Friday, September 26, 2008


SEPT 26 - The decision by the Umno Supreme Council to postpone the party polls till March next year will have a major impact on many of the big players in the party. Below is the Malaysian Insider's take on who benefits from it and who loses big time.


• Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak:

After Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi does the inevitable and announces that he will not seek re-election as party president, nearly all 191 nominations from the divisions will flow to Najib.

This new transition plan works for the Deputy Prime Minister like a dream. By persuading Abdullah to accept the March transition plan, he has managed to remove the two impediments to the top job in the party – the possibility of him having to face the wrath of the ground by continuing to stay with Abdullah or the possibility of having to confront Abdullah in a no-holds barred contest.

Not too shabby for someone who only a few months ago was having to defend himself against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Opposition leader implicated Najib in the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shariibuu and accused him of benefiting in several defence deals while Dr Mahathir accused him of being a coward by not forcing Abdullah out of office after Election 2008.

With Abdullah all but gone, Dr Mahathir will probably rejoin Umno, team up with Najib and fight Anwar. Najib will inherit a united Umno.

• Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin:

He wore the broadest grin today. Not surprising since today was a victory of sorts for the party vice-president.

He has been leading the charge within Umno to force Abdullah to step down since March 8, moving his criticisms from behind closed doors to public forums. Muhyiddin's main plank of attack was that the party and Barisan Nasional has lost confidence in the PM.

When Abdullah and Najib agreed on the 2010 transition plan, it seemed that Muhyiddin's efforts were going to end up in tears. But the BN defeat in Permatang Pauh in August galvanised Muhyiddin and other critics of Abdullah.

They whipped up the percolating anti-Abdullah sentiment, making it difficult for either the PM or DPM to ignore them. Now as critic-in-chief, he is poised to be the favourite to suck up most of the nominations for the deputy president's position.


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