Monday, January 7, 2013

NEW PM FOR MALAYSIA? Najib to be forced to step down on 'health reasons'?


NEW PM FOR MALAYSIA? Najib to be forced to step down on 'health reasons'? 

 

Written by  Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle 

 

Monday, 07 January 2013 09:30  



It looks like Malaysia will be getting a new prime minister even before the general election, widely expected in June, is held. Embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak may soon step down soon in favour of his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin citing health reasons, but ultimately, the 59-year-old Najib would be the latest casualty of their Umno party's infighting and fear of losing the federal government to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and the latter's Pakatan Rakyat coalition.
Over the weekend, rumors were rife that Najib would dissolve Parliament on January 26 in a bid to stymie a purported maneuver by Muhyddin and former premier Mahathir Mohamad to oust him as Umno president and prime minister of the country before the 13th GE is held.
Such talk was soon overtaken by even hotter speculation that Najib had fallen ill. According to Sarawak Report, doctors have been on standby all weekend. There is little doubt the strain on Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor have been tremendous especially over the past few weeks when they were both the targets of a string of shocking corruption expose's by controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan.
The first couple's deafening silence to the scorching allegations as well as Najib's very notable 'absence' from the public limelight over the past fortnight had stirred suspicion something was up. Some even specualated that Najib may have gone overseas for treatment.
"All we can say is that the BN administration must immediately clarify the actual situation. We all know something is not right when the PM doesn't seem to be around. There is no statement issued as to his whereabouts and there are no rebuttals to the very serious claims made by Deepak," PKR MP for Batu Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.
Banking on sympathy votes from a confused Malay electorate
Najib took over as Umno president and the country's 6th prime minister in April 2009 after helping Mahathir and Muhyiddin to oust Abdullah Badawi who was blamed for the Umno-BN's weak performance in the 2008 elections. Now, and rather ironically, Najib may find himself toppled in much the same dismissive way that he had helped to pack Badawi off into the political wilderness.
It has been an open secret that Umno 'warlords' have been tussling for seats to contest at GE13, and Najib had used his prerogative as the decision-maker of the last resort to maintain the upperhand. And despite the myriad 'spin' by media advisers from both sides, it is well known that Najib and Rosmah wanted to call for polls only after the Umno-BN's full 5-year term was up, while Muhyiddin and Mahathir have pushed for elections to be held as early as last year.
When Muhyddin told the press at the turn of the new year it was better for the GE13 date to remain a 'mystery', it further bolstered the 'conspiracy theory' circulating around town that Najib would be bundled out soon. Muhyiddin would then take over and allow Parliament to expire undissolved, with the pro-BN Election Commission calling for nationwide polls only in June so as to allow the 'wounds' in Umno time to heal and the country - especially the predominant Malay electorate - to get used to the new PM at the helm.
"They are banking on Muhyiddin's pro-Malay image to shore up Umno-BN's hold on power as well as the Malays' fear of the unknown and sympathy for Najib's illness - if indeed he is ill - to help them," said Tian.
"We are now in uncharted zone because we don't know what tricks Umno-BN will pull to cling to power. Everything will depend on what announcements will be made in the next few days. We will get a clearer picture then."
Ambitious Muhyiddin & 'kamikaze' Dr M

