Friday, April 11, 2008

Umno chiefs fixated on resurgent Anwar

Umno chiefs fixated on resurgent Anwar
KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is still very much on the minds of Umno division leaders, even as they push for a leadership change within their own party.
When Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and members of the party’s management committee met Penang Umno division heads yesterday to obtain their feedback on the elections, they were given an analysis of what the defacto leader of Pakatan Rakyat planned to do next.
According to some division chiefs, Anwar will not push any of the PKR MPs aside and force a by-election. Instead, he will wait for the Barisan Nasional government to fall and then he will be appointed as a senator, and Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Whether this is Anwar’s plan is unclear but the fact that Umno members are spending their days and nights talking about various scenarios involving the former deputy prime minister shows how rattled they are by his resurgence in Malaysian politics.
The division chiefs say that the Umno leadership must take Anwar’s challenge seriously, believing the latter’s boast that he will be able to persuade 30 BN MPs to cross over to PR and cause the fall of the government.
There has been speculation that the Opposition MPs will propose a motion of no-confidence on the PM during the first sitting of Parliament. They will also ask that the motion be done through a secret ballot – to encourage disgruntled BN backbenchers to vote against Abdullah.
But in an interview with the Star, Anwar dismissed talk of a motion of no-confidence. He also said that his immediate task was to strengthen Pakatan Rakyat and make it a more durable alliance. Still, his mind games are having a great effect on Umno politicians, especially in his home state of Penang.
Division leaders in Penang say that they do not believe that an Umno led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi can take on the Anwar-led Opposition. Deep down, they are unsure who among their current crop of leaders has the smarts, charisma or stamina to match the former DPM.
All they know is that as long as Abdullah is the president of Umno, any attempt to move forward and protect the flank from attacks by the Opposition will be frustrated by in-fighting.
Among those who were vocal in calling for Abdullah’s immediate resignation were Datuk Ibrahim Saad, Datuk Shariff Omar, Datuk Omar Puadzar. Shariff has been gunning for Abdullah since he was asked by Abdullah to vacate his Tasek Gelugor seat for Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop. He gave up his seat after much persuasion and some threats by the PM.
In return, he told some of his friends that he expected to be rewarded with an appointment as a senator. -- themalaysianinsider

Anwar: No motion against PM
Parti Keadilan Rakyat Advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says the opposition will not be pushing for a motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister any time soon.

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