Umno, the ruling party in Malaysia representing the Malays in power is 71 and the age is showing with a failed plot to remove the current Chief Minister of Selangor, Azmin Ali from his post.
The fresh attempt by the Barisan Nasional or BN to reverse the situation in its favour in the rich state under the control of the opposition since 2008 failed lamentably thanks to Azmin Ali’s own political manoeuvring.
For months, Azmin, once the right hand man of former minister of finance Anwar Ibrahim and a die hard of the reformasi (reform) movement – a movement that flourished under his leadership in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s – praised the members of the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (the Islamists) who are part of his government in Selangor.
And this played in his hands at the opportune moment when the Umno wanted to bring him down.
And this was in the plot devised by Umno and their friends in the opposition months ago.
The Umno had campaigned under the carpet for months to present a Umno-Pas co-operation as the ultimate ‘Malay’ rule in the country and with this, they thought they would easily win the hearts and minds of the Islamists who are Executive Council or Exco members in Selangor.
The entire Umno campaign was based on the simplistic logic that the PAS joining the Umno in Selangor will cause a Malay tsunami that will erase the Democratic Action Party’s or DAP’s gains in the state.
The Umno – through its cyber troopers and within the corridors of power in the State of Selangor aided by former Selangor Chief Minister Khalid Ibrahim (perhaps ousted by Anwar Ibrahim after he was found working hand-in-hand with anti-opposition elements) – also poisoned the PAS Exco and reached out to some Parti Keadilaan Rakyat or PKR members.
They advanced the thought that a Umno-PAS alliance against the Pakatan Harapan opposition group would mean a 3 corner fight that will cause the loss of the Pakatan to the BN in a landslide victory for Prime Minister Najib Razak in the upcoming general elections or GE14.
And surely, seats or posts were promised by the punters to the targeted exco members of the state legislative assembly to sink Azmin Ali and the Pakatan Harapan from their tight control of Selangor.
The play was to take place on Monday this week.
That is Khalid Ibrahim – remember he was opposition Chief Minister before Azmin Ali – and the PAS exco members together with defected-to-be PKR members would join hands with the Umno and rally for the call to replace Azmin as leader of the house.
The talks on Friday last week all over Selangor was that a new government will come in place in the state.
And that Khalid was going to meet with the Sultan of Selangor in a move that would have ended in the fall of the Azmin Ali’s powerhouse.
But apparently, the Sultan was on an overseas trip, thus putting the Khalid-Umno-PAS leadership in the freezer.
Prior to that, the Umno in Selangor challenged Azmin Ali to dissolve the state assembly and to go for fresh polls.
All the while, the Umno-Khalid-PAS linkage was about a hostile takeover but when the PAS exco members excluded themselves from the move, the entire fraction came down crashing on Najib Razak.
That is because Najib was definitely aware of the attempt to remove Azmin, as nothing is done without his consent him being the most powerful Umno man in history.
And the people behind the hostile takeover are asking just how did Azmin manage to get the PAS members sitting with him in the Selangor Exco to kill the attempt against their party’s wish?
And this happened right after the PAS general assembly that voted to for the party and its members to cut ties with the PKR!
It is clear that there is more the ‘unity’ talks within the PAS itself, a party that is now seen as divided as never before with its troops at the higher level split between total servitude to the leader Abdul Hadi Awang and the opposition Pakatan Harapan.
In the end, it is altogether clear that the leadership of PAS is following their leader as one on certain terms, but that does not mean they are going to pull their sleeves to do the dirtiest job in their political career, that is to bring down the hard-fought-hard-won Selangor state government.
But it might bog down to the charm of the current Selangor leadership, and the fact that Anwar helped Azmin to get rid of the breed that was gyrating around Khalid Ibrahim during his heydays at the helm of the Selangor government.
The question on Friday was whether it was Hadi Awang who was playing Azmin Ali or it was vice-versa, that is Azmin Ali playing Hadi Awang and the Umno giving them a sense of a potential overthrow of his government in the first place?
Smart move if it was the case. But does the future look like?
The fact that the PAS members in Selangor pledged support to the current leadership may have shocked the Umno-PAS, but the point is the oldest party in the country seemed to have lost its ways as it failed lamentably, for now, to remove Azmin from power.
And Azmin is surely content with the fact that he is still Chief Minister, though no one knows what will be the case after the GE14, though it is certain the PAS will play the a pretty dirty game of dividing the Pakatan Harapan’s vote in Selangor!