Tremors and Rumblings Within BN

There is an air of mutiny that is fast turning into a tornado within BN, and as usual, the culpable culprits are from UMNO.

By Delimma

An earthquake is expected to occur soon in Malaysia. Not of the geological kind, but of the political one – and this time it has got nothing to do with the opposition. One might be forgiven to believe that the opposition is actually making huge inroads into BN’s chinked armour by the so-called political tsunami of change but in truth, the opposition may as well sit back and enjoy the show as BN itself is already showing signs that it will implode and scatter in all directions. 

There is an air of mutiny that is fast turning into a tornado within BN, and as usual, the culpable culprits are from UMNO. Let’s not forget however, the contribution that the MCA, MIC and other allies such as the government of Sarawak in adding fuel to an already raging fire within the BN rank and file. The recent exposure of the Islamic fair organised in Monaco comes to light. Of all the places in the world to have a fair, we chose to have one in Monaco, in the kingdom more famous for its “sinful” lifestyle and offerings and that too, during this sacred fasting month. And to top that off, we have the sponsors allegedly coming from the Sarawak state government – something which mystifies Malaysians. An Islamic fair, in the month of Ramadan, in a place more renowned for its casinos and financed by the government of Taib Mahmud, who is already taking in more criticism that it has allowed itself to consume up to now. 

This conundrum might fall into the same category if not worse than the current free-spending attitude of the Tourism Ministry. They have already shown that they are listlessly wasting Malaysian taxpayers’ money by erecting a huge monument called the Malaysian Expo in China; the actual costs and consequences are yet to be finalised but the calculators are already running out of numbers. Add to that allegations by some subordinates that the Minister is unnerved over cries by her staff (Muslims mostly) who were asked to man the station there during this fasting month. Poor Malay civil servants, they just don’t know how to dutifully carry out their duties and obligations; they just want to sit back and enjoy their pay by doing nothing in their seats in the air-conditioned offices back home, ready to go back at the sound of the gun to rush to buy their lollipops and delicacies for breaking fast.   

Then we add the widely publicised PKFZ fiasco, where it is now alleged that a prominent UMNO top gun is about to be charged in court. We heard that former Selangor MB Khir Toyo was in court today, but if he is charged he is no big gun in today’s UMNO scene, just another has-been who is still trying to show off his mettle at losing the state to the opposition in the first place. Could it be somebody higher up, even close to the administration? One can never be too surprised nowadays given the fact a certain Tun has already been brought to court. If the MACC wants to cleanse itself of ghostly images, the time to act is now, and Malaysians are hoping to see the best in what it should be able to do. 

But of more concern now is the alleged growing rift between the nation’s top two leaders; wherein certain quarters are already going all out to defend both leaders and claiming the allegations are just small talk and of no substance. Even a cow grazing listlessly in the kampong would have told you that no tree would shake without wind blowing or tremor rumbling. More and more politicians and followers are already flooding the coffee-shops and stalls after prayers to find out more about the alleged infighting erupting between No. 1 and No. 2. 

On the one hand, the present No. 2 has got some good things going for him. When he was holding fort for a good 10 days when the PM went abroad, his popularity rose to eclipse that of the big boss. That goes to show how one man’s views that were reportedly in opposition towards the big boss’ vision of a Malaynised Malaysia (unlike Malaysian Malaysia) were welcomed by the public. The Big Boss’ team retaliated by claiming that Muhyiddin is trying to hog the limelight. No. 2 tried his very best to defend his statement and his support, but the road to perdition has already been paved. And Muhyiddin unfortunately, did himself no favours by suddenly coming out with an idea to revamp the school’s examination system. This time, the fourth floor boys had a whale of a time dishing out negative views about the idea, even to the extent of alleging Muhyiddin is now trying to outmanoeuvre Najib. 

