There was no indication who the person would be or when the appointment would
be announced. Neither was there any inkling
that the new DPM would be among the three or whether he would be an interim DPM before the Umno elections in July.
The three Umno leaders supposedly gave their support to the Prime Minister, saying the prerogative was
his alone and that they would back his
No one, including the three, is ready to
verify whether the meeting took place but the mere talk of such meetings has generated excitement within
the political circle.
While no one wants to put on record what transpired, the sentiment among Umno
members is clear. They want to see the
DPM's post filled soon.
If the meetings really took place, the
Prime Minister has given us a glimpse of
how he works; the political maverick has, again, kept his cards close to his chest.
The three seasoned politicians have
returned to their aides and supporters
without an answer. The only consolation
is there is still hope for all
The endorsement by the three leaders
would certainly ease Dr mahathir's
After all, Abdullah and Najib are
vice-presidents and they certainly
command support from members.
Both are also senior Cabinet members who
have contributed to the country and
party. By virtue of their government and
party positions, they would certainly see
themselves as worthy contenders
for the post.
Razaleigh may not be in the Cabinet but he is well-respected by the business community.
Although he has not made any
announcement as to whether he
would vie for a key Umno position,
it is said that his supporters have
begun preparing the groundwork
for this possibility.
Preliminary assessments have shown that
Umno members consider Razaleigh a serious contender should he decide to join the fray.
Besides the many considerations to take
into account, the Prime Minister's task
has become tougher because of pressure from senior Umno members, including the Mentris Besar, to name his deputy.
It is said that various options have
been proposed to him. Some of the
options, if workable and correct, certainly seem attractive.
Then there is the question of whether
the appointment would have a bearing on
the party elections. Would the appointment result in a no-contest
Political equations aside, Dr Mahathir must consider the equally important criteria of the person being able to handle the demanding job.
Dr Mahathir's priorities now are to
restore the economy and to reconcile the party following the sacking of Datuk
Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The expectations of Malaysians are high;
they want the new DPM to be clean,
accountable and just.
He must be someone who can grasp the
complexities of economics and who has international support.
Malaysians will see the DPM as a
successor to Dr Mahathir. After 16
years, it will be a tough act to follow. Malaysians would want to
see what the new man is made of if
he is to lead the country later
He would face the task of gearing up for a general election which is slightly more than a year away. He would have to maintain the winning
momentum of the Barisan Nasional in a more challenging political
We cannot deny there is uneasiness on the ground over the current political
developments. Some members of the public
have doubts over what they are
The new DPM would shoulder the
responsibility of convincing this
section of the electorate which could
determine the overall results.
A week is a long time in politics, as
the saying goes. In a year's time,
additional information would have
surfaced and might cushion some of the
Despite criticisms of our political system, it is evident that Umno has the capacity for compromise, which augurs well for the nation. And the support for Dr Mahathir as Prime Minister and Umno president is still
As the search for the new DPM continues,
there will be no end to speculation in
It has become customary of Dr Mahathir
to invite different guests to his buka
puasa function each evening; sometimes
he accepts invitations from politicians.
Without any official announcement, impatient Umno members have turned such functions into talking points. So, who is Dr Mahathir
breaking fast with tomorrow evening?