Ku Li resurfacing to lead ‘third force’?

KOTA KINABALU: The alleged recent meeting between several MPs from East Malaysia and Umno veteran leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has rekindled rumours that Ku Li is not a spent force.

Old speculations about Ku Li and a ‘third force’ have resurfaced.

The thinking here is that  if at least 25 MPs from Barisan Nasional in Sabah and Sarawak leave the ruling party and teamed up with say 10 disgruntled BN MPs from Peninsular, they would be able to change the political equation.

The grapevine in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching are tossing up probabilities that “change” could happen in the next few days.

Political blogs and news portals have picked up on these rumours and riding on the alleged meeting between Ku Li and the MPs from Sabah and Sarawak, are spewing fresh scenarios.

Insiders claiming to be in the know said that some Sabah and Sarawak BN MPs who are already in Kuala Lumpur wanted to explore “possibilities” of an alternative plan that would have a positive change for both East and West Malaysia’s landscape.

“They are mulling the idea of getting Ku Li as Prime Minister for at least two years and see if he could unite the nation, minus Umno, but without succumbing to Anwarism .

“They are talking about a more sober  personality to lead the country out of a stagnated democracy,” said one local leader in Kota Kinabalu who described those in the group as politically adventurous but not ‘big’ risk-taker.

According to the rumours going round here, the “hands engineering the change” want Ku Li to get at least 10 MPs from Peninsular out of BN.

These MPs will then team-up with about 25 or 28 MPs from Sabah and Sarawak to ensure BN loses its majority.

BN currently controls 133 of the 222-seats in Parliament while opposition Pakatan Rakyat holds the remaining 89 seats. BN controls 47 of the 57 MP seats in East Malaysia, including one in Labuan.

Their calculation is that if 35 MPs opt out of BN and throw their support behind Pakatan then BN’s 133 seats would be reduced to only 98 and Pakatan which has 89 seats will gain from the shift in allegiance and now have 124. This would be enough for Pakatan to “form” a new federal government.

Risky road

That Malaysia does not have anti-hop law has made it more conducive and much easier for such switching of allegiance, as it had happened in Sabah before.

They said even if only 25 BN MPs switched allegiance, that would be enough to send Najib Abdul Razak scurrying for cover.

One of the ways to stem such an incident from happening is to call for a snap general election, just like what Sabah’s then embattled Parti Bersatu Sabah state government did in 1985. Eventually PBS emerged stronger.

But, observers, opined that should that happen, there is no guarantee that Umno-led BN would be returned to power by the Malaysians who are  already reeling from accusations of massive fraud against the country’s  Election Commission.

Political pundits perceived such possible moves could have emanated from real fear that the ruling party would carry-out gerry-meandearing of election boundaries in favour of Umno-held constituencies, ahead of the next general election which is not due until 2018.

They said there are already  plans to carve out at least two parliamentary seats in BN constituency like Pekan (which Najib holds) and in rural areas in Sabah and Sarawak.

This however seemed to be not an easy task to carry out as opposition MPs would definitely reject such controversial redelineation exercise.