In mid-December, political sources had told Malaysia Chronicle that Umno divisions in three states - Johor, Terengganu and Perak - had begun the ball rolling to get Najib to step down, citing his growing liability to the BN coalition because of his corruption scandals expecially in connection to the Scorpene submarines and the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder.
The tell-tale signs that infighting had reached a head came when rumors of racial riots were spread by several pro-UMNO bloggers. Coming eerily hot on the heels of warnings issued by Umno-linked leaders such as Ibrahim Ali and Shahrizat Jalil, the rumors fueled fear of a reprisal of the May 13, 1969 racial riots that left thousands injured and hundreds dead.
Creating public fear by using threats of racial riots to quell citizens and stop them from raising questions is a 'hallmark' tactic of  Umno leaders to mask internal maneuverings. The May 13 riots have been exposed as an Umno conspiracy to oust its then president Tunku Abdul Rahman. It was a power tussle that catapulted Najib's dad Abdual Razak Hussein and Mahathir Mohamad into power.
As such, when the latest spate of May 13 rumours were set off recently, seasoned political watchers braced for another 'mutiny' in the topmost ranks of the Umno leadership.
Allowing Najib to make a 'graceful' exit
Umno watchers believe that Mahathir Mohamad, the main 'puppet master' in Umno, has decided to throw his weight behind Muhyiddin and effect an 11th-hour change in leadership although many have cautioned that such a move may boomerang and create even greater infighting in Umno.
Hence, the 'minor stroke' rumours to allow Najib to step down 'gracefully' on health reasons. Whether or not, Najib was really ill did not matter. As far as his rivals in Umno are concerned, poor health is merely the vehicle for Najib to 'surrender' his power.
"Mahathir is a kamikaze fighter. He doesn't need emergency laws or any law if he wants to do something. Look at how he dissolved the old UMNO and re-created UMNO Baru, look at how he threw Anwar Ibrahim into jail, declared all-out war on Abdullah Badawi," a veteran political observer had told Malaysia Chronicle last month.

"But the option of delaying GE13 and imposing martial law is out. The UMNO warlords know if they do that, they will really end up with nothing but jail and infamy. It is better to take a chance at the ballot boxes. After all, they have already done so much gerrymandering and they have so much wealth overseas, they might as well try their luck in the courts if the new regime prosecutes them for plundering."
"There's no doubt Mahathir is trying to change the PM to boost the morale in UMNO before going straight into GE13. He has always been the biggest gambler of them all. He is willing to put all his chips on winning big with Muhyiddin's pro-Malay image. To do that, they will stir up Malay sentiments. So far, there has only been rhetoric. Now we are hearing talk of racial clashes. It is therefore possible that what happens next will be actual incidents. The grapevine goes that they may stir up small incidents here and there to rally the Malays together and they could do this with the help of UMNO hot-heads and the Chinese and Indian underworld."

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Red-hot rumors Najib suffered a MINOR STROKE over the weekend






















  • NEW PM FOR MALAYSIA? Najib to be forced to step down on 'health reasons'?
    Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle | 07 Jan 2013
    It looks like Malaysia will be getting a new prime minister even before the general election, widely expected in June, is held. Embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak may soon step down soon in favour of his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin citing health reasons, but ultimately, the 59-year-old Najib would be ...













Najib Stroke?

Najib Stroke?

Najib Stroke?

Word is seeping out that the Prime Minister of Malaysia suffered a ‘minor stroke’ over the weekend. Given the scandals building around him, perhaps the pressure has started to tell? So far, Najib Razak has provided no substantial answers to the deadly accusations over the past couple of weeks, further…



























