DANGER AHEAD: All eyes on ‘kamikaze’ Dr M amid talk of racial clashes & Najib QUITTING

Malaysia Chronicle

Dangerous times are ahead for Malaysia as its ruling party UMNO desperately twists and turns to redeem itself ahead of a general election that some believe will be won by the Opposition and others, that it may never even take place.

Political sources tell Malaysia Chronicle that UMNO divisions in three states – Johor, Terengganu and Perak – have already begun the ball rolling to get scandal-plagued Najib Razak to step down both as Prime Minister and UMNO president.

The latest tell-tale signs that infighting is reaching a head are the rumors of racial riots spread by several pro-UMNO bloggers.

Killing two birds with one stone

Coming eerily hot on the heels of warnings issued by UMNO-linked leaders such as Ibrahim Ali and Shahrizat Jalil, the rumors fueled fear of a reprisal of the May 13, 1969 racial riots that left thousands injured and hundreds dead.

During the 1969 mayhem, Malay youths were egged on by UMNO leaders to attack the ethnic Chinese community in a ‘kill two birds with one stone’ stratagem.

The first and primary goal was to replace first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman with Abdul Razak Hussein, who ironically is Najib’s dad. The second was to allow the UMNO leaders to grab complete political and economic dominance by accusing the Chinese of bullying the Malays and robbing them of their ‘birth rights’.

With the UMNO-led BN coalition now on the ropes following a torrent of corruption scandals that include sex and murder, there is fear that UMNO power brokers might again conspire to defend their grip on the federal government by making Najib and his controversial wife Rosmah Mansor the scapegoats.

These sinister ‘warlords’ would then create chaotic conditions that would allow Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to delay the country’s  13th general election and perhaps even impose martial law until the BN, which has ruled Malaysia since 1957, was again sure of winning.

Three scenarios

That would be the worst of three possible scenarios as it would take Malaysia into no-man’s land. The country, the second-most modern in Southeast Asia after Singapore, would join the ranks of the turbulent African nations, where power-grabs, coup d’etats and militia rule are common. Fortunately, this is the least likely scenario.

Chances are higher that former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, the main puppet master in UMNO, will throw his weight behind Muhyiddin, effect a leadership change by ‘forcing’ Najib to quit, and then shepherding UMNO into elections banking on Muhyiddin’s pro-Malay battle cry to pull in the votes.

This way, Mahathir avoids the notoriety and responsibility of bloody riots as well as flushing the country and his family’s billion-dollar investments and business interests down the drain.

The third scenario is that Mahathir might decide to do nothing after all. While he has given Muhyiddin’s camp the tacit green light to do the best they can to upset Najib, he has not given the final OK. If after their best shots and Mahathir feels that an 11th hour switch would still be the political suicide that many have warned of, he may agree to let Najib lead UMNO-BN into GE13 and hope for the best.

Stirring up clashes using the Underworld

“Mahathir is a kamikaze fighter. He doesn’t need emergency laws or any law if he wants to do something. Look at how he dissolved the old UMNO and re-created UMNO Baru, look at how he threw Anwar Ibrahim into jail, declared all-out war on Abdullah Badawi,” a veteran political observer told Malaysia Chronicle.

“But the option of delaying GE13 and imposing martial law is out. The UMNO warlords know if they do that, they will really end up with nothing but jail and infamy. It is better to take a chance at the ballot boxes. After all, they have already done so much gerrymandering and they have so much wealth overseas, they might as well try their luck in the courts if the new regime prosecutes them for plundering.”

“There’s no doubt Mahathir is trying to change the PM to boost the morale in UMNO before going straight into GE13. He has always been the biggest gambler of them all. He is willing to put all his chips on winning big with Muhyiddin’s pro-Malay image. To do that, they will stir up Malay sentiments. So far, there has only been rhetoric. Now we are hearing talk of racial clashes. It is therefore possible that what happens next will be actual incidents. The grapevine goes that they may stir up small incidents here and there to rally the Malays together and they could do this with the help of UMNO hot-heads and the Chinese and Indian underworld.”

Dilemma for UMNO

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