Politics in general / Umno & Barisan Nasional

Pre Umno AGM – Interesting times indeed

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.


15 thoughts on “Pre Umno AGM – Interesting times indeed

  1. Salam, JD.

    I would like to think that those who’re not in favour of having the current top 2 in UMNO have already thought of going for that EGM, it’s just that no one wants to make a peep about it – yet.

    Even when the EGM do materialize, would they have the guts then to tell Pak Lah to go?

    About this secret ballot, is there a provision in the UMNO’s constitution pertaining to this? You know lah, someone may come up and say that this secret balloting is against the party tradition lah, not in the constitution lah, etc.. etc..

    I can sum up here that there are 3 ways to get Pak Lah to leave his post.
    1) The disciplinary board finds him and Najib guilty (I doubt if investigations on this matter is underway). Maybe this is one very very long shot, don’t you think?
    2) The EGM – provided that during this meeting, people will be brave enough to tell him to leave.. another long shot.
    3) The secret balloting during the divisional meetings.. and well, yeah – another long shot.

    So, which shall be the shortest of the long shots?

    JMD : Thank you for the comment. Secret ballot had been done in many occasions in the past Umno meetings. It is not provided in the Umno constitution but if I’m not mistaken, if it is required through a suggestion from a party member and supported by another, then it is permissible.

    Anyway, the shortest and easiest route to force Pak Lah to leave his post is by not letting him have enough nominations to contest for the presidency post come this March.


  2. Well…time to warm up the seats and bring out the popcorn…The SHOW is about the start! 🙂
    What happened to the Dream Team ( based on your earlier blog)?
    Btw, how was Raya celebrations for you?

    JMD : I think the reason why Tan Sri Muhyiddin will have a tough time securing his place as No 2 is because of his perceived affinity towards Ku Li and Tun Mahathir. Obviously the Dream Team will not be given a free ride by other affected parties.

    Anyway, like I mentioned earlier in that article, the key person is Najib.

    “Najib became desperate. When Tun Dr Mahathir had endorsed Ku Li, Najib knew he was left high and dry by all the Umno veterans. He must choose a path. The Umno Supreme Council meeting this Thursday will be the turning point of his political career.

    If Najib has the backbone to save Umno, he must challenge Pak Lah or throw his support behind Ku Li from now on. Muhyiddin had given his terms of war – support Ku Li or I will have to fight you instead.”

    I guess Najib saw that his precarious position might be in jeopardy, for due to his ‘behind the scene’ manouvers, he had convinced Pak Lah that it is a lose lose situation for both of them if Pak Lah decided not to retire earlier. Pak Lah had wanted to give the presidency post to Najib in June 2009, but was forced to expedite it to March 2009 instead.

    One must not rule out the influence and strategy of the most senior VP in Umno – Ali Rustam. he had been operating below the radar all this while. His support will be greatly sought after.


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  6. JMD,
    I agree with you that Najib and Pak lah are clearly not endorsing Tan Sri Muhyiddin as the deputy president. But this does not mean that they are supporting the likes of Zahid Hamidi & Ali Rustam either. Zahid is actually reprising his famous role in 1998 by sacrificing himself for his bosses. Likewise, Muhd Taib and Ali Rustam might do the same thing for Pak Lah & Najib and don’t be surprise to see Syed Hamid, Shafie Apdal & co. joining the fray too. Muhyiddin relationship with Ghani Othman is not good and there are possibility that he might not even get enough nominations to contest for the No. 2 post. Both Pak Lah & Najib might do another U-Turn and contest for the No. 1 & 2 respectively. Looking at the scenario above, we might see no changes in status quo after the AGM and if that happen, it will be doomsday for UMNO & BN.
    Yes, we should not rule out the influence and strategy of the most senior VP in Umno – Ali Rustam. He might hold the key for the most important battle in UMNO history come March 2009.


  7. belatedly selamat hari raya to you and your family…politics must be the only arena when you are at the botom..people still find a way to sink lower..lets hope it all works out


  8. To me this is definitely one positive step. My hope is for future aspirants to showup with more that their shirts on their backs..


  9. Dear JMD,

    I agree with you that UMNO should go for an AGM, but remember the members of UMNO have limitation in gaining the 50% nomination due to the constitution designed. How to get the 50% when the existing division chief been promised with projects & position in UMNO even in the government. They ( grass root ) can give a try but remember, before the division meeting most of the division chief warned their branch representative not to do so or else they will loose their position in the party & projects( the supreme & ultimate element ). Everything has to do with these two important elements. Same goes to Dato Seri Najib. I believe not all UMNO members are holding to these elements, but the thing is, we are going to loose quality members if they dont have enough support the moment they make their move. Proper planning & strategies needed to make this a suceess.

    This is the only way for UMNO members to prove to the the public & voters that they have accepted the challenge of making wrong decision in choosing their president earlier, commited in regaining the 4+1 state that fell to opponent parties, acceptance the public voices, admit the people’s voting powers, seperation of micro (family) & macro (whole nation) governance, willing to reform within the party, willing to make changes for our next generation, love the party & most but not least save the party from sinking.

    From my observation to confront these species of UMNO members whom hold tight to the two supreme & ultimate elements, one has to let go these two. Actually these two elements are their weakness point. If each of UMNO members can let go of them we will see the support from the people in the next general election. Hopefully ( wishfool thinking ) they realised.

    To all UMNO members i wish all of you the best in this coming divison meeting, if not for our next generation at least for your own generation, furthermore we are all malays.




  10. cool..but i think he better suited for some sort of penasihat roll..appointed officially by the new PM..together with other retired senior umno members like tan sri sanusi..these advisors will assist the PM far better than the 4th floor boys..kan?


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