All’s not well with strong Umno President Najib


March solidarity meet the clearest sign that he faces attacks from within the party as well.

Lin KayKay, Free Malaysia Today

All may not be that well with Umno President and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak despite claims to the contrary by apologists and sycophants.

Questions are being raised by critics, friends and foes alike.

If Najib is a strong Umno President, it’s being asked, despite being the weakest Prime Minister ever, why the need to have the March 8 meeting of 191 Umno divisional chiefs to rally behind him and demonstrate their strong support.

Isn’t it because he fears that there are moves to unseat him?

“The theory that he’s a strong Umno President is based on the thinking that there’s no one in the party to replace him,” said an Umno insider who pleaded anonymity. “Are his supporters saying that even his deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, cannot replace him?”

“If so, Muhyiddin is not qualified to be deputy president and Deputy Prime Minister!”

The reported move by supporters of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to oust Najib, it’s being whispered along the political grapevine, does not have a leader within Umno to take on Najib. Muhyiddin, who had been expected to play the role, has apparently indicated that he’s not interested in taking part in any plot against Najib.

The Umno insider points out that Najib faces the strongest opposition, on various issues, in Parliament and not within the party where he is only strong because the party is weak. “However, if the people are not happy with him, how can we continue to keep him?” asked the insider.

There are two schools of thought among Umno divisional leaders.

Syed Ali Alhabshee, who has organised the March 8 meeting, denies the gathering was to help mend rifts within the party. Syed Ali, who is also Umno Cheras divisional chief, claims that the party is united. “If we were not united, we would not meet,” said Syed Ali in a disingenuous take.

Syed Ali, when earlier announcing that 171 of the Umno divisional chiefs had already indicated that they would be attending the March 8 meet, thundered “we will show everyone that Najib is strong and the party is behind him. Don’t mess with us”.

“We want to hear from the horse’s mouth,” said Syed Ali when asked about the numerous criticisms directed at Najib. “It’s a perception problem.”

The other Umno divisional chiefs can be forgiven for thinking that if the party is united, there’s no need to suddenly call for a meeting to express solidarity with its leader. “A solidarity meeting is called when the leader is under attack from within,” goes the consensus among critics in Umno.

The reading: Pandora’s Box has opened following the can of worms on various issues. But are Najib’s days numbered?