Najib Tun Razak's headache in Negeri Sembilan is not people support but the internal strive within the state Umno.
Well, realistically speaking, they have but only to a limited extent.
But the gains made by Umno and Najib, however, were recently cancelled out by events Najib cannot control.
Najib is not bigger than the market.
The Felda listing is now being questioned by settlers. It’s also being questioned by non-Felda villagers.
How come they do not get anything yet they face the same rising cost of living as Felda people?
Now that the Felda Global Ventures (FGV) share price is below RM5, that gives the settler a premium of 45 sen. With 810 shares, the value the settler holds is RM365 gross; deduct RM200, and he holds shares worth RM165.
Najib announces RM43 million Hari Raya dividends. As there are 112,000 settlers, each settler family gets RM300 plus.
The other Malays must look at what’s happening. If the settler whom Najib regards as an important ally who forms his vanguard in his transformation plan can be deceived like that, what of the ordinary Malay villagers?
The settlers on whose name those elite groups make money are getting a pittance. That’s what Umno is doing to the Malays.
The settler gives up all assets belonging to Felda and he is left with his own 10-acre plot. The plot must later on be divided among the children according to Islam’s Faraid laws.
They are going to live off land which is getting smaller and smaller. Settlers give up potential rights on 360,000 hectares which could support 80,000 new settlers.
Umno doesn’t care about you. It cares about milking the Felda cow.
The people of Negeri Semblan can use what happens to Felda as on object lesson. Negeri Sembilan has large Felda areas.
Warlords in Negeri Umno
Negeri Sembilan has eight parliamentary seats, three of which are currently held by Pakatan Rakyat – Seremban (DAP), Rasah (DAP) and Telok Kemang (PKR).
In 2008, the average swing in favor of the opposition was 14%. That is, the average support for the opposition has increased by 14%.
But each parliamentary seat exhibits varying degrees of opposition support.
But it’s not the people which is the problem for Najib; it’s the local issues that are tearing Negeri Sembilan Umno apart.
The Umno liaison chief, Mohamad Hasan, who is the Menteri Besar, doesn’t command a united house.
Isa Samad, the former menteri besar, can’t wait to have his hands on Mohamad’s throat.
There is just too much in-fighting. Mohamad is dismissive of Rais Yatim as well of Shaziman Abu Mansor who is seen as a potential menteri besar material and therefore of direct potent threat to his post.
The menteri besar’s older brother, Azman Hassan, is seen as the local version of Rasputin controlling and dictating Mohamad’s every move and getting himself involved in the management of the state.
Azman, who is a former corporate man, may have ruffled too many feathers in Negeri Sembilan Umno.
Ishak Ismail, the Seremban Umno chief, is a powerful warlord whose main preoccupation seems to be ousting Mohamad from helming the state.
If Mohamad continues to be Umno’s commander in the next general election, not only Negeri Sembilan will lose the four parliamentary seats but the state will end up with Pakatan Rakyat.
The writer is a former Umno state assemblyman but joined DAP earlier this year. He is a FMT columnist.