Has the badly battered Pak Lah comes to his senses ? He has indicated handing over power to his deputy Najib Tun Razak without giving any time frame on the transition of power.He only hinted he may hand over power to Najib and said he would discuss the matter with his deputy.
I wouldn't at this juncture take that hint as a promise, which was probably uttered just to cool down the harangues coming from increasing number of UMNO divisions for him to make an exit.
A hint is not a decision or a promise.
With a track record of having sailed close to the wind I hope Pak Lah is not waiting to see which way the wind blows and again changes his mind when the opportune time comes.
Abdullah has, by his own admission, blamed himself as one of the factors for BN losses. It sounds a bit strange that he said it now instead of at his valedictory speech. Most leaders would make such admission and seek apology from the nation on the day he steps down.It's certainly sounds weird to incriminate yourself and still carry on as Prime Minister.
In a smooth transition of power or demise of the Prime Minister or President, succession traditionally goes to the deputy. In a political turmoil, which is what UMNO is facing now, it would be best not to use the conventional method of succession.
It is not that Najib is less capable but he may not have the majority support of the rank and file in the party. The best possible way for a stable leadership is to allow the Supreme Council members to decide among themselves who should take over as prime minister.
The Supreme Council is representative of the voices of the rank and file and its decision to appoint the most suitable person among them as prime minister wouldn't be admonished by the members.
It wouldn't be fair to condemn Najib at the moment and before he takes over the helm and proved himself worthy of the position. Although there have been implications to Najib's character, most were mere allegations and nothing have been proven on his relationship with the murdered Mongolian girl, mistress of his close associate Razak Beginda who is now languishing in jail out of sheer arrogance, greed and stupidity.
Like most animals at the top of the food chains, humans behave the same way when they are at the pinnacle of power, some obviously think they are untouchable and can get away with murder.
If Pak Lah hands over only the PM post and retains the UMNO President post until the UMNO Elections in December than the possibility of Najib being challenged would be fairly slim.Should he hands over both positions before the party elections and Najib didn't fare well during the short period the likelihood of him being challenged would be pretty good.
Although nothing proven, the rumours of shady dealings in military contracts have stained his image and could become a liability to him at party elections.His opponents could use it as campaign materials to discredit him.
Likely candidates to challenge Najib would be Razaleigh or Muhyiddin that is if Pak Lah kept his promise and actually give up his posts as PM as well as UMNO President sooner than later.