is taken against those goons in the recent Penang fracas.

    Like

  10. cilipadi
    Mar 03, 2012 @ 09:54:23

    Empire or ‘Vampire’?

    Empire makan cili, ‘Vampire’ rasa pedas

    Like

  11. Jong
    Mar 03, 2012 @ 13:34:54

    Whatever way Najib is finished!
    Better for him to use his prerogative as PM to kick those so-called ‘friends’ waiting every opportunity to stab him from behind, than for them to do him during umno general assembly.

    The Lynas waste issue calls for concern.
    We have a Prime Minister who’d say something while his ‘friends and trusted collegues’ in Cabinet, saying another? Is he playing games with us, the Rakyat?

    Najib just don’t seem to get it does he? It’s not about ‘relocation’ away from the Rakyat’s eyes. It’s about radiation, damnit!
    We want Lynas to be relocated, OUT and BACK to Australia, full stop!

    Check this out… http://malaysiakini.com/news/190932
    http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/najib-says-will-store-lynas-waste-here-but-away-from-populace/

    Looks like ‘Law and Order’ is on the verge of collapse in Malaysia when Umno thugs and samsengs go about creating havoc, chaos and resentment at functions attended by PM Najib.

    The recent Himpunan Hijau 2.0 at Penang Esplanade where Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng attended and felt threatened by ‘intruders’ – Umno thugs and samseng in #1 Malaysia t-shirts, umno caps and BN flags, were seen openly defying the authorities, while Police and other law enforcement agencies taking sides instead of remaining neutral, and arrest those out to disrupt peace at the “Stop Lynas” event.

    Question is, who let out those dogs? Is Najib aware of it?
    Who are they to tell those at peaceful ‘Stop Lynas’ event to go home – “You orang balik”!

    View this video at
    http://anilnetto.com/malaysian-politics/guan-eng-i-feel-threatened-by-umno-and-perkasa-members/

    Like

  12. Phua Kai Lit
    Mar 03, 2012 @ 18:40:50

    The longer the wait, the greater and greater the budget deficits and the more obvious the signs of gross incompetence.

    Like

  13. CYC
    Mar 04, 2012 @ 14:37:33

    Malaysia’s politics is more chaotic than Three Kingdoms era. Its a “dog bite dog bones” scenario. Better than TV soap opera. Jib Gor worries more of UMNO’s internal war than PR’s strength. MCA and Gelakan are spent force that is worthless to even mention their names.

    Like

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