Word is seeping out that the Prime Minister of Malaysia suffered a ‘minor stroke’ over the weekend.
Given the scandals building around him, perhaps the pressure has started to tell?
So far, Najib Razak has provided no substantial answers to the deadly accusations over the past couple of weeks, further linking him to the cover-up over the murder of the model Altantuya Shaariibuu and to the kickbacks from the French Scorpene submarine deal.
Instead, in an extraordinary move, he directed the Defence Ministry to execute a blatant buy up of a company owned by his main accuser and former business friend, Deepak Jaikishan.
Malaysia has been left asking why did the PM so suddenly and arbitrarily decide it was necessary to pour millions of ringgit into a company of no apparent use, which just happens to be owned by the man who has been threatening more revelations?
The ‘First Lady’s’ love of diamonds is well-documented
However, the former carpet dealer, Deepak,  immediately made clear that the sum was not enough to get him out of the financial trouble, which his business dealings with the Prime Minister appear to have landed him in and which started him talking in the first place.
Ensuing revelations have duly appeared over the past 3 days, including the publication of a much heralded book attributed to Deepak, The Black Rose.
There has also been new evidence that the carpet dealer bought millions of ringgit worth of diamond jewellery for the first lady (jewellery being a well-known foible of hers) in order to smooth his deals with the Razak family involving the sale of state lands.
Deepak has started to become strained and contradictory in his interviews, blaming the opposition for not supporting him and denying supplying information to journalists, but none of this looks good for the PM.
Walking the plank?
So are we seeing a leader physically succumbing to what must be unbelievable strain or instead, a man who has decided that the game is up and it is time to duck out on good old fashioned health grounds?
What is certain is that while a ‘minor stroke’ may be survivable in terms of health, it is fatal in politics for someone three months away from leading the government into a crucial election.
So, if Najib does admit to having had this stroke, then either way it means he is heading for the exit before the election.  The lightening strategy would parachute him out of BN’s current nose-dive and allow his aggressive Deputy, Muyhiddin bin Yassin, to snatch the controls in a last ditch attempt to rescue the spiralling downward trajectory of the UMNO-led coalition.
Riding to the rescue – does Deputy Muhyiddin really imagine that he can seize control of BN just before the next election and blame all past wrongdoings on ‘sick’ Najib?
Conversely, if Najib refuses to admit to the stroke, but has in fact suffered this unfortunate turn (our sources say doctors have been on standby all weekend), then BN will become weaker by the hour in the run up to the election.
Not only will the party be led by a man who is not up to the job, but those circling him in his own ranks will increase the pressure and create further disruptive divisions instead of tackling the opposition.
It is this internal rivalry that possibly provides the most likely explanation for the destabilising rumour about Najib’s health.
The people who most want Najib out are his colleagues in BN. Their aims are selfish, yet they know that Najib has managed to remain more popular than his wider party throughout his period in office, so they have had to move carefully.
This current situation, where the Prime Minister seems unable to disentangle himself from a sex and murder scandal borne out of greed, corruption and incompetence of jaw-dropping proportions, has given them their best chance to dislodge him and attempt to create a clean slate for themselves.
The prospect of an election during a honeymoon, new leadership period must seem very tempting for anyone planning to take over, given all the dirt and disillusionment of BN’s 55 years in office.
However, if Najib is forced to fall on his sword over the coming days, it is wishful thinking on the part of his likely successors if they believe they can then disassociate themselves from all the corruption, cover-up and incompetence of his Prime Ministership.
After all, these people have been there at the PM’s side every step of the way and they are every bit as responsible as he is for the corruption and cover-ups.  What’s more, the people know it.



























Monday, 07 January 2013 11:47

IS HE REALLY ILL? Najib must clarify rumors he had a stroke & was resting in S'pore - Rafizi

