KUALA LUMPUR: A political analyst has expressed confidence that former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will continue to work until GE14 in 2018, travelling throughout the country, to achieve his objective, to demonstrate that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has no standing among the people.
“Najib will continue to lead Umno until he enters the history books as the person who brought the party and Barisan Nasional (BN) to defeat in GE14.”
So, added Shahbudin Husin the analyst, the question of how many from Umno will follow Mahathir was irrelevant as what was more important was the number of voters who are willing to be with the former Prime Minister to ensure that Umno and BN crash to a defeat in 2018. “The question is how many seats Umno/BN can pick up at the next General Election.”
“The people have to decide whether a new government should come in to make good the damage that has been so far in recent years.”
The analyst recalled that Umno/BN went from 198 parliamentary seats in 2004 to 140 in 2008 and 133 in 2013. “Mahathir left Umno in 2008 and only came back in 2009.”
Shahbudin was commenting on Mahathir taking the bull by the horns after several months of putting pressure on Najib, from the sidelines, to get him to step down over several financial scandals where he was allegedly involved. “Mahathir’s exit from the party was the clearest indication that he has abandoned all hopes of removing Najib through the party channels.”
“It’s clear from Mahathir exiting the party, that he wants Umno/BN to crash to defeat in the next General Election.”
Shahbudin went on to touch briefly on Mahathir complaining that Umno was no longer about the people but defending Najib on wrongdoing and that he had to do something about it. “Mahathir exiting Umno was a form of protest against the party continuing to defend Najib although he was involved in wrongdoing.”
“He could no longer continue with a party that was no more Umno but had become something else, Najib’s party. Mahathir stressed this as one reason why he was quitting Umno.”
Shahbudin recalled that Abdullah Badawi, Mahathir’s successor, only gave up the premiership in 2009 after failing to retain the coveted two-thirds majority in Parliament.