I came across a recent news article regarding Tan Sri Muhyiddin’s call to beef up the Umno disciplinary board. I think he is telling something. Apparently, this news did not take much prominence in the main stream media and had remained under the low radar of bloggers.
The Umno disciplinary board is currently being chaired by Tengku Tan Sri Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail, a former Minister of Defence in Tun Dr Mahathir’s cabinet of the late 80’s.
Among the members of the board are Datuk Mohd Amin Daud, Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi, Datuk Abu Zahar Nika Ujang, Datuk Seri Khalid and Datuk Seri Megat Najmuddin.
It is interesting that this board had over the years punished countless Umno members for breach of conduct. Mostly on money politics and also due to improper behaviours deemed unfit to be an Umno member. Some were suspended and some were even expelled.
Note that about a couple of months ago, Datuk Mazlan Harun and Datuk Zahar Hashim had submitted a report on corruption practice of the top two Umno members – its President and the Deputy President.
If the board is given the strong mandate to dispense justice without fear or favour, the top two leaders of the country may be disqualified to run for any posts come next March 2009! What more, given the overwhelming evidence in the form of pictures and explicit acts of corruption, they may well be sacked as Umno members too.
This in turn will create a vacuum in the top two posts in the country.
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had stated that all divisions within Umno must voice out their displeasure in the postponement of the AGM. But how can these voices of dissent be manifested into action?
One way to do it, is through the Extraordinary General Meeting.
When the divisional meeting takes place commencing this 9th October, its members can opt for a special EGM. Umno needs only 50% of the total divisions for this EGM to take place. That means, if there are 96 divisions supporting the motion to hold this EGM, the Supreme Council has no choice but to give in to the demands of the grassroots. Even if the President or the Supreme Council do not give their consent, then, according to the Umno constitution, the EGM can still be held no sooner than 28 days after the last divisional meeting has taken place. That will put the EGM somewhere in December 2008.
During this EGM, Umno members as a whole can force Pak Lah to relinquish his power.
There is also talk that no Umno members are brave enough to even nominate candidates other than Pak Lah and Najib. In order to counter this, a secret ballot needs to take place in each division. Each division will just need TWO brave souls to suggest and to support the motion. Secret ballot is a surefire way to vote without any duress.
From the latest development, it seems that Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib and Datuk Zahid Hamidi are making their moves in lobbying for the deputy president post! Barely a week ago, Tan Sri Muhyiddin’s position as the de facto No. 2 seemed secured. But this latest move by these two recycled leaders shows that Najib and Pak lah are clearly not endorsing Tan Sri Muhyiddin as the deputy president. Since candidates for the No. 2 post only need 20% or 38 nominations out of all the divisions, we can see up to 4 candidates battling it out.
Another likely candidate, the more senior vice president – Datuk Seri Ali Rustam might as well join the fray. Afterall, another candidate from Melaka – Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Chik is also vying for his current position. It will be a slap in the face for the division heads in Melaka if they have to actually nominate other candidates as deputy president and not their own Chief Minister.
And, it will be a wrong move for Ali Rustam if he does not contest the No. 2 post when even a non vice president and much maligned characters like Mat Taib and Zahid Hamidi are dreaming to become the deputy president.