Najib knows what his focus should be. And his focus is Malay seats and East Malaysian seats. And Mahathir as Pakatan Harapan’s Prime Minister-in-waiting is not going to threaten those 100 or so Malay seats plus the 57 from East Malaysia. Pakatan is still going to grab those 65-70 seats never mind what happens. So Najib can forget about them. It is the balance 150 seats that matter. And with Mahathir as the nominated interim Prime Minister, supposedly warming the seat for Anwar Ibrahim, Najib knows that his 150 or so seats are safe because Mahathir is now a DAP man and no longer an Umno man.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
There are those who say the clock is ticking and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s days are numbered. This is because of the 7th January 2018 event where Pakatan Harapan announced Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the interim Prime Minister and Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as his deputy. Once Anwar Ibrahim receives his pardon from DYMM the Agong, gets released from jail, and wins a parliament seat in a by-election, Mahathir will then step aside to make way for Anwar to take over as Malaysia’s Eighth Prime Minister.
Pakatan is presenting this as a sure-win formula and a strategy that will guarantee the ouster of Umno and Barisan Nasional in the coming general election. This is something the people were waiting for, says Pakatan, and with this announcement they are more or less assured of winning the coming general election.
In that case why are the Pakatan people going all over Malaysia explaining that what they announced on 7th January 2018 is a good thing? If it is a good thing surely the people will be able to see that and you do need to criss-cross the country explaining that it is a good thing. The feedback from the ground is that many people see this as a step backwards rather than a step forward.
This pushed Mahathir beyond the point of no return and more or less assured Najib the problem has been solved for good
The impression they are trying to create is that Mahathir has outplayed Najib and on 7th January 2018 Mahathir checkmated Najib. Najib is practically trapped in a corner and this is one situation he is not going to crawl out alive from. In short, Najib is a dead man walking and finally, after three years of hammering away, Mahathir has managed to finish Najib off once and for all.
Mahathir started his move on Najib in December 2014. By July 2015 it was supposed to have been over. Muhyiddin Yassin would be the new Prime Minister by 29th July 2015 and the first thing he would do is ensure that Mukhriz becomes his number two.
The Federal Constitution says the Prime Minister must be a Member of the House but the Cabinet Members need not be. As for the position of Deputy Prime Minister the Constitution is silent. Hence that does not preclude Mukhriz from taking over as the Deputy Prime Minister although after that he will need to contest a parliament seat in a by-election to strengthen his chances of succession to Prime Minister.
The 29th July 2015 date came and went and Najib still remained in power. After that the window started closing gradually and time became the essence. When the October vote-of-no-confidence in Parliament and the December vote-of-no-confidence during the Umno annual assembly both failed, the window closed totally. Najib started the new year in 2016 as the man with the upper hand and Mahathir was now the hunter being hunted.
Najib wanted Mahathir to abandon Umno totally and talak tiga so that the Malays would remain united under Umno
In January 2016 Najib sat down with his Boffin Boys to discuss their next move or counter-move. They needed Mahathir to make the moves but the move must be one where Mahathir digs the hole even deeper and gets bogged down. Instead of killing Mahathir they must make him commit suicide. And the best way would be to send him over to the opposition so that he can drag the opposition down together with him.
One sure way of making Mahathir menglabah is to hurt his children. The reason Mahathir went all out to destroy Anwar in 1998 was because Anwar hurt Mirzan by paying him just RM1 billion instead of the RM2 billion that he wanted for his Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd. This really made Mahathir very angry because RM1 billion was not enough to bail Mirzan out of his financial predicament.
In 2006 Mahathir confirmed that he was very upset with Anwar because of this. And he became even more upset when the government managed to sell off that investment and made a profit. So the government made a profit out of his son’s misery whereas they could have paid his son more than just RM1 billion.
On 3rd February 2016 Mukhriz was removed as the Kedah Menteri Besar and this made Mahathir really mad. On 29th February 2016 Mahathir resigned from Umno thinking that the party will pressure Najib into resigning like what happened in 2008 when Mahathir also resigned from Umno to force the party to remove Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
But this time it did not work so Mahathir was left stranded. Najib wanted Mahathir to feel stranded and desperate enough to walk over to the opposition like what he did in 1969 and 2008 when he was out of Umno on both those occasions. This time, for the third time, if Mahathir walks over to the opposition, Umno’s doors will be closed to Mahathir for good and it would be talak tiga and no more going back.
Mahathir is now seen as a DAP man and no longer as Umno’s prodigal son waiting to return
And Mahathir did what Najib expected him to do and wanted him to do. Mahathir took over as the opposition’s ‘Top Dog’. And that closed Umno’s doors to Mahathir for good. Mahathir is now no longer the prodigal son of Umno waiting to return. Mahathir’s status is par with Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, and all those other sworn enemies of Umno.
Najib needs to ensure that Umno wins as many of the 100 or so Malay seats plus the 57 East Malaysian seats. That represents 70% of the 222 parliament seats, meaning it also represents more than a two-thirds majority in Parliament. That leaves another 65 seats for Pakatan Harapan. Even if Pakatan wins 74 seats, Barisan will still scrape through with a two-thirds majority in Parliament. At 145 seats for Barisan and 77 for Pakatan, Barisan will lose its two-thirds majority in Parliament.
So Najib knows what his focus should be. And his focus is Malay seats and East Malaysian seats. And Mahathir as Pakatan Harapan’s Prime Minister-in-waiting is not going to threaten those 100 or so Malay seats plus the 57 from East Malaysia. Pakatan is still going to grab those 65-70 seats never mind what happens. So Najib can forget about them. It is the balance 150 seats that matter. And with Mahathir as the nominated interim Prime Minister, supposedly warming the seat for Anwar Ibrahim, Najib knows that his 150 or so seats are safe because Mahathir is now a DAP man and no longer an Umno man.