by Dato Ariff Sabri*
Many of us have fond memories of former Kedah Menteri Besar, Sanusi Junid, for 1,001 reasons. He can be comical at one time, deadpan serious at another. Sanusi, who joined UMNO in 1963, used to regal many of us with his caustic remarks aimed at disarming UMNO president Najib Tun Razak or discrediting Najib as it were.
He related his many conversations with Najib’ father, Tun Razak. One of these conversational bites was when Tun Razak was sighing about how Najib couldn’t cut his teeth into politics.Sanusi would let out a half smile when he tells us of the moment when he cheekily asked: “Why Tun?”And Tun Razak replied: “Too much skirt chasing.”
According to the Oracle of Syed Putra, there is a growing divide between Najib, UMNO and the Malays. (Incidentally, the Oracle is the alter ego of Daim Zainudin. You can almost say what the Oracle says is what Daim thinks.)
According to him, the low estimation of Najib as Prime Minister and UMNO President is no longer just confined to the man on the street whose opinions may be justifiably dismissed as idle talk. But the same opinions are being said and repeated by UMNO luminaries, people of some significance, indicating a very serious perception problem.
Umno leaders complaining
So what is Najib doing now? Najib is seen as being busy finding ways to channel money to Chinese vernacular schools and that is alienating the Malay voters farther.He’s seen as appeasing non-Malays more and more.
It seems to me his way of solving problems is by paying his way through. Yet the UMNO warlords from which UMNO and its President depend for political power are not amused. They are NOT receiving projects for their areas. For example, the UMNO leaders in Kedah are complaining. They have been asked to set the agenda to retake Kedah yet they have not been given resources to go into battle.
Forget ’3M’ grouping
Speaking of Kedah, I asked the Oracle what’s his take on the 3M grouping of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyidin Yassin and Mukhriz (Mahathir’son)?
“I wouldn’t give much credence to the 3M thing. For what purpose? For Muhyidin to ascend to the PM post? He can do that by other means at his disposal. He is enjoying better credibility with his Malay first, Malaysia second attitude with the Malay hoi poloi. To prop up Mukhriz so that Mahathir will lend his weight to Muhyidin? That is possible. But how long can Mukhriz survive in politics by hanging on the coat-tails of his father?
“It’s like you said about Najib being cornered to come out with his last resort defence when attacked on his policies. All he could muster was – he is Tun Razak’s son. How long can you sell that?. So why should Muhydin be a party to declining forces?” said the Orcle.
‘Najib is politically finished’
According to him, Muhyidin isn’t as stupid as he looks. He thinks the 3M thing is just another red herring to disguise some sort of power struggle within UMNO. It could be even be something the Najib camp is manufacturing to justify isolating Muhyidin.
“Najib is politically finished. He is isolating himself with a band of highly self-opinionated advisers.He has this habit of abandoning friends and dismissing advice and frank criticisms.He prefers the advice and company of greenhorn advisers.They may be clever people, but haven’t got the political wisdom and savvy,” said the Oracle.
So, who does Najib have for advisers? Are they as ‘good’ as those that Mahathir had? Mahathir had Daim, Anwar Ibrahim (then), Sanusi and Megat Junid who were his operatives. They did the ground and underground work so that Mahathir could do what he does best – which is, projecting himself as an unrelenting crusader to almost anything on earth.
Why was Mahathir able to do that? Because he had a team of sewer workers.Najib hasn’t got people who will want to do the dirty work for him.
*This excerpt is from the writer’s blog sakmongkolak47. The writer is a FMT columnist. - Din Merican