Monday, September 15, 2008

Abdullah's slippery path downhill

1. Over the last few days, it is becoming more and more obvious that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is going through a very treacherous path downhill. From all angles, he fumbles as he attempts to steer his way for a safe journey.

2. It all started with Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's statement in Singapore that the earlier agreed transition plan is too long, and hence, untenable, more so when UMNO is still reeling from its most recent defeat in Permatang Pauh.

3. It is amazing that Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is surprised by the statement made by Tan Sri Muhyiddin, when most people in the country are in fact welcoming and cheering the learned minister for being brave.

4. It is obviously like "sudah jatuh ditimpa tangga" for Pak Lah, when his own deputy Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak has joined the chorus of UMNO leaders who are revising their earlier stands. By saying that the issue of power transition should be decided by the UMNO divisions during their upcoming meeting, he is sending a subtle message to Pak Lah that the earlier agreed road map is no longer feasible.

4. Pak Lah may think that staying on is not for the sake of pleasure, but for "work", in the face of all the programs and problems that he has vowed to address, including eradication of poverty, the reform of the judiciary and the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), and last, but not the least, the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission-IPCMC.

5. We would like to remind him that if he has failed to accomplish all those lofty objectives when he was strongest after winning the 2004 General Election, what makes him believe that he can accomplish all those things now, when he is at the weakest position in his life, and UMNO leaders are pulling the party from all sorts of directions, giving it the shape of a lifeless organization?

6. The recent arrests under ISA have further plummeted Pak Lah's position in the eyes of all Malaysian citizenry: His component parties in BN are rejecting it, six of his own cabinet ministers are expressing outrage at the detention, NGO's are organizing night vigils to protest and opposition parties are united in confronting this latest crackdown. In fact, all elements of a civil society are united in voicing their dismay and rejection of the comical, yet outrageous way the ISA arrests have been handled.

7. After all these, what is there left for Pak Lah to continue clinging on power? He definitely does not want to be seen as clinging vainly on ISA to carry on with the last few days of his administration.

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