A friend tried to alert me as I was driving back from the East Coast that Tun Dr Mahathir or 'Che Det' the blogger has quit Umno! As I could only call my friend back proper a couple of hours later, I'm a little off the pace, but some early observations can already be made based on the e-mails, comments, blog-postings and smses flying around.
The most immediate material impact to Che Det's resignation would be the departure of many of his stalwarts or those similarly disgusted at the continuing nonsense that passes for 'running the country' under Pak Lah and the 4th floor. And yes, my Ayah's gone and resigned too... the day before actually...!
There are some interesting things that may develop though now that Che Det has launched this surprise move. Among them:
- Che Det has provided a formula for UMNO MPs to leave the BN side of the Parliament and still stay loyal to the party - by resigning their party posts but crossing over as independents! This would be a far more doable and dangerous threat to Pak lah's government than Anwar's cross-over threat ever was (since not many people believe Anwar would be credible as a PM anyway!).
- Pak Lah's denials of an on-going rift with Che Det, especially effective in the rural areas where the government controlled media still holds sway, are now clearly empty words to all. What spin can be done to mitigate this act, one cannot know, but by tomorrow, via the sms network, it would be clear to the majority of Malaysians that as far as Che Det was concerned, Pak Lah has ripped UMNO far from its roots; and as one of UMNO's surviving founders, Che Det would know!
- With the first UMNO Branch or Cawangan meetings less than a month away, it would only take a few to begin a trend of mass resignation of members and closure UMNO branches such as to leave the party in disarray. These mass resignations are also a much more doable act than the recent feeble attempt to call an EGM at the Bahagian level. The Cawangan are still controlled by the grassroots, with a large majority still angry at Pak Lah and are easily stoked by the memory of Che Det.
- Worst of all for Pak Lah, early excitement at his 'enemies' leaving the party, hence 'strengthening' him, would prove a poison chalice, but unfortunately he and his key advisers on the 4th floor may be too incompetent to realise it! Hah!
The way Che Det has phrased his resignation has also helped UMNO in another way. In his actions, he has proven that UMNO under Pak Lah is not UMNO, that UMNO is not directly responsible, if momentarily still culpable, for Pak Lah's decisions to:
- deviate from Islam with his Hadhari concept
- clash with the Sultans on appointing leaders and on simple issues of etiquette
- abuse the DEB so much, then threaten to dismantle it despite the nation still needing it
- excessively favouring his friends and family above the more deserving Malays and Malaysians, especially on fiscal decisions
- the list goes on... ad nauseum...
A more tangible signal to UMNO members and the nation that Lah has deviated cannot be given. Now UMNO members have a choice to make... kick Lah out, or leave ourselves... I am still deciding. Care to help me decide anyone? Your (sensible) words are welcome...