Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's decision to "stand and fight" has begun in earnest. Yesterday, the Umno president and PM was in Kelantan to break fast and meet members of the Kelantan Umno Liaison Committee.

On Sunday, Abdullah was in Johor Baru. He'll be all over the country to meet as many Umno division chiefs as possible to tell his side of the story, ie, to try and defend his post as Umno's number one chief.

Many senior members of the supreme council have told him to forget the idea of defending his post in the December party elections. In fact, many of them told him to step down and pass the baton to his deputy, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, ahead of the transition plan.

Under the plan, Abdullah is supposed to quit in June 2010 and pass the leadership to Najib. Many council members, grassroot leaders and ordinary members believe that 2010 is too late and could spell big problems for Umno and the Barisan Nasional come the next general election.

At the last council meeting, Abdullah was told to step aside and avoid a potentially-embarassing contest in December. Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has offered himself to be nominated, and expressed confidence that he would get the 30 per cent quota needed to qualify to challenge for the post (ie at least 58 nominations out of 191).

Talk is widespread that Abdullah won't be able to get sufficient nominations to contest. Grassroot leaders have voiced open endorsement for Najib, with vice president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the most popular choice for the deputy's post.


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