KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — Umno does not need or want to work with Bersatu and is going to restore Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the prime minister if it wins the next general election, says DAP Youth chief Howard Lee Chuan How.
Pointing to current Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s recent Facebook post, Lee said it’s a clear indication that Zahid will step aside when the time comes to make way for Najib. The latter will then become party leader as Umno’s ‘money first’ mentality is what he stands for.
“Zahid Hamidi’s latest Facebook posting on their readiness for GE15 is a crystal-clear indication that Zahid Hamidi and Najib Razak are likely to have reached a deal for Najib’s return as Umno president. The optics is clear.
“The strength of Najib’s base within Umno’s culture and structure of patronage is still very much uncontestable as pointed out by Liew Chin Tong. Najib’s cash-is-king philosophy is still very much alive and kicking, which explains Zahid’s subservience to the point of relinquishing the top seat in Umno,” Lee said in a statement today.
Zahid had posted a picture of Najib visiting him at his home with the caption: “We are ready for GE15. Are you ready to join us?” on his Facebook page this morning.
Lee said that’s evidently a battle cry, as Umno prepares for snap polls.
He also said the Covid-19 pandemic, which would likely see a lower voter turnout, will benefit Umno, adding that Malaysians are also politically-fatigued due to electoral apathy.
“Umno is posturing clearly, albeit not saying it, that it doesn’t need nor want Bersatu as an electoral coalition partner. The overlap in interests and seats are blatant, and the raison d’etre of Bersatu was to be the direct contender of Umno in all Umno seats.
“Umno and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s Bersatu marriage of inconvenience was always, and will become increasingly untenable.
“What more with Muhyddin’s minority prime ministership that leaves only crumbs for Umno in the former’s grand scheme of things, the anger and resentment of Umno leaders have clearly reached boiling point,” Lee said.
Lee alleged that Muhyiddin’s reluctance to expedite Zahid and Najib’s court cases was not because he loved justice, but because he can hold them to ransom, as prime minister, by keeping the cases alive.
Besides that, he also said Muhyiddin has his own internal crisis to handle as MPs plot behind his back and predicted a mass exodus of lawmakers who will then pledge allegiance to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Meanwhile, others in Bersatu are stuck not knowing what to do as the party’s principles have been jeopardised by Muhyiddin, he added.
“There is a sizeable representation of guilty conscience and anger among the Bersatu MPs who are stuck between a rock (following ‘party’ orders) and a hard place (sticking to Bersatu’s founding principles of killing off Umno and sending Najib and Zahid to jail for their crimes).
“It would be no surprise that Muhyiddin will have an exodus of MPs aligned to him re-pledging allegiance to Tun Mahathir like Shahruddin Salleh,” he said.
“Umno will have no problems with ‘going for broke’ in its quest to return to absolute power without having to play second fiddle to Muhyiddin’s Bersatu.
“Furthermore, with all this volatility, Muhyiddin will likely set aside his hesitation in moving against Najib and Zahid with all the readily available materials through the courts,” Lee added.