Mahathir predicts that Muhyddin to take over as prime minister before G13 only way for UMNO

Corruption at the local level is so rampant that is has led to apathy among citizens, who are unaware of their rights.“ Voters must vote out the corrupt people come this GE.While meant to mock the brutality of the government of Islam Najib,  the joke is also a pointed jab at Malaysian’s legal system. In Malaysia, citizens are arrested, tortured and even killed for carrying out acts permitted by law. Malaysia advertises itself as a democracy, and has a constitution guaranteeing freedom of expression and the protection of human rights. When citizens act on their constitutional rights by criticising officials or organising non-violent protests, the government is quick to arrest them

this country to the next level and beyond. None of them have charisma or are able to demonstrate joined-up thinking. They spend more time working out how they can create ever larger projects so that they can shower their cronies with hand-outs and channel syphoned off millions to their “supporters”. In this country, its money that earns loyalty, not respect for integrity or intellect. At least he has the thick face to say he don’t want to show his accounts lar… The PM havent even uttered a single word about the Scorpene issue.

A motion concerning the nation’s security is not important enough to be debated in Parliament? Mr Speaker, what is imporant then? It is the responsibility of the lawmakers to see to it that our servicemen are out of harm’s way. Now the Navy’s secret are allegedly sold, it is of utmost important that the culprits … Read more

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was today disqualified as an MP by the Supreme Court two months after he was convicted for contempt, a staggering verdict that was surprisingly accepted by the ruling-PPP which swiftly moved to select a new premier.

Capping nearly 30 months of bitter feud between the judiciary and the government, a three-judge bench headed by Chief JusticeIftikhar Chaudhry held that Gilani, 60, “ceased” to be the Prime Minister from April 26 this year.

Gilani was then convicted and sentenced for not obeying court orders to reopen graft charges in Switzerland against President Asif Ali Zardari.

Contrary to expectations that the PPP will back him to the hilt, the ruling party said it would abide by the verdict and set in motion the process of selecting Gilani’s successor.

Federal ministers Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Makhdoom Shahabuddin and Khursheed Shah are among those being considered for the post of premier, the sources added.

A session of the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament is likely to be convened tomorrow for the formal election of the new premier.

Today’s verdict came in response to several petitions that had challenged National Assembly speaker Fehmida Mirza’s decision not to disqualify Gilani following his conviction.

“Since no appeal was filed against this (April 26) judgment, the conviction has attained finality. Therefore, Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani has become disqualified from being a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament) in terms of Article 63(1)(g) of the Constitution on and from the date and time of pronouncement of the judgment of this court dated 26.04.2012 with all consequences,” the Court said.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and a powerful lobby within the BJP announced today that the NDA’s Prime Ministerial candidate must have “secular” credentials – code for say-no-to-Narendra Modi.

Led by a secular Prime Ministerial candidate (Advani? Sushma? Jaitley? Nitish himself?), the NDA will probably get 200 seats in the next Lok Sabha election – 140 for the BJP, 25 for the JD (U) and 35 between traditional allies Shiv Sena, Shiromani Akali Dal and others.

That will make a secular NDA-3 government heavily dependent on support from Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK, Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress, Naveen Patnaik’s BJD and – horror of horrors – the mercurial, anti-reform Mamata’s TMC if and when she walks out of UPA-2.

Is Modi too polarising a figure for even the BJP?  My last post (UPA’s third innings? Modi, Jaya may spoil the party) analysed the electoral math of the last four general elections from 1998 to 2009.

The BJP clearly needs to add around 3% to its average national voteshare of 22.58% clocked over the last 14 years to come close to 190-200 Lok Sabha seats on its own and not rely excessively on pernickety allies to form an NDA-3 government. Is it most likely to achieve that with Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate or a more “secular” leader like Sushma, Jaitley or even Advani, backed by Nitish?

Modi will coalesce the rightwing vote around him as Vajpayee coalesced a more inclusivist vote in 1999 when the BJP won 182 Lok Sabha seats with a mere 23.75% national voteshare. With a likely contribution of just 25 Bihar Lok Sabha seats, should Nitish decide who will lead the BJP into 2014? Shades of UPA’s Mulayam and Mamata hectoring the Congress with 22 and 20 Lok Sabha seats respectively?

The BJP will have to soon decide its definition of “secular”. Nitish has been a fine, progressive, inclusivist Chief Minister of Bihar. But does he have the electoral pull to lift the NDA into 270-plus territory? Do the NDA’s other leaders?

Modi alone probably does though he is hobbled by 2002. But then, despite 1984, we were happy to give Rajiv Gandhi five years as Prime Minister. Once they finish their tortuous, drawn-out deliberations over who they will back as President, the BJP’s leaders will have to come to terms with the question: Modi or Nitish?

If they plump for secular Nitish, they will be widely applauded but will likely spend five more years in the opposition. If they go for Modi, they will be reviled but will probably form the next government.

Everything begins and ends with this question: Do you trust them?

Do you trust Khaled Nordin to look after the interest of Malaysians or do you believe that the Parliamentary Select Committee was set up to regurgitate information provided by Lynas and merely rubber stamps an investment already banked in by the Barisan Nasional government?

Please bear in mind that Khaled is also the minister who believed he was doing the right thing when he froze federal loans to students at Unisel in a show a political gamesmanship that he lost.

