The 13th GE: Its an open field


Rahim Tamby Chik (RTC) says there are attempts by the opposition  parties to invite Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to become PM. This will happen Rahim says, if there is a hung parliament. Such a situation is untenable says Rahim because it will create political instability. So UMNO must work hard to get a 2/3rd majority.

Those were the observations and musings by (RTC) on the political possibilities after the GE13. What is intriguing was his warning that a hung parliament will create instability. I hope we will not be in such a situation. Malaysians would prefer a clear cut victory one way or the other.

I am not going to respond to his nervous prognosis; being more interested on how such a scenario can possibly happen and what are the implications if it does. I don’t think we are going to have a hung parliament. It will be clear cut either way. I am also bemused at his attempt to involve Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in such a scenario. To qualify as a participant in any future negotiations should a hung parliament comes into being, TRH must be head of a political party. Right now, TRH is in UMNO and doesn’t head a party nor is he a leader of any faction in UMNO. Could Rahim’s advice be another attempt to isolate TRH from UMNO?

TRH is far too principled to agree being appointed as leader of government on a personal to holder basis. He will be a figurehead.  Oh, because Tengku has never disowned the ambitions to become PM, comes the answer from UMNO people. So my answer is- why should he not have that ambition? He was cheated to becoming one before. He has all the credentials to become one.

Here is an interesting piece of information. When certain UMNO people wanted to kick out Abdullah Badawi , they approached Tengku Razaleigh for a solution. Their agenda was only one- because of Najib’s hesitation they went to see Razaleigh asking him to stand as UMNO president and Muhyidin as Deputy President. This group was made up of powerful people, united at that time, by their intense disapproval and loathing of Dollah Badawi. My point is this- at that time, they didn’t think it was inappropriate for Tengku Razaleigh to become UMNO president and if he had won, go on to become PM. Tengku’s ambition wasn’t an issue. His age wasn’t an issue. The fundamental objective was to remove Pak Lah.

Why should the opposition parties invite Tengku Razaleigh to become PM, if they could win the elections on their own? PAS has Haji Hadi, DAP has Lim Guan Eng and PKR has Anwar Ibrahim? This assessment presupposes that between the 3, neither one accepts the leader of each party as a future PM.  It also assumes further, that Tengku Razaleigh commands a number of elected MPs to give him standing in future negotiations. Where will he get the MPs? Rahim says 20-30 people are being lined up to stand as MPs who are aligned to Tengku Razaleigh. Where are these people? In UMNO? Within the opposition camp?

So now, let us build up a case, why a hung parliament cannot happen. Just for the moment, let’s not talk about how UMNO and BN can lose. Let’s talk about HOW the opposition- DAP, PAS, PKR can WIN.  Let’s begin by asking, will the PR lose its current 82 seats? Possible, but very unlikely. The seats which they lost when some people jumped ship, will become theirs again. We won’t see the likes of Zahrain and his types in parliament again.