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COMMENT | Umno in shambles and may even implode

COMMENT | If indeed it was Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s intention to destroy his creation - commonly called Umno but actually Umno Baru - he may be able to see it happen in his lifetime as it is playing out right now before all our eyes.

Instead of fresh party elections, Umno Baru was forged by Mahathir in the crucible of the original Umno elections in 1987, which was challenged in the courts and Umno declared illegal because of improper registration.

Mahathir won those elections narrowly, depending on, among others, Anwar Ibrahim and Najib Abdul Razak to face the challenge from Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and his deputy Musa Hitam. He excluded most of his opponents from the new party, effectively purging them.

The main cast in the current, evolving drama is accidental prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Umno president and possible felon Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, convicted felon and former prime minister and ex-Umno president Najib, and Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan, better known as Tok Mat.

Failed challenger to the Umno presidency Khairy Jamaluddin, who has an outside chance of rising to the top, is among those who deserve mention. He has prudently kept his cards close to his chest.

The supporting cast could include the so-called whistleblower (only after he was removed from the Umno supreme council by Zahid) and ambassador to Indonesia, Tajuddin Abdul Rahman.

The issues are many ranging from who will be Umno president if Zahid is convicted, when GE15 will be called, the possibility of royal pardon for convicted criminals, who get to pick candidates for GE15, who will be the candidates for GE15… to whether Umno will win given the state of complete uncertainty and even chaos within the party.

In this first part, I will outline some of the latest revelations and their implications while in the second part, which will appear next week on Tuesday, I will venture hazardously to conjecture about the possibilities for the...

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