While Najib is fighting a lone battle against all the forces from within and without UMNO he already knows that his political life hangs by a thread “nyawa di hujung pedang”. Pressure has been building up on a number of fronts – not least from the opposition led by Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim - but what will ultimately kill him politically is to be undermined by his Deputy Mahyuddin Yassin and mentor, Mahathir Mohammad.
Mahathir last hurrah is to gift Malaysia with his immediate legacy – a continuation of his rule through the placement of his son in a position that will eventually take that son to Seri Perdana in return for making Muhyiddin the next President of UMNO. The winning or losing of the general election by UMNO is a secondary matter. That would be in the hands of the people of Malaysia and only time will determine the outcome. Making Muhyiddin President of UMNO is within the realms of the doable in as far as Mahathir is concern. So realist that he is, this is Mahathir’s priority for now.
Should UMNO somehow win the general election than that will be a bonus in Mahathir's scheme of things. But if we are to look at Mahathir’s track record in choosing his replacement, I believe that the same curse would befall his son as had befall Musa, Ghaffar, Anwar, Pak Lah and now the befuddled Najib!
This leadership contest has already been set in motion from way back when Najib mounted his challenge to Pak Lah’s tenure as Prime Minister under the coercion of Mahathir!. Najib is now beholden to Mahathir and Muhyiddin for where he is now because it is only through their support was he embolden to move against Pak Lah.
Yes Pak Lah had his faults – most fatal of which are KJ and his immediate family - but what Pak Lah had was decency. What Pak Lah lacked was that single-minded focus to hold on to political power no matter what. He lacked that because politics is merely a vocation for Pak Lah not the be all and end all of his time on earth. When he said ‘Work with me” he meant precisely that but it was not politically expedient for UMNO to do so because Umbo’s political survival was dependent on making all of us work for UMNO – not they working for us.
Yes we were all not ready for a Prime Minister like Pak Lah – not UMNO not the people of Malaysia. And when Pak Lah left he set in motion the catastrophic events that have now befallen UMNO.
Do you think Pak Lah would have condoned gutter politics? Mahathir and Najib would!
How do you think Pak Lah would have handled DSAI and Pakatan Rakyat? The same way he handled Anwar Ibrahim – do what is the right thing to do and let the man have his freedom and be with his family – and so Pak Lah decided that Anwar Ibrahim should be set free. Do you not think that if Pak Lah wanted to he could have conjured up some other reasons to keep Anwar Ibrahim inside Sungai Buloh or isolate him from participating in politics? But that was not Pak Lah’s way – he was willing to give Anwar Ibrahim his due – even if it meant jeopardising his position within UMNO and as Prime Minister.
Yes they were mistakes made during Pak Lah’s time but most of them were the doing of those who took advantage of their links to Pak Lah. Pak Lah’s failure to stop these abuse ultimately cost him the Prime Ministership of Malaysia – but he left willingly and without rancour. We now know what we have lost with the going of this decent hamba ALLAH!
It is one of the tragedies of Malaysian history that Najib allowed Mahathir, Muhyiddin and Rosmah to make him do what he did to the man who choose him to be his designated successor. By himself and if left to his own devices, Najib would have been satisfied to be Pak Lah’s deputy for as long as Pak Lah wanted him to be.
Sadly Najib is too weak a person to not do the bidding of Rosmah – what more Mahathir and Muhyiddin. And now having done their bidding Najib is beholden to them and among the three, only Rosmah wants Najib to remain in office.
When Pak Lah was driven from office it opened the floodgates to gutter politics, money politics and politics as we have never seen it sunk to so low a level before. A crucial voice that gave conscience some hope to survive in UMNO was lost as UMNO and many of us dismissed Pak Lah as a man who was in a job that was way above his ability to handle. If truth were told I believe the consensus now favours the decency he exudes during his term of office to what is now happening in Malaysian politics today.
It has taken us all this time to realize the depths to which politics have sunk to in our Nation. And there is no going back until all its proponents within UMNO are got rid off.
The price UMNO and we would pay for turfing out this decent man is incalculable. While the people in UMNO treacherously spoke of what Pak Lah has done to weaken UMNO what was really happening had to happened before UMNO could emerge stronger and more in tune with what was the aspirations of the people.
Do not think that Pak Lah was not pained by the abuses undertaken by others in his name! Do not think that Pak Lah condoned any of these abuses. He believed too much in the goodness of people – especially those he loved and was close to him. To a fault Pak Lah could not say ‘NO” when he should have said ‘NO” many, many times. And for this he has paid the price.
Yes under Pak Lah UMNO, in the short term, became weaker but this was necessary for it to adjust to the changes demanded of it by the people. A change that maybe even Pak Lah may not be able to adjust to but that change would have been allowed to happen by a government under Pak Lah because Pak Lah would not stand in its way as Najib does today.
Nobody listened and many mocked Pak Lah for his leadership style and of course the chief culprit was Mahathir himself who saw his ‘legacy’ being washed away by Pak Lah’s inability to maintain UMNO’s choke hold on all things Malaysia! They all manage to make Pak Lah look ridiculous.
Let us try a thought experiment.
First ask yourself where Malaysia would be today under an UMNO led by Pak Lah?
Would we have Mahathir and Berahim Berok holding us all to ransom?
Religion? Yes Islam may be more entrenched but not the Islam now used by UMNO to coerce the non-Muslims and the Muslims into voting for UMNO. The Islam under Pak Lah will never be a part of UMNO politics.
There would be no use of gutter politics. No Three Datuks. No Videos no charges of sodomy against DSAI.
The opposition will be given due respect and a level playing field to battle against Barisan Nasional in the general election.
With these options unavailable politicians would be focussed on the things that matters – outlining policies and the things they would do if elected to govern.
Today knowing what we know now there are many that should apologize to Pak Lah –especially those that sneered at the ‘sleepy head’ and likened Pak Lah to the Ship Captain that does not know what to do even as his ship was sinking.
Yes Pak Lah was a victim of his own inexperienced and his abundance of trust in the people he trusted and believed in – two of which was Najib and Muhyiddin- but there have been many more of us who have been the victim of his ouster from office by the people he trusted most.
The Nation has now completely lost any semblance of innocence or decency as we have know it in the past. Many Rakyat have continued to suffer and will continue to suffer from the irresponsible economic policies and financial mismanagement of this BN government. Our economy is in tatters and our national public debt is too heavy a burden for our nation to carry. Pak Lah’s politically motivated enemies have worked overtime to paint him as the man responsible for what our Nation and UMNO has now become.
I beg to differ. I have not chosen to say much about Pak Lah in the past because I know the man and I like the man. I have known Abang Lah from the time he was staying in Federal Hill in his Ministry of Youth days…that was the time that I can remember of having met him and talked to him. The last time I talked to him was at Kak Endon’s funeral at Seri Perdana – in between these times I have never known him to be anything else but a gentleman, a decent and God-fearing man.
In resigning from the highest office in the land Abang Lah’s last battle as Prime Minister could not have been fought for a greater or more compassionate cause – that of telling Mahathir and all those within UMNO that he would not be beholden to anyone else for his life and his future but to ALLAH. What more could you ask of any man to do but that!