Numbers game in Ku Li as PM plot

In 2008, DAP and PAS committed their support for Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to be PM, only Anwar Ibrahim and some BN MPs stood in the way. 

Hawkeye, FMT

Former Umno vice-president Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah did not initiate the discussions between him and several MPs from Sabah and Sarawak.

In fact, according to “individuals privy to the proceedings”, it was the MPs who mooted the meeting. They formed an informal delegation to seek advise from the veteran Umno leader.

It was “just a chit-chat” veered towards the possibility of combining resources to impress upon other MPs that time is ripe for a leadership change.

A breakaway from Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat styled politics was also seen as necessary to ensure the country regains its path as a progressive nation.

The “individuals” said Tengku Razaleigh is seen as an eminent statesman regardless of what his critics may say about the 78-year old Kelantan Prince.

It is therefore only natural for some politicians to seek his input on how the country’s future is shaping up, especially those from Sabah and Sarawak who feel slighted that their states were overlooked in the federal cabinet line-up.

The “individuals” who declined to be named due to the “sensitive” nature of the issue, confirmed that among the matters discussed was the filing of a motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak when the 13th Parliament session begins its first sitting next week.

This is where the numbers game come in.

It is uncertain if Tengku Razaleigh can muster the magical number of 35 MPs from Barisan Nasional  to join him.

It is also uncertain if he is able to coax the 89 MPs from Pakatan Rakyat to agree to such a proposal.

‘Drama’ a warning?

If Tengku Razaleigh has 124 MPs behind him then the motion could be filed, debated and put to vote in Parliament as it quantifies more than half of the House.

There are 222 elected parliamentarians in Dewan Rakyat and BN under Najib have 133 MPs in the house.

Some insiders opined that the whole ‘drama’ could just be a signal from some MPs for Najib to re-evaluate the current political scenario and to govern better.

They said it “may not” represent a concerted effort to oust Najib.

Among the issues raised is Najib’s ability to lead.

The many concessions given to the Chinese and their rounded rejection of BN in the recently concluded general election, corruption, raciasm as well as lagging development in Sabah and Sarawak has left observers mulling over his leadership ability now seen as “weak”.

Then there are also references to the young voters (aged 40 and below) who will soon become the bulk of the voters in the nation’s electoral list before 2020.

Tengku Razaleigh’s aides meanwhile are pessimistic over any bid to move a no confidence motion against Najib.

They believe most Umno MPs may not support the no-confidence proposal, as many did not want their party further weakened when it already has to deal with a frail BN.

Neither, is there a clear signal from Pakatan on whether they will support it.