I had in an article titled 'Reshuffling UMNO's party leadership' posted on Thursday, April 23, 2009, made an assessment of who among the UMNO leaders need to be changed, and in particular those in the position of the state liaison chiefs. I had rightly predicted that Muhammed Muhd Taib (Selangor), Mahadzir Khalid (Kedah) and Shahidan Kassim (Perlis) should be relieve of their post. However, I failed in my assessment on Mohamed Hassan (Negeri Sembilan), who retains the state liaison chief. He must be the lucky one, whom many sees him as a failed Menteri Besar.
I am surprised that some 'old guards' are being appointed to the Supreme Council. They include Rafidah Aziz who lost to Sharizad Jalil for the Wanita post, Ali Rustam who was found guilty of money politics and was barred from contesting the Deputy President post, and finally Sahidan Kassim who caused a stir for not being reappointed the Perlis Menteri Besar. Their appointment to the Supreme Council runs contrary to the desire of the top UMNO leadership that had all along been saying, that the party must be daring and bold if it is to affect change in the party.
I personally do not see any more reason for the three above appointees to make any effective and useful contribution to the party, because each one has a 'sad tale' attached to their name. A question that I need to raised is whether UMNO is so lacking in finding good leaders, that the party finds it hard to discard old faces? If this being the case, why then discard Muhammad Muhd Taib? What is so different between, say Rafidah Aziz and Muhammad Muhd Taib that the latter is being left out?
I am surprised too that former Federal Territory Minister Zulhasnan Rafique, having being dropped as a minister is now being relieved of the state liaison chief post. They say that this is 'double jeopardy', and personally I think UMNO has not been fair, because Zulhasnan Rafique has been seen to be doing well as a minister, and a person who is well liked among his constituents. The post of Federal Territory liaison chief is being taken over by Muhyiddin Yassin.
I would also like to comment on the appointment of the three Vice Presidents as state liaison chiefs. It appears odd that Shafie Apdal is now the state liaison chief for Kedah. I do not believe that UMNO Kedah seriously welcomes this appointment; and likewise Trengganu and Penang that now have Hishamuddin and Dr. Ahmad Zahid as their liaison chief respectively. This to me is another 'coup de grace' of sorts, and I am quite sure this will create unhappiness among state UMNO members over the appointment.
Tg. Adnan Tg. Mansor retains the party's Secretary General. Isn't this the same person that was involved in the 'Lingam tape' incident? And what makes him so indispensable, that UMNO feels strongly that he retains the post?
Muhyiddin Yassin has said that the party is only left with two more years to win back the support of voters (particularly Malay votes) that was lost during the last general elections. Will the above changes in leadership be effective enough to woo the predominantly Malay votes back to UMNO? Only time will tell.
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