Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, bekas presiden Semangat 46 yang telah kembali ke pangkuan Umno telah sekali lagi menegaskan bahawa beliau akan bertanding jawatan Presiden pada Mesyuarat Agung Umno Mac depan.
Bagaimanapun saya dan saya rasa ramai lagi berpendapat bahawa zaman Ku Li sudah lama berakhir. Beliau sudah hampir putus hubungan dengan akar umbi, terutamanya golongan muda. Ada juga anak-anak muda yang tidak kenal langsung dengan Ku Li.
Saya rasa sukar untuk Ku Li mendapat cukup pencalonan untuk bertanding jawatan presiden. Kalau beliau tidak mendapat pencalonan yang secukupnya, ia akan hanya memalukan ahli politik veteran itu.
Dalam usia 70an ini, sudah terlalu lewat untuk beliau menyandang jawatan Presiden Umno dan Perdana Menteri. Untuk membetulkan kembali keadaan huru-hara peninggalan Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dalam Umno, Barisan Nasional dan juga sistem pentadbiran kerajaan akan mengambil masa yang agak lama. Mampukah Ku Li bertahan?
Saya berpendapat calon yang paling layak memegang jawatan presiden dan Perdana Menteri ialah Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak.
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told the Umno Supreme Council today that he may quit as party president by Oct 9. If he does, that will be the best piece of news eagerly awaited by a majority of Malaysians for several years now.
I was told that the party polls have been postponed to March next year. I have no clue as to why such a decision was taken.
Perhaps, Abdullah will not quit after all and needs to buy time to device ways and means to stay in power.
I will update this blog as soon as I get more information.
In a desperate attempt to hold on to power, Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has called for a special Supreme Council meeting tomorrow (Friday, Sept 26) to postpone the Umno General Assembly to June next year.
A majority of the Umno Supreme Council members, however, are expected to reject the proposal outright.
Several news portals and websites have been giving the impression that the idea for the postponement of the General Assembly came from Deputy President Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak. That's totally untrue.
Why should Najib seek a postponement of the General Assembly when he is certain that he will get overwhelming support from the divisions for the post of party president?
Abdullah's support in Umno has hit rock bottom. He is now worried that he may not even get the minimums 58 nominations required for him to defend his Presidency. Observers says that it will be embarassing for Abdullah to get only 58 nominations considering the fact that he is party President. In oreder to continue to lead the party and country effectively, he should get nominations from at least two-third of the total number of divisions.
Abdullah's lack of vision, nepotism and cronyism as well as poor economic policies are to be blamed for the dwindling confidence in his leadership. He has agreed to hand over his premiership to Najib in 2010, but umno members fear that if he continues to lead the country until then, Umno and Barisan Nasional will not have enough time to reinvent itself to face the 2013 General Election.
The longer Abdullah remains in power, the lesser the support of the masses for BN.
Barisan Nasional experienced the most humiliating defeat in the country's history in the recent General Election. It lost five States - Penang, Perak, Selangor, Kelantan and Kedah to the Opposition. It also lost all but one Parliamentary seat in the Federal Territory.
Barisan Nasional needs a new leader to regain these States.
Saya sebenarnya pelik dengan Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib. Ada khabar angin yang mengatakan, Muhammad, yang sebelum ini menonjolkan dirinya sebagai penyokong No 1 Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, sudah menukar rentak.
Ada yang mengatakan bahawa beliau sudah mula mengorak langkah ke arah kem Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak yang sudah hampir pasti akan bertanding untuk jawatan Presiden menjelang Perhimpunan Agung Umno pada bulan Disember ini.
Ada sumber mengatakan bahawa dalam mesyuarat Majlis Tertinggi Umno baru-baru ini, beliau tidak mempertahankan Abdullah apabila ahli-ahli majlis mendesak Abdullah untuk meletakkan jawatan sebelum bermulanya Mesyuarat Bahagian pada Okt 9 ini.
