If Zahid does not step down by tomorrow, things will change for the worse

TTF: This is what will likely happen should Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi not resign as UMNO president by tomorrow, the 29th of September 2018:

1. Several MPs will leave UMNO over the next few days to protest his leadership and the direction he’s taking the party.

2. Some of these MPs will remain as independents, while others have yet to announce whether or not they intend to join Pakatan Harapan. 

3. TTF will put together some documents that have to do with crimes Zahid committed and consider the next course of action in the interest of truth and justice.

4. TTF will also reconsider its position on Barisan Nasional (BN) and UMNO and plan its next course of action to anticipate the 15th general election (GE15).

5. It wouldn’t matter to me anymore what UMNO or BN thinks of me.

6. The reason being, whatever TTF does, it does primarily for our rulers, the religion and the race.

7. If UMNO politicians can’t save themselves but expect others to save them, there will no longer be a difference between me trying to effect a change for the better or me trying to get a cat or a dog to talk.

Rest assured, Zahid is simply buying himself time by having UMNO MPs believe that he has a strategy to form government (READ HERE TO FIND OUT WHY HE’S BUYING TIME). 

Believe me, whatever he says is happening or will happen, it’s not something of his own doing or anything he personally has control of.

If he persists on sticking around after tomorrow, we may as well let Dr Mahathir Mohamad remain as Prime Minister and support Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali as his successor!

DATUK Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been under the radar since winning the Umno presidency in June.

“We are the opposition now and we shouldn’t share our strategies,” he said when asked why he has been quiet.

However, he opened up to us in an interview with MAZWIN NIK ANIS and RAHIMY RAHIM as the party holds its annual general meeting. Dr Ahmad Zahid spoke candidly – on him becoming the number one when the party is no longer in power; on criticisms about lack of leadership and plans to rebrand Barisan Nasional.


How has it been being No.1?

Expectation from members is still high. I take bashing and criticisms from some party leaders but I take it constructively. Some couldn’t wait for my first major move.

In the present situation, it will need a lot of guts and patience to manoeuvre our march. Some things don’t come easy. It takes time.

Your low-key approach has invited speculation. Some even say there are no clear signs of your leadership.

When the assembly proper takes place on Sept 30, it will mark my 90 days in office. Do you know that when I came in, there was no office for the president in the Umno headquarters? You can say that I have become wiser. Yes, I was very vocal when I was the Umno Youth chief; that is my DNA. But that was 20 years ago. Now, as president, I have to change my style, my method of stewardship.

I think the majority of Umno members would like to see the real Zahid. While I think that my style of leadership should change, if they want to see the “old” me again, I have no problems going back to my DNA. I also have to empower my deputy, vice-presidents, secretary-general, information chief and the wings’ heads. Empowering them is a way for me to portray my democratic approach. Some quarters see it as my weakness in managing the party, because they fail to see that the party should be together and any statement should be done with collective responsibility.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad predicted that Umno will collapse.

Well, that is his opinion. But we, in Umno, will work and work to strengthen the party from within.

People are questioning Umno’s relevance post-GE14.

There are calls for the party to be dissolved. There are even suggestions for us to merge with a minority party in the government pact. There are those who want to see the demise of Umno. But there are still many loyalists in the party and we will not allow this to happen. Umno is still strong. Losing the general election has not dampened our spirit nor changed our philosphy to serve the multiracial society.

Our rival has definitely potrayed Umno as irrelevant.

But from our standpoint, Umno still is. Since we are no longer the ruling party and to continue to be relevant, we have to change our style from service to issue- oriented. There are many issues that we must fight for the people. Promises made by the government have not been fulfilled, so now it is our job to express the people’s dissastisfaction to the government.

Some key leaders such as Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed have left the party and there is talk that more will leave. 

Those who left the party, there is no resilience in them, not because there is no clear direction or that the party is weak.

They left because they cannot stand being the opposition. Some were comfortable when they were in the government but now, they can’t stand the pressure. Especially those with “issues”.

Ideally, I would like them to stay on but I cannot force them to be with us. I’m not disappointed that some have left because then we will see only the real loyalists remain.

The opportunist will leave, those scared to be in the opposition will leave, those who have no resilience to threats will leave. Let them go, this is indirectly a cleansing process for Umno.

As for Tok Pa (Mustapa) leaving, I respect his decision. He has his reasons not to be with us anymore. But (bear in mind) what he gained before is because of Umno so when the party is in trouble, he should have remained.

Anyway, that is his decision; can’t stop him from moving on. But I believe he will regret if the political scenario changes later.

Are you suggesting there will be some political manoeuvring?

There is, but I can’t reveal how we will do it. What I can say is, we are not just the opposition but we are also the government-in-waiting. We are working towards this. I can’t share our strategy but definitely we are going to translate this into action when the time comes.

MCA is uncomfortable with the idea of Umno working with PAS. How do you plan to do this without losing MCA in Barisan Nasional?

People are getting us wrong on this. Umno is now an opposition party, so is MCA, MIC and PAS. We are working with PAS based on the spirit of the opposition.

MCA understands this. I have talked to Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (MCA president) and Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (deputy president). I have also spoken to Tan Sri S.A. Vigneswaran (MIC president) and Datuk S.K. Devamany (deputy president).

Our working together is purely because we are opposition parties. And our cooperation is not just about Islamic issues and the Malay agenda but also on other national issues and interests.

Our coalition partners should not worry about this relationship with PAS. As I mentioned repeatedly, it is just a cooperation among opposition parties.

I am in constant communication with them – the other Barisan party presidents (MCA, MIC, PBRS and MyPP). We have our meetings but I don’t call the media. Our relationship is intact.

For instance, our decision not to contest in the Port Dickson by-election is a consensus. It is not entirely mine. It is a call we made after discussing with other component leaders. They all agreed to that.

The issue of Barisan being disbanded does not arise, at least not at the moment.

Has Barisan already started gearing up for GE15?

I can tell you this. Barisan will be rebranded. I will lay down the plan during my policy speech tomorrow night. I will explain it in detail then. I have discussed it informally with our coalition partners and they have agreed in principle.

How soon this can materialise depends on how soon we can meet and agree on things. We make our decision based on consensus, that is the Barisan spirit.

You will be taking the stage for the first time as Umno president and as opposition leader and members are expecting you to present the way forward for the party.

My focus will be on the party’s direction. Our direction is that we want to be the government or part of the government. There will also be new approaches that we must undertake to strengthen Umno and unify our members. They too need to understand our new status.

And we must get back to work, and it’s even harder than before. With no funds to offer and the fact that we are faced with many issues, challenges and possibilities, we need to be strong and patient. But I believe we can weather the tough days.

Source: The Star Online

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