It is certainly interesting to watch the public calls for no contest to Umno’s top two posts – President and Deputy President. Tun Mahathir made the most bewildering comment where he supported no contest for these two posts. But it was his reasoning that was bewildering.
“Going by the democratic practice, we should have contests but Malaysians do not really understand the practice. If they lose, they will quit the party and set up another, causing the Malays and Umno to split further.
“In this connection, I support contests, but not for the two top posts of president and deputy president.” (read here).
When Tun M referred to “Malaysians do not really understand the practice”, he really meant the Umno Malays since the context of his comments was on Umno election, not on the Malaysia General Election. His description of the following statement about quitting the party is probably the allusion to Tengku Razaleigh during the 1987 Umno election but it is not accurate as he did not quit the party because of losing. It was Umno which was deregistered and subsequently to that, Tun M registered Umno Baru and removed all of Razaleigh’s supports from the Cabinet, thus forcing him to form Semangat 46 in 1988 after an earlier rejection of the name Umno 46. It was Tun M’s vindictive actions to penalize Razaleigh and his supporters that caused the split. The then Umno President took immediate actions to prevent a repeat of a close contest to his top post.
This is probably a case of selective memory to build a supporting reason for Tun M’s comments to support a no contest for the top two Umno posts. Quite typical of Tun M’s style for speaking off the cuff and justifying what he says based on his own version of events.
PM Najib touted that Malaysia had the “best democracy” in the world. That is really a joke looking at now with the mooting of no contest for his Umno post. How is it that Malaysians can accept democracy in the country but Umno as a party cannot? Why is it that Najib can seek a mandate with Malaysians but cannot do the same within his own party?