Tetapi selepas itu beliau membuat kenyataan akhbar mengkritik ahli-ahli Umno yang menceritakan apa yang terjadi dalam mesyuarat MT itu kepada orang luar, termasuk wartawan. Beliau menuduh mereka ini sebagai pembelot.
Apakah sebenarnya posisi Muhammad dalam isu ini?
Kalau Muhammad benar-benar menyokong Abdullah, kenapa bahagian beliau iaitu Bahagian Kelana Jaya akan hanya mengadakan mesyuaratnya pada minggu terakhir mesyuarat-mesyuarat bahagian. Tarikh untuk mesyuarat-mesyuarat bahagian telah ditetapkan dari Okt 9 hingga Nov 9.
Kenapa beliau tidak menetapkan tarikh mesyuarat bahagian beliau pada hari pertama, iaitu Okt 9?
Kalau benar beliau adalah penyokong No 1 Abdullah, sepatutnya bahagian beliaulah yang pertama sekali mencadangkan Abdullah sebagai Presiden Umno. Tindakan beliau juga akan dilihat sebagai "trend-setting" untuk bahagian-bahagian lain yang akan bermesyuarat pada hari yang lain.
Sebaliknya Bahagian Kelana Jaya akan hanya bermesyuarat pada minggu terakhir. Saya rasa Muhammad sengaja menetapkan minggu terakhir untuk bermesyuarat supaya beliau dapat tunggu-dan-lihat siapakah yang dicalonkan oleh bahagian-bahagian lain untuk jawatan Presiden dan Timbalan Presiden. Sudah tentu Kelana Jaya akan menyokong calon yang paling banyak mendapat sokongan.
Nampaknya tindakan Muhammad ini boleh diumpamakan sebagai "insuran" untuk menyelamatkan politik nyawa-nyawa ikannya.
Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, who is supposed to leave for New York tonight, has made a last minute decision to cancel his trip.
Political observers say that Najib's decision is prompted by the advice given by several Supreme Council members that he should not leave the country as the Umno divisional meetings draw close.
Umno divisional meetings will kick off on Oct 9. Najib is expected to receive overwhelming nominations for the post of party President.
The cancellation of Najib's New York trip comes as Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has begun his nationwide trip to drum up sopport for him to defend his party presidency. He needs a minimum of 58 nominations to be eligible.
Abdullah has appointed several Umno "strongmen" to various important positions in a desperate attempt to gain their support. They include Perlis State Umno liaison Committee Chief Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim who was made Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on the Northern Corridor Economic Region.
More appointments are expected.
Najib's statement to the Press later today is expected to say that his new position as Finance Minister requires him to remain in the country as this moment.
It is obvious that the appointment of Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim as the Prime Minister's Special Adviser on the Northern Corridor Economic Region is Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's desperate move to secure enough nominations to defend the Umno Presidency. Abdullah is hoping that Shahidan will get the three Umno divisions in Perlis to support him. That is obviously an uphill task.
But here comes the million dollar question. Did Abdullah forget that he already has an adviser for the NCER project - Bernama Chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Annuar Zaini?
Or is Annuar being given the boot and being replaced by Shahidan? The Bernama story announcing Shahidan's appointment makes no mention of Annuar.
I reproduce here the full Bernama story on Annuar's appointment:
Thursday September 6, 2007 Bernama chairman made PM’s NCER adviser
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairman Datuk Annuar Zaini has been appointed special adviser to the Prime Minister for the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER). Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi appointed Annuar to the post on Aug 30. Annuar, who has vast experience in the private and public sector, will be coordinating efforts to set up the plan implementation agency as well as monitoring all start-up activities in the region. The Prime Minister’s Department announced Annuar’s appointment in a statement here yesterday.
I hope Abdullah will not call for a Press conference today and say that NCER is a huge project and therefore the Prime Minister needs two advisers. That will be laughable. Everyone knows that nothing is moving up north.
