Najib on ‘borrowed’ time after Nazri-Mahathir debate

Joe Fernandez

According to party insiders, Najib can be likened to a cow fattened enough for ritual sacrifice as during Hari Raya Qurban.

COMMENT Patently, it’s pointless trying to get into debate with those around Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak on the various scandals that he has allegedly presided over since assuming office in 2009. His apologists and sycophants invariably respond with rhetoric and polemics as they try to steer the direction away into the politics of distraction and disruption.

Hence, it has been an exercise in futility  for the Opposition and those who want to see the back of Najib as soon as possible.

The crux of the matter is not Najib, or this or that scandal, or taking a “where’s the money, buddy?” approach. The problem has been created by some 300 warlords who surround Najib in Umno. They are the ones keeping him in the Prime Minister’s post.

Apparently, not all the warlords are against Najib stepping down. However, it seems that he has the support of the majority to resist stepping down as Prime Minister.

So, what’s the way forward?

The 14th General Election, by 2018, must not be seen as the only way to boot Najib out of office. In fact, no one should argue for this approach.

The Umno warlords must decide whether they want the “tainted” Najib, warts and all, to lead the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) into battle when the moral high ground has been seized by the Opposition.

It may be a case of too little too late after GE14.

That was what PAS leaders did once when they booted out party chief Asri Haji Muda in 1982 for taking the party into BN from 1973 to 1978 and shifting away from a religious stance to nationalism. Now, it seems that PAS leaders are considering giving the “Asri” treatment to current party chief, Hadi Awang, for getting too cosy with Umno, “not answering allegations of being on the take”, and causing the loss of seven MP seats to Amanah.

If PAS leaders, more concerned with keeping their current 14 MP seats, can act against Hadi before GE14, there’s no reason why the Umno warlords cannot likewise get Najib out. According to party insiders, Najib can be likened to a cow fattened enough for ritual sacrifice as during Hari Raya Qurban.

If PAS leaders delay moving against Hadi before GE14, Najib may in all likelihood escape for a little while longer, the fate long in store for him.

Again, some signs may emerge from the proposed Nazri-Mahathir debate on 1MDB. It appears there’s some sandiwara going on here. The speculation is rife that Nazri has no interest in defending Najib on the various scandals surrounding him. The game plan may be for Nazri to allow Mahathir to humiliate Najib during the debate.

If everything goes according to “plan”, the majority of the Umno warlords may swing against Najib. In that case, “his goose would be cooked”. It would only be a matter of time before “the powers that be” in Umno bring out the daggers.

Is it any wonder therefore that the IGP was reportedly trying frantically to stop the debate although the Home Minister, his boss, has expressed no objections!

RTM, not be left out from the sycophancy game, has vowed not to telecast the debate.

Joe Fernandez, a former Sabah correspondent for malaysiakini, has also been with other online news portals.

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