Razaleigh ‘safer bet’ than Zahid as Prime

Photo credit: FMT

Shahbudin Husin

Unlike Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah doesn’t need to drag Najib Abdul Razak to Court to win the support of the people.

Given his proven ability and strong character compared with Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah doesn’t need to drag Najib Abdul Razak to Court – unlike the former — to get the support of the people behind him as Prime Minister.

In short, according to a day dream that I had, Razaleigh was a safer bet to give safe passage to Najib either before or after the 14th General Election. Najib trusts Razaleigh more than he could ever trust Zahid.

Besides the question of arranging safe passage for Najib, Razaleigh at 78 can also be expected to make the right moves on the political chessboard to ensure that Najib’s first cousin Hishammuddin Hussein succeeds the Umno veteran from Kelantan as Prime Minister. So, between Razaleigh and Hishammuddin, Najib remains safe forever.

It seems that the most suitable time for Najib to step down as Prime Minister and give way to Razaleigh was after the Aidil Fitri celebrations. This means that this Aidil Fitri will be Najib’s last as Prime Minister.

After that, Najib would bring Razaleigh to the Istana and recommend him to the Agong to replace him as Prime Minister.

The Umno Supreme Council, Umno Ministers and Umno divisional chiefs are already behind Najib. So, whatever he does – like replacing the Prime Minister for example – will not meet with any objections from them.

Everyone will accept Razaleigh as Prime Minister. Zahid will be left stranded by the wayside as yet another Deputy Prime Minister. He will probably remain Deputy Prime Minister with no prospects of being Prime Minister.

Najib has finally realized that Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN) would not be able to win GE14 with him leading the charge as Prime Minister and Umno President. Expose after expose on 1MDB, including on billions entering his personal banking accounts, and reports that at least six countries are investigating 1MDB, have made him realize that things are no longer in his favour.

No matter which way Najib goes in trying to defend his position, it’s clear that all the intelligence reports reaching his desk make dismal reading. There’s no future for Umno, BN and the nation under his leadership as Prime Minister.

The best way forward would be for him to step down as Prime Minister.

Zahid Hamid, as Deputy Prime Minister is also carrying out the work of the Umno Deputy President, but causing Najib to worry about him nevertheless despite having served him at one time as political secretary.

Zahid’s character was not strong enough to lead the party and the nation, he will not be accepted by non-Malays, and he has no traction with the Malay Middle Class. This means that Umno and BN will crash to a defeat in 2018 under Zahid.

If Umno and BN falls, the new Federal Government in Putrajaya under the Opposition will drag Najib to Court to face allegations and charges of wrongdoing. Hence, Najib handing over the reins of power to Zahid will be an exercise in futility. It would be bad for him and his family.

Alternatively, Zahid may be forced by his weakness as a character and in terms of leadership and influence, to drag Najib to Court to win the support of the masses. Abdullah Badawi did this with Kasitah Gaddam. He wanted to send a message that his administration was serious in fighting corruption and would not hesitate to go after the big fish.


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