In days to come, we can expect appointments of more Umno State Liaison Committee Chiefs and maybe even divisional chiefs into cushy positions. Abdullah is fighting a losing battle to defend the Umno Presidency and he needs the support of all these people.
Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak has cancelled his trip to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia following calls from Umno Supreme Council members yesterday that he should not be out of the country for a long period.
Najib who was scheduled to leave today, cancelled his trip. This follows the Supreme Council meeting yesterday where members told Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to resign as party president and hand over the premiership to Najib by Oct 9, when the Umno divisional meetings begin.
The Supreme Council felt that Pak Lah should save himself the humiliation of not getting enough nominations to defend his Presidency.
The Deputy Prime Minister will however leave for New York on Oct 24 to address the all-important United Nations General Assembly.
His advanced security team and members of the Press are already in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Najib is scheduled to return to Malaysia by Oct 3.
At yesterday's Umno Supreme Council meeting, Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah was asked by several members to quit before Oct 9 and hand-over the Prime Ministership to his Deputy Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak.
They argued that Pak Lah should quit by Oct 9, when the Umno divisional meetings begin, to spare him the embarassment of not getting enough nominations to defend his Presidency.
Calls for Pak Lah to resign seem to be increasing by the day. On Tuesday, MUBARAK (the Association of former MPs) urged Pak Lah to bring forward the planned 2010 transition of power and hand over the Prime Ministership to Najib soon.
Pak Lah's stewardship of the Government is said to be non-progressive and lacks direction. In fact, over the last five years of his premiership, Malaysia has taken several step backwards. The ringgit continues to depreciate, while the country's borrowings have been increasing.
The burden has been passed on to the people. The rising inflation is a great concern. Several fuel hikes in the past two years, also affected the people's confidence in the Government. Promises of better public transporation system remain promises.
As a result, Barisan Nasional was severely punished in the March 8 general election. BN managed only a simple majority. It lost five states, well effectively six, if you take Federal Territory into consideration.
It now seems that Umno divisional leaders have begun distancing themselves from Pak Lah. At a breaking of fast hosted by Pak Lah for divisional leaders at the PWTC yesterday, only a few tables were occupied. Many more were empty.
Sinister remarks followed the swapping of Ministries between Pak Lah and Najib as announced on Wednesday. Some say, Pak Lah handed over the Finance Minister's post to Najib as a "sweetener" so that the latter will feel indebted and refrain from running for party presidency.
Others say that Pak Lah is handing over the tough job to Najib in the wake of a global financial crisis. Too hot for Pak Lah to handle. Pak Lah needs someone to blame when the going gets tough, so to speak.
I was shocked to read the NST online report a few minutes ago (11.15pm, 17 Sept, 2008) under the heading: "ABDULLAH: Early leadership transition possible" which it credited Bernama for.
Again, NST chose to twist what Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Najib Tun Razak had said.
This is how NST twisted Najib's words: "Najib also said that he would not accept any nomination for the president’s post as he was committed to the succession plan."
This is what the actual Bernama report quoted Najib as saying on receiving nominations for the post of Umno President: "We already agreed to it, we are leaving it to the party. We are offering ourselves, we hope party (members) will accept it."
NAJIB DID NOT SAY THAT HE WILL NOT ACCEPT NOMINATIONS FOR PARTY PRESIDENT...
I reproduce here the Bernama report in full:
PUTRAJAYA, Sept 17 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the leadership transition which had been agreed upon by him and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in 2010 can take place much earlier.
"The timing for the handing over of power to Najib is flexible. I will decide when to go; I will not be staying more than 2010, naturally."If I want to go earlier, it is possible," the prime minister told a news conference at his office here. Najib was also present at the news conference.
Abdullah said the transition plan would depend, among others, on Najib's performance.
Pressed further on the timing, Abdullah said, "It could be between now and June 2010."Saying that both leaders were committed to the succession plan, Abdullah said he would defend the Umno presidency at party polls in December while Najib had also confirmed that he would not challenge Abdullah for the post.
