Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling
Jaya on Saturday, 27th September 2008:
Abdullah’s premiership de facto ended
yesterday – 54 months after scoring the most stunning landslide
electoral victory for any Prime Minister in nation’s 51-year history
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s
premiership de facto ended yesterday, September 26, 2008 – 54 months
after scoring the most stunning landslide electoral victory for any
Prime Minister in nation’s 51-year history.
How far and how fast Abdullah has fallen!
All the Umno heavyweights are now engaged in a marionette play – how to
plunge the dagger into Abdullah’s back without blood being seen to be
drawn or better still even camouflaging from the Malaysian public the
act of dagger-stabbing altogether.
Although Abdullah claimed that it would be his decision, “whether to
contest or not” the post of Umno President, there could be no doubt that
if Abdullah departs from the script and fails to announce by before
October 9 that he would not be offering himself as a candidate as Umno
President, the marionette play would be abandoned and the
dagger-stabbing would be a very public and bloody one.
Even the sweet-sounding praises by Umno leaders yesterday over the
scuttling of Abdullah’s original mid-2010 power-transition plan and the
postponement of the Umno general assembly from December to March next
year sounded rather ominous if Abdullah ignores the unmistakable signal
that he should not dilly-dally any more in making his exit.
For instance, when asked whether he was satisfied with the outcome of
the Umno Supreme Council emergency meeting yesterday although there was
no clearcut indication of an exist date, the most hawkish of the Umno
leaders against Abdullah, Tan Sri Muhyidddin Yassin, commented: “I think
it is good enough. You need to have trust. There must be a certain
element of trust in whatever decision the leadership Is making today.”
Abdullah must be aware that he would be regarded as lacking “a certain
element of trust” if he failed to announce that he would not be offering
his candidacy for Umno President by the Oct. 9 deadline.
In the circumstances, Abdullah has three options before him:
• Announce before the October 9 deadline his
intention to contest for the post of Umno President, retaining the
initiative in his hands as to his own timeline to effect the power
• Announce that he would not be contesting for the Umno President in
the Umno party election in March, which also mark the end of his
• Announce his retirement as Prime Minister by Oct. 9.
In the first option, Abdullah would be
fighting for his political life as he would have to prove first that he
is capable of winning 58 or one-third of the Umno division nominations
for the post of Umno President.
This may be a very tall order and he must be prepared to suffer the
ignominy of an incumbent Prime Minister and Umno President who could not
secure adequate nominations to contest for the post of Umno President.
In the second option, Abdullah would be a lame-duck Prime Minister for
Apart from the third option of immediate retirement as Prime Minister,
is there a fourth option open to Abdullah?
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor