Thursday, August 27, 2015


27/08/2015 12:03 PM
'Muhyiddin, Zahid would have made a good team'

Former minister Sanusi Junid says Ahmad Zahid Hamidi should have rejected the deputy prime minister's post

KUALA LUMPUR: The tag team of Muhyiddin Yassin and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi would have presented an ideal challenge to Najib Razak in Umno, former minister Sanusi Junid said.

Speaking to Berita Daily, the former Kedah menteri besar said the two leaders would have been in an ideal position to launch an all out attack against Najib in Umno, and if successful, they could have forced the current premier to vacate his position.

He said Zahid should not have accepted the deputy prime minister's post to replace Muhyiddin, just as the latter rejected an offer to replace Najib from former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2009.

However, Sanusi said Zahid's acceptance made sense as the party election was postponed to after the next general election scheduled for 2018.

The Umno veteran and former rural and regional development minister said there would be no changes to the Umno hierarchy anytime soon since the party had decided to postpone its internal elections.

He said if Najib changes his mind and reverses the decision, he will risk putting the current Umno division heads in jeopardy.

“Umno members are likely not to support the incumbent divisional leaders to continue as divisional heads, especially when the members are aware that their leaders were accumulating wealth for themselves with some even confessing to receiving money from the leadership.

“Najib, who is a strong believer in 'money being king', needs time to buy the loyalty of Umno members at the lower levels to ensure smooth operations of Umno's machinery heading towards the next general elections,” he said.

Sanusi added Najib will not reverse the decision “unless he was misled into believing that his success would be guaranteed by rigging of the party polls in his favour."

Sanusi, who joined the party in 1963, said Umno, the backbone of the ruling Barisan Nasional, used to be the pillar for the Malays but is no longer in that position. He said people rejected Umno today not because of the party but its leadership.

He said Umno members do not support their own president, adding that this was evident when a delegate in Langkawi openly slammed Najib saying that the Umno chief had "pissed" on three million party members with his misdeeds.

The delegate Anina Saaduddin made the remark at the Umno Langkawi annual general meeting earlier this month.

“She was doing it because she was nauseated with Muhyiddin trying to say it in a polite way and got sacked in return. In a way you get sacked for saying things politely, might as well say it rudely.

“(Whether it's) right or not, definitely she had conveyed her message and it has its effects. There was an uproar all over the country to the her message in comparison to what Muhyiddin said.

“Her mother was the Jerlun Wanita chief when I was the division chief there. She's a very respectable woman and (Anina) has her mother's genes with more guts. Langkawi people should be proud of her,” he said.

Mukhriz as future PM?

Sanusi also commented on current Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir, saying that the state would have been lost if not for Mukhriz at the last general election.

“Kedah is a difficult state to lead. It's majority Malay population is more religious conscious. There are so many independent religious schools spread all over the state funded by 'sakat' from paddy farmers.

“Mukhriz has targeted tourism and industrialisation to provide employment and improve the economy of the state, and I think with time, he will be proven to be correct.

“He appears to be morally right, I don't think he is corrupt, without him we might have lost Kedah in the last elections. But as far as I am concerned, we have to forget about whether he would be a big-shot in the future as I don't want to speculate on that,” he said.

Sanusi recalled two incidents in Malaysian history where the country had high hopes of having a great leader than the one before but was disappointed in the end when things turned out quite the opposite from the expectation.

“The first was when we had the fifth prime minister (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi). We thought that we will have full morality and at the end he was accused of nepotism, cronyism and corruptions.

“The whole nation had so much hope in the first election of the fifth premier where Barisan Nasional had received its best result ever. But four and a half years later, things just eroded due to his ambitious young advisors.

“Then we thought by having a son of a patriotic prime minister, we thought genetically we have made the right choice for the premier's post. But obviously there is no genetic inheritance there. Therefore we should no longer predict someone's future but think more for the nation's future,” said Sanusi.

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