Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome to Mageran II.
In 1969 in lieu of the emergency rule post May 13 elections, the country was placed under the care of the National Operational Council or Majlis Gerakan Negara(Mageran). Parliament was suspended and all laws were those of the Council really.
The prime minister was not in charge of Mageran, the deputy prime minister. Tunku stayed as prime minister and Razak runs the council – effectively power.
For 21 months until the parliament was reconvened on Feb 22 1971 – all policy formulation and implementation occurred without judicial or legislative review or consent. What Razak wanted went. And many of the policies we live today have been extensions of those strong ultra-right views of a man inclined to socialism but driven by race.
In towards the end of Mageran rule – the simple Tunku realised he was not in power, not even in a distant way. So he resigned on Sept 22 1970.
That was 1969, and that changed the course of the country. Now we are in for a second go at the same approach – Mageran II.
Najib will run the treasury and fund every other ministry. The way that ministry has been structured in 1998 – after Anwar’s sacking – has been the prime minister running it. Therefore it has been 10 years of consolidating most of the country’s power to the minister. The creation of the second finance minister position is to let someone do the grunt work of the ministry, while the power bit of the ministry remains in the hands of the prime minister.
And Najib walks into a well defended and secure position.
The poisoned Umno chalice – the presidency. It is a national point of agreement that the position is weak. With enemies within and a weak grip of cabinet, any Umno president will be weak now.
It is a convenient lie, to think that if you replace Badawi you will have a stronger leader.
The rot within the party, and the clamour of people outside the party, is eroding its core. The ability of its leaders to buy loyalty is at a crisis point, since everyone in contention is playing the game. And the ability of the nation to stomach the shenanigans of the party, in amassing benefits and running over everyone has ended.
And since that is the engine of the party, where do you go?
Najib therefore gets to build his strength, while the prime minister holds the party until its near collapse – which is when a well-financially entrenched Najib will step in.
Then reform will be the request of party leaders, not him. I mean real reform of how the party operates – not the reform Muhyiddin or Ku Li are asking for.
Najib gets to run the country without having to take the flak for party’s weakness or the BN component parties discomfort with Umno.
He is now allowed to bide his time, to force Badawi out – on his own term. Just like Razak did to Tunku 38 years ago.