Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak thinks DAP lawmaker Liew Chin Tong’s reasons for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s supposed confidence in Umno and Barisan Nasional’s strength, indeed, have basis.
Salleh cited Liew who had, in his analysis of Najib’s position, said Najib was confident of staying in power because of his belief that the opposition was in a shambles.
Liew added that the prime minister’s confidence was also based on the cooperation between PAS and Umno and the improved economy through the expansion of exports as well as deals with China.
Based on these factors, Liew believes that Najib had planned to dissolve Parliament in September or October.
Salleh said the opposition is, indeed, in a shambles.
“Everyone knows how the opposition can’t even be on the same page in choosing the candidate for prime minister, what more in the seats to be contested by each party.
“(And) it’s true that ties between Umno and PAS are good. Ties were forged because we want to safeguard the country’s sovereignty from foreign interference,” Salleh said in a blog post today.
The minister added that Najib’s confidence in the economy was also reasonable. Trade between Malaysia and China totalled about RM433 billion last year and is expected to increase to RM694 billion this year, Salleh pointed out.
“With all these achievements, why can’t Liew sit still? Isn’t he grateful with the success the county has achieved?”
However, apart from the reasons of Najib’s purported confidence, Salleh said Liew’s analysis was full of assumptions.
On Liew’s claim that Najib had planned to dissolve Parliament in September or October, Salleh said this was an assumption as no one knows when Najib would advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to do so.
“Umno and BN are focusing on developing the economy to ensure the rakyat’s welfare. The opposition, on the other hand, is daydreaming every day, waiting for the Dewan to be dissolved,” said Salleh.
He also rubbished Liew’s claim that Najib had planned to drop several menteris besar and chief ministers in the coming general election.
“If Liew’s claim is true, almost all menteris besar will be affected – they will either be replaced or moved to the federal government.
“Liew wanted to show how Najib no longer trusts his MBs. He wanted to show that Najib is weak when, in fact, Najib is getting support from Umno leaders, civil servants and the rakyat.”
On Liew’s claim that Najib had also attempted to sideline Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and Umno veteran Annuar Musa, Salleh pointed out how Liew had merely quoted unverified sources besides also making his own assumptions.
“The reality is that Najib’s relationships with his deputy as well as other Umno leaders are close. Both Tengku Adnan and Annuar continue to fulfil their responsibilities.
“Umno has no problems. The one that has a problem, as admitted by Liew himself, is the opposition.”
As such, Salleh believes that Liew’s analysis had only backfired on him.
Liew, in his analysis, also claimed that Najib was in a weakened state despite initial proclamations that he was “unsinkable”.
“Najib’s strategic overreach in the first half of 2017 backfired and alienated Umno bigwigs who propped him up in the previous occasions,” Liew said.