Najib is Umno’s, not Malaysia’s, Prime Minister


This is the dilemma facing Najib. Malaysians have decided that there is something not kosher behind this entire 1MDB fiasco and they are braying for his blood. And nothing short of Najib’s head will pacify Malaysians and satisfy their bloodlust.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

That is what some people are saying: that Najib Tun Razak is not the Prime Minister of Malaysia (or the Prime Minister of Barisan Nasional) but the Prime Minister of Umno.

I suppose it would all depend on how you look at it. If based on popular votes in the May 2013 general election that would be true: Najib is not Malaysia’s Prime Minister (because Umno won only about 30% of the popular votes). But if based on majority seats in parliament that would not be true: Najib is Malaysia’s Prime Minister (because Umno won the largest number of seats: just under 40%)

Unfortunately, under Malaysia’s Westminster system of Parliament, the party that wins the largest number of seats gets to form the government even if the votes and/or seats it won are less than 50%.

Not fair is it? Well, did I not say so many times that democracy sucks? And many of you losers still scream day in and day out that you want democracy.

Anyway, this brings us to what happened in Selangor not too long ago.

Khalid Ibrahim was PKR’s Menteri Besar and not Selangor’s Menteri Besar. Hence PKR, which owned only 13 of the 56 seats in the Selangor state assembly, removed Khalid and replaced him with Azmin Ali.

Well, it was not actually PKR that replaced Khalid with Azmin. It was HRH the Sultan of Selangor who did. PKR did not want Azmin. They wanted Anwar Ibrahim’s wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, as the new MB. But HRH decided on Azmin instead.

So it appears like the Selangor MB ‘belongs’ to PKR even though PKR owns just 13 seats against Umno’s 12, DAP’s 15 and PAS’ 15 (and independent Khalid one). Basically this was what was agreed: that PKR will ‘own’ the Menteri Besar. Hence even with just 23% of the seats PKR can decide whatever it wants whether the others agree or not (and some of the others did not agree).

Taking a leaf from the recent Selangor playbook, that would make sense when we say that Najib Tun Razak is Umno’s Prime Minister and not Barisan Nasional’s Prime Minister or the Prime Minister of all Malaysians. Barisan Nasional had agreed that Umno would ‘own’ the Prime Minister so Umno can do whatever it wants.

So, let me sum that up for some of you whose comprehension skills suck. Khalid was PKR’s Menteri Besar. Hence PKR can decide all on its own what to do about Khalid. And in the same spirit Najib is Umno’s Prime Minister. So Umno can decide all on its own what to do about Najib.

Got that? Okay, let’s move on then.

In less than 48 hours, 191 Umno division heads (Ketua Bahagian) are going to meet. They might be telling us that this meeting is to discuss current issues, but we all know that it is so that one of the division heads, Umno President and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, can get a fresh mandate from the other 190 division heads to continue as party leader and Prime Minister.

And if the 190 Umno division heads pledge support and loyalty then Najib will remain as Umno’s President and Malaysia’s (or Umno’s) Prime Minister. What you and I think does not matter because we are not Umno members, and, more importantly, we are not one of the 191 Umno division heads.

I wrote about this matter some years back, more than once, actually. What I said was that 191 Umno Malays decide who becomes the Prime Minister of Malaysia. The three or four million Umno members do not decide that. The six million or so Barisan Nasional members do not decide that. The 14 million or so registered voters do not decide that. The estimated 30 million Malaysian citizens do not decide that. Only 191 Malay Umno division heads will decide that.

On Sunday, Umno is going to prove what I have been saying these last many years. On Sunday, 191 Malay Umno division heads are going to decide whether Najib can stay or whether he has to go. And my money is on the 191 Umno division heads ‘voting’ (actually they will not be voting, they just need to show their faces) in favour of retaining Najib as the Umno President and Prime Minister.

So you can scream and you can curse but it will mainly be a case of, as the Malays would say, anjing menyalak bukit (the dog barking at the hill). So bark away like mad dogs if you wish. Najib will stay if 191 Malays say he will stay and he will go only when at least 100 of the 191 Malays say he will go.

Okay, so Najib’s fate is soon going to be decided. And I would bet that it is going to be business as usual, status quo. But that does not mean Najib is out of the woods just yet. He still has to ride out the storm.

Najib has ridden out many storms in his short term as Prime Minister, the Altantuya murder being one of those storms. But this latest storm is the worst yet, the 1MDB storm. And that is because in the other storms he did not have Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to contend with. In this latest 1MDB storm, Dr Mahathir is pissed as hell.

So Najib can no longer ignore the issue in the hope it will go away, like when you catch a cough and cold. The 1MDB is more than just a cough and cold. Dr Mahathir is sharpening his knife and is going to cut Najib up into pieces.

A lot of things are being said about the 1MDB. Friends have asked me as to why I do not write about this matter. To be honest, I did not write about it because it is so complicated and I really do not understand what is going on. And, contrary to what many may believe, I do not write about I subject I do not comprehend well enough.

There are so many documents and allegations floating around. In fact, if you want to be swamped with details all you need to do is to read the Sarawak Report exposes and you will get more details than your brain can absorb. So I doubt I can give you any new input to whatever has already been revealed.

The way I see it, Malaysians do not need any more details or new input. Even if I can add to what has already been revealed (and I am not able to unless I just want to repeat what others have already said) it really does not matter. Malaysians have already tried Najib and the verdict of the Malaysian jury is ‘guilty as charged’.

This is the dilemma facing Najib. Malaysians have decided that there is something not kosher behind this entire 1MDB fiasco and they are braying for his blood. And nothing short of Najib’s head will pacify Malaysians and satisfy their bloodlust.

We must understand that the world, and Malaysia included of course, works on the basis of trial by media. And through this trial by media Najib has been found guilty. So Najib now has to prove his innocence. And be warned, even if he can do that, many would still consider Najib guilty like many consider Anwar innocent even when the court says he is guilty (and this is because the trial by media says he is innocent).

This is Najib’s last tango, as far as I can see. He survived all the previous storms. He is not going to survive this last one if he does not tango well.

Najib has only one alternative left open to him. He has to open 1MDB’s books to public scrutiny. And, short of a RCI, an investigation by the PAC would be the next best thing. PAC has to do the job it was set up to do. And they are either going to find Najib guilty as charged or innocent of the allegations against him.

And if the PAC clears him then Najib still has hope. If not, then Tun Dr Mahathir will make sure that Najib goes and his deputy takes over.

And then we are going to see yet another and even more interesting storm. Once Najib goes and his deputy takes over as Prime Minister, whom is Muhyiddin Yassin going to choose as his new Deputy Prime Minister?

Yes, that new storm looming over the horizon is going to be even more interesting than the Selangor MB crisis or the leadership tussle currently going on in PAS. Of course, I do have my theories but today is not the time to talk about that. Maybe another day in another article. Suffice to say at this stage that whoever the new Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are going to be has to be those who Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says it is.

Don’t you just love that Grand Old Man of Malaysian politics?