Thursday, February 2, 2012

‘Umno warlords will not let Najib succeed’ | Free Malaysia Today

‘Umno warlords will not let Najib succeed’

Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz | February 2, 2012

Umno is prepared to sacrifice Najib Tun Razak than allow a system that has spawned hordes of "tenderpreneurs" from being replaced by his blasphemous ideas.

COMMENT

Sometime ago I met The Economist correspondent Dr Richard Cockett who asked me whether Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will succeed in his transformation ideas.

I said, Najib will not suceed. And why not? Because Umno won’t let him succeed.

Take the case of his New Economic Model (NEM). Nowadays we hardly hear about it. In the 2011 Umno general assembly, Najib did not even mention it.

Instead he devoted much of his speech sounding very combative and full of vehemence. What he did at the time was to actually retrograde to Umno cavemen politics – stick and stones.

So how is he going to push his tranformation agenda? Knowing Najib, he will revert to the ‘old’ tested ways of ‘patronage’.

He will select cronises and push through his economic agenda by giving directly negotiated projects masked by seemingly transparent methods.

The ‘chosen few’ will be recommended by the “man who can walk on water” (former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad).

Najib’s ideas rejected

If you recall, in the 2010 Umno general assembly, all Najib’s big ideas were rejected and thwarted by Umno delegates.

They were obviously mirroring the general objection to Najib’s adventurist ideas which were his alone and most probably, scripted by expensively paid consultants.

His idea of 1Malaysia with the hazy notions of inclusiveness and outward readiness was immediately rejected by the delegates who insisted on a “Malay first” policy on everything.

So what 1Malaysia is Najib talking about?

Najib’s plans to transform the economy and especially that of the Malays through his NEM founded on hazy notions of affirmative policies based on free market economics and affirmative policies based on merits were met with howls from delegates who insisted on the continuation of NEP-like policies.

In the end, Najib was left standing alone and could only muster his last trump card to claim high pedestal, and that is that he is the son of Tun Razak (second prime minister).

No one can dispute that. Genetically he is, but culturally, he isn’t. Najib doesn’t have the leadership qualities of Tun Razak.

Najib up against Umno wall

How can he push his liberalist economic agenda through a mindset accustomed to patronage?

Will the Umno warlords, who have only known survival through the party’s patronage system allow an anointed successor, even if he is the son of Tun Razak, to dismantle a system that has provided them with succor?

Now, that would be suicidal.

Better to sacrifice Najib than allow a system that has spawned hordes of tenderpreneurs from being replaced his blasphemous idea.

In short, Najib faces a brick wall in Umno and has nowhere to go. Either he faces the Umno firing squad or capitulate.

How then is he going to push his transformation agenda?

The writer is a former Umno state assemblyman and now a DAP member. He is a FMT columnist.

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