Written by  Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle
PKR leaders have called on the federal government to clarify red-hot rumors that embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak had recently suffered a minor stroke so that the people and investors could keep track of what was happening in the country's top leadership.
"Yes, I have heard the rumours since Friday. We were told he had suffered a small stroke and was resting in Singapore. This is what we heard. These are serious speculation and should be clarified. The best person to do that is Najib himself," Rafizi told a press conference on Monday.
Really ill or another ploy by his Umno rivals to force him to quit?
Malaysia is due to hold a general election this year that is widely expected to be 'historic', possibly ushering in the first regime change in the country since 1957. Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and his Pakatan Rakyat coalition are expected to sweep to power, replacing a disunited and corruption-riddled Umno-BN.
There has been strong speculation that Najib's own party wanted him replaced ahead of the 13th general election, paving the way for his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin to step in. Muhyiddin is believed to have secured the backing of former premier Mahathir Mohamad, who still wields enormous clout in their Umno party.
According to Sarawak Report, Najib's doctors have been on standby all weekend. Red-hot rumors Najib suffered a MINOR STROKE NEW PM FOR MALAYSIA? Najib to be forced to step down on 'health reasons'?
Umno watchers are split in their views of what was really happening in the party. Some believe Najib had indeed fallen ill, others believe it is a ploy to allow Najib to make a "graceful exit". There are also those who believe the news was leaked by the Muhyiddin and Mahathir camps to add to the pressure on Najib to quit.
"This is not the first time Najib has health issues. Remember he also had surgery for his knee," said Rafizi.
Tremendous pressure
It would not be surprising if the news of Najib's stroke turned out to be true as he has been conspicuosly absent from the public eye for weeks.
There has been tremendous pressure on him to reply to corruption allegations made by Deepak Jaikishan, a controversial businessman who was a former close friend of his wife Rosmah Mansor.
Apparently, more expose's are in store and the coming days will be carefully monitored by political watchers for signs that Najib will step down. Deepak has promised to continue with his slew of allegations against the first couple despite receiving RM30mil from public-listed firm Boustead Holdings Bhd in a deal that critics say reeks of corruption and abuse of power.
Deepak had revealed he paid Najib's family "millions" to secure approval for a Ministry of Defense land privatization project involving Selangor Umno Women's chief Raja Ropiaah. Rafizi too has accused Najib of abusing his power and pressuring Boustead, which is 61%-owned by Armed Forces Pension Fund LTAT, into the deal so as to appease Deepak and cover-up the scandal.
"This is daylinght robbery. It is outright bribery (using Armed Forces pension money) to silence Deepak and to cover up the scandal," said Rafizi.
His PKR party will be lodging a police report against Najib on Tuesday.
Rosmah's diamonds and helping Deepak
Last week, Rafizi also made public a series of invoices from two of Hong Kong's top jewellers showing that Deepak's firms had bought 19 pieces of exclusives jewellery worth RM13 mil purportedly for Rosmah in 2009.
"So far, I have not spoken to Deepak yet. Only through a third party," Rafizi told reporters.
He has promised to help Deepak reveal several corrupt deals that the latter allegedly received when he was still part of Rosmah's inner circle.
Malaysia Chronicle






























January 08, 2013

Najib says he is healthy. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today brushed aside rumours that he suffered a minor stroke over the weekend, saying he is healthy. The speculation over his health in the run-up to Election 2013 was first raised online by whistleblower site Sarawak Report last weekend, which alleged Najib to have suffered a stroke due to pressure by the series of exposes by carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan.
“So Bursa Malaysia is healthy, while the market is healthy, the Sukuk market is healthy, I’m also healthy. So don’t listen to the blogs, please,” he said in a speech when launching the Exchange Traded Bonds and Sukuk (ETBS).
On January 5th, the Sarawak Report had published an unsubstantiated claim that the prime minister had a minor stroke, claiming it could lead to Najib’s early exit before the 13th general elections that must be called by end April.
However, the prime minister appeared in the pink on Saturday when he turned up at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal in Sepang to launch budget airline AirAsia’s new livery before flying off to Kuantan for a round of visits.
The night before the rumours spread, he had officiated the annual meeting and dinner of armed forces veterans at the Putra World Trade Centre and looked hale and hearty as well.













Tuesday, 08 January 2013 12:37

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS AT MUHYIDDIN'S DOOR: No direct denial from Najib, only 'healthy' claim

Written by  Wong Choon Mei, Nawawi Mohamad, Malaysia Chronicle
Regardless of whether Prime Minister Najib Razak is telling the truth about his health, his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin has managed to make another advance.
Umno watchers say the die has been cast and Najib's failure to issue a categorical denial he did not recently suffer a stroke will only benefit Muhyiddin, who is now on high gear to take over as the next Umno president and prime minister of Malaysia.
And the target timeline remains the same - before the 13th general election which must be called before June this year.
Convoluted, complex and totally selfish
Yes, the writing is on the wall for the underperforming Najib and his unpopular wife Rosmah Mansor.
Both have come under tremendous pressure and stress over the past months due in no small part to a scorching series of corruption allegations levelled by former ally-turned-foe, Deepak Jaikishan. Once part of Rosmah's inner circle, Deepak has promised to continue to expose his former benefactors after a business falling-out that involves Selangor Umno chief Raja Ropiaah.
It is clear that the power-brokers in Umno do not feel they have much chance of winning GE13 and even though that chance may be further dimmed if they pulled an 11th hour stunt to oust Najib, their vested interests apparently come first. Get the seats, talk later  - this is the refrain running throughout the length and breadth of the Umno divisions in the country.
With winning seats in hand, the Umno 'warlords' reckon they can knock together any kind of deal and with any party they choose to. With a sickly Najib carrying the flag, burdened by a mountain of damaging scandals, there can only be a dead end.
Worse still, if Najib's men win at GE13, it would become next to impossible for Muhyiddin and others who covet country's topmost job to dislodge Najib. Former premier Mahathir Mohamad, still acknowledged to be the most powerful man in Umno, may find himself relegated to has-been status once Najib secures his own mandate.
For these reasons, convoluted, complex and totally selfish, the Najibs must be made the proverbial scapegoats just like Abdullah Badawi was blamed for the poor BN performance in the 2008 election and forced to make way for Najib.
Can a sickly Najib lead Umno into the toughest GE13 ever
Many Umno analysts are interpreting the latest news leak that Najib suffered a small stroke and had to spend weeks recuperating in Singapore as a signal from the Muhyiddin camp that Mahathir has given the green light for the 'mutiny'.
Citing health reasons is one of the most common ways for leaders to step down in favor of their chosen successors or even their rivals. Najib's insistence that he was healthy will not in any way throw a spanner into the works.
"So Bursa Malaysia is healthy, while the market is healthy, the sukuk market is healthy, I’m also healthy. So don’t listen to the blogs, please,” Najib had said when delivering a keynote address during the launching of the Exchange Traded Bonds and Sukuk (ETBS) on Tuesday morning.
Quick as flash, his critics pointed out that he did not issue any direct denial. In any case, not only have his rivals in Umno anticipated his response, to them, it does not matter at all if he was really ill or not. To them, the state of his health is merely a means to an end. They know they have the upperhand. And so do the Najibs.
"What if someone were to expose the medical records and log? Face it, they are too weak to fight. How can anyone with health problems take the pressure of the toughest GE in the country's history. Umno's own survival is at stake. You cannot expect the warlords to depend on a sickly leader. No way the Najibs can stand up to Mahathir and his gang," a veteran Umno watcher told Malaysia Chronicle.
"We hear that negotiations have begun in earnest. Yes, it is the usual bickering over what they can get and also get to keep. A Tun-ship for him and a Toh-Puan for Rosmah. That sort of thing. But it won't be long lnow because there isn't much time to GE13 and the people must be given enough time to get used to Muhyiddin as the new PM or the whole thing will backfire and Pakatan Rakyat will benefit."
Changes in the corporate world
In the corporate world, the effect of the prevailing political uncertainty is also being felt. The Umno-connected circle - yes, the cronies - are wondering who will be the Malay businessman or group that Muhyiddin will elevate and make use of to complement his rise in political power. It is inevitable there will be changes in the main players in Corporate Malaysia and not only amongst the Malay business community.
With business and politics so intertwined in Malaysia, it is no wonder that 'groupies' and 'wannabes' are anxiousl to sniff out which way the wind will blow in order to gain an advantage. For sure, there will also be business casualties as Muhyiddin will want to benefit his own cronies and supporters. Those connected too closely to the Najibs and the Badawis can expect to be dropped.
During the Tun Razak era, Umno had Abu Bakar Lajim as one of its 'patrons'. It was Bakar who donated the first RM1 million to construct the Umno headquarters at the Dayabumi building. Then in the Mahathir era, guys like Daim Zainuddin, Syed Kecik, Halim Saad, Yahya Ahmad, Rosli Man and Tajuddin Ramli rose to power, enriching themselves along with Mahathir who purportedly owns more than US$44 billion, making him the second richest ex-head of government in the world after Egypt's Hosni Mubarak.
End of Syed Mokhtar's 'monopoly'?
Among the current crop of Malay tycoons, Syed Mokhtar Albukhary has managed to benefit the most. Although Syed Mokhtar may not be in the class of former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin, he has managed to amass weallth from Umno-related deals towards the end of the Mahathir era, right through the Badawi administration and into Najib's rule.
But can Syed Mokhtar maintain his charm offensive through the Muhyiddin 'era', which arguably may be the shortest-ever given that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's Pakatan Rakyat seems poised to sweep to victory in the coming ballot.
Syed Mokhtar was also once close to Muhyiddin and this may be why he has so many projects in Johor state, where Muhyiddin comes from. Sad to say, according to the grapevine, Muhyiddin is none too happy with Syed Mokhtar these days.
There has been speculation that Syed Mokhtar refused to give Muhyiddin political funds during the 2008 election and has continued to snub the latter's requests for GE13. As such, chances are high Syed Mokhtar will be dropped from the list of 'first-tier' cronies when Muhyiddin rides into power.
All waiting for Mahathir?

How confident is Muhyiddin of taking over from Najib? Can the 66-year-old Muhyiddin, who has shown a surprisingly independent streak, do a better job than the amiable but feather-headed Najib? What does Muhyddin aspire for Malaysia? Does he plan to reform Umno or leave things as they are? Can Muhyiddin stand on his own without Mahathir's support? Is he merely another puppet for Mahathir and his sons? Or will he - like the 'soft' Abdullah Badawi - suddenly show a different persona once he becomes PM?
The answers to those questions can only be known in due time. For now, Muhyiddin has to play along with both Mahathir and Najib. Mahathir will surely want to continue hoarding more wealth. The 87-year-old can be expected to pressure Muhyiddin to farm out lucrative deals to his sons, but fortunately for Muhyiddin, he may not need to entertain Mahathir for too long.
In this respect, Muhyiddin can be expected to share the sentiments of many of his party colleagues, including Najib and Rosmah. Whatever their personal feelings for the 'grand old man' of Umno, it is an open secret they are all waiting for him to succumb to old age. They believe that only then can they finally get to be their own men!
This is indeed the saddest indictment for Mahathir. Some say it is fair retribution for his nurturing of the current divisive and corrupt culture in Umno. Perhaps this is yet another reason for the heightened infighting in Umno these days.
The warlords know that with each new year that comes, they are another step closer to finally taking over from the Big Boss and becoming King of all they survey. Unlike now, when even the prime minister is a mere 'vassal' and has to pay 'tribute' to the real power behind the proverbial throne.
Malaysia Chronicle
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  • OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS AT MUHYIDDIN'S DOOR: No direct denial from Najib, only 'healthy' claim
    Wong Choon Mei, Nawawi Mohamad, Malaysia Chronicle | 08 Jan 2013
    Regardless of whether Prime Minister Najib Razak is telling the truth about his health, his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin has managed to make another advance. Umno watchers say the die has been cast and Najib's failure to issue a categorical denial he did not recently suffer a stroke will only benefit Muh...

































93-Day Countdown to 13GE – Najib should dissolve Parliament by 8th March on expiry of  5-year tenure of Parliament instead of resorting to Article 55(3)of Constitution to secure  another 50 days as unelected PM.

Article 55(3) of the Malaysian Constitution states:
“55(3) Parliament unless sooner dissolved shall  continue for five years from the date of its first meeting  and shall then stand dissolved”.
The 12th Parliament was elected on March 8, 2008 – the polling day for the 12th general elections.
The first meeting of the present Parliament was on April 28, 2008. Under Article 55(3), unless Parliament is sooner dissolved, the 12th Parliament shall stand automatically dissolved on April 27, 2013.
No mandate of his own!
The sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is the nation’s longest unelected Prime Minister without a mandate of his own – longer than his four predecessors Tun Abdullah, Tun Mahathir, Tun Hussein and his father Tun Razak.
He should dissolve Parliament by 8th March 2013 on expiry of the  five-year tenure of Parliament instead of resorting to the Constitutional device in Article 55(3) to secure  another 50 days in office as unelected Prime Minister.
Extra 50 days from April 27
It is constitutional for Najib to secure another 50 days in office as unelected Prime Minister under Article 55(3) of the Constitution, but no other Prime Minister in Malaysia had ever to resort to  such a constitutional device to extend his tenure as Prime Minister – and in this case, as unelected Prime Minister.
If Najib has to dissolve Parliament by March 8, 2013, he has 58 days left to call for the 13th general elections.
Is Najib prepared to announce in the next few days when he would dissolve Parliament before March 8, 2013 for the 13th general elections to be held?
UMNO leaders have been touring the country declaring that Najib has halted the “political tsunami” of 2008.
Prove it then in the 13GE.
Or are these boasts  just empty bombast and hifalutin rhetoric, just like UMNO/Barisan Nasional claims that UMNO/BN could wrest back 20 parliamentary seats held by Pakatan Rakyat to secure two-thirds parliamentary majority in the 13GE – as well recapturing the PR state governments of Kelantan, Penang, Selangor and Kedah?
Is Najib confident of facing the 13GE by 8th March 2013 or does he need another 50 days to work up the courage to face the Malaysian electorate?
Lim Kit Siang is the DAP adviser & MP for Ipoh Timur




























A New Prime Minister before GE-13?

by  Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle
Najib frowningIt looks like Malaysia will be getting a new Prime Minister even before the general election, widely expected in June, is held. Embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak may soon step down soon in favour of his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin citing health reasons, but ultimately, the 59-year-old Najib would be the latest casualty of their UMNO party’s infighting and fear of losing the Federal government to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and the latter’s Pakatan Rakyat coalition.
Over the weekend, rumors were rife that Najib would dissolve Parliament on January 26 in a bid to stymie a purported maneuver by Muhyddin and former Premier Mahathir Mohamad to oust him as UMNO President and Prime Minister of the country before the 13th GE is held.
Such talk was soon overtaken by even hotter speculation that Najib had fallen ill. According to Sarawak Report, doctors have been on standby all weekend. There is little doubt the strain on Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor have been tremendous especially over the past few weeks when they were both the targets of a string of shocking corruption expose’s by controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan.
The first couple’s deafening silence to the scorching allegations as well as Najib’s very notable ‘absence’ from the public limelight over the past fortnight had stirred suspicion something was up. Some even speculated that Najib may have gone overseas for treatment.
“All we can say is that the BN administration must immediately clarify the actual situation. We all know something is not right when the PM doesn’t seem to be around. There is no statement issued as to his whereabouts and there are no rebuttals to the very serious claims made by Deepak,” PKR MP for Batu Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.
Banking on sympathy votes from a confused Malay electorate
Najib took over as UMNO President and the country’s 6th Prime Minister in April 2009Mahathir after helping Mahathir and Muhyiddin to oust Abdullah Badawi who was blamed for the UMNO-BN’s weak performance in the 2008 elections. Now, and rather ironically, Najib may find himself toppled in much the same dismissive way that he had helped to pack Badawi off into the political wilderness.
It has been an open secret that UMNO ‘warlords’ have been tussling for seats to contest at GE13, and Najib had used his prerogative as the decision-maker of the last resort to maintain the upperhand. And despite the myriad ‘spin’ by media advisers from both sides, it is well known that Najib and Rosmah wanted to call for polls only after the UMNO-BN’s full 5-year term was up, while Muhyiddin and Mahathir have pushed for elections to be held as early as last year.
When Muhyddin told the press at the turn of the new year it was better for the GE13 date to remain a ‘mystery’, it further bolstered the ‘conspiracy theory’ circulating around town that Najib would be bundled out soon. Muhyiddin would then take over and allow Parliament to expire undissolved, with the pro-BN Election Commission calling for nationwide polls only in June so as to allow the ‘wounds’ in UMNO time to heal and the country – especially the predominant Malay electorate – to get used to the new PM at the helm.
“They are banking on Muhyiddin’s pro-Malay image to shore up UMNO-BN’s hold on power as well as the Malays’ fear of the unknown and sympathy for Najib’s illness – if indeed he is ill – to help them,” said Tian.
“We are now in uncharted zone because we don’t know what tricks UMNO-BN will pull to cling to power. Everything will depend on what announcements will be made in the next few days. We will get a clearer picture then.”
Ambitious Muhyiddin & ‘kamikaze’ Dr M
 In mid-December, political sources had told Malaysia Chronicle that UMNO divisions inDPM latest three states – Johor, Terengganu and Perak – had begun the ball rolling to get Najib to step down, citing his growing liability to the BN coalition because of his corruption scandals expecially in connection to the Scorpene submarines and the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder.
The tell-tale signs that infighting had reached a head came when rumors of racial riots were spread by several pro-UMNO bloggers. Coming eerily hot on the heels of warnings issued by UMNO-linked leaders such as Ibrahim Ali and Shahrizat Jalil, the rumors fueled fear of a reprisal of the May 13, 1969 racial riots that left thousands injured and hundreds dead.
Creating public fear by using threats of racial riots to quell citizens and stop them from raising questions is a ‘hallmark’ tactic of  UMNO leaders to mask internal maneuverings. The May 13 riots have been exposed as an UMNO conspiracy to oust its then president Tunku Abdul Rahman. It was a power tussle that catapulted Najib’s dad Abdual Razak Hussein and Mahathir Mohamad into power.
As such, when the latest spate of May 13 rumours were set off recently, seasoned political watchers braced for another ‘mutiny’ in the topmost ranks of the UMNO leadership.
Allowing Najib to make a ‘graceful’ exit
UMNO watchers believe that Mahathir Mohamad, the main ‘puppet master’ in UMNO, has decided to throw his weight behind Muhyiddin and effect an 11th-hour change in leadership although many have cautioned that such a move may boomerang and create even greater infighting in UMNO.
Hence, the ‘minor stroke’ rumours to allow Najib to step down ‘gracefully’ on health reasons. Whether or not, Najib was really ill did not matter. As far as his rivals in UMNO are concerned, poor health is merely the vehicle for Najib to ‘surrender’ his power.
“Mahathir is a kamikaze fighter. He doesn’t need emergency laws or any law if he wants to do something. Look at how he dissolved the old UMNO and re-created UMNO Baru, look at how he threw Anwar Ibrahim into jail, declared all-out war on Abdullah Badawi,” a veteran political observer had told Malaysia Chronicle last month.
“But the option of delaying GE13 and imposing martial law is out. The UMNO warlords know if they do that, they will really end up with nothing but jail and infamy. It is better to take a chance at the ballot boxes. After all, they have already done so much gerrymandering and they have so much wealth overseas, they might as well try their luck in the courts if the new regime prosecutes them for plundering.”
“There’s no doubt Mahathir is trying to change the PM to boost the morale in UMNO before going straight into GE13. He has always been the biggest gambler of them all. He is willing to put all his chips on winning big with Muhyiddin’s pro-Malay image. To do that, they will stir up Malay sentiments. So far, there has only been rhetoric. Now we are hearing talk of racial clashes. It is therefore possible that what happens next will be actual incidents. The grapevine goes that they may stir up small incidents here and there to rally the Malays together and they could do this with the help of UMNO hot-heads and the Chinese and Indian underworld.”

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