KUALA LUMPUR – Oct 13, 2015: There has been a significant flare-up in the blogosphere after two high ranking Umno leaders openly joined the rank of prominent critics against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal on Monday expressed their opposition against what they described as “ an abuse” of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) by the Najib’s administration.
They did so along with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Gua Musang member of parliament Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, former MCA presidents Tun Ling Liong Sik and Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat as well as veteran Umno leader Tan Sri Sanusi Junid.
They were of the opinion that the arrest of former Umno Batu Kawan division deputy chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer Matthias Chang followed by them being charged under Sosma was a violation of the law’s purpose.
Veteran journalist and blogger Datuk Abdul Kadir Jasin, who is known for his hostile stance against Najib shared similar opinion.
Via his latest posting, Kadir expressed his disagreement over the use of Sosma against Khairuddin and Chang by sharing excerpts from several news sources that condemned Najib over the matter.
Another anti-Najib blogger, Firdaus Abdullah, who blogs at ‘Apanama’ claimed that the press conference attended by Muhyiddin, Shafie and the others had reinforced and rejuvenated the morale of those he said who have been defending the nation from “thieves and traitors”.
He claimed that the press conference, held at the Perdana Leadership Foundation was not about politics or overthrowing the government.
“This is about standing up to save a nation that is in a critical situation and risk sliding into a full blown crisis if we don’t get out of the ‘tidak apa’ (doesn’t matter) attitude and stop the rot,” the blogger wrote.
However, Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan tweeted several points to rebuke such arguments.
Rahman alluded that during Dr Mahathir’s tenure as Prime Minister, Khairuddin and Chang would have suffered greater repercussions under the now repealed Internal Security Act (ISA).
“People do remember his ISA and the ‘colourful’ 22 years tenure as PM.
“Unlike ISA, under Sosma, both Khairuddin and Chang will see their day in court. So, let the court decide if they are guilty or not,” he tweeted.
However, Rahman’s argument was countered by anonymous bloggers of the Spin Kings blog.
The blogger claimed that Rahman had missed the point as Sosma is a judicial tool to enable the police to detain criminal subversives, terrorists or gangsters.
The blogger argued that Sosma was never intended to be used against “normal law abiding citizens”, who sought available legal channels to seek redress to their complaint.
“In fact, Khairuddin had first sought legal redress through the Malaysian police force but was forced to turn to other jurisdictions when there was no further development from the local law enforcement.
“How that was later constructed to be an act of economic sabotage worthy of Sosma is beyond belief,” the blogger wrote.
Blogger Zakhir Mohamad also known as Big Dog argued that those opposing Najib should objectively look at what Khairuddin and Chang did before accusing the government of abusing Sosma.
Zakhir, in his latest posting claimed that Khairuddin and Chang’s doings can be construed as sabotaging the country’s financial and economic institutions because they were promoting negative opinions against the Najib’s administration.
He was also of the opinion that the Muhyiddin, Shafie and the others are now “clearly interfering with the process of law enforcement as the duo’s arrests were made in accordance with a law passed by Parliament.”
Echoing similar sentiments against the so-called “abuse of Sosma” was blogger Captain (rtd) Abdul Rahmat Omar of the SeaDemon blog.
He presented five conclusions that he had deduced from the press conference on Monday.
Among them were that, inadvertently Dr Mahathir “is also telling the world that he has failed to protect the people who trusted him.”
“Mahathir also appears to be saying he is now afraid of Najib and that Najib may even be brave enough to act against him.
“Much like how Mahathir acted against his seniors in the past such as Tunku Abdul Rahman and Hussein Onn,” he wrote.
Regarding the presence of Muhyiddin and Shafie at the press conference, prominent journalist and blogger Datuk Ahirudin Attan viewed that the duo’s attendance was a blessing in disguise.
In his blog posting at ‘Rocky’s Bru’, Ahirudin wrote that Muhyiddin and Shafie have finally, after months of quiet suffering, “come out in the open to oppose their former boss.”
According to Ahirudin, Najib himself had told an aide that for the first time the duo have officially broken ranks with him.
“At least they are not hiding anymore, we know now who they’re for and where they stand, he (Najib) told the aide.
“And that knowledge, Najib was said to have added , will guide him to do what he needs to do next,” the blogger wrote.
In another blog posting, Ahirudin claimed that if Najib was to step down, sacked or got arrested, the next Prime Minister will not likely be his current number two in government Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
“But who? Will it be Ku Li and Muhyiddin (Tengku Razaleigh as Prime Minister or Muhyiddin as Deputy Prime Minister)?
“Or could it be Muhyiddin as Prime Minister and Shafie as Deputy Prime Minister? Can’t be Dr Mahathir and Ku Li…or could it?” he quipped.
In response to Ahirudin’s question, blogger Jailani Harun replied that none of those opposing Najib were worthy to become the next Prime Minister should Najib step down from his post.
“My simple answer – None of the above.
“Can you give it a wild guess, instead? We can’t employ deadwood and sour grapes,” the blogger wrote.
Anonymous blogger Annie, who blogs at ‘Life of Annie’ said that Najib will have to sack Muhyiddin and Shafie from Umno because they have joined his leading critics.
“I believe Najib can’t afford to wait anymore. He has to sack them right away.
“Otherwise, it will be very difficult for him to manoeuvre as the party president, especially with the Umno general assembly just being a few weeks away,” Annie wrote.
Annie nonetheless claimed that the possible sacking of the duo may also be bad for Umno as the split among party members will worsen.
She deemed that if that were to happen, then Umno may not be able to recover in time for the next general election.
Amid the commotion, an anonymous blogger from the ‘Unspinners’ blog, pointed out that while Umno continues to bicker, the DAP are relentless in registering newer voters.
The blogger stated that within two years, DAP have registered 157, 800 voters.
“How many voters have Umno registered so far?” he asked.