1st July and Najib still in office


I suspect that Najib is not about to blink just like Dr Mahathir did not blink 28 years ago when all MCA had to do, as Chairman of Barisan Nasional, was to gather 135 votes against Dr Mahathir’s 45 and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah would have taken over as Prime Minister.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Today is 1st July 2015. According to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s critics, he is supposed to have been ousted in June. I earlier wrote that if Najib was not ousted by June then that would mean it is going to be very difficult to oust him. Well, June has now come to pass.

Does that mean the date has now been shifted to July, or to August, or later? Will Najib be celebrating Christmas as Prime Minister or as ex-Prime Minister? Or will Najib, just like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, leave office only when he is ready to retire and not a day earlier than that?

Predictions are a bitch, are they not? Events never seem to come out the way you predict them. I suppose when you base your prediction on wishful thinking rather than your crystal ball, or a coconut, that is what happens.

Anyway, let us explore the mechanism that can be used to kick Najib out. Many believe that the Prime Minister must be the Chairman of Barisan Nasional while the Barisan Nasional Chairman must be the Umno President. If you are ousted as the Umno President, which effectively results in your ouster as the Barisan Nasional Chairman, then you cease to become Prime Minister.

Hence the way to oust Najib would be to first oust him as the Umno President.

But how do you do that? One way would be to get someone to challenge him in the party election and if Najib loses the Umno Presidency then he would be dropped as the Barisan Nasional Chairman, and likewise as the Prime Minister.

Okay, but what if there is no party election until after the next general election? How would you vote him out during the party election when there is no party election?

Well, it looks like there is not going to be any party election for the next three years until after the 2018 general election. So that means ‘Plan A’ is now out of the question. So now we have to go to ‘Plan B’. Oh, and is there a ‘Plan B’? If there is a ‘Plan B’ what is it?

Anyway, do you really need to be the Umno President or the Barisan Nasional Chairman to become the Prime Minister or stay on as the Prime Minister? Dr Mahathir once ceased to be the Umno President when the Registrar of Society deregistered the party and the MCA President took over as the Barisan Nasional Chairman. Yet Dr Mahathir stayed on as Prime Minister. No one asked him to resign in favour of the MCA President.

His Majesty the Agong appoints the Prime Minister. However, the Agong cannot sack or remove the Prime Minister even though he can appoint one. And the Agong must appoint a Prime Minister from amongst one of the 222 Members of Parliament (it was 180 at the time of Umno Baru) who in His Majesty’s opinion commands the majority confidence of the House.

So, at that time Dr Mahathir was no longer the Umno President. In fact, he was not a President of any party. So for all intents and purposes he was an independent Member of Parliament. And for sure he was not the Chairman of Barisan Nasional; the MCA President was.

But then none of the 180 Members of Parliament proposed a vote of no confidence against Dr Mahathir. And they would need at least 91 votes to oust Dr Mahathir. And since no vote of confidence was proposed against Dr Mahathir by at least 91 Members of Parliament, he stayed on as an ‘independent’ Prime Minister and the Agong did not swear in a new Prime Minister.

And that was actually very strange. Umno controlled just 83 of the 180 seats in Parliament, less than half. And Umno was badly split, 50:50 to be exact. So it was estimated that at best Dr Mahathir could get the support of only 45 or so Members of Parliament.

If a vote of no confidence had been proposed, Dr Mahathir would have been ousted. After all he no longer had any party and was merely an independent Member of Parliament like ex-Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim is today.

So there you are. With only 45 of the 180 Members of Parliament with him, and without a party, and without the Barisan Nasional Chairmanship, Dr Mahathir stayed on and ruled as Prime Minister for another 15 years or so.

So, tell me again, how was it they were supposed to have kicked Najib out?

Dr Mahathir is hoping that by repeating the 1MDB issue again and again people would get very tired of hearing the same old thing and they would kick Najib out (or Najib would voluntarily resign) just so that the Grand Old Man would shut up. This is what he did to Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Pak Lah) and it worked. So it should work with Najib as well.

But then Pak Lah did not fight back. Pak Lah took the punches and when he could take it no longer he left. Najib, however, is punching back. So this time Dr Mahathir is receiving some punches as well, unlike when he punched Pak Lah.

Najib has not explained what happened to the RM42 billion that 1MDB borrowed, says Dr Mahathir again and again. And even if Xavier Andre Justo has been arrested, and even if the e-mails that Justo revealed had been stolen, and had been doctored, that still does not account for what happened to 1MDB’s money.

Najib counters that by saying that Dr Mahathir is a party to the crime of blackmail, data theft, and possibly even forgery, and even if Dr Mahathir did not know about it when it happened he does know about it now and is trying to cover up that crime — and a cover-up after the fact is equally a crime like what President Nixon was alleged to have committed.

So there you have it. Each has a knife at the other’s throat. The question is who is going to blink first. The one who blinks first is going to lose. Najib was supposed to have been ousted in June. It is now 1st July. So that means he is yet to blink.

I suspect that Najib is not about to blink just like Dr Mahathir did not blink 28 years ago when all MCA had to do, as Chairman of Barisan Nasional, was to gather 135 votes against Dr Mahathir’s 45 and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah would have taken over as Prime Minister.

Why do you think Dr Mahathir saved Ling Leong Sik’s sorry behind and not let him burn for the PKFZ multi-billion scandal? Yes, now you know, right?


Justogate versus Watergate: guilty after the fact