(Petaling Jaya, Monday): The
Utusan Malaysia front-page report today
quoting the UMNO Information chief, Tan Sri Megat Junid Megat Ayub as saying
that Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was still intent on resigning as UMNO
President and Barisan Nasional Chairman during the meeting of the UMNO
Management Committee with Mahathir at Sri Perdana yesterday morning before he
left for his sudden 10-day overseas
leave, and that a “compromise” had been reached and that the UMNO Supreme
Council will meet tomorrow to determine Mahathir’s position and that the UMNO
Deputy President, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would make an important
announcement after the meeting, have
plunged the country into new political uncertainties.
described Mahathir’s resignation as the shortest in world history. I had said
yesterday that Mahathir’s sudden
resignation at the UMNO General Assembly on Saturday would be generally regarded as a Machiavellian move to
consolidate his political power inside and outside UMNO.
I did not think so and I could sympathise with Mahathir as political
leaders sometimes act in response to the human dimension.
I know because I had wanted to resign as DAP Secretary-General and
although Mahathir had joined others to label it as political “sandiwara”,
Mahathir is learning the complexity of actions of political leaders.
This was why I said yesterday I did not think Mahathir’s announcement
of his resignation at the UMNO
General Assembly on Saturday was a “political gimmick”.
was not allowed to finish his sudden
resignation announcement –
whether he was also resigning as Prime Minister.
This would be the logical conclusion having resigned as UMNO President
and Barisan Nasional Chairman – unless he wanted to be allowed to continue as
Prime Minister despite resigning as UMNO President and BN Chairman, which would
be quite unthinkable.
before leaving for his sudden 10-day leave in Europe, Mahathir should have
explained to the Malaysian people whether he had intended to resign as Prime
Minister and the reasons for his sudden resignation announcement.
Mahathir had not done this, it has allowed rumours to run riot as to his actual
intention and the reasons for his surprise resignation announcement.
various theories about Mahathir’s resignation include:
because of Mahathir’s sense of failure to change the Malays, the resistance to
the proposed educational changes on “meritocracy”, the 10% non-bumiputra
quota for matriculation and MARA colleges and the use of English.
because of Mahathir’s disgust at the infighting and jockeying for power among
the top UMNO echelons, particularly among the three UMNO Vice Presidents and the
because Mahathir felt that UMNO had achieved a political turnaround and that he
had been too long at the helm of national leadership – 21 years.
The “sandiwara” theory is often coupled with the
conclusion that the resignation “gimmick” enables Mahathir to create a
situation where he would be vested with even more powers with the free hand
to do what he wants.
Mahathir did not explain his position after his sudden resignation announcement
was interrupted midway, and the retraction was made not by Mahathir but by
Abdullah, it has allowed rumours to run riot.
is the rumour that Mahathir had wanted to bring back Tengku Razaleigh as Finance
Minister but this was strongly objected by the three UMNO Vice Presidents.
Junid’s statements in the Utusan Malaysia front-page story today have made the
political situation murkier and
raises the following questions:
Abdullah really have Mahathir’s unequivocal consent to announce retraction of
his resignations at the UMNO General Assembly an hour later?
If so, why did Megat Junid said Mahathir was still intent on his
resignations the next morning?
Mahathir’s sudden resignation was genuine and
not a “political gimmick”, is the whole issue now being turned into a
political gambit to exploit its political mileage, especially as there will be
two by-elections in Kedah following the death of the PAS President, Datuk Fadhil
Noor? Will the country be told that
Mahathir will only return as Prime Minister if the people show solid support,
including landslide wins for UMNO in the two by-elections?