Update 1 (13/11): Tun Mahathir's comment
Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib, 62, has received enough nominations last weekend to contest for the post of Deputy President of UMNO. He is currently the Minister of Rural Development and was a big surprise to be reactivated by Prime Minister DS Pak Lah into the cabinet after his long slumber from active duty in the government. Muhd Taib was detained in Brisbane some 12 years ago for failing to declare currencies equivalent to A$1.26M in cash, which he carried in his duffel bag. The source of money was never questioned.
Muhd Taib had clearly breached the Australian customs law. He was later cleared by the Australian court due to his poor command of the English language, therefore not being able to interpret the omnipresent declaration signs at the airport. So he claimed. Had he been a nobody from Malaysia, he would have been in jail. The Star reported on 31 Dec 96 that TSM2T would continue serving as MB after the international humiliation! He was then asked to resign. The good Tan Sri claimed that the cash was for a property acquisition and but was never proved.
His blog is pretty regular. Nothing exciting except the normal rhetoric of strengthening UMNO, fighting for Malay rights and eradicating poverty (which should be a straight-forward cause for any Malay politician). Initially aiming for the post of Vice President on the basis of strengthening the party. When interviewed on national TV, he said "saya dah banyak kali ambil SPM, bagilah peluang ambil STPM pula". Very inspiring......
"Kalau mahu dilihat rekod terdahulu saya pernah memenangi jawatan itu dalam tiga pemilihan pada 1993, 1996 dan 2000 sebelum tewas pada 2004. Saya menawar diri kerana mahu membantu memperkasakan parti untuk berdepan dengan cabaran baru".
Now aiming for the post of Deputy President. Perhaps in his mind he could achieve more as Deputy President, in the name of "stabilizing the party". He should first remember the causes for the instability in the party. Can't he help stabilize the party by just being a senior member of the party? Isn't it time to make way for younger blood? I reckon he'd be a great asset for Mubarak.
"Tidak timbul soal saya akan menarik diri kerana niat dan tujuan saya menawar diri adalah untuk membantu menstabil dan memperkasakan parti. Oleh itu saya menyeru pimpinan bahagian akan bersedia memberi sokongan kepada saya agar ahli berpeluang untuk memilih pemimpin secara lebih terbuka".
On his cabinet portfolio, he had earlier proposed a digital mapping system for rural development. This proposed system would catalog existing infrastructure and status of amenities. Other than that, there has not been anything refreshing or exciting in the ministry.
"Bagi saya peta ini amat berguna untuk kita terus merancang pembangunan di kawasan luar Bandar. Hanya dengan melihat peta sesebuah kampong atau pekan dan melalui penanda warna yang kita berikan, pihak kementerian atau pegawai yang bertanggongjawab akan mudah mengetahui status sesebuah kampong tersebut".
He is currently a state assemblymen, so if he wins, a by-election is in order. Only a Member of Parliament can table bills and legislation at Parliament and the Deputy Prime Minister must be able to do so in the absence of the Prime Minister. Which Selangor MP is willing to make way for Muhd Taib?
Not to mention the fact that he has been UMNO Information Chief and should be jointly held responsible for the disastrous general election. Barisan Nasional got slaughtered in the internet media. We should have seen it coming and countered effectively. There was no countermeasure for the alternative media. Clearly the Information Chief should be on top of this. Muhd Taib was superfluously off the ball in his prediction and preparation going into the general election.
"Umno is intact. There is no crisis in the party".
"There may be a 10% swing in votes but it’s manageable".
"It’s always “hot” but we win each time. In Kelantan in the last election, we had internal problems and so we lost just a few seats. It was not because of PAS’ strength that we lost. We could have won. This time around Umno is very intact. I have a feeling we can win in Kelantan".
Given his age, I doubt that DS Najib would consider him as a successor should he win. Because of his tainted record in Brisbane, it'd be open season on BN candidates in the next general election (again). You really wonder why divisions would nominate such a candidate (ahhh, perhaps there is other form of motivation in the equation). Do you really think he is fit to be the next Deputy Prime Minister?
To be continued......