Their mutual concern is that Najib has “turned rogue” and become a danger to Umno come the 14th General Election in 2018.
His poor management of the economy, involvement in numerous scandals, refusal to explain them, and a lavish lifestyle in a nation where wages have remained stagnant for decades are other issues which have the two old warhorses worried.
Their marriage of convenience, for want of a better term, appears to have come at the right time after Mahathir failed to oust Najib on his own despite trying for over a year. The portal reckons that Najib is losing his grip on Umno at the grassroots level.
“He still has the loyalty of a large number of the 191 divisional cadres, mostly through vast payments that provide them with electoral resources and jobs between elections, but the grassroots are another matter.”
The portal does not spell out the specifics of how the aging duo plan to oust Najib from office.
They agree however, that Parliament Speaker Pandikar Amin Haji Mulia would be a stumbling block if a confidence motioned is introduced in the August House to move for the Prime Minister’s departure through constitutional means.
As far as numbers go, said the portal, the 89 Opposition seats may be behind the duo in a no-confidence move in Parliament. “The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) has 133 seats, but Umno holds only 88 of them.”
Mahathir and Razaleigh fell out in 1986 when the economy went into deep recession and the former was blamed for pushing a Malay Economic Agenda to the limits. Their relationship worsened when Deputy Prime Minister Musa Hitam quit and joined forces with Razaleigh to oust Mahathir.
In the 1987 Umno Presidential election, Mahathir beat Razaleigh by 43 votes. A Court later ruled that some of Mahathir’s votes had come from 33 illegal branches and ruled the party unlawful instead of discounting the invalid votes and handing the party presidency to Razaleigh. He then became known as the Best Prime Minister that Malaysia never had.