UMNO's transition plan which is supposed to take effect in 2010, is under scrutiny again. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, an UMNO Vice President, said 2010 is too long a wait and prefers an earlier date, preferably as soon as possible.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who stands to benefit directly from the plan, said it's better that the date be decided by members via the party's divisional annual meetings which begin next month.
The Umno supreme council have agreed on the transition plan for execution in 2010. Najib and Muhyiddin are key members of the council, led by party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Najib's and Muhyiddin's statement are seen to differ from the supreme council's stand. And this has certanly set tongues wagging as Umno members and watchers seek to go beyond the statements made by these two.
It was sparked by Muhyiddin's remarks made in Singapore a few days ago where he said 2010 is too long a wait for the plan to be executed. This had incurred the wrath of Abdullah who expressed "surprise" that a member of his Cabinet had made such a remark.
When confronted by reporters today, Muhyiddin said he's willing to take the risk after making the statement. He knows very well that Abdullah, as Prime Minister, can exercise his prerogative is as far as Muhyiddin's position in the Cabinet is concerned.
Najib's vews were also sought on the Muhyiddin's Singapore statement. If Abdullah had thought that he would get a solid endorsement from Najib, he was also disappointed. Instead, Najib said that it's best that the transition plan be put to the members for them to give their views on the matter!
Contrary to Najib's earlier statement, the deputy president has now uttered something totally different. It sounds as if Najib is having second thoughts about his support of the plan!
Question - is Najib and Muhyiddin speaking as a team in the run-up to the Umno election at the end of the year? Can it be an indication that the oft-talked about "pact" between the two are being revived?
When Najib declared support for the transition plan a couple of months ago, he was seen to have ditched Muhyiddin and rallied behind Abdullah. Najib's remarks today is a clear deviation from his open declarartion made months ago!
Muhyiddin has made known his stand on this quite often. He had been vocal in demanding the party take concrete actions to reform the party or face bigger defeat in the next general election. Muhyiddin has been consistent in this matter.
The Umno hierarchy down the line has been abuzzed with the remarks from these two. It could signal that whatever "pact" they had before has not been fully buried. Umno rank and file who have been disillusioned with the party leadership appeared to have woken up from the slumber and has began debating the transition plan with renewed vigour.