Karpal: Strong Umno move to ‘knock off’ Najib

If the next election ends with a hung-parliament, then there should be a re-election, says Karpal Singh

Immediately after the fall of Pakatan’s Perak government in Feb 2009, Karpal rapped Anwar for predicting a usurpation of Putrajaya administration few months earlier via the backdoor of parliamentarian crossovers from Barisan Nasional.

Athi, Shankar, Free Malaysia Today

DAP national chairman Karpal Singh believes Angkatan Amanah Merdeka (Amanah) president Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is ‘living in his own world’ and unrealistic in his view that snap polls should not be held until after reforms have been carried out.

Karpal said the former Semangat 46 president had ‘missed his opportunities’ of becoming Malaysia’s Prime Minister after he dissolved Semangat 46 and rejoined Umno.

“His own people like  Rais Yatim and Ahmad Shabeery Chik have betrayed him to become ministers,” said Karpal.

He slammed Razaleigh, who is commonly known as Ku Li, for not having the stamina to last in opposition politics and succumbing to former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed’ political trap.

Touching on Prime Minister Najib Razak, he said the premier was under tremendous internal pressure to call for a snap poll by next March to ensure his own survival rather than in larger public interests.

He pointed that a recent book titled ‘Kesilapan-kesilapan Najib’ (Najib’s Mistakes),  authored by former Wangsa Maju deputy Umno Youth chief Shahbudin Husin, documented frequent criticisms by Ku Li and Mahathir and clearly showed  there was a strong Umno factional move to knock Najib off his perch.

“Pressure is piling up on Najib to call for at least a snap parliamentary poll to secure a fresh mandate for his rule,” stressed Karpal.

On the PAS state government’s insistence to implement the Islamic hudud law in Kelantan, he said the DAP would oppose any unconstitutional move to implement it in the country.

He called on PAS to stop the hudud politics to avoid frightening off the non-Muslim voters.

“The groundswell favours Pakatan to form the next federal government.

“PAS should not scuttle it,” he said.

Anwar still DAP’s choice

On the this issue of Anwar Ibrahim, Karpal said that DAP was under no illusion as to who would be premier if Pakatan Rakyat came into federal power.

The party’s choice, Karpal said, is undoubtedly Anwar, who is parliamentary opposition leader.

Karpal said both his party and another Pakatan ally, PAS, backed the PKR supremo as the coalition’s premier-designate because of his proven credentials as political leader and government administrator.

Anwar was previously the deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister. He has also held other ministerial positions during his 16-odd years in the federal ruling party, Umno.

Describing Anwar as an astute politician, Karpal said the Permatang Pauh MP was fit and competent enough to become the Prime Minister.

“For DAP, Anwar is the right man for the job,” he insisted

Karpal, who is the leading counsel defending Anwar in the on-going Sodomy II trial, however expressed hope that the PKR leader would not be disqualified (vis-vis a conviction) from contesting in next polls.

“It will definitely complicate matters if he was convicted,” Karpal told a press conference during his Bukit Gelugor parliamentary constituency visit here today.

He was responding to a question raised by MCA president Chua Soi Lek on whether Karpal would still back Anwar as the premier after criticizing the PKR leader on his Sept 16 takeover fiasco three years ago.

Karpal in turn has challenged Chua to stand in any Chinese-majority seat against top DAP leaders to prove that MCA had the community support.

“Chua can stand in Ipoh Timur, Bagan or even Bukit Gelugor,” said Karpal.

He counseled the MCA leader to first look into stabilizing his own rocking party rather than going around challenging others without any substance.