Portal berita Malaysia Today, 11 Jun 2008, menyiarkan satu laporan Business Times Singapura yang menyatakan cadangan Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi untuk terus jadi Perdana Menteri dan Presiden UMNO sehingga 2010 sebagai “could be overly ambitious” atau satu cita-cita yang keterlaluan.

Berita berkenaan amat menarik. Laporan sepenuhnya adalah seperti berikut:

Devising a face-saving exit for Abdullah

Going by the consensus emanating from last week’s retreat of leaders of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (Umno) – or at least going by what wasn’t said – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s plans to stay in power until 2010 could be overly ambitious.

According to Umno insiders, the meeting comprising most members of the party’s supreme council, its highest policymaking body, discussed the leadership issue and the need for a smooth transition of power between Abdullah and Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his deputy in both government and the party.

However, the insiders said that almost no one came out in strong defence of Abdullah or indicated that he could complete his full term as leader.

Instead, the insiders claimed that the consensus seemed to be that Abdullah should be allowed to defend his presidency in December’s party polls, after which he should leave with his dignity intact perhaps between March and June next year. Najib indicated to the members, apparently, that the final transition date would be worked out between the prime minister and himself.

If Umno’s top leadership is any guide to the wishes of the party faithful, the decision by them last week could put paid to the dreams of Trade Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin of making a speedy grab for the position of Umno’s deputy president. It will also disappoint former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who has made no secret of the fact that he wants Abdullah out – yesterday, if possible.

Even so, it isn’t clear if the party’s top leadership does represent the will of the masses, who are said to be very restive following Umno’s mauling in the March general election. Indeed, some Umno officials said that unless Abdullah made his transition plans very clear before October, he might not qualify to stand for election – anyone wanting to be president of Umno has to get nominations from at least 58 divisions.

Ironically, the officials also said that Najib would prefer to wait for Abdullah to hand over the reins after the December polls. The reason: he would then have three freshly elected vice-presidents to choose from for his deputy.

If, on the other hand, he takes over before December, he would be saddled with Muhyiddin. Among the current three, one (former Negri Sembilan chief minister Isa Samad) was suspended for “money politics” in 2006, while the other (Malacca chief minister Mohamad Ali Rustam) really isn’t considered leadership material.

On another level, the party has to contend with a new phenomenon arising from claims by certain quarters – Dr Mahathir, for one – that Malay dominance (Umno’s so-called raison d’etre) is under threat because of the party’s dismal showing in the general election.

Ordinarily, such a fundamental threat would have tremendous resonance with Malay voters, but political analysts have pointed out that the recent food (and now fuel) price hikes have taken precedence over parochial concepts like race. “It will be difficult to whip up sentiment over Malay dominance when people are worried about prices,” conceded one party official. — Singapore BT

Berita di atas disiarkan di Singapura – negara jiran yang banyak mengaut faedah daripada keperdana-menterian Abdullah. Jadi, mengapakah berita tersebut tersiar di Singapura? Adakah negara itu sudah meramalkan bahawa Abdullah mungkin tamat kekuasaannya dalam tempoh terdekat ini?

Apa pendapat anda? Mungkinkah Abdullah terus berkuasa sehingga 2010? Mungkinkah beliau akan digegarkan oleh desakan akar umbi UMNO supaya mengosongkan kerusi Perdana Menteri dan Presiden UMNO dengan seberapa segera, selewat-lewatnya akhir Jun 2008 ini?


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