Mahathir steps in to the divorce storm
The Nika Gee divorce proceeding on Monday may be postponed so that Mahathir can negotiate an out of court settlement. Mahathir cannot afford for this case to be heard in court or else Muhyiddin’s involvement in this whole thing will be revealed. And if this happens that would be the end of the ANC and the bid to oust Najib.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
In the previous article (Did Mahathir tell Hadi about Muhyiddin’s affair?) we said that the divorce proceeding of Nika Gee Siew Yee and her husband is going to be held on Monday, 20th June 2016, two days after the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections.
What is most interesting about this ‘special’ divorce case is that it involves Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s running mate in the ANC (Anti-Najib Campaign), Muhyiddin Yassin. The affair between Nika Gee and Muhyiddin is mentioned in the Statutory Declaration as the grounds for the divorce.
What will also be revealed is the RM20,000 a month that Nika Gee is being paid, the RM5 million that she was paid in Singapore, and the Kampong Pandan Sports Complex project that she was awarded, amongst others.
When this story came out Mahathir was said to have hit the roof. He was so angry that Muhyiddin did not warn him so that some form of pre-emption could be done. Now that the story is out and they have been caught off-guard they need to do damage control. It seems Mahathir is so upset he has cancelled his campaign in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections.
The problem is this not only affects Muhyiddin personally but it affects the entire ANC. If Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is successfully ousted then Muhyiddin was supposed to take over as the Acting Prime Minister (since he is Umno’s Deputy President), after which he would appoint Mukhriz as the Deputy Prime Minister.
Of course, Muhyiddin would just be the interim or ‘caretaker’ Prime Minister whose job is to warm the seat for Mukhriz until he is ready to take over. Then Muhyiddin would step aside and make way for Mukhriz.
But with this latest explosion that would now be impossible. It seems the Umno Ketua Bahagian are hotly discussing this issue and are talking about whether Muhyiddin should even be allowed to remain in the party. It seems about 130 or so of the 191 Umno Ketua Bahagian are in favour of sacking Muhyiddin from the party.
Mahathir’s main concern is that Muhyiddin is so tainted he can no longer be allowed to remain in the party, let alone take over from Najib as the Caretaker cum Acting Prime Minister. And that would mean Mahathir would have to start from scratch all over again to groom a new person to become his proxy to replace Najib.
But then, according to the Umno culture and tradition, the man who goes on to become Prime Minister (or even Deputy Prime Minister) must at least be one of the Umno Vice Presidents if not the Deputy President (in the event the Umno President retires, steps down or dies, that is). And that means there are not too many candidates Mahathir can consider, especially if that person is not even an Umno Supreme Council Member.
It is not like Mahathir has too many choices to work with. In fact, he hardly has any choices to look at. And grooming a new candidate is not going to be a three-month job. You might not even be able to do it in three years till 2019, which will be long after the next general election and Umno assembly/party election. And let us not forget that time is not exactly on Mahathir’s side as well.
So, replacing Muhyiddin with a new candidate is more or less out of the question. Like it or not Mahathir must still put all his money on Muhyiddin (and a lot of money has already been spent as it is — such as hundreds of millions to bribe Mat Salleh bloggers and journalists in the UK and US).
And that leaves Mahathir with only one alternative — which is to try to postpone the Monday, 20th June 2016, divorce proceeding. Mahathir wants the Monday hearing to be called off so that in the meantime they can explore how to settle his case ‘under the table’.
The husband wants to push on with the case on Monday and the wife, of course, is contesting the divorce. Mahathir, however, is negotiating with the wife to back down and not contest the divorce and agree to an out of court settlement instead.
Even if it costs RM20 million or RM30 million Mahathir can afford it since he has a RM2 billion war chest that the ANC has set up with donations from various tycoons and cronies who Mahathir made super-rich.
Mahathir is not trying to save Muhyiddin as much as he is trying to save the ANC. It is like trying to save the pilot so that the plane does not crash. And with only one pilot and a co-pilot who is not ready yet, the death of the pilot will for sure mean the destruction of the aircraft.
So, if on Monday they successfully postponement the hearing, that leaves only one more question to be answered. And that question would be how much is Mahathir and/or his ANC paying Nika Gee to not contest the divorce and to agree to an out of court settlement?
Nevertheless, whatever happens on Monday, it is going to have far reaching consequences on Mahathir and his ANC. This is probably what ex-Perak Menteri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin meant by divine intervention. Mahathir thought he had planned everything in great detail and with military precision. And then this case falls from the sky to disrupt everything.
This may be the last straw that will break the camel’s back. If the entire plan to oust Najib and replace him with Muhyiddin as the proxy and interim Acting Prime Minister needs to be called off because of this affair with a married woman scandal, it would be impossible to go back to the drawing board and start again.
In 2018 we are going to see the general election and the Umno party election. If Najib is not ousted before then, this means he is going to remain in office until he himself is ready to go. Mahathir knows this and that is why the old man is in a hurry. But with this affair-divorce explosion looming over the horizon they might as well call it a day and crawl back home to lick their wounds.
Now do you believe me when I say that Mahathir and his ANC are never going to be able to oust Najib and that he is still going to be Prime Minister until 2018 and beyond?
And the PAS President, Abdul Hadi Awang, seems to be the only one smart enough to see this coming. And yet Mahathir has the gall to say that Hadi ‘makan dedak’. What a loser!