A friend wrote this to me:
“I disagree with Sanusi Junid that Najib is the person that made UMNO weak.
Mahathir is the root cause of UMNO weakening. But he did make UMNO strong once during the past 16 years.
Statistics don’t lie.
1999 GE, Mahathir made UMNO lose a staggering 24% of their seas – down 22 seats from 93.
2004.- Mahathir made UMNO strong by retiring from politics, no longer contesting and keeping quiet and letting his replacement do his work.
Immediately, UMNO won 53% more seats and jumped from 71 seats to 109 – in the best results ever for UMNO and BN.
2008: Mahathir made UMNO weak again by continuously attacking and treasonously attacking his own party over years – which made UMNO weak again by losing 38% seats.
In 2013, Najib won 9 more seats for UMNO – hence strengthening UMNO.. Mahathir was also relatively quiet this period.
Najib inherited an UMNO that already has partners that have been rendered weak. UMNO with the remnants of supporters of its partners not only have to fend off attacks from the Opposition but also now from those who cling onto Mahathir for meagre amount of morsels to remain relevant in their dreams. It is these attacks that further divided UMNO into the circus it is now. Lest we forget the younger and opportunistic vultures who help pick the flesh off others.
Thus, this is indisputable proof where we can draw two conclusions:
1) Mahathir is the main cause of UMNO weakening.
2) If you want UMNO to be strong, ask Mahathir to shut-up.”
I have said this again and again. STFU and let the authorities do their work. The more you feed fuel to fire, the bigger it will burn.
But not everyone has the brain power to understand simple logic such as that.
If you go back to the early 1980s, it was Mahathir who prodded Sulaiman Palestine to mount a challenge against Tun Hussein Onn. Then urged Ku Li to take on Musa Hitam. Those in their 30s wouldn’t remember how UMNO split into Team A and Team B after Ku Li in turn challenged Mahathir and UMNO was declared illegal soon after. And because of the Team A and Team B spat, Mahathir changed the UMNO constitution into the form it is now and changed how an UMNO President is elected. Oh! How can we forget that because of the Team A and Team B thing Mahathir fired several ministers as well – Pak Lah, the late Ajib Ahmad and a few others.
Then Mahathir also lost Kelantan in 1990 to PAS. That was the biggest blow to BN that time, only to be outdone again during his time in 1999. Who remembers the Wan Mokhtar-Yusuf Noor spat and why it happened?
Musa was too smart for Mahathir. Everyone knew this. The MM (Mahathir-Musa) partnership was more a “don’t step on my toes and I don’t step on yours” relationship. In the end, Mahathir used the mishandling of the Memali incident to oust Musa Hitam. He did not stop at that. He had Ghafar Baba as his deputy, but his real sight was on Anwar.
Ghafar was that pleasant and docile deputy everyone would have loved to have, but not as a successor. Anwar had a lot of following especially from his former organisation, ABIM. Mahathir used the late Rahim King’s organisation, Kelab Bekas Komando Malaysia, to pave the way for Anwar’s rise and to remove any opposition to Anwar. In the end, Ghafar, a true UMNO loyalist, was dropped in a disgraceful manner helped by hidden hands.
UMNO was weak. Members were tired of Mahathir who had by then overstayed his welcome. The onybreason they were still supporting him was because of his choice for deputy – Anwar Ibrahim. Finally, UMNO had found a young and energetic character to be able to replace Mahathir and everyone waited for that day.
Of course, unbeknownst to both Mahathir and the Special Branch then, Anwar was engaging in unhealthy activities that the DAP had known since 1984 but brought it to the surface in 1997 by the late Karpal Singh, and subsequently given the title “Sheikh al-Anwar al-Juburi” by some people’s new hope: Mat Sabu.
Naturally when Mahathir fired Anwar and sacked the latter from UMNO, the party weakened even further. In the 1999 elections even Sanusi fell victim to the people’s wrath against Mahathir. Members of the Actors Studio were seen taking to the streets in support of the “Reformasi” movement giving ad hoc interviews to Maria Ressa from CNN then saying “We are tired of Mahathir! He must go!”
Mahathir’s move against Najib has also gained support from the member of a certain state’s royal family. The irony is in 1983 it was this royal family member’s late grandfather whom Mahathir was trying to prevent from becoming the Yang DiPertuan Agong. Almost weekly a Nuri helicopter would fly the then-Prime Minister to Kuala Kangsar to convince the late Sultan Idris, who also happened to be the maternal grandfather to this member of the Royal family, to become the Yang DiPertuan Agong instead. Fate had it that Sultan Idris passed on in early 1984 and Sultan Iskandar ascended the throne of the Yang DiPertuan Agong in April of 1984.
It was during this seemingly invisible interference by Mahathir that had caused a constitutional crisis that almost saw the civilian government being overthrown by the military. The only problem the military had was its lack of contact with the general population and needed a bridge in the form of the police. Although the police supported the idea but they thought it was not the right time for a coup and it failed. The constitutional crisis did not rear its head again until 1993 when the powers of the Rulers Institution was greatly reduced.
So, UMNO gets blamed for everything when it was all done by Mahathir for himself, or for those close to him. And as mentioned, Pak Lah inherited a weak UMNO from Mahathir. All the previous UMNO proxies were not allowed to help finance BN after Mahathir stepped down. Mahathir left taking all the UMNO proxies with him. UMNO was left not only weak, it was also left poor, save for whatever was handed to Pak Lah.
The government now has Revenue Recovery Committee to recover lost government revenue, it is time that UMNO has one too.
As confidence in Malaysia continues to weaken helped by with no thanks to Mahathir and his hanger-ons who keep burning the party on the pretext of saving it, both UMNO and PAS now suffers from trust deficit and the likely winner in all this would be DAP and the Gerakan Harapan Baru.
And by Mahathir’s logic, only Najib should shoulder the blame when it is his loose talks that helped sink the ship.