“Given that the “court cluster” (Team A) doesn’t really have the benefit of government linked positions and has been kept well within a ten foot pole distance from major projects, people like Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi are very much at the mercy of UMNO ministers and deputy ministers”
Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
اينله سببڽ ڤن دان بن تق اكن منڠ ڤرو15
Prof Dr Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi’s latest take on the 15th general election piqued my interest. He presented quite a case on why Perikatan Nasional under the leadership of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will easily win the election with a two thirds majority.
It piqued my interest not because I agree with him, but because parts of his take on UMNO fits the bill. Perhaps it is there that I will begin my narrative on “why I think Muhyiddin will end up getting squished like a mosquito.”
Here’s what the professor wrote:
“PN got the Budget approved and that brings in the power of buying influence with projects, lucrative appointments and more projects.
“The Emergency was the last jigsaw puzzle for them to use the money without being questioned by anyone under the penalty of dire consequences. The war chest is complete.”
That is, after all, what Budget 2021 was all about. We had dubious fund allocations to JASA (oops – J-KOM, my bad) and to the Prime Minister’s department while we were told that the focus was on Covid-19.
I’ve been saying it all along – in my live sessions, in my writings – that the approval of Budget 2021 would present UMNO, PAS and PPBM ministers and deputy ministers “a helluva lot of money,” or the power to dish out project after project to government linked politicians and to use ‘development’ as a bargaining chip during campaigns.
That’s a no-brainer, as is the fact that the social media is suddenly flooded with Cybertrooper gushes in torrents, intimidating anyone seen favouring Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad or Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
It’s not a coincidence that these torrents followed the approval of funds to JASA –oops, I did it again – J-KOM. Even the security guard near my house noticed this, and at one point, asked me if “these people are real.”
Seriously, I kid you not – my friendly neighbourhood security guard, a 60-odd year old former army dude who seems to know that this government is “bad,” asked me this.
Anyway, when the politicians, their assistants, and the assistants’ assistants get fed, they do your bidding. Everyone knows that, it’s the “Malaysian way.”
And the politicians, their assistants and the assistants’ assistants – perhaps even their cats and squirrels – will continue to benefit the “Malaysian way” so long as they’re linked to UMNO, PPBM or PAS ministers and deputy ministers.
And since Muhyiddin is after UMNO and wants PPBM to merge with the Barisan Nasional component party, he’s either going to try and influence the upcoming UMNO elections or get the party deregistered before July.
To influence party elections, tons and tons of money will have to be thrown around. And I mean tons – money politics is very much alive in UMNO if Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s and Mahathir’s take on the matter is anything to go by.
So, the question really is “who’s got the money,” not how much money. We all know money will flow, but we want to know from whom.
Given that the “court cluster” (Team A) doesn’t really have the benefit of government linked positions and has been kept well within a ten foot pole distance from major projects, people like Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi are very much at the mercy of UMNO ministers and deputy ministers.
And that brings into question “whose side” people like Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yunus, Tan Sri Annuar Musa, Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad, Khairy Jamaluddin, Dato’ Dr Shamsul Anuar Haji Nasarah, Datuk Wira Halimah Mohamed Sadique and Dato’ Sri Reezal Merican Naina Merican are on.
Don’t kid yourself, and take a good look – we already know where Annuar Musa stands, and speculation is rife that Ismail Sabri is on team Muhyiddin. I can’t be certain, but my instincts tell me that Halimah, Noraini, Shamsul and Reezal will go for the carrot.
So who’s left?
Khairy is said to be “neither here nor there,” and that has been his trademark all along. Things were not too good between him and Najib after the 14th general election, which probably explains why Muhyiddin handed him a juicy, easy-to-handle portfolio.
And that leaves us Hishammuddin. Granted, Hisham commands the support of UMNO’s Team B, comprising roughly 25 Members of Parliament and 80 per cent of the party’s division and branch leaders.
But Hisham is just one man, while Annuar, Sabri, Shamsul, Noraini, Halimah, Reezal and Khairy are “many men” (forgive me, Halimah and Noraini).
If Hisham can dish out RM10 million for party elections, the rest can easily pull a RM50 million stunt. But we know that a man like Hisham can easily do RM100 million if he really wants to. You think the Members of Parliament aligned to him won’t help? Remember all the big positions and projects they got?
The rest need not worry, as they too will get help from MPs. There are seven of them, and MPs these days never put their eggs in one basket. But if the seven are on Muhyiddin’s side, money will never be an issue. You think it’s impossible for them to fork out RM500 million? See where I’m going with this?
The professor is right – in a sense, that is. Muhyiddin could hold sway during the upcoming UMNO elections simply because he will more than likely get the support of seven ministers with the capacity to “spread a lot of cheer around UMNO”
If these ministers do fork out money, and should Muhyiddin decide to top it up, their assistants, the assistants’ assistants and their cats and squirrels will do their bidding.
But the possibility of holding sway and actually holding sway are two different matters. What is happening today has never happened before, and nobody really knows how the cookie will crumble in UMNO.
The 14th general election taught us that there comes a time when people actually look away from money and fight for what is right.
The hate for Muhyiddin among UMNO grassroots is strong. So strong, it may be enough to influence a very large number of delegates, money or no money.
So you see, while many in UMNO want Zahid to disappear, many, many more want UMNO to flip Muhyiddin the bird.
They do, because they know where this is all headed. They know that Muhyiddin wants UMNO, and they know that UMNO will never be the same again.
So the question really is how many is “many, many” (those who hate Muhyiddin) versus the “many” that wants Zahid gone.
If the number that hates Muhyiddin is large enough, and if half of those who conform to that number actually “accept any amount of money but still flip him the bird,” Muhyiddin is gone.
Likewise, if Zahid and Najib can convince the majority that UMNO will make a spectacular return – which, as we all know, will never happen – the majority would probably defend Zahid just to see Muhyiddin fail.
Najib, however weak he may be, still holds some clout in UMNO. To borrow the professor’s phrase, I, too, am hard pressed to admit it. Maybe not much of a clout to win UMNO back, but enough to foil Muhyiddin’s plan.
And if Najib can compound whatever little strength he has in UMNO with money, it’s game over for Muhyiddin. Why do you think Muhyiddin is playing buddy-buddy with Hishammuddin? To get advice?
No, my friends. It’s to try and keep him way from Najib and Mahathir.
Anyway, that’s my take on the upcoming UMNO elections. I’m not saying A, and I’m not saying B. I’m just saying things could go either way.
This article is getting too lengthy, so I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you why I think Barisan Nasional and Perikatan Nasional have a cat in hell’s chance of winning the 15th general election.
To be continued…