Wednesday, 24 April 2013


CONSPIRACY.... SABAH'S Tuaran division PKR Chief Ansari Abdullah's rantings on his Facebook have re-opened an old theory of an Umno conspiracy.


KOTA KINABALU: In the war of words between rebel Sabah PKR supreme council member Ansari Abdullah and former Barisan Nasional-Upko MP-turned-defector Wilfred Bumburing, the most intriguing reminder is that the latter is the deputy president of Angkatan Amanah Merdeka (Amanah).

Way back in 2011, Amanah was linked to the rise of a “third force” within Malaysian politics, vis-a-vis Umno. Amanah was set up by Umno stalwart Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (Ku Li) in 2011.

Amidst a racially divided Malaysia, Razaleigh had called for Umno to return to the party’s original struggles as envisioned by Tunku Abdul Rahman.

Amanah was his platform to “unite” Malaysia by “reaffirming and reigniting a sense of togetherness and true family spirit that prevailed among Malaysians during our struggle for national indepedence”.

Razaleigh’s move to form Amanah further fuelled talks of him having identified independents who would then be fielded in the 13th general election. These would be candidates who were Umno at heart but who “disagreed” with the way the party had morphed under Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Razaleigh, 75, an Umno stalwart and Gua Musang incumbent MP, had once led Semangat 46 after Umno was declared illegal in 1988 following a failed bid to wrest the party presidency from Mahathir. He returned to Umno and laid low until rumours started surfacing in late 2010.

There were all kinds of rumours floating about, including speculation that he had held secret talks with opposition leaders and was eyed as the replacement leader for Anwar Ibrahim in the event Pakatan Rakyat wrested Putrajaya.

There was no hard denials from PAS spiritual head Niz Aziz Nik Mat and PKR de facto leader Anwar. Anwar, when asked, had merely said that “he was not in the know” of such meetings.

If past reports and alliances are any measure, then Razaleigh is well accepted by Pakatan as an alternative leader.

In Sabah, he is a “hero” of sorts, having thrown light on the haunting “Double Six” air tragedy that killed Sabah chief minister Fuad Stephens and his ministers hours after they allegedly disagreed with the terms of the oil agreement on June 6, 1976.

61 ‘independents’

Ansari’s rantings on his Facebook on nomination day have brought the speculations back in focus. In his posting, Ansari demanded to know why Bumburing and men were allocated seats under the PKR banner when they were aligned to Umno’s Razaleigh, via Amanah.

Additionally interesting is the fact that a staggering 61 Umno members had filed their nomination papers on April 20 to contest in the general election as independents.

They are contesting in parliamentary and state seats across the country, raising the possibility that a “pseudo-third force” is available to partner any which side that wins.

In Sabah alone, just under 30 Umno members were sacked for allegedly sabotaging or undermining Umno-BN’s bid to retain Sabah. Sabah and Sarawak are crucial to Umno and BN in its battle to keep Putrajaya.

In the last election, the Musa Aman-led government swept all seats in Sabah, except for one state and one parliamentary seat. A similar feat in Sarawak saved Umno-BN which had lost five states in the 2008 election.

But that comfort is no longer available to Musa and BN chairman Najib Tun Razak.

Sabah, like the rest of the country, is a ticking time bomb that could blow in Umno’s face.

Political blogger MarGeeMar wrote in December last year that Mahathir and Najib were no fools.

He said there is every likelihood that Razaleigh is “in cahoots with Mahathir”.

“How else can you explain Ku Li’s recent statement that he would remain loyal to Umno and help ensure BN remains in power after the next 13th general election? They know the groundswell is tilted against the super corrupt, evil and racist Umno-led BN government.”

He claimed that to turn the tide against Anwar-led Pakatan, Mahathir and Najib had to conspire a plan strong enough to drive a wedge in Pakatan’s foundation.

And who better to use than Razaleigh, who is publicly acceptable.

“As long as the split is good enough for BN to win a simple majority to govern or remain in power, their [Mahathir's] first phase of their agenda is realised.”

It remains to be seen if these so-called independents, and candidates representing NGOs, especially in Sabah, are who they claim to be and represent.

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