By - Hesmel Faznee Faisal

It seems that the race for the UMNO Deputy Presidency has becoming too jam-packed when Tan Sri Muhammad Taib has joined in the competition with Datuk Seri Mohamad Ali Rustam when he managed to secured his place after obtaining enough nomination, last week.

However, Tan Sri Muhyidin Yassin, who is in the lead with 90 nominations is seen as the Deputy President material and thus will become the next Deputy Prime Minister, after Najib takes over the job from Pak Lah in March 2009. I hope none of the Bacalah readers will see me as vouching for Tan Sri Muhyidin.

Allow me to me explain it to you that I hardly know him personally, nor do I have any admiration for him. And this blog is not paid for or being sponsored by anybody from the party. But it doesn’t mean I will not agree to him as the next UMNO Deputy President, should he win the post.

From the looks of it, he has some advantage points compared to the other two candidates. Firstly, he is currently holding the post of the Minister of Trade and Industry, and is a Member of Parliament for Pagoh. Secondly, he was the Johore Menteri Besar for 11 years and his ability as a charismatic leader has been proven through his effort in transforming Johore into what it is now. He won’t be facing any trouble to become the Deputy Prime Minister. Even former UMNO President and Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had shown his support for Muhyiddin.

Even if UMNO members chose Tan Sri Mohamad Taib a.k.a Mat Taib as UMNO Deputy President, there will be some tough time for Mat Taib to secure the Deputy Prime Mnister post (whoever becomes UMNO Deputy President will automatically becomes the Deputy Prime Minister, Jose!). He is currently an appointed Senator and the appointment was made in order to enable him to hold the post of the Rural Minister. The Government has to call for a by election in Selangor just to enable him to be elected as an MP and to become the Deputy Prime Minister. This will only make things becoming from bad to worse for UMNO as Selangor is currently under the Pakatan Rakyat administration!

The same thing goes to Dato’ Seri Mohd Ali Rustam. He is not an MP, except that he is the Malacca Chief Minister and if he is elected as the Deputy President, he will have to go through the same procedure, in order to become the Deputy Prime Minister. And as some people said, the rest is history.

I hope that UMNO members will choose the best amongst the three candidates. We have seen in the past how wrong decisions has been made in choosing the Deputy President and it resulted in some leaders who are not capable became the Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister, for that matters!

I pray that UMNO members will only choose leaders who are really capable in transforming the party into a more matured party, rather than making it less and less relevant for the Malays particularly and for Malaysia, generally. It is sad to see UMNO members hurling chairs and exchanging abusive words on each other, as what is seen in the recent UMNO Branch meeting in Seremban.

I always pray that UMNO members will reflect a more matured and “glokal” thinking (Jose, I’m borrowing the term coined by Najib Razak!). Currently, the post for UMNO President and Deputy President (both are the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, respectively) are being chosen exclusively by some of the UMNO members. So please choose wisely and carefully.

Kita Kan Tersesat Pabila Malam Menjemput Bulan Semula Ke Sangkar Waktu – The Salam Connection.


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