When asked further on the timeframe, Abdullah said, "It is not for you to ask and for me to say."Abdullah said the matter would be decided accordingly as the succession process progresses.
Najib concurred with Abdullah, saying they both had reached an agreement on the matter.
He hoped that the transition plan would be accepted by the party for the sake of the country's stability and solidarity within the party.
Asked whether he (Najib) would accept any nomination for the presidency, Najib said, "We have already agreed to it. We are leaving it to the party. We are offering ourselves, we hope the party will accept it."-- BERNAMA
Saya tergelak besar apabila menerima SMS ini dari seorang sahabat pagi ini:
"Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim telah mengangkat sumpah jawatan Perdana Menteri di hadapan gambar DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong di rumahnya di Segambut. Turut hadir pemimpin tertinggi parti PKR, DAP dan PAS."
Nampaknya ramai juga yang tidak percaya dan begitu sinis terhadap angan-angan Mat Jenin Datuk Seri Anwar yang berjanji akan menubuhkan kerajaan hari ini dan seterusnya menjadi Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang ke6.
I can agree with the Government on the arrest of Raja Petra Kamaruddin under the Internal Security Act for his blasphemous publications against Islam and the Messenger of God, Nabi Muhammad SAW in his Malaysia Today website.
I can also agree with the decision of the Multimedia Commission shutting down Malaysia Today.
But why in the world did the Government arrest the Sin Chew Jit Poh reporter who merely reported the racist statement by Bukit Bendera Umno Chief Ahmad Ismail. She simply reported the fact that Ahmad Ismail described the Malaysian Chinese as "squatters". Is reporting the truth an offence in this country?
Why didn't the Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar order the arrest of Ahmad Ismail who made the racist remark in the first place?
If the reporter's story was not true, why did Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak apologise to the Chinese of behalf of Ahmad Ismail?
If what the reporter wrote was untrue, then why did Umno suspend Ahmad Razali for three years?
As a former journalist and now a blogger, I demand that the Government release the Sin Chew Jit Poh reporter immediately and arrest Ahmad Ismail instead. Let's leave the practice of arresting journalist to countries like Myanmar and Zimbabwe.
This is not a police State. Stop the intimidation!
Nampaknya impian Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim untuk membentuk kerajaan dan seterusnya menjadi Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang pertama dari kalangan bukan ahli Umno pada 16 September ini tidak akan menjadi kenyataan.
Sebahagian besar ahli-ahli Parlimen Barisan Nasional sudah pun memberikan jaminan bahawa mereka tidak akan "melompat" ke parti pembangkang, termasuk Parti Keadilan Rakyat. Perjuangan mereka tetap dengan Barisan Nasional.
Anwar telah mencanangkan ke seluruh dunia bahawa ramai ahli-ahli Parlimen BN akan "melompat" ke parti beliau menjelang September 16 dan ini akan membolehkan beliau menubuhkan kerajaan baru. Demikian juga janji beliau kepada pengundi-pengundi semasa kempen pilihanraya kecil Permatang Pauh pada 26 Ogos lepas.
Nampaknya kredibiliti Anwar sebagai seorang pemimpin akan lenyap begitu saja jika beliau tidak dapat membentuk kerajaan dan menjadi Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang ke 6 pada September 16 ini. Tinggal 8 hari saja lagi.
My name is Mohd Ashraf Abdullah. I was born and raised in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan. I am a journalist at heart. I served the New Straits Times as a journalist for 17 years, beginning as a cadet reporter in 1988. I was trained to be a political writer. I served the NST in various capacities including as Staff Correspondent of the Kuantan Bureau and London Correspondent. I resigned as News Editor in 2004 to join Golden Hope Plantations Berhad as Deputy General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. Two years later I was made General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. When Golden Hope and Kumpulan Guthrie Berhad were merged with Sime Darby Berhad in November 2007, I chose not to accept the offer of employment by the merged entity. I was a scholar of the British Government and possess a Masters Degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. I am also a Jefferson's Fellow of the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.