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Mahathir-Anwar alliance causing panic in Umno, says Dr Dzul

 | July 17, 2017

Prime Minister Najib Razak is also in two minds over the GE14 date due to two different schools of thought in Umno, says Amanah strategic director Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

Dzulkifli-AhmadPETALING JAYA: Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad says Umno ministers are attacking Pakatan Harapan, following the announcement of the opposition coalition’s new leadership council, because they no longer see Prime Minister Najib Razak as a viable leader for the ruling party.

Referring to the “state of panic” in Umno and the reaction from a number of senior ministers, the Amanah strategic director said the attacks were “deplorable”, and lacked any coordination.

“The strengthening of the formidable legendary duo of Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim, was simply mind-blowing to them.

“Umno’s strategists and spin doctors, bloggers included, were caught flat-footed, hence their statements were not on the same page. Much worse were the efforts of so-called academics in their ivory towers,” Dzulkefly said.

He added that with the latest suit by the United States Department of Justice to seize assets purchased with money linked to state-owned investment fund 1MDB, and the criminal convictions of many confidantes of Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) and their confessions in Singapore courts, “Najib has truly become a lame duck leader of Umno and the BN”.

Dzulkefly said the absence of comments from the “brighter ministers” from Umno, namely Khairy Jamaluddin, Johari Ghani, and Nor Jazlan, in the wake of the DoJ announcement last month, suggests that even they know that it is no longer worthwhile to defend the indefensible.

“Worse still, Umno is facing an actual crack from within. Simply put, after two sessions of putting aside party polls, the rumblings and undercurrents are gaining momentum. Cracks in Umno’s top leadership are an open secret.”

According to Dzulkefly, the word from inside Umno is that there are two thoughts on when to hold the next general election.

“Divisional chiefs that continue to enjoy financial perks from the ‘politics of patronage’ are wanting to delay the dissolution of Parliament to the fullest extent possible, by middle next year.

“However, other grassroots leaders who are suffering, like the ordinary rakyat, are clamouring for a quick kill. Hence, little wonder Najib is in two minds,” Dzulkefly said, adding that Najib is “notoriously known to be risk averse”.

The Amanah leader said the failure to attract PAS grassroots support, despite all the attempts at wooing the Islamist party’s leadership, just further aggravates Najib’s predicament.

“There is no solution in sight, and this is indeed extremely agonising for him.”


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