Friday, October 30, 2009

Going for broke

Today we will find out if the Youth wing of the Chinese party will take the lead and show the way to get rid of the president.
We shall see if the rebellious youths will support its leader who has marched along with 15 other central committee members to call for an EGM to decide whether to hold fresh elections.
If the youths are all behind the move for fresh elections, then the Wanita wing are likely to march with them.
Thus the president will fight a battle with his new deputy, one vice-president, the Youth and Wanita heads and lots of angry youths and women.
Strangely, two other vice-presidents have slyly stayed at the sidelines - they are probably watching the situation to see which way the wind blows.
The former deputy is also keeping rather quiet. What his next move will be is not known, but the Home Affairs Minister has already said the ex-deputy could appeal to him whether or not to be reinstated as the deputy which suggests that the authorities could indeed reinstate the former deputy to his post which will result in the new deputy, who was "promoted" during the last central committee meeting, being demoted.
That could explain why the new deputy has moved quickly to declare a new front of war despite the so-called greater unity plan. He is going for broke because if the president and reinstated deputy still control the party, he and his band of "traitors" will be"beheaded".
Whichever way the wind blows, heads will roll anyway - wars are always bloody.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

May the (3rd) force be with you

The peace pact has been breached much sooner than most people had expected.
Today, the so-called "third force" in the Chinese party emerged from the shadows - well, they had to because everybody including the president and former deputy knew who they were anyway - and held a press conference to say that nobody knew what the so-called greater unity plan entailed.
The new deputy president said he was only informed by the president that there was a unity plan, but no details were given to him or the central committee.
Previously the party was split into two - the president's faction versus the former deputy's gang of loyalists.
Now, a segment of the president's faction including the new deputy, the youth and wanita heads has stepped out into the spotlight to reveal that there is now a third faction in the party.
The aim of the third faction, said to be masterminded by another former deputy president and a few ex-presidents, is to get rid of the president and the former deputy (ok, I know it's getting confusing) so that the present deputy can take over the seat of power.
The third force is not without their supporters, but just how strong they are nobody knows for sure.
The president has claimed that he and the former deputy control just under 50 per cent of the central delegates with a small swing group numbering about 50-60.
If they think that the third force comprises only 50-60 delegates, they are likely to be wrong.
The third force is stronger than that and they seem to have the Chinese community at large behind them since everyone is tired about the so-called possibilities and impossibilities in politics.
The Chinese community are sick and tired of all this infighting - they want their problems to be solved.
Already, many Chinese voters have sided with PKR, DAP and - rather shockingly - even with PAS.
A Chinese party split three ways will not be able to represent them or even get their votes.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Everlasting peace?

There is peace in MCA, at least that is the image that the leaders want to project.
Observers have interpreted the shocking peace move as a brilliant strategy by the president to outfox, outwit and outplay his rivals in the form of the new deputy president and his bunch of fans who used to support the president.
While the deputy president, who was elevated to that position during the last central committee meeting, will remain as deputy, it is not known whether his "promotion" will be permanent.
Apparently several central committee members had met not very secretly before the vital meeting when they demanded that the president should resign.
During that not-so-secret meeting, one youthful male leader and a female leader had been very vociferous in their criticism of the president and had been very demanding. Their supporters also had their say about what they thought of the president.
Unbeknownst to them, someone had slyly made a call to the president and left his handphone on all the time during the meeting. Thus the president "attended" the meeting and knew who were stabbing him in his back - they were mostly "friends" who revealed their true colours when the chips were down.
Thus the president expressed his sadness at being betrayed by his "friends" and he prevented them from accomplishing what they had wanted to do by refusing to step down and instead calling for another EGM to vote on whether or not to hold fresh party elections.
His enemies had apparently planned to promote a vice-president to the deputy presidency and if he had resigned, the new deputy would have moved up to become the "acting" president.
Thus observers said the president quickly held negotiations with the former deputy - apparently with much nudging from the Barisan Nasional chairman - to stymie the ascent of the new deputy.
Peace reigns in the party - for now.
Many observers are keeping taps on the situation and have adopted a wait-and-see stance.
There are many more obstacles to be overcome - what will happen to the new deputy? What will happen to the former deputy who feels that since he has been reinstated as a member he has been automatically reinstated as deputy too?
What will happen to the youthful male leader and the outspoken female leader who have used up all their aces? They have apparently gone overseas, possibly to ponder on what they should do next.
Can the events of the past few weeks be simply erased from the collective memory of the central delegates, the Chinese voters and all other Malaysians?
Can everybody pretend that nothing happened at all and return to square one?
Will all that name-calling, back-stabbing and political assassination result in everyone forgiving each other and bearing no grudges?
We shall see how long this peace will last.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A big mess

It is getting very messy. The president is now fighting two deputy presidents - one was a vice-president who was elevated to the deputy presidency by the party's central committee while the other was the deputy who was sacked, then suspended and then reinstated as a member and is now seeking clarification from the Registrar of Societies on whether he is still the deputy president.
The majority of the central committee members seem to have revolted against the president who is still insisting on calling for another EGM to press for fresh party polls.
The president is also playing the role of the betrayed leader and has pointed accusing fingers at his former comrades, especially the vice-president who is now the deputy, for stabbing him in the back.
The legal bureau chief was also sacked even as websites and now mainstream newspapers started reporting allegations about the new deputy president's wife getting an expensive vehicle as a birthday present from a company that has won contracts from the new deputy president's ministry.
Not only is it getting messy, it is getting dirty too.
More dirt is expected to be dug up and thrown around.
The president seems to be digging in for a war of attrition which may prolong his reign, but the damage will be great. He also seems to be resorting to the scorched earth strategy and is aiming to slash and burn any foe or ex-comrade who stands in his way.
While the party is burning, the Chinese community are watching the bonfire somewhat nonchalantly - they have seen it all before.
The party has a history of embarking on long and taxing leadership battles which sap the energy and resources of the combatants and the attention span of the people.
After being bandaged and black-eyed, the Chinese politicians will invariably end up listening to the advice (or threats) of Malay politicians and declare a truce.
After a period of peace during which the politicians will work towards reconciliation and rejuvenation, they will start fighting again.
Such is the lot of the Malaysian Chinese community and its leaders. Now we know where script writers of successful Chinese TV serials get their inspiration from.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Clinging on to power

And the drama continues...
Today was supposed to be the end of the great Chinese saga; instead it is the start of a new episode.
The party has become even more segmented. The president had apparently unveiled a daring plan involving newspaper advertisements and demonstrations by groups of supporters to cling on to power and has succeeded for the time being.
He did not resign even though he lost the vote of no-confidence by a small margin. Constitutionally it would need two-thirds of the delegates to vote him out - therefore he is constitutionally correct to cling on to power.
He had called for fresh party elections but the central committee did not agree with him because it was felt that the party needed stabilisation. It is also likely that the central committee did not want fresh elections as it could result in many of the members losing.
New polls would enable the president and the former deputy to fight for the top post again albeit in a democratic way.
Ironically, the former deputy president is backing the president on this move. He knows that it would be the only way left to salvage his political career.
However, to make matters even more confusing, the central committee has elevated a vice-president to fill the deputy presidency.
So now the former deputy is officially shut out - that's why he wants fresh elections.
And in a final strike, the president has called for another EGM for the delegates to decide whether it is feasible to hold fresh party elections.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Last stand

On Thursday we will know who the leader of the party that represents the Chinese community will be.
Already observers are saying that there are three possible conclusions - the president (who does not enjoy the confidence of the delegates) decides to go back on his promise to quit and hangs on to power by arguing that he can only be removed by two-thirds of the delegates; one of the two male vice-presidents will take over; or fresh elections will be called.
The former deputy president is pushing for fresh elections simply because he has the chance to stand for presidency and try one more time to grab the top seat of power.
The two vice-presidents are pushing for either one of them helming the party.
What the president wants will only be known on Thursday. But so many people have told him to go that surely he must have gotten the hint.
However, the president is not known to be a person who would just give up without a fight.
We will have to wait and see what his last stand will be...
Calls for him to stay and the sudden emergence of a website praising him as a great leader and all that suggests that he just might decide to hang on to power for a little longer.
Let's hope that it will be a mature decision because Barisan Nasional simply cannot afford to have a major component party imploding especially when another major component party, the MIC, is being led to oblivion by a stubborn leader.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Return of the ex-MB

As expected, former Mentri Besar of Negri Sembilan Tan Sri Mohamed Isa Samad was elected the Bagan Pinang assemblyman yesterday.

His victory was more or less a foregone conclusion as he was extremely popular in the constituency and also the state. In fact there were some banners that stated that the Umno boys in the area would boycott the by-election if Mohamed Isa had not been picked as the candidate. Such was his popularity that the leaders of Umno had little choice but accede to the demands of the grassroots despite his colourful past.

Though much has been said about his "crime" that caused his downfall, not much has been reported in the run-up to the by-election about the circumstances leading to his removal as Mentri Besar. It is an open secret that Mohamed Isa was a victim of machinations involving a certain impatient young man who had wanted to use Negri Sembilan as his power-base from which he could launch his career in politics and aim for the high posts of power.

That impatient young man, with the green light of his father-in-law, backed Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan to take over as Mentri Besar. As fate would have it, things have changed drastically - the impatient young man has been forced to become more patient as he operates without any position of power, the patriarch of his extended family has been swept out of office and the ex-Mentri Besar is now back in favour.

Therefore, we can expect fireworks in Negri Sembilan soon. Supporters of the ex-MB are likely to call for his reinstatement as MB and the present MB is expected to dismiss the move...

Everyone knows this will take place as reporters have already asked Mohd Isa Samad if he was eyeing an important role in the state government.

He reportedly said: “I have never thought about it.”

Perhaps he hasn't, but his supporters surely must have.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The end is near: Part 2

The end is so near, yet so far.

The EGM is over, but it looks like we will have to wait till Thursday to watch the final chapter of the great Chinese saga.

Today was a really eventful day as one dramatic moment followed another. First the Press were not allowed to attend the EGM, then they were told of a recount which meant the difference was only 1 per cent.

Finally in the afternoon it was formally announced that the party president had lost the vote of no confidence by 14 votes while at the same time the deputy president was not reinstated. That was the kind of result that the so-called "third force" in the party had wanted.

Later, the secretary-general announced that the Central Committee will meet on Thursday to discuss the outcome of the EGM.

Suddenly there is talk there would be some legal tangle as the party's constitution says a president can only be kicked out by two-thirds of the delegates and not by a simple majority.

But the president had told the whole world that he would leave if he lost by a simple majority. We will have to wait till Thursday to find out if the president will keep his word.

There is also talk that the president, who now no longer enjoys the confidence of the majority of the delegates, may pull the presidential council down with him as he had already announced that the decision to sack the deputy was a collective decision.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The end is near

The party's EGM is coming soon, but all seems strangely quiet in every front.
But beneath the outward calm, big battles are being fought with lots of phone calls, SMSes, late-night chats, gifts in the form of moon cakes with other "things" stashed in the box, and plenty of promises made.
There is also talk of a third force in the party whose aim is to get rid of the president and his suspended deputy, appoint one of the vice-presidents as acting president and continue with the job of running the party and winning back Chinese support.
Observers say there are three possible conclusions to this saga - the president goes and the deputy takes over, the president stays and the deputy goes or both of them go.
If the third scenario unfolds, only two vice-presidents are in the running to take over and both are guys. It has nothing to do with gender discrimination - it's just that nobody is sure who the female vice-president is loyal to.
One of the vice-presidents is said to be favoured by Umno while the Youth leader is also said to be in the good books of the Malay leadership.
Supporters of the president are still maintaining that they have a 55% chance of winning.
Well, in a few days' time we will all know whether they are right...