All the numbers are already giving us headaches, No. 1, No. 2 and others. Apparently now however, Muhyiddin may yet feel glad that he may not be alone in his quest to right some of the misfortunes caused by Najib’s stool pigeons. A just concluded BN meeting in Kuala Lumpur (of course involving the No. 2 and two of No. 1’s most loved agents of destruction), exploded into life when one of Najib’s stool pigeons began to torture an MIC representative about the Bukit Jalil case. Actually he was right, since even some MIC top leaders are already lambasting this MIC giant for actually not doing anything to resolve the matter when he was tasked to do it in the first place.  

But the MIC is also showing it is no pushover, especially by this greenhorn UMNO politician who is allegedly as arrogant as his big boss. The MIC man began to bite back, even to the extent of attacking the credibility of the present FT Minister, another of Najib’s blue-eyed pigeons. Claims began to fill the meeting hall of how the Minister had failed in his efforts to support BN components in providing adequate allocations, something which apparently was very much the agenda in every BN meeting. And then another representative, from the MCA, began to attack the No. 1 stoolie on why the party’s representative was not appointed as BN Chairman for the stoolie’s Parliamentary constituency when the seat belongs to the MCA to contest.  

One would have expected common sense to be honoured but both sides started to dish out heavy words that border between vulgarity and indecency. And then a former Minister who now seats high and mighty in UMNO’s headquarters lost his patience and started to attack the stoolies, as well as No. 1’s administration. He even called the present FT Minister a flip-flop minister, something which is already vibrating laughter in the blogging world. Suddenly the Najib’s team members were under fire, and the attacks are now coming from their own allies. 

Of course we can deduce that Muhyiddin must have found it amusing that so much dirt was already being dished out in the Federal Territories, which at present were seemingly controlled by No. 1’s people. And the alleged revolt caused by dissatisfaction over allocations and how the other BN members are being treated by Najib’s people are really beginning to show. But Muhyiddin must also realise that before long, the revolting members would have to ask him the most important question – will No. 2 take the up the gauntlet or will he, like so many No. 2’s before him, simmer down and just follow the path of silence and servitude even when the BN’s future is at stake. 

The battle lines are being drawn at present between the No. 1’s people and the rest of the BN. Although Muhyiddin is still lamenting on his fate and what would happen should he choose a side, he must also be weary of his former nemesis for the No. 2 post who is still a strong force to be reckoned with – and that this Chief Minister has already pledged his support for No. 1. Thus Muhyiddin will not be able to procrastinate longer on his fate; BN is already sealing it for him one way or the other. What he can do now, is to choose the manner in which he will be remembered – either as another stool pigeon, or as a fighter who is true to his pedigree. 

Whilst all this is taking place, we can safely assume that BN at present is actually unable to even mount a serious challenge on the opposition. All the rhetoric and jargon dished out during the meeting was not even worth remembering, but for a suggestion that BN organise talks and roadshows to meet the public. The simple answer was this guy must be kidding himself in thinking that BN rallies would actually draw in the crowd. Even a recent UMNO function revealed that after the No. 2 left, all the division chiefs attending the function disappeared into the woodwork. So much for support there. 

Another sad irony that is fast adding to BN’s final resume is the fact that throughout the debacle, no new ideas emerged on how to arrest its already declining popularity. Instead, blame was being passed from one member to another, amidst fears that each constituency is already under siege and about to fall. Maybe that’s the nature of dying dynasties, when no one it seems care to take control and ride the storm, instead all just pass the buck around hoping someone will be brave enough to take it up. And it is already clear that many leaders within BN are unhappy at current the state of affairs. 

The tremors and rumblings only proved one simple point. BN is in disarray at the moment, and No. 1’s people are making it worse. If Muhyiddin cares for the party, then he would have to say his worth soon. Changes are necessary to arrest the slide, if it can be arrested at all. And from an ordinary man on the street’s standpoint, we can also assume that Najib has no care whatsoever as to its outcome. He can always blame his lieutenants for the failures, as he remained high and mighty at the top. Another sign yet that BN’s future looks all the bleaker than it already is.