UMNO’s leadership no longer represents the majority.
A sinking ship, the party is set to disintegrate even before it can reach the ocean floor.
That is unless some sound-minded leader comes along and attempts to reclaim what Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi stole from the party – its dignity.
Ever since returning from a self-imposed exile early in 2019, Zahid upstaged the party’s supreme council by appointing five lesser-known people to the decision-making body.
In doing so, he safeguarded his position as UMNO president and prevented Najib from staging a coup.
This led to a permanent ceasefire agreement between the duo and triggered negotiations with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Back then, Anwar did not believe that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would step aside and pave the way for him to become Prime Minister.
As a result, he was open to the idea of a grand coalition involving Barisan Nasional, PKR, AMANAH and the DAP.
Najib and Zahid were equally receptive to the idea given that their cases were likely to result in guilty verdicts.
This isn’t an assumption but based on observations by several lawyers who are said to have informed Najib and Zahid of their chances.
That having been said, Zahid and Najib were not about to put all their eggs in Anwar’s basket. To them, Anwar was an opportunist who would betray anyone as long as it served his fancies.
So Zahid stayed focused on Anwar, while Najib got his men to try and soften Mahathir. Najib was hoping that the old man would agree to a meeting and state his terms.
But none of that worked.
This led to Zahid and Najib venturing into a third option – the duo decided to alias with Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, then an intermediary between UMNO and Mahathir.
Zahid and Najib knew that Mahathir was open to the idea of accepting UMNO leaders who had yet to be charged in court.
However, they wanted Mahathir to soften his stance and agree to work with all UMNO leaders, including those who had been charged in court.
That’s where Hishammuddin came in handy. Hishammuddin was close to Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, while Azmin was known to be a close associate of Mahathir.
Zahid and Najib wanted to sell Azmin the idea of a grand coalition involving Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional, lock, stock and barrel.
However, I’m not entirely sure how far this idea went or if Zahid and Najib ever communicated the idea with Hishammuddin.
What I do know is that Azmin had his own plans and constantly gave feedback to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who later expressed his willingness to become Prime Minister.
One thing led to the other before Azmin proposed naming Muhyiddin as Prime Minister, representing a new coalition involving PAS, UMNO, PPBM and a breakaway faction from PKR.
Since Azmin’s proposal included leaders from UMNO who Mahathir had rejected, Najib and Zahid quickly jumped to the idea and agreed to support Muhyiddin’s candidacy.
And guess what?
Anwar knew all along.
Yes, Zahid’s men were in touch with Anwar all along and continued discussions with him even though plans were afoot to cripple Pakatan Harapan.
Does this mean Anwar colluded with Zahid and Najib to collapse Pakatan Harapan? Several well-placed sources seem to think so.
These sources claim that Najib and Zahid were told in advance that Muhyiddin would grant Azmin the most senior role in government.
However, UMNO pretended to be surprised when Azmin was actually given that role soon after the collapse of Pakatan Harapan.
Following Langkah Sheraton, Zahid and Najib made it absolutely clear that UMNO wanted no part in Perikatan Nasional and defined the party’s involvement with government in parliamentary terms.
This pissed both Muhyiddin and Azmin off.
Even Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang was taken aback, as it was Zahid who had convinced him to take part in a new “Malay-Muslim coalition” with Muhyiddin in charge, not Mahathir.
Needless to say, Hadi was not aware of the ongoing talks between Zahid, Najib and Anwar’s men.
To Hadi, Langkah Sheraton was the final straw, meant to cripple Anwar’s premiership ambitions and to alienate PKR and the DAP from government for good.
But Hadi is naïve.
Even after Langkah Sheraton, plans were afoot to stage yet another coup, this time, involving Najib, Zahid, Anwar and willing parties from the DAP and AMANAH.
AMANAH and the DAP may or may not have been involved in negotiations early on, but towards the end of 2020, a representative from the DAP was.
Zahid’s men in the Supreme Council were well aware of what was going on, but kept completely silent, knowing that any leak of information would jeopardize plans.
It was only during Langkah Perak that Zahid made public the possibility of UMNO working with the DAP.
This was confirmed by Nga Kor Ming himself, a staunch supporter of Lim Guan Eng and Lim Kit Siang. Zahid and Nga more or less sealed the fate of the DAP and UMNO for good.
Najib himself spilled the beans during a meeting involving UMNO Members of Parliament when he made an importuned plea for everyone to support Anwar as Prime Minister.
Najib was also caught red handed supporting Anwar when a letter of support bearing his signature alongside that of Zahid went public.
Although Zahid denied the authenticity of the letter, it is as genuine as genuine can be, a fact the UMNO president is free to contest by serving those insisting otherwise with lawsuits.
Given the above, should there be a general election anytime this year, UMNO isn’t likely to win half the number of seats it won during the 14thgeneral election.
A random survey conducted by volunteers associated with The Third Force in Perak, Penang, Johor, Selangor and Kedah indicates that the Malays are completely fed up with Zahid and Najib for dealing with Anwar and the DAP.
Many have opined that the Malay-Muslim vote could swing towards Mahathir now that the old man has formally dissociated himself from PKR and the DAP.
It is no secret that Najib and Zahid are hoping to form a grand coalition with Pakatan Harapan while Anwar works hard to convince the DAP and AMANAH to accept UMNO en bloc.
But thank god for Hishammuddin and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
The duo is completely opposed to the idea of working with Anwar and are currently in control of the majority in UMNO, division leaders, branch leaders, Members of Parliament and all.
The onus is therefore upon them to call for an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to sack Zahid, Najib and traitors within the UMNO Supreme Council.
I suggest that an EGM be used as a platform to invite Mahathir back to UMNO and to accord him the position of party President so that he can lead the party to a thumping victory against Muhyiddin come the 15thgeneral election.
After all, did Barisan Nasional ever fail to get a two thirds majority under Mahathir’s leadership even when the tide was against him?