Do you trust Rais Yatim when he tells all and sundry that only 22,000 Malaysians attended BERSIH 3.0?

Do you trust M. Kayveas when he says that urban Malaysians are navel-gazers and an ungrateful bunch who only know how to whine?

Do you trust Muhyiddin Yassin when he says that the BN government has forged national unity in Malaysia? This coming from the man who is the darling of the party’s right-wing movement, the politician ensconced with Perkasa and Pekida, and the man who really believes that Malay unity is the same as national unity.

Do you trust Idris Jala when he talks about statistics, whether it is crime stats or a prosperity index? (He is not a statistician or even an economist-check Wikipedia). Should you trust anyone who supposedly transformed Malaysia Airlines and basked in the glory of “success”, only for Malaysians to be told now that the national icon is on the verge of collapse?

Trust. This is what it boils down to. I dare say that no one in the Malaysian Cabinet can command that important ingredient today when their lips move.


Najib’s soon to be Successor on shaky ground

by Terence Netto@

COMMENT: These days Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s woes, imposed or self-inflicted, have combined to call unflattering attention to his competence for the post the public assumes he is ambitious for and likely to gain after the 13th general election’s results confirm Prime Minister Najib Razak as a one-term UMNO President.

The smart money says Najib will not be able to improve on predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s performance at the last general election which would make the incumbent UMNO President a lame duck going into the party’s triennial poll to be held after GE13.

The fact that Najib has offered each BN MP a RM1.5 million sweetener that would have to be budgeted into the national accounts for 2013, thus rendering more forbidding the country’s 15th straight annual deficit, is indicative of desperation in the PM’s survey of his coalition’s electoral prospects.

His boosters, citing opinion surveys of doubtful methodology, have told him that the Malaysian public is apt to think more highly of the PM than of the party and coalition he leads.

This is probably why he is plumping for their acceptance of his coalition through the hoariest of methods – profligate servings from the gravy train which the country’s finances, in the reckoning at least of one of his ministers (PEMANDU chief Idris Jala), can no longer afford.

Apart from the RM1.5 million spending allocation to each BN MP, it is said there is likely to be another round of a RM500 handout to 2.5 million hard-strapped households in the country.

The fiscal implications of these pork barrel measures bolster the view that when the Najib administration bandies about the term ‘Economic Transformation Programme’, it does so with Humpty Dumpty in mind (“A word is anything I say it means”).

Embarrassing volte-face

Fiscal irresponsibility aside, the reality of a lack of contending and constructive visions in the top-tier of the UMNO leadership is reflected in Muhyiddin’s gyrations.

Unless of course you accept that a reflexive occupation of positions to the right of Najib, on issues of race and the economy particularly, constitute a viable stance for a contender for UMNO’s top post, the current DPM is on a hiding to nothing.

This was amply demonstrated by Muhyiddin’s alacrity in defending thedecision to suspend loans to Selangor recipients of PTPTN (Higher Education Loan Fund), a position that blew up in his face when the move was rescinded within days of its announced implementation. The slap dealt Muhyiddin by the government’s embarrassed volte-face on the issue ought to have given him pause. But an ingrained reflex is hard to trump.

Taking the cue from the rabid Utusan Malaysia, Muhyiddin sailed into another controversy, this one about opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s alleged maintenance of bank accounts reputedly totaling RM3 billion.

Muhyiddin challenged Anwar to clarify the matter. The opposition leader was swift on the uptake: he said he was willing to open all his bank accounts provided Muhyiddin does the same.

For credibility, a challenge such as the one Muhyiddin issued Anwar, if met with a counter, requires that the challenge-poser and the challenged engage in a duel of self exposes. But all that is forthcoming is a deafening silence at the DPM’s quarter. Moral of the episode: glass house residents should not throw stones.

Muhyiddin’s man also took hit

It was not only Muhyiddin who took a hit on the PTPTN issue. Higher Education Minister Khaled Nordin was similarly bloodied by the government’s about-turn.

Khaled approved the suspension of study loans to Selangor recipients on the grounds that it would test the Pakatan Rakyat government’s ability to deliver on the coalition’s pledge of free university education for qualified students.

In succumbing to the temptations of one-upmanship, both Muhyiddin and Khaled (right) made an unconscionable error: the interests of affected students must not be held hostage to partisan political maneuvering.

Khaled, backed by Muhyiddin, is on course to beMenteri Besar of Johor but Najib has obtained the Sultan of Johor’s understanding for a two-year extension of tenure for incumbent MB Ghani Othman after the coming general election.

This was secured on the grounds that veteran Ghani has got to be around to see the big projects in the pipeline for Johor are on to a more even keel. This is unfavourable to Muhyiddin as Ghani, hardly an admirer of the DPM’s, will be in charge of a state that will send the largest number of delegates to UMNO’s triennial party polls that must be held after the general election.

All of which goes to show that a reflex-driven and opposition-for-opposition-sake attitude is not a viable platform on which to sustain a claim to the top position in party or country.

Is this the man?  The custodian of the dying ember?  The man who generations to come will remember as the last man standing, before the new dawn set in?  OR  Is this the man who is going to set in an even more harsh regime?  To ensure he and his team will have a long … Read more




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