Monday, October 6, 2008


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at on October 6, 2008 11:31 AM

1. The UMNO General Assembly which will this time elect the members of the Supreme Council has now been postponed to March 2009, three months later.

2. This, I am told, is at the insistence of Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He is said to need this time in order to put the country right. This includes eradicating poverty, judicial and legal reforms, social reforms and something about Islam Hadhari.

3. He had had five years to do all these but everyone knows nothing has been accomplished by him. Now he says he will do all these in three months. Can we believe he can? Can we believe these are the real reasons why he will not go until March 2009, only three months after the originally scheduled General Assembly?

4. I may be biased but I do not think these are the reasons he wants to stay on as Prime Minister three months longer.

5. It is said that on 9th October, the day before the divisions are to hold their meetings, he will announce that he will not stand for election as President of UMNO. The question is, will he announce it? I have this suspicion that he will not. If he does not it would not be surprising. He is not a man of his words.

6. There really is no reason for this extension unless it is because of a possibility to influence the divisions into countering the Supreme Council and its demand that Abdullah steps down. In which case the extension may be further extended. Already SMS messages are denouncing Najib.

7. The leaders of UMNO must realise they need a long and painful campaign to win back the estranged UMNO members and supporters. They will have at most four years to do this. They will need the time. Every month of delay will mean less time for rehabilitation.

8. Neither UMNO, MCA, Gerakan nor MIC can aspire to become the Government of Malaysia on their own. Abdullah has emasculated all of them. To rehabilitate UMNO alone is not enough. The other parties in Barisan Nasional must also be rehabilitated, if the Barisan Nasional is again to become a force in Malaysian politics.

9. All the parties need time to do this. It does not help to have Abdullah delaying the process of rehabilitation even if it is only for three months.

10. The spurious reasons for the delay must be rejected. UMNO should hold its meeting as scheduled i.e. in December. That over, whoever gets to lead UMNO and the Barisan Nasional should immediately go down on the ground to explain things to the people. Hopefully the renegades from all the component parties will come back. If they return it is necessary to consolidate each party and the Barisan Nasional itself. These are herculean tasks especially as the country will have to also face turbulent times in the domestic and international economy.

11. I am still not an UMNO member but I will nevertheless pray for Abdullah to step down soonest and for a new leader to be elected to rehabilitate UMNO and the BN.