It’s rather, should I say, “unfortunate” that Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi did not elaborate on his “exposé” that “some quarters” are making efforts to ensure he would lose his parliamentary constituency of Bagan Datuk in the next general election.
I tried to get him to provide details, but Zahid didn’t respond to my queries made via WhatsApp.
Pity as it would have helped shed light on who the “some quarters” are.
Zahid was quoted by national news agency Bernama as saying:”I got to know that there are some quarters aiming to defeat the BN here (Bagan Datuk ) in GE14.
“It can be likened to destroying an organization, where it has to start from the head, and the head they want to defeat is that of Bagan Datuk MP.”
Zahid was reported to have said that at a special meeting with BN leaders in Bagan Datuk, Perak.
Just who was he referring to? The opposition? But that’s a given because the opposition has always made their intention clear. They want to topple not only Zahid but the entire Barisan Nasional to govern the country. And they want to do it in the general elections.
So, if Zahid meant the opposition, then he had only succeeded in stating the obvious.
Hence political blogger Shabudin Husin is somewhat “baffled” that Zahid was making such an “exposé” as toppling each other between BN and the opposition is what elections are all about.
Said Shabudin, “Zahid has faced stiff opposition before. So why is he worried now? Could it be that the effort to topple him is not only from the opposition but a movement within Umno itself?”
A former Umno strategist involved in BN’s GE13 machinery had this to say: “I see this as the work of Umno people themselves. Someone want to cut him off.”
I recall sometime ago that a close associate of Zahid had told me that pro-Umno Media Prima Berhad, and in particular TV3, had then blacked out news coverage for Zahid as he was said to be “out of favor” of party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The three Umno vice president seats then were held by Zahid, Shafie Apdal and Hishammuddin Hussein. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was then the deputy president.
Muhyiddin would later be sacked following the foul-up with Najib over the 1MDB scandal and the RM2.6 billion in the PM’s personal bank accounts.
Shafie resigned from Umno after he was suspended by the party because of the same issues that got Muhyiddin the axe.
Top Media Prima editors I contacted then denied they were boycotting Zahid nor were they given instructions from “higher up” to black him out of news coverage.
Not too long after, Zahid was made deputy prime minister replacing Muhyiddin. Needless to say, TV3 and the entire Media Prima gave extensive coverage to him until this day, naturally.
Although Zahid is deputy PM, he remains Umno vice president but one who is carrying out the duties of deputy president.
He is not acting deputy president. In fact, Zahid had suggested in November last year that the Umno constitution be amended to make the post of acting president “official”.
But nothing came out of it despite Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Mansor saying there was nothing wrong in the suggestion and thus should not be misconstrued.
As such, Zahid will remain in the present situation until the next Umno election for him to be elevated to the number two party position.
That is assuming he is not challenged for the post. In the event of a challenge, Zahid will have staved it off should he cherish the post of deputy president whose duties he has shouldered all along.
Umno election was scheduled for last year but was postponed for 18 months. It is said that the decision was to “strengthen” BN ahead of GE14 which many believe will be held this year although the Najib administration’s mandate is until 2018.
As for Zahid’s “exposé”, it will set tongues wagging within Umno, if not already. Expect political theories, speculations and talk of grand design. Lots of it!