September 19, 2008
The start of the end... ( 9 )
Read the body language.
How do you make sure politicians aren't lying through the teeth and nose? One way, as Rock's Bru suggested, you need to watch their body language closely.
That was precisely what I asked journalists who covered yesterday's Umno supreme council meeting yesterday.
They said Abdullah was the odd one grump among other jubilant leaders, and the consensus is that Abdullah, with or without the Son-in-Law, must go soon. And Abdullah himself, body language read, may well agree with it that it's indeed 'game over'. Go away sooner rather than later.
Former NST editor Ashraf Abdullah (Jejak Pujangga) put October 9 as the date for Abdullah's exit.
Singapore Business Times went as bold as suggesting that Abdullah may not seek re-election as the Umno president in the coming party election. Why? Because one leader, apparently, had even told him that he would not get the nominations necessary to run for the post!
This is how Singapore Business Times reporter observed:
According to party insiders, the issues came to the fore during yesterday's meeting with some supreme council members speaking bluntly to the premier. One leader, apparently, even told Abdullah that he would not get the nominations necessary to run for party president. Under party rules, a challenger for the presidency needs 58 nominations to run for the post.
More tellingly, International Trade Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who said in Singapore two weeks ago that Abdullah should step down sooner rather than later, wasn't criticised, indicating that his statement was supported by a majority of supreme council members.
The meeting came to a conclusion when Najib stepped in to quell the debate, saying he would discuss the matter further with Abdullah.
This was reinforced by Abdullah who told the press he would meet Najib later. “Whatever decision I make, I will discuss with Najib and the supreme council will be informed,” Abdullah told reporters.
And this is how The Star reporters saw and wrote:
The Umno supreme council which met yesterday to discuss the presidential transition plan saw some members suggesting that it should take place sooner than the agreed date. [...]
Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said council members did not propose a specific date but some wanted it to take place soon. “Many of us in the council voiced the views and feelings of the grassroots that want the transition to be done quickly but we will give him room to discuss this with Najib,” said Muhyiddin told reporters after the council meeting.
Muhyiddin, who had called for an earlier transition than the June 2010 date, said his explanation as to why he had criticised Abdullah over the transition plan was well received by Abdullah.
“None of my colleagues criticised me either,” he added.
So, how soon is soon? The next four days till September 23 could be critically crucial for Malaysian politics.