Salleh actually wanted to resign from Umno Sabah just before
the March 8, 2008 Malaysian general elections so that he could
contest the election on a Parti Keadilan Rakyat ticket.
Anwar Ibrahim, however, would not allow him to do so. Ghapur
grumbled to his friends that all Anwar needed to do was to
give the word and he, plus a few other close associates in
Umno Sabah, would cross-over and contest the election under
the PKR banner. Anwar, of course, had his reasons. He wanted
Sabah and Sarawak to be the 'reserve team' in the event the
opposition wins enough seats to form the federal government.
now stands, the opposition has won 82 seats in Parliament
and all it needs is another 30 to give it a two-seat majority
over Barisan Nasional. Thirty seats would make the score 112:110,
all that is needed for His Majesty to do what the Federal
Constitution of Malaysia requires him to do. And what His
Majesty the Agong would have to do would be to appoint a new
Prime Minister from amongst any of the 222 Members of the
House who, in His Majesty's opinion, commands the confidence
of the majority of the Member of the House.
It is certainly very 'loose' though clearly worded but the
way it has been written gives enormous powers to His Majesty
the Agong to interpret 'opinion', 'commands' and 'confidence'
the way His Majesty sees it. Most important of all, though,
is that His Majesty need not 'seek advice from the Prime Minister'
but instead can exercise his 'own discretion' in arriving
at 'his opinion'.
the English language just lovely? And that is what it all
boils down to, so the legal eagles can just stay out of this
whole thing and allow the English teachers to step in to help
properly interpret what the Federal Constitution of Malaysia
says - which is written in the Queen's English anyway. And
'Queen' here refers to Elizabeth II and not Freddie Mercury
who died of AIDS.
Anwar Ibrahim have 30 Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament
safely tucked away? No, he does not have 30. Instead,
he has thus far 38, the majority from Sabah and Sarawak.
does Anwar have 30 Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament
safely tucked away? No, he does not have 30. Instead, he has
thus far 38, the majority from Sabah and Sarawak. Did you
not notice Anwar flying off to Sarawak the morning of March
9 and to Sabah the following day? And rest assured it was
not to buy some Iban or Dayak hats. It was to conference with
the Barisan Nasional leaders from these two East Malaysian
Ahmad Badawi knew all this of course, as did his advisers
on the fourth floor. However, instead of trying to win the
hearts and minds of the East Malaysians, he antagonised them
further when he offered the East Malaysian warlords just five
Deputy Minister posts, and in very unimportant ministries
on top of that.
and Sarawak brought in 54 Parliament seats to match the 86
from Peninsular Malaysia. Without these 54 Parliament seats
from Sabah and Sarawak, Barisan Nasional would be having a
mere four-seat majority over the opposition coalition of PKR,
DAP (Democratic Action Party) and PAS (Parti Islam) - while
the popular votes garnered by Barisan Nasional would be less
than half. It became slightly over half only when the Sabah
and Sarawak votes were included.
of the 30 Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament from Sarawak
have agreed to cross-over to the opposition while 16 of the
24 from Sabah will follow suit if Sarawak first takes the
plunge. To start the ball rolling, Anifah Aman, brother of
the Sabah Chief Minister, rejected the offer for the post
of Deputy Minister and, with about half a dozen or so other
Sabah warlords, flew off to Melbourne to meet the other warlords
from Sarawak. They have been there since last week; planning,
plotting and scheming their moves, which they will make when
the time is right. Rest assured Anifah would not act without
the consent of his brother, Musa Aman.
will of course not make their move now. They are waiting for
May 2008. By midnight of April 14, 2008, Anwar will be eligible
to contest the elections and probably Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim
will resign his Bandar Tun Razak seat or Zulkilfi Nordin his
Kulim seat. A by-election will then be called and Anwar will
of course be that PKR candidate to contest the by-election.
midnight of April 14, 2008, Anwar will be eligible to
contest the elections and probably Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim
will resign his Bandar Tun Razak seat or Zulkilfi Nordin
his Kulim seat.
5, 2008, Parliament will convene with Anwar now a Member of
Parliament. From May 7, 2008 onwards, 82 opposition Members
of Parliament will be able to table a motion of no confidence
against Abdullah, supported by no less than 38 Barisan Nasional
Members of Parliament, as it now stands. The 38 Members of
Parliament from Barisan Nasional is, of course, the latest
tally taken on March 27, 2008.
May 7, 2008 is still more than a month away and one day is
a long time in politics, what more 40 days. So expect this
38 to grow further and it should not come as a surprise if
the final tally is no longer just a simple majority but a
resounding two-thirds majority. Will we see, therefore, Anwar
finally taking office as the Sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia?
while all this is going on, another candidate for the post
of the Sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia is also moving very
rapidly in the background. And this man is the resident of
that very imposing White House-like abode along Langgak Golf.
Razaleigh Hamzah has not been sleeping. He has been aggressively
meeting hundreds of people from all over Malaysia. Even as
you read this Tengku Razaleigh is hosting more than 100 Umno
division and branch leaders to a sumptuous feast in his office
cum home behind the United States Embassy.
Razaleigh is going a slightly different route though. While
Anwar is working on a 'no confidence' vote in Parliament,
Tengku Razaleigh is working on the 193 Umno divisions. And
he, thus far, has 74 Umno divisions with him. He needs at
least 58 nominations to be able to contest against the party
President cum Prime Minister. But that is only if he wishes
to contest the August 2008 party elections, which Abdullah
is trying to postpone till 2009.
Razaleigh Hamzah has not been sleeping. He has been
aggressively meeting hundreds of people from all over
Malaysia... And, on April 4, 2008, Tengku Razaleigh
is organising a rally at his home base in Gua Musang.
If he can get more than 100 Umno divisions to attend
his rally, then he can push for an EGM on May 11, 2008.
2008 is too late. 2009 even later. By then Anwar may already
be Prime Minister. So Tengku Razaleigh can't afford to wait
till August. He must move now. And, on April 4, 2008, Tengku
Razaleigh is organising a rally at his home base in Gua Musang.
If he can get more than 100 Umno divisions to attend his rally,
then he can push for an EGM on May 11, 2008 whereby the party
constitution can be amended to allow the 'normal' two-nomination-only
to contest, just like what it is for all the other positions
- plus he probably can get a vote of no confidence against
the party president passed as well.
it is certainly going to be a close race. Tengku Razaleigh
will make his move on April 4, while Anwar can make his only
after April 14. Then, Anwar can make his second move after
May 7 while Tengku Razaleigh will make his on May 11.
be a photo-finish and a win by the nose. But whose nose will
it be that will cross the finishing line first? Hey, I can't
reveal all just yet. Khairy Jamaluddin and his boys are reading
this too, you know. Let's first of all see if they succeed
in postponing the August 2008 Umno party elections to 2009.
If they fail, then Tengku Razaleigh is well-poised to become
the next Prime Minister. If they succeed in postponing the
party elections, well, then I suppose my money will have to
be on Anwar. Did I not tell you that Malaysia is an exciting
one more thing, observe what the Rulers have been doing these
last three weeks since March 8, 2008 and what they will be
doing these next few weeks. That should give you a good hint
as to what's in store for us.
The above article was posted on www.malaysia-today.net (Your
source of independent news). Raja Petra Kamarudin started
the Malaysia Today website and his blog to facilitate open
discussion on Malaysia's political and social scenes. A relative
of a former Malaysian King from Selangor and known for his
hard-hitting commentaries, which are often infused with humour,
Raja Petra is also the author of When
Time Stood Still and From
Prince To Prisoner.
Other articles by Raja Petra:
The Countdown Begins
Between Reality And Perception
The Aftermath Of The 'Bloodbath'
Why We Are Voting Tomorrow
Guarding An Empty Field