Sometime in the past one year UMNO regain its advantage over Pakatan Rakyat….maybe it would be more appropriate to say that Pakatan Rakyat lost its momentum and UMNO took the lead by default. It was a gradual and excruciating process played out in the theatre of Malaysian politics but when it happened we were left in no doubt that Najib had indeed done a “Perak” again on Pakatan Rakyat!
We were left in no doubt that Pakatan Rakyat was now on the defensive but with its back still not yet against the wall… but getting there. Najib had done it by going for DSAI on a personal level. And DSAI had not learned from the lessons of his past and had inadvertently allowed Najib to lure him into the spider’s web.
And now DAP and PAS awaits the outcome of DSAI trial. There are resigned to the thought (rightly or wrongly) that there is nothing else they can do but wait. While waiting Kit Siang and Hadi will plot the path their own party will take upon DSAI’s conviction or acquittal. Either way the opposition is damaged maybe beyond its own capacity to recover. We now know that in a crisis Pakatan Rakyat reacts after the fact – not before. We now see the fragility of this union of three political entities where racial consideration paralysis any open constructive dialogue amongst its leaders : even if it is to prepare for the possible loss of DSAI to the wheels of justice in Malaysia. Race and religion are capable of powerful imagery's that would prevent DAP from even trying to impose its thoughts, what more preferences, onto PKR or PAS. While each play out their waiting game, we wait and see what they will do.
UMNO has no such limitations. Whatever UMNO will do and can do will be judged on the effects it will have on the Malays and the Malays alone. There are enough votes from within the Malays to ensure UMNO victory in the 13th general election. UMNO has no worry that MCA has been over shadowed by DAP’s ability to now have the Chinese votes in numbers large enough for UMNO to consider DAP as a possible coalition partner in a revamped Barisan Nasional before or after the 13th general election. Gerakan has as much say in Barisan Nasional proceedings as the IGP would have in the extension of his term of office after reaching his retirement age. Give MIC some post in the cabinet and Najib will have his dessert and eat it too with the Indians.
Najib is set to go. If push comes to shove I believe that Najib will call in his markers amongst the UMNO warlords and once and for all put Muhyiddin out of contention for the post of PM. The incumbent will always have the high ground unless there is a KJ lurking around. Rosmah may be a pain the neck for us all but for Najib she is his rock. Anybody would want to have Rosmah in their corner when the going gets tough.
So where does that leaves Mahathir? I think we are giving too much credit to the old man. For the media he makes for good copy. For us he always has interesting things to tell. In the bigger picture of UMNO politics one thing Mahathir will not do is give money out in the manner that UMNO stalwarts are used to. So what can the old man offer this time? Maybe, just maybe the PM’s post for Muhyiddin. One post for one man when there are many in UMNO waiting for their ship to come in? No, not only will Mahathir not dish out money he does not have the means to decide where power will reside within UMNO’s first tier leaders. Whatever power he might have is only perceived to be so – he cannot guarantee delivery. Without that ability UMNO will pay lip service to Mahathir – nothing more, nothing less. Even now Mahathir is history…he still has his story to tell but he is history.
Najib has everything and more telling, he is not beyond using that “everything” to remain PM. Over 30 years of politics at the very top makes any one that little bit more aware of what is needed to ensure victory. All that stands between Najib and the PM’s job is the possibility of his past and present personal indiscretion being aired in public. If nothing has come out until now then nothing will. Najib is good to be PM – he knows it, he wants it and he has done enough to ensure that he gets what he wants.
UMNO runs a tight ship. It only loses people it no longer wants or can afford to lose. What happens in UMNO normally stays in UMNO and those that strays from UMNO does not stray too far. Power, money and more money are all powerful persuaders and potent aphrodisiac to those wanting to be alpha males. And UMNO has plenty of them.
If Pakatan Rakyat can wake themselves from the stupor they are now in then there might still be time to take the high ground again if the people can be persuaded that Pakatan Rakyat’s cakap is serupa bikin DSAI rather then to face the prospect of DSAI been convicted square on and start the process of finding a replacement. To do so is simply common sense and good governance given BN’s ability to dictate to the judiciary if they so chooses.
As it is now the damage is done. Pakatan Rakyat no longer has a blank cheque to do what it feels it must to win the 13th GE. Now the people will question their every move and be critical of any decision PR makes in their march towards Putrajaya. I for one will no longer treat PR with kids gloves and pull my punches when making my comments on what they do in Malaysian politics. I know for a fact that I am not alone in these thoughts and we do so because we want Pakatan Rakyat to fight the good fight with Barsian Nasional come the 13th general election.