Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim was invited for evening tea over the weekend with Prime Minister Najib Razak, the same person the prince insulted roughly a year ago, calling him “a drowning man trying to reach and hold on to anything, including – ‘shit’“. So, what was actually cooking at the prime minister’s official residence in Seri Perdana, Putrajaya?
The meeting between Tunku Ismail and Najib has raised eyebrows due to obvious reason. In fact, of all the 9 Sultans (and 4 Governors) in Malaysia, only the Johor royal dares calling PM Najib an “arsehole” in his face, and the prime minister has no choice but to smile in return. And Tunku Ismail is the official representative of his father – Sultan Ismail Ibrahim.
Sultan Ismail Ