Dato Najib says it will be tough for BN in Permatang Pauh. He says BN/UMNO must be realistic. But he goes on, anything is possible. At the moment, let us discount the tail end statement and consider it as wishful thinking.
Since 1982, Permatang Pauh has either been won by Anwar and/or Dato Seri Wan Azizah. The BN candidate on those two occasions when Wan Azizah stood as candidate, was the lantern jawed Dato Pirdaus Ismail. People with lantern jaws that I know of, include the cartoon character Desperate Dan in the comic ( can’t remember Dandy or Beano). The other person with such a jaw is president Clinton. We know people with these characteristics share the same hobby like those with reddened lips like Rahim Tamby Chik and Najib Tun Razak.
Pirdaus was once an imam of masjid negara. His singular achievement when sermonising on the mimbar, is putting the Friday congregation to sleep. But in the near heathen filled ranks of the UMNO youth, the presence of a few religious trained honchos tend to leaven the organisation.
Of course anything can happen. Anwar Ibrahim can be charged in court and found guilty as charged. He will then be disqualified as a candidate. That is one possibility.
But the phrase anything can happen is also foreboding. Permatang Pauh can be Dato Najib’s Waterloo.
It is in the UMNO TRADITION that the person who leads any by-election is the DPM. And so the DPM is moving into a battle ground where he will be greatly disadvantaged. The PM comes in once a while to lend his credibility. But with Pak Lah’s approval rating at an all time low, his presence may in fact precipitate the voters animosity towards the BN.
In all probability the man of the hour at the Permatang Pauh by election is Dato Najib. This is something Dato Najib will not relish. Najib is attacking a mountain fortress. I hope his attack will not be the Charge Of The Light Brigade. Will Najib bring him 600 good UMNO men to lead the charge into volleys of fire and hail of bullets? Some readers may remember some of the stanzas in the poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. I have here some of the passages;
Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd & thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.
I hope Dato Najib will stop thinking of his interest only and think also of UMNO’s future.
In the battle of Waterloo, Napoleon Bonaparte lost the title of Emperor. Will the battle for Permatang Pauh costs Najib his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?
We can look forward to revealing tales about Najib’s past irrespective whether they are true or not. Even way back, when Anwar was the DPM, his people were bragging that they have a black book listing all of Najib’s extracurricular activities. I am sure, one of the tales will be the re-telling of the case at Ming Court Hotel in KL. Remember our own Heidi Hess? I think her name was Haslinda Marican. The madam who supplied girls to various Malaysian luminaries including a chief judge? A certain lawyer in Shah Alam is said to have some interesting videotapes. There are rumours of a Najib connection there. In what capacity, I am not privy.
Of course the rakyat will be entertained by stories of Altantuya, the submarine deals, the commission paid, the Sukhoi purchases, Rosmah’s shopping fetishes and so forth.
When the dust finally settles, maybe there's nothing left of Najib that qualifies him to take over in 2010.
In ancient times, Malay kings were carried on a contraption called a tandu. This is essentially a seating structure with elongated poles on either side, carried on the shoulders of obedient Malay subjects. It is similar to a palanquin. It is said when Sultan Mahmud was speared by a maniacal and vengeful husband, he was sitting on a tandu.
In Kampung Ubai Kuantan, (in the Kuantan division) the original tandu that was used to carry the Late Tun Razak is still there. It lies forlornly. I have mockingly sat on it a few times. The people in Kampung Ubai Kuantan whom I met are discussing to hack up the tandu into firewood. They are convinced, it will not be used by anyone in Pekan. There’s a feast there this Sunday. I may attend.