Isnin, 17 Jun 2013

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A hung parliament - can it happen here?

Posted: 16 Jun 2013 12:06 PM PDT

Attacks on the election process and dissatisfaction among some BN MPs have opened up a new front and suddenly the hung parliament may become a reality

Mohsin Abdullah, 

SOURCES close to veteran politician Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah want to make one thing clear with regards to a series of meetings between the Kelantan prince and several BN members of parliament recently.
And that is "it was the MPs that came to see Ku Li (as Tengku Razaleigh is fondly known) and not Ku Li who called for the meetings".
Regardless, said a political source, the meetings have revived talk of a hung parliament taking shape.
The possibility of a hung parliament surfaced long before GE 13 as many in the political fraternity had then forecast the polls to be very keenly contested and as such, getting a clear cut winner would be extremely difficult.
And according to the source, the name of the Kelantan prince cropped up. "Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was mentioned as a key player in a hung parliament," said the source.
But close and hotly contested that it was, GE13 somehow produced an "outright winner". The hung parliament did not happen.
"Parliament is obviously in BN control so Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah should have slid to oblivion," said the political source. "But", he went on to say "the continued attacks on the election process and dissatisfaction among some BN MPs have opened up a new front and suddenly the hung parliament may become a reality, albeit belated."
As we now know, the "disgruntled" BN MPs came to see Tengku Razaleigh with the "aim of making him PM". How? Or what should Ku Li himself do to be PM of Malaysia?
Tengku Razaleigh has been silent on the meetings thus far. His aides didn't respond to queries made by yours truly. Yet to political analysts and observers, there are several "options" for him to consider.
One is to go the Umno way. That is to contest the presidency now that being nominated as candidate is "much easier" following Umno's election reforms already put in place by the leadership. Win the Umno presidency, and he will "win" the premiership. To put it simply.
Whilst it's true some (or perhaps many) of the disgruntled MPs might not be able to vote by virtue of not being Umno members, the fact Tengku Razaleigh  has got them on his side is weighty enough to garner votes.
Chances of Datuk Seri Najib Razak being challenged for the top post cannot be dismissed and this even Najib has admitted. The voting system this time would be different from previous Umno polls.
According to a source, the new voting system would be something like this. Umno branches will hold their AGM first where they will pick three representatives to be delegates at the division AGM. The number of branches in a division varies. Some divisions have 300 braches while others can have up to 800.
The division AGM will, apart from electing its own office bearers, propose names for the party supreme council positions, including the presidency and deputy presidency.
The delegates at the division will then vote and the winner or winners will be nominated by the division. The overall winner would be the one with the most number of nominations obtained from Umno's 191 divisions nationwide.
This time delegates to the annual Umno general assembly (some 2,000 of them) will not be voting at the assembly as they had voted earlier at their respective divisions. This is what Umno meant when it said this time the voting involves at least 140,000 members. However this "new system" as revealed by the political source cannot be verified by officials at Umno headquarters as of now.
Nonetheless, like many election systems, this one will "favour" the incumbents. Which is to say incumbents have the advantage. And a seasoned politician like Tengku Razaleigh knows this all too well.
Anyway, many feel Tengku  Razaleigh can or will "incur the wrath" of Umno, at least a good number of party faithful, should he mount a challenge against Najib.
Meanwhile, there are political observers who question if Ku Li still has enough support, if at all, among present day Umno members.

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Can There Be A National Unity Government In Malaysia? – Analysis

Posted: 16 Jun 2013 11:52 AM PDT 

With the perceived weakening of Najib Razak's position of tenure as Malaysian Prime Minister, there is deep speculation within the country about moves afoot to form a national unity government.

Murray Hunter, Eurasia Review 

Since the Barisan National's re-election on May 5, there has been a distinct shift in stance towards 'Ketuanan Melayu' or Malay privilege, at the cost of 1Malaysia inclusive philosophy. There is now little talk about the Government Transformation Program, and after a relaxed stance towards rallies by the opposition, authorities are now taking stern action towards Anwar Ibrahim's 505 movement with mass arrests of demonstrators over the weekend. Even Najib's calls to make UMNO more inclusive has aggravated many within his party.

According to political pundits, Najib Razak is still prime minister, only because there is currently no other creditable and popular figure who could take the mantle of leadership away from him.

If we go back to pre-May 5 feeling in the community, there was great anticipation that an era of change was about to sweep the country. There was excitement on the streets with an almost carnival atmosphere. But the result on election night disappointed so many people, where denial and claims of massive cheating showed that many refused to accept the result. This has left the country just as divided as it was before the election. Nothing was settled and politicking rather than governance is dominating the national narrative. Anwar Ibrahim is pushing the Government into a corner with his national 505 tour disputing the election result which seems to be directly challenging Najib to take action against him.

Today's political situation is of concern to many of Malaysia's top echelon of businesspeople, politicians, civil servants, and even members of the Royal Families. There is a strong feeling amongst the country's elite that Malaysia needs good governance rather than politicking. Many are very sympathetic to the concept of a national unity government, as a solution to this impasse, as it appears any election will not bring a harmonious result the nation requires. The idea of a national unity government is not without any precedent, as PAS was once a member of the BN back in the early 1970s.

Some feel that although the BN won through the first-past-the-post electoral system, the Pakatan Rakyat's higher popular vote justifies the opposition having some say in government. For these people, a unity government would restore moderate policies and narrative, and keep 'ultra-ism' in check. Some within UMNO, see the possibility of a national unity government as a means to maintain UMNO's long term survival, as the party to many Malays is an icon of political history and development. UMNO's participation in a national unity government would act as pressure for internal reform, something many members want.

From Anwar Ibrahim's PKR party, there are many, particularly those ex-UMNO members that see the party's participation in a national unity government would give it the legitimacy it needs to survive in the long term past the persona of Anwar Ibrahim. They want PKR to stand on its own two feet without the 'Anwar personality cult'.

PAS has been reluctantly romanced by UMNO many times over the years, but the party may favorably consider the concept of a national unity government under certain conditions. Many just feel that it's time to stop talking about race and religion, and address the real needs of the country.

If one looked through the blogs and even the mainstream media over the weekend, so many different scenarios and numbers have been canvassed. Two speculative scenarios exist. One involving Premier Najib himself and the other with a move by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah or Ku Li as he is known.

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