Musa Hitam, Tengku Razaleigh and Anwar know what have been going on in UMNO under Mahathir. They foresee that Mahathir was up to no good for the country. While the opposition parties have tried their best to defeat UMNO/BN, the trio challenged Mahathir head on. Unfortunately they all failed but not because they had no strong support, instead Mahathir had the upper hand and shrewd enough to take whatever was necessary to stay in power. The trio learned the hard way.
In fact there are other politicians both in BN and PR who share the same view and all of them know that the UMNO/BN government is bad for Malaysia but can never be changed through the ballot boxes because UMNO has perfected the art of cheating in elections.
We have heard the various stance of the trio; Musa Hitam reiterated that Malaysia will not go bankrupt under Pakatan Rakyat, Ku Li has distanced himself from mainstream UMNO and formed the Angkatan Amanah Merdeka a NGO which seeks to return to the comforting policies of first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman. Anwar Ibrahim is now heading the PR coalition opposing the present UMNO/BN government.
After many people have written Ku Li off and Muhyiddin-Zahid is quite hot news, Ku Li was approached by several MPs from Sarawak with their grievances and suggestions. This is not unexpected because this is the follow up of the 16th September 2008 when Anwar announced the possible change of government. UMNO supporters may ridicule the incident but the plan was really in motion but unintentionally derailed by PAS. PAS was then in parallel trying to have a pack with UMNO and its leader Abdul Hadi Awang was in dilemma whether to go along with Anwar and abandon the talks with UMNO or vice-versa.
In the end both arrangements failed because Najib also made the counter moves and Abdul Hadi disagreed with Anwar in having many Christian MPs from Sarawak and Sabah in the plan. However Nik Aziz agreed with Anwar because the main purpose was to change the government for the betterment of the country. The cold relationship between the two PAS leaders can still be observed until now, as they have never been paired together in many issues; there has never been a Nik Aziz-Abdul Hadi combo.
Now, Ku Li may have a window of opportunity to make a comeback and try to change the government again. This has been welcomed by many in both BN and PR. But how are his chances? Bear in mind that he has to make it alone, without any partnership with any other UMNO warlords or top leaders because it must be his own show, thus an entirely new choice for UMNO members. But he can still get help from the opposition. Unfortunately Ku LI has limited options.
What are Ku Li’s options?
Even if nominated as a candidate for UMNO’s presidency, there is no way Ku Li can challenge Najib in the coming UMNO general assembly because the delegates will mostly be Najib’s supporters since that is what Najib has been planning all these while. Moreover Muhyiddin is also eyeing for that position.
The other possibility is to call for a vote of no confidence and there are two choices; either just on Najib or his entire cabinet- the government.
For a vote of no confidence to be carried out on Najib, Ku Li can make the proposal and another seconder from UMNO/BN will suffice but if it is on the government, then Ku Li needs the seconder from the opposition party.
Let us look at the maths
Since we can safely say that the majority of the MPs from BN will support Najib and the government, Ku Li needs to have the bulk support from the opposition. So assuming some from the opposition may not support him, we can say at least 80 opposition MPs will support Ku Li. Since there are 222 seats in parliament, Ku Li needs to have 112 supporters, meaning he has to get at least 32 from BN and that too provided the other 9 opposition MPs abstain.
Some analysts say that Ku Li can easily get 20 BN supporters from Sarawak and Sabah, so that leaves 12 more but who from the peninsula would want to risk everything for Ku Li? Anyway, give him the benefit of the doubt that indeed, there are more than enough MPs from BN in the peninsula who are willing to join Ku Li, but what about the deal that Ku Li has to make with PR? Surely PR will only agree if Anwar is the Prime Minister and what is in for Ku Li?
Everything must be sort out and tediously agreed upon in black and white, to avoid any open argument later. Those from BN who agree to the no confidence vote should be rewarded in one form or another and those in PR should be willing to make sacrifices. The whole effort should be for the interest of the country. Direct monetary rewards must not be acceptable and above all there should not be any self-interest. But knowing the type of MPs that we have in the country, this is a tall order.
The other thing is that PR may reject outright any proposal from Ku Li because PR has more chances to win in the GE-14 with Najib or Muhyiddin as PM. But this too is false hope because of the “perfect cheating” by UMNO. So it is in the best interest of PR that Ku Li be prevented from making a comeback! Moreover Ku Li could be the saviour of UMNO and things may be better under Ku Li and PR simply has no big issues to fight for in the GE-14.
But Ku Li could show his magnanimity by not be allocated any important post. Ku Li could sacrifice himself for PR to take over and form a better government for the betterment of the country. Ku Li could go down in history as a true statesman which nobody else could emulate.
Anwar also has a big heart. If he has been so desirous to be the PM, then he could just be patient like Badawi and Najib who eventually were handed the post. Anwar too is willing to let Ku Li be the PM for a while and the new government can dismantle all the UMNO machineries within UMNO/BN and the government bodies especially the Election Commission, the PDRM, mainstream media and their UMNO/BN sponsors, dissolve parliament, hold the GE-14 and let Anwar lead.
This may be hard to believe, but Mahathir, Muhyiddin and Najib are also scheming something to prevent this ‘Unity Government” from happening. Najib is also getting in touch with a number of MPs in the PR. Previously PAS was the stumbling block but many PAS leaders who were willing to hook up with UMNO have been sacked.
By now, sources have informed that Ku Li has been able to get 24 supporters within BN in the peninsula and there have been rumours that even a Menteri Besar has agreed to be counted in. By the way, Zahid Hamidi is so willing to issue threats to quell any doubts within the inner circle of UMNO who still believe that Zahid is Anwar’s man; a PR mole in BN. Azmin Ali has also been used as bait to lure Najib and lull UMNO into believing that he can bring along many PR MPs into UMNO if Najib gives the order.
The situation is still gaining momentum and that is why Mahathir has asked UMNO to let Najib stay in power, Muhyiddin is behaving himself and Zahid Hamidi is making a lot of noise as distraction. The tense maneuvering by both UMNO/BN and PR has forced Mahathir to up the ante by urging Najib to get tough with the opposition; get tough in every aspect and whatever it takes to make sure that the present status quo is maintained.
Unfortunately when Najib is not focused on the welfare of the country, it is bad for everyone. Let us pray that Ku Li, Anwar, Nik Aziz and Lim Kit Siang will be able to achieve in changing the government the only way described above. We can’t afford a revolution.