Finally Pak Lah Says It

Today, Pak Lah finally said it.  He will not defend his Umno President post come next March.  The MalaysianInsider reported (read full article here)

“I will not stand for the presidency of Umno in the coming elections. My current term as Umno president ends in March next year,” he told reporters after the meeting.

He finally decides that he will step down as the Umno President after he got no feedback from the BN Supreme Council.  He had originally wanted to stay on longer but after he was “adviced strongly” by many members of the Umno Supreme Council, he was forced to agree to scale back his time until next March.  To “facilitate the transition”, Pak Lah agreed to make peace for Umno over his desire to stay.

Although he had many strong supporters who urged him to defend his Umno President post, he probably made his final decision to quit when he saw no interest by the BN Supreme Council to even hint to him to stay.  That probably was the last straw where he could have harbored hopes that his BN peers would at least have attempted to persuade him to stay.  There was not a tweet of hope, not even false pretentious attempts to kiss his feet.  Not the defining moment and certainly a disappointment with the truth of what they thought exuded in the silence.

During the Hari Raya holidays, Pak Lah must have had numerous meetings in between the feasts.  Although Pak Lah may have said things to this effect during their Supreme Council meetings especially the last one to make peace and buy time, most people weren’t quiet convinced that Pak Lah would stay on that track.  There was news that he was weighing back and forth, to decide to go ahead to defend his post or to give up to the pressure in hope that Umno can consolidate back into one team.

Another interesting point to note from Pak Lah’s statements.

“I say hope because he is standing for election as president of Umno first. I believe he can win,” he said, adding that the hand-over of the premiership would be discussed after Najib was elected as his successor by Umno.

According to Abdullah, the supreme council had accepted Najib as the designated successor.

Najib being the designated successor of Pak Lah does not automatically mean Najib will be President.  The party democratic process requires Najib to first gain at least 58 nominations from the Umno divisions and then get elected as the President.

Pak Lah knows Razaleigh will put his interest into running for the Umno President post against Najib.  From here on, Pak Lah hands off and watches.  The presidency fight may see more than Najib and Razaleigh.  The division nominations may see some surprises for Najib.

For now, the guessing is over regarding Pak Lah’s position.  The speculation will be trained on Najib if he can get the 58 divisional votes and if he can win hands down without a contest.  We shall see.

As Pak Lah knows, in any election especially the political ones, there is no definiteness. Look at the March General Elections which took BN by surprise.  Now Najib will have to pull off all stops to ensure his position.  The issues that cloud him must first dissipate before the March elections.  Otherwise, anything can happen.  Then there is the rumor about a dark horse… hmm!

Next change! Umno division nominations for the next 30 days.

And oh, Parliament resumes next week too.  But Gerakan elections come first this week.  October is just starting to heat up.  Next move, Anwar?

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