The race to be deputy president of UMNO and which by tradition also carry the position of deputy prime minister has taken centre stage and once again embroiled and embattled the party.The political saga continued and the dire economy relegated to the back seat.
Embittered supporters of Ali Rustam who has been barred from contesting the deputy president post have threatened reprisal.How far this threat will go is difficult to tell.
Prime Minister-in-waiting Najib Tun Razak is worried and has deployed his men to try appease the rank and file and restore calm in the party. If Ali's supporters took their threat home than UMNO may have the 'chickens coming home to roost' and more than what they have bargained for, a deputy president from the land of the yahoos.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has promised to meet Ali Rustam on the matter and Ali has indicated that he is appealing against the ruling made by the disciplinary board which most party members think was unfair and had made the party a laughing stock. The judgement and sentences passed had become the butt of jokes among Malaysians, a kind of 'different strokes for different folks', or same poison but given different antidote, one die and the other survive.
"Najib is destined to rule" says the wife."Let's not do anything unethical to stop it. It is his turn,".
"If God says it is his turn, it is his turn," says Rosmah.Is she in a hurry to be 'First Lady'? Maybe, she is right there must be divine intervention and in spite of his unpopularity and excess baggage it must be divine ruling that he be made to lead this nation.
With age on his side, God willing, Najib will be there for a long time if.........he didn't screw it up and let the man every young Malaysian love to have as prime minister takes over.
If Najib is going to be there for yonks why are the disciplinary board and the leadership in UMNO so worried about Ali Rustam competing for the deputy president post? Wouldn't it be better to have a three-cornered fight rather than a one-to-one head on collision? Do they think UMNO can hold the fort until 2013 and thereafter?
Mahathir had change of deputies four times before he handed over the premiership to Abdullah Badawi. Will Najib keep the same deputy all the time, or, like Mahathir, change him when the affection wears out and yet make the same mistake, as Mahathir by his own admission says he chose the wrong successor. Even if Muhyiddin won this round would he be re-elected again next round or would he become prime minister before the term end?
In politics anything can happen, just as nobody expect Ali Rustam to be the front runner in the race for the deputy president. Don't forget it was Muhyiddin who initiated the exit of Pak Lah. He is the 'Braveheart' in UMNO and probably more acceptable to the masses.
The preoccupation with politics have made the government less occupied with finding solutions to the economic crisis that beset the nation.Announcing the stimulus is one thing but if nothing goes on the ground it would be just pure academic exercise. As I have said, time and again, we have lost precious time and the catch up game may be longer and more costly.
The US started their rescue package about eight month ago and they have yet to see results. I wouldn't be surprised if our economy enter negative territory of at least -0.5 to -1.5 percent for the the year 2009 and total export shrunk by 30-40 percent by mid-year.
This is a democracy in peril and a nation that has lost its rudder and is on a perilous journey into troubled waters if the politicking doesn't stop soon.
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