04 February 2016
The ouster of Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir as Kedah chief minister is the latest blow to the floundering efforts, spearheaded by his father Mahathir Mohamad, to topple Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The Kedah Umno rebellion against the son of Malaysia’s longest-serving leader is widely seen as a proxy battle between the Premier and his predecessor.
Not only has Mr Mukhriz been removed, but he will also be replaced today by Datuk Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah – a Najib loyalist despised by detractors for not completing secondary school – who led Kedah Umno leaders against Mr Mukhriz.
While Datuk Seri Najib’s shake-up of his own party is creating disquiet outside of its leadership circles, within Umno’s inner cabal, it is Tun Dr Mahathir’s influence that has waned to insignificance.
… “The Mahathir fear factor no longer exists in Umno, even in his home state,” The Malaysian Insider wrote in an editorial of the man who himself withstood several challenges during his 22 years in power until 2003.
“He has become totally irrelevant against the exhibited power of incumbency,” S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) fellow Oh Ei Sun told The Straits Times.
… “People do care about the allegations against Najib, but if Mahathir can’t do anything, what can others do? Impotence leads to resignation in a lot of people’s minds,” said Dr Oh from RSIS.
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 04/02/2016