Dato Seri Najib is now effectively the UMNO president. The nominal one until march 2009 is Pak Lah. The Prime Minister, in form and in substance, until march 2008 is still Pak Lah. He still wields the big stick.
So before all of you take out your expensive cigars and uncork your bottles of wine, examine closely the scenario.
What if the two fellows who finally made it past the quota, are actually Pak Lah’s attack dogs? They have been charged to do Muhyiddin in.
Lets see how the odds stack against Muhyiddin.
He is a potential threat to Najib. He has a sizeable war chest. He can mobilise people later should he decide he wants to. In the past, his people have made it known that he an UMNO presidential material. He has no morality issues. He has rivaled and shown that he can defeat Najib in UMNO polls.
He has all the ingredients which could make him unpalatable to Najib and this point will be honed in mercilessly by his detractors. The two rivals will also be playing up this issue to the hilt.
If support from home state is any indication, Muhyiddin can be seen as the weakest. He has more opponents in his own state of Johor than the other two. Most of them are either Pak lah loyalists or DS Najib’s supporters in waiting. Support for Ali Rustam from Melaka appears total. Mat Taib can count on the majority of delegates support from Selangor.
The mortal sin which gained opprobrium for Muhyiddin is of course, his instigation to expedite the departure of Pak Lah. In doing so, Muhyiddin was seen to be giving official voice to demands by Tun Mahathir that Pak Lah resign. In addition, he has made the contemptible political faux pas brokering the peace deal between Tengku Razaleigh and everyone’s bête noir, Tun Mahathir. By doing so, Muhyiddin incurred the wrath of Pak Lah. In that process he spooked DS Najib into rushing to meet up with Tun Mahathir where he probably pledged fealty to the old man. All of these were of course not lost on Pak Lah.
Now Pak Lah, is not one who easily forgets, despite his softie exterior. In fact, what he has shown thus far, is a proclivity to settling old scores and making good old wounds. Every conceivable idea by Tun Mahathir has been dismantled.
His target will continue to be those he thinks are associated to Tun Mahathir or who he thinks are even remote accomplices to Mahathir’s plan to dispatch Pak Lah. At the top of the list if of course Muhyiddin.
Word on the ground now is, for the deputy president, the code word is ABM- anyone but Muhyiddin. What are Pak Lah’s weapon of choice?.
Two actually. In the person of Ali Rustam and Mat Taib. Ali Rustam has since become Pak Lah’s favourite candidate. Remember- how Pak Lah poured scorn at suggestions that Ali Rustam withdraw from the DP race. He has even said that Ali Rustam is as qualified as anyone else to become DP. Obviously that scorn was directed also at Muhyiddin.
Mat Taib will want to cut a deal to extend his longevity in the cabinet and in the upper echelons of UMNO leadership. In order to secure such a position, he will play the loyal dogsbody to Pak Lah. To that effect, he will do what Pak Lah bids him to do and the chief task is to stop Muhyddin. How?
By colluding with Ali Rustam to make sure Muhydin loses. If Muhyidin loses, that will end his political career. A victory for Ali Rustam, with some deals thrown in between Mat Taib and Ali prior to that, will ensure Mat Taib of some plum assignments.
Why would Mat Taib be a willing accomplice? First, because he wants to repay the debt to Pak lah. Second, he thinks his political fortunes are better served with Ali as DP.
DS Najib in the meantime, until March 2009 will be busy re-building his image and wont want to be caught in the coming crossfire. More so that Muhyddin to Najib is dispensable. His people too, will be busy with remedial measures to re-boost their boss’s image which will be under severe attack in the comings months. That include of course, some grand design to link DS Najib with a murdered Mongolian.
Anyone wonders why RPK has been released?