Back in September 1998, I asked a fellow ex-serviceman, a known Anwar Ibrahim supporter, of his direction when Anwar declared war on UMNO. His reply was simple but meaningful:
“You don’t burn your house down just because your family hates you. They are still family.”
When U-Turn Mahathir formed Pribumi, many expected UMNO members to dump the latter in throngs and join the former. That never happened.
Anwar’s facade in his war against Mahathir for the premier post was his “fight against nepotism and cronyism.”
Some “changes” did take place within post-Anwar UMNO. Mahathir’s son Mokhzani stepped down as the UMNO Youth’s treasurer while Mukhriz was not allowed to contest for the Youth Chief position.
As it goes in the Old Testament: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or a leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.”
The epitome of nepotism in Pribumi is the naming of Mukhriz as its Deputy President while Mahathir, who holds the Chair, is also the de facto leader, something he failed to become in the UMNO under Najib Razak.
The first hint of problems arising in the months-old party is when Mahathir is seen going around doing roadshows with most of the pro-tem committee members including Mukhriz who is the Deputy President, while Muhyiddin Yassin who is the President appears mostly alone.
Two months after the party’s formation, Khairuddin aka Mr Botox, known as Mahathir’s chow kow or running dog left the party to “concentrate on court cases.”
Five months later, both he and Mr Empty Boxes aka Ezam, headed a party called New Gen Party and changed its name to Parti Bebas Rasuah.
Several days ago, the President of the New Gen Party, Kumaar Aaman, and its Secretary-General Mohamad Zaini Jaafar, lodged a report to the police and Registrar of Societies claiming that Ezam had stolen his party.
Barely two months after the departure of Mr Botox, a scandal erupted in Pribumi. Internal rivalry saw the exposure of steamy WhatsApp conversations screen captures between Anina Saadudin and her supposed sex partner. The exposé was done by none other than her own assistant, Haiyan Uqba.
Anina, who is a Mahathir loyalist is rumoured to be at loggerheads with the Osman sisters from Perak. Whether or not they are involved in the scheme to oust Anina is yet to be proven.
Early last month, 500 members of the party from the Rembau division quit the party en masse. According to the PPBM Chief Activist for Negeri Sembilan, Mohd Anas Sudin, he and the 500 have lost their confidence in the party leadership.
Last week, the Gabungan Ketua Cawangan Malaysia (GKCM) decided to withdraw its support for the party’s leadership. The movement claims to have 5,000 supporters.
This was followed today by the resignation from all party posts as well as the leaving of the party by one of its founding members, Kamarulazman Habibur Rahman.
Kamarulazman said that the leadership of Pribumi has their head high in the clouds and are too fixated on becoming the PM.
“Those who worked really hard for the party are now being treated as second-class citizens,” he said.
He added that his departure from Pribumi is being followed by 821 members nationwide, mostly from Negeri Sembilan.
In a feeble attempt to hide the truth, Syed Saddiq attributed Kamarulazman’s departure to “threats” from the government as he is a teacher.
If this is so, are the 1,321 former members of Pribumi teachers too?
However, when expelled from UMNO in March 2016, Kamarulazman made mention that he does not fear losing his job as a teacher for supporting the Opposition.
It’s not a secret that hundreds of teachers support the Opposition yet they are still teaching. So what excuse can Syed Saddiq give now?
Perhaps, as pointed by blogger Anotherbrickinwall, Mahathir too would leave the divided new party.
I doubt any party would take him. DAP, the favourite choice, is filled with people opposed to the idea of working with Mahathir, let alone allowing him to join.
The same goes to PKR.
Perhaps it is time for Mahathir to leave the withering flower and consider retirement from politics and join the only party that would probably make him happy.