Mahathir’s shocking resignation as UMNO member shook the nation. The impact sent both the ruling party and opposition scrambling to regroup and re-strategise.
Even Bursa Malaysia was impacted by DrM’s decision, closing lower for 2 consecutive days. While the 2nd Finance Minister said that this has got nothing to do with Dr M’s departure from UMNO, investors remain confused and cautious about the unstable political scenario in the country.
This shows how much influential he still is in Malaysian politics, for someone whose opinion and comments were not taken seriously before the general elections.
Rumors and speculations are further confusing the public while PM Abdullah appears to be visibly worried for the first time since Dr M’s started to criticise him two years ago.
Some say that Dr M is trying to deflect public attention away from the Lingam Video scandal, it must be said that the investigation will still go on, regardless of current political scenario.
While in general, Dr M’s decision is not good for the whole country, changes are bound to happen. Current situation faced by PM Abdullah is precarious as compared to the situation faced by Dr M when Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussien Onn left UMNO during his (Dr M) leadership as Dr M had already established himself and was in a strong position, both in UMNO and as a PM. PM Abdullah, in contrast is facing is most difficult period in his political career.
I personally feel Dr M move will not work. He knows that since he had said during the press conference that UMNO members currently holding positions in the government and party are unlikely to abandon UMNO due to their greed for power and money.
Dr M also chose the wrong time of the year to do this. This is an UMNO election year, therefore, it is highly unlikely that anyone eyeing for position in UMNO to abandon the ship with polls to be held in less than 6 months. He could have waited for UMNO polls to be over.
Even his son Mukhriz decided not to quit, probably for the same reason.
The opposition parties are the ones who seem to be benefiting from the crisis in UMNO. They are closely watching the situation and if the crisis continues, it’s highly likely that much speculated crossovers will happen. BN MPs from east Malaysia are more likely to benefit from joining the opposition as compared to waiting for UMNO and BN struggle to rejuvenate from it’s current crisis.
Anwar Ibrahim’s claim of being ‘Prime Minister in waiting’ cannot be dismissed, although I still believe the public is not ready to accept him as PM.
In summary, Dr M challenge and subsequent actions are likely to fizzle out and he will now be remembered for all the wrong reasons.