It looks as if Abdullah Badawi has bought himself a little more time with this new handover deadline – he wants to hand over power to Najib in June 2010. Remember, before this latest development, many analysts were predicting that Abdullah’s shelf life would expire by December.
The PM probably knows that a lot of things could happen in two years which could jeopardise Najib’s chances of taking over. Najib’s ‘baggage’ could weigh down heavily on him in the coming months. His prospects have already dimmed somewhat after the allegations linking him to the Altantuya case surfaced last week. If a week is a long time in politics, two years is an eternity.
Najib is in no position to argue. He probably figures he needs a couple of years anyway to recover from all the negative publicity – so 2010 would now suit him nicely.
But would Abdullah have more tricks up his sleeve? It takes someone like Mahathir to read Abdullah’s mind:
Najib akan dijanji peralihan kuasa akan dibuat pada 2010. Sebelum sampai tarikh keramat ini tuduhan akan dilempar terhadapnya supaya dia ternampak tidak lagi layak untuk menjadi Timbalan Perdana Menteri.
Seorang yang dianggap lebih setia kepada Dato Seri Abdullah akan menggantinya. Pengganti tidak akan ambil alih jawatan Perdana Menteri pada 2010 kerana kurang pengalaman. Dato Seri Abdullah akan bermurah hati untuk mengisi jawatan itu hingga Pilihanraya Umum ke-13.
Mahathir goes on to mourn that, at this rate, there will be no party left to hand over to Najib. By the time the next election comes around, the BN could be in for a drubbing.
Whatever, you’ve got to hand it to Abdullah for cooking up a scheme like this during his waking hours(!) and outfoxing his rivals. In one fell swoop, he has thwarted the ambitions of Najib, Razaleigh and Muhyiddin – for now.
Meanwhile, another Monday, another possible no-confidence vote, as inflation creeps up to scary levels…