With the exception of Musa Hitam, Ku Li and Anwar Ibrahim who openly faced-off with Mahathir, many people in UMNO from the Majlis Tertinggi to ordinary members fully supported Mahathir when he was in charge. These people may have mixed feeling with Mahathir, but that was only within the last few years prompting Mahathir to make the right move to resign. Mahathir was able to sense the general feeling in UMNO that he should not overstay the welcome but many others still adored him even until now.
But for Najib, just halfway into his second term many in Umno including ordinary Malaysians simply hate him. Just read the comments on his Facebook page! Najib knows that he has to go, but he would not. After all Umno has no more capable leaders to replace Najib now.
Similarly when Abdullah Badawi held the baton, those people could accept him as whom he was; just as a caretaker without much vision and capabilities because they knew that Abdullah simply could not fit in Mahathir’s big shoes.
But with Najib the people in Umno were given a beacon of hope that something better would happen. Alas, many are openly not happy him, with what has happened to UMNO and what is happening in UMNO now. As for the majority of ordinary Malaysians they are not happy with Najib for the present malaise in the country.
Moreover Najib is plagued with many scandals some of his own and the rest by UMNO members and leaders. The list is too long to be written here. But the two major things that irked people most are first, his inactions and second his wrong actions. Najib does not have the Midas touch; it is the opposite.
When the nation was almost at the brink of chaos, due to racism and religious bigotry, Najib did nothing. If Mahathir were in charge he would swiftly take action against the instigators by all means available, for example using the ISA to shut them up no matter whom and from which part of the political divides to maintain social and religious harmony.
Najib on the other hand, flip-flopped on his decision and in the end passed the buck to his cousin Hishamuddin, who by the way is no better and the already tarnished PDRM.
Even with the 1 Malaysia concepts that really has good virtues and real benefits, Najib not only failed to harness them, but he failed to understand and explain the concept that he purportedly coined it himself!
Despite implementing the BR1M, there is not much to celebrate on our economy and on the contrary, Idris Jala has warned us at least twice that Malaysia could go bankrupt. Our economy is not only stagnant; we are in the middle income trap. So how on earth could we achieve Vision 2020 which is just around the corner? We can also forget about having a high income.
Besides the KVMRT project which is mired with problems and controversies, there is not much development under Najib. But this is not unexpected because how could we develop when the allocation for development is only about 25% of the annual budget and the government has to pay more loans and honour more bonds and guarantees!
Najib started his premiership by declaring his various transformation initiatives and the NKRAs, but what are the tangible results that he can show to the people now? Instead he is now blamed for the 1MDB billion ringgit debacle!
So with all these in the background, how would Najib handle the coming UMNO General Assembly?
Najib has no choice but to choreograph it, which he has done several times before, but this time needs some improvement. He will have to make sure that those in the hall are 100% behind him or at least appear to be so. In short he has to ‘rent-a-crowd’ like he always does. The umno-online has already given the preview of what is going to happen.
Of course the topics discussed will be about the Malays, rulers, religion, economy, education and UMNO itself. But there are guidelines on the details of the topics to be discussed, what to say and what should be avoided; the script has been written. The aforementioned important and relevant issues for Malaysia would not be dealt with.
Those who are allowed to attend have also been shortlisted and their numbers determined; the screen-tests have been carried out and the actors and actresses selected. Those who have the inkling against Najib and the present leaders would not be chosen.
Thus the Umno General Assembly will be the ultimate platform for Najib to perform and get the crescendos of applause and accolades from his production team; it will just be another hollow and meaningless show.