From now onwards, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi will be casting a wary eye on all sides as rivals such as Tengku Razaleigh and Anwar sense his considerably weakened position, never mind that the BN is just eight seats short of a two-thirds majority.
After all, under his stewardship, the BN lost five states and received less than 50 per cent of the popular vote in the peninsula – its worst ever performance.
Meanwhile, folks like Khairy, Patrick Lim and even Nazri have been ever so quiet….
The only hope for Umno is if it introduces wide-ranging reforms. But the KL-based political commentator mentioned in the article below told me that Umno is incapable of that, so deep is the rot.
Here is an article I wrote for Asia Times:
Knives out for Malaysia’s Abdullah
By Anil Netto
PENANG – Malaysia’s politics is still in flux after this month’s watershed general election in which opposition parties made their sharpest inroads into the government since the country gained independence in 1957. And the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, comprised of 13 component parties, is still struggling to come to terms with the implications of the setback.
Although BN parties won 140 of Parliament’s 222 seats, it lost five states to the opposition, including three of the wealthiest and economically important ones in the federation. Now the ruling coalition is being unnerved by talk of possible defections of its parliamentarians to opposition ranks, which now has 82 seats.
Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, who predicted the BN would garner a two-thirds majority at the polls, looks considerably weaker inside his once dominant United Malays National Organization (UMNO) party. Full article