By MIKE ABU SAYAP
Some Umno Leaders or delegates Peninsular Malaysia may have known the tips to that quiz, but Sabah UMNO leaders and delegates have been keeping this open secret since a year ago just after the 12th General Election held on March 8th 2008, whereby BN had been successful and still managed to retain its Power to continue governing the Country despite losing Four State namely Pulau Pinang, Kedah, Selangor, Perak and failed to capture Kelantan.
By straightforward analysis, BN which comprised UMNO as the backbone party along with its other component members MCA, MIC, Gerakan and PPP had performed very badly during the poll. The message is obvious the Voters Trust and Confidence with the BN Administration in Peninsular Malaysia had begun to erode.
However, BN was save by the bell with a simple Majority that came mostly from Sabah “The Land Below The Wind” AND Sarawak “The Land of The Horn Bills” thus blessing the National Front with the legal criteria to continue ruling the Country despite losing its Two Third Majority secured during the 2004 General Election. The paradox is Sabah Umno had contributes significantly and instrumental toward attaining the BN success and victory in the recent General Election.
Then countdown for the UMNO General has started since a week ago, a number of speculation have made nationwide by both party members, political observers and public from all walk of life etc with the eagerness &, curiousity the common quiz “Guess Who?”
The Post of UMNO president will definitely go to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the Deputy Party
President, when Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi made a public announcement recently that he would no be defending or seek reelection for the top party post. As UMNO is the backbone of the National Front Coalition government, the person who took over the duty and responsibility as the Party President be it through the process of Party General Assembly of official Transfer of power, will automatically become the next Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Judging from this political party tradition, there will be no futher doubts the Datuk Seri Najib will definitely be the UMNO next President and Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Eyes are now focused on the toughest competitions senior, junior, old and young candidates who had attained the minimum quota and qualified to contest in the party General Assembly to fill the slots in the rank and file of UMNO party positions, which comprise Deputy President (One Position) Vice – president (3 Position), supreme council members (22 Positions) Wanita Chief (1 post), Pemuda Chief (1 post) etc.
Retrospectively, Sabah UMNO Leaders, Delegates and supporters etc had been instrumental in determining the political strenght (the rise and fall of several UMNO Senior politicians from Peninsular during such assembly. As an example, it is still fresh in the mind of many living Sabahan including political observers in the Country that the late Tun Ghaffar Baba was oppointed as The Sabah UMNO Liaison Chief by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohd, the then UMNO President during UMNO Maiden Journey to spread its wings into Sabah in early 1990.
In the 1993 UMNO General Assembly, the late Tun Gabar Baba obtained only one nomination from Kota Marudu Sabah held by the late Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun, The Deputy Sabah UMNO Liaison Chief, to contest for the post of the Deputy UMNO President. This clearly showed that Sabahan could determine the fate of senior UMNO leader them in the state e.g even those holding DPM post and Deputy President of the party as well the State UMNO Liaison Chief would not be spared from such action.
UMNO Delegates from “The Land Below The Wind” made a reversed turn and made “The Wind of Change” by rendering their solid and undivided support to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who received 19 out of 20 Nominations from the state Divisional Heads for the Deputy President post and majority of Peninsular UMNO Delegate follow suit, trust marking the era of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim rising to political stardom and icon in the country. Therefore, the Sabah Factor showed it has the determining power in the party General Assembly.
It is WORTH REMEMBERING and to bear in mind that Datuk Seri Anwar would never become The Deputy President of UMNO neither the Deputy PM of Malaysia without the full solid and moral support of Sabah UMNO!, this is a written fact in the political history of the Nation. The irony is Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had forgotten what Sabah UMNO had done to him and his number of promises to Sabah leader had NEVER been fulfilled.
Consequently, we could not rule out the possibilty that the current number of Sabah UMNO Delegates will be deciding the fates of contesting candidates in this coming General Assembly to be held at PWTC next week.
The question now is : Who are among the party candidates that should be given the support to fill up the slot in the Rank and File the party? Why should they be chosen to lead the party and the nation?
The post of UMNO President has been confirmed handed over to Datuk Seri Najib without a contest, while the Deputy post is up for between the duo both are senior party leaders Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the present Minister of International Trades & Industry and Tan Sri Mahmud Bin Mohd Taib, who hold the Federal post of Rural Development Minister, after the third candidate Datuk Seri Ali Rustam was disqualified from taking part in the contest by the UMNO Disciplinary Committee for being involved in money politics.
Punters and well wishers speculated in this straight fight contest for the Deputy President post, there is high possibility that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin could emerge as the winner in view of his seniority and clean track record in politics that really goes in conformity with the government adage “leadership by example”.
Muhyiddin is a respected and trusworthy leader and had never been charged in the Court of Law for breaching public law and order unlike his opponent. With age comes Wisdom, These are the qualities of leadership being sought for Deputy President Post Sabah UMNO Delegates will certainly throw their full support and votes to get this kind of personality at the helm of party hierarchy organizational chart.
In the three Vice-President Post, the potential candidates are Datuk Dr Zahid Hamidi The Prime Minister Department; Datuk Rais Yatim, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Datuk Shafie Afdal, Minister of Unity, Culture, Art and Heritage.
Why should these UMNO leaders be chosen to fill up the available slots? Let us highlight the relevant points worthy of consideration. Firstly, the candidate, Datuk Dr.Zahid Hamidi was the former UMNO Youth Chief, apart from being a religious man he has also known for his sense of transparency. He is outgoing and treads his party support fairly.
Secondly, the candidate Datuk Rais Yatim, a Law Graduate who held the post of the Nation’s Minister of Low during Mahathir Administration. He had held several other important ministerial position in the government before being appointed to the current position as The Minister of Foreign Affairs he is a leader with the charisma and speaks well to convince his followers.