Tuesday, September 23, 2008

SUPREME COUNCIL


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at www.chedet.com on September 23, 2008 5:40 PM

(Versi Bahasa Malaysia di akhir artikel ini)

1. The goings on in the UMNO Supreme Council are supposed to be secret. So it was quite a surprise when the press reported some important details regarding the Supreme Council's meeting on Thursday, September 18. What is even more surprising is that the reports expose the attacks against Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi by several members of the council and their demand that the transfer of power should take place before the divisional meetings which would nominate the candidates for President.

2. It appears that the words used by some of the members were very strong. Dato Seri Rafidah Aziz even attacked the roles played by Abdullah's son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin and the PM's son, Kamaluddin.

3. So harsh were the words used that Abdullah's face changed and he was reeling from the onslaught when Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak, ever the protector of Abdullah, stopped the proceedings. Najib promised he would speak on the matter with Abdullah.

4. It seems that the other Supreme Council members were not happy as once again controversial council matters were made into private deals between Abdullah and Najib. It is the kind of negation of council rights that both Abdullah and Najib had frequently resorted to. The two would later come out with decisions which were unsatisfactory to the council members. Najib would then stress on the need to be united and loyal to the President.

5. This time around it is not going to be any different. When faced with a tricky problem Abdullah would consult his family members, usually his son and son-in-law but now also his wife.

6. It is well known that the family is enjoying the power and freedom to shape Abdullah's decisions based on their own personal interest i.e., to accumulate as much wealth as possible and to ensure Khairy's political ambitions, including to become the country's youngest Prime Minister.

7. By the time Abdullah meets Najib he would have been briefed by his family on what to say. And Najib being Najib would then accept Abdullah's solution to the problem. In this case he would want to insist on staying until June 2010 or maybe a short while before. Najib would then have the task of selling this solution to the Supreme Council. By doing so Najib would go down further in the estimation of the members and of the public when Najib's behaviour is leaked to the public.

8. When UMNO was formed the founders wanted to ensure that no decisions which seem to contradict the basis of the party's struggle would get through without the Supreme Council approving them. What happened to Dato Onn Jaafar, the first President (Yang di-Pertua) of UMNO is an excellent example. The President was not obeyed blindly. Instead because he proposed something contrary to the basis of the party's struggle, it was rejected and as a man of honour he resigned.

9. For almost 50 years the Supreme Council played this role. Thus when (Tun) Musa Hitam resigned as Deputy President of the party, the Supreme Council did not just agree with the President but sat until the early hours of the morning and then decided, the President's views notwithstanding, to send a delegation of senior members to London to persuade Musa to reassume his post of Deputy President of the party and Deputy Prime Minister. Musa agreed to return as Deputy President, though not as Deputy Prime Minister. And so he was well positioned to bring me down by persuading Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to contest for president against me. Incidentally during his campaign to become UMNO Deputy President he claimed that I backed him.

10. But after Abdullah took over party Presidency and became Prime Minister the character of the Supreme Council changed completely. It became the personal instrument of Abdullah for approving and legitimising all and everything he did.

11. I believe on Thursday the worm turned partially. A few members found courage to demand the early resignation of Abdullah. Of course the "Yes-men" did not turn. The worm became so twisted that there is real danger it would break into two.

12. I suppose this would worry Najib who wanted a peaceful transfer of power in order to keep the party intact. So he is likely to accept any scheme which would allow Abdullah to relinquish his post in a blaze of glory.

13. Unfortunately Najib will not get his wish. There has never been a President of UMNO who is as much disliked and even hated by the people as Abdullah. Malays, Chinese and Indians, whether members of the Government component parties or mere supporters or ordinary people all want Abdullah to go, the sooner the better.

14. The only people who want him to stay are those who owe their positions to him, or who benefited from contracts and other largesse distributed by him. For some, including civil servants there is just fear of him which keeps them silent but sullen.

15. Strangely the true supporters of Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Prime Minister and UMNO President are members of the opposition. Karpal Singh, Anwar Ibrahim and Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat want him to stay, at least till the next election.

16. However it is not for love of him but because they believe that with him leading the Barisan Nasional the opposition stands a better chance of winning the 13th General Election and forming a Government. They feel they are within reach of their objective and did not want to see the renegades of UMNO, MCA, MIC, Gerakan and PPP returning to the fold and make defeating the BN probably an impossible task.

17. So much for the Supreme Council which is no longer Supreme.


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MAJLIS TERTINGGI

1. Perbincangan di dalam Majlis Tertinggi UMNO sepatutnya rahsia. Jadi amat memeranjatkan apabila akhbar melaporkan beberapa butiran penting berkenaan mesyuarat Majlis Tertinggi yang diadakan pada hari Khamis, 18hb September. Apa yang lebih mengejutkan lagi ialah laporan tersebut mendedahkan tentangan terhadap Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi oleh beberapa ahli majlis dan desakan oleh mereka agar peralihan kuasa diadakan sebelum mesyuarat Bahagian-bahagian yang akan menamakan calon Presiden.

2. Difahamkan bahasa yang digunakan sesetengah ahli agak keras. Dato Seri Rafidah Aziz turut membangkitkan peranan yang dimainkan menantu Abdullah, Khairy Jamaluddin dan anak beliau, Kamaluddin.

3. Begitu keras bahasa yang digunakan hinggakan muka Abdullah berubah. Beliau nampak tertekan dengan desakan ahli majlis apabila Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak, yang sentiasa menjadi penyelamat Abdullah, menghentikan mesyuarat. Najib berjanji untuk bercakap dengan Abdullah berkenaan hal ini.

4. Difahamkan ahli Majlis Tertinggi yang lain merasa tidak puas hati kerana sekali lagi perkara kontroversi yang melibatkan majlis dijadikan bahan perbincangan tertutup antara Abdullah dan Najib. Menidakkan hak majlis adalah sesuatu yang sering dilakukan Abdullah dan Najib. Mereka berdua akan membuat keputusan yang tidak pun memuaskan hati ahli majlis. Najib kemudian akan tekankan betapa pentingnya untuk bersatu dan setia kepada Presiden.

5. Keadaan kali ini juga sama seperti sebelumnya. Apabila berhadapan dengan sesuatu masalah rumit, Abdullah akan meminta nasihat keluarganya, terutama anak dan menantunya termasuk sekarang ini isterinya.

6. Umum mengetahui keluarganya mempunyai kuasa dan kebebasan untuk mempengaruhi segala keputusan-keputusan Abdullah berdasarkan kepentingan diri mereka iaitu untuk mengaut sebanyak mana kekayaan yang mungkin dan untuk mempastikan cita-cita politik Khairi termasuk untuk menjadi Perdana Menteri termuda.

7. Apabila tiba masanya untuk bertemu Najib, Abdullah sudahpun diberi taklimat oleh keluarganya tentang apa yang harus diperkatakan. Dan Najib akan terima apa sahaja keputusan Abdullah untuk meleraikan masalah yang timbul. Di dalam kes ini, Abdullah akan tetap dengan pendiriannya untuk kekal hingga Jun 2010 atau mungkin awal sedikit sebelumnya. Najib kemudian akan ditugaskan untuk "menjual" keputusan ini kepada Majlis Tertinggi. Dengan ini Najib akan lebih dipandang rendah oleh ahli majlis dan rakyat apabila sikapnya ini didedahkan kepada umum.

8. Apabila UMNO ditubuhkan, pemimpin terdahulu memastikan yang tidak akan ada keputusan-keputusan yang bercanggah dengan asas perjuangan parti dibuat tanpa terlebih dahulu mendapat kelulusan Majlis Tertinggi. Apa yang terjadi kepada Dato Onn, Yang di-Pertua UMNO yang pertama merupakan contoh terbaik. Presiden tidak diturut secara buta-tuli. Sebaliknya apabila beliau mencadang sesuatu yang bercanggah dengan perjuangan parti, cadangan beliau ditolak dan sebagai seseorang yang mempunyai maruah, beliau telah mengundur diri.

9. Selama lebih kurang 50 tahun, Majlis Tertinggi memain peranan ini. Demikian apabila (Tun) Musa Hitam meletak jawatan sebagai Timbalan Presiden parti, Majlis Tertinggi yang bersidang tidak bersetuju bulat-bulat dengan Presiden, sebaliknya bermesyuarat hingga ke awal pagi dan membuat keputusan, walau apa juga pendapat Presiden, untuk menghantar satu delegasi yang terdiri daripada ahli-ahli kanan majlis ke London untuk memujuk Musa menerima kembali jawatan Timbalan Presiden parti dan Timbalan Perdana Menteri. Musa bersetuju kembali sebagai Timbalan Presiden tetapi tidak sebagai Timbalan Perdana Menteri. Dengan itu beliau berada di landasan yang baik untuk cuba menjatuhkan saya dengan mempengaruhi Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah bertanding jawatan presiden menentang saya. Secara kebetulan semasa berkempen untuk bertanding jawatan Timbalan Presiden UMNO, beliau mendakwa mendapat sokongan saya.

10. Tetapi apabila Abdullah mengambil alih Presiden parti merangkap Perdana Menteri, perwatakan Majlis Tertinggi bertukar. Ianya menjadi alat peribadi Abdullah untuk melulus dan menghalalkan apa sahaja yang beliau buat.

11. Saya percaya pada hari Khamis keadaan ini telah berubah sedikit. Beberapa orang ahli telah berani meyuarakan desakan supaya Abdullah melepas jawatan awal. Sudah tentulah penyokongnya tidak beralih arah. Demikian ada kemungkinan majlis pecah dua.

12. Saya rasa ini merisaukan Najib yang hendakkan peralihan kuasa secara aman supaya parti tidak pecah-belah. Oleh itu dia akan terima apa sahaja cadangan yang membenarkan Abdullah lepaskan jawatan dengan penuh kegemilangan.

13. Malangnya Najib tidak akan capai impiannya. Tidak pernah ada Presiden UMNO yang begitu sekali dibenci rakyat seperti Abdullah. Melayu, Cina dan India, samada ahli parti komponen Kerajaan mahupun penyokongnya atau rakyat kebanyakan kesemuanya mahukan Abdullah mengundur diri. Lagi cepat lagi baik.

14. Yang mahukan beliau terus pegang jawatan adalah mereka yang kedudukan mereka bergantung kepadanya, atau mereka yang mendapt untung daripada pemberian kontrak dan sebagainya oleh beliau. Bagi sesetengah yang lain, termasuk kakitangan awam, hanya ketakutan terhadapnya yang menyebabkan mereka tidak mahu bersuara tetapi mereka tetap marah.

15. Yang peliknya ialah yang benar-benar menyokong Abdullah sebagai Perdana Menteri dan Presiden UMNO adalah pembangkang. Karpal Singh, Anwar Ibrahim dan Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat hendakkan beliau (Abdullah) kekal sekurang-kurangnya hingga pilihanraya akan datang.

16. Tetapi ini bukanlah kerana mereka sayang kepadanya tetapi kerana mereka percaya dengan beliau mengepalai Barisan Nasional, pembangkang mempunyai peluang yang lebih cerah memenangi pilihanraya umum ke-13 dan mendirikan Kerajaan. Mereka rasakan yang mereka hampir mencapai matlamat mereka dan tidak mahu golongan yang memberontak di dalam UMNO, MCA, MIC, Gerakan dan PPP kembali kepada parti dan menyukarkan usaha mereka untuk kalahkan BN.

17. Begitulah Majlis Tertinggi yang tidak pun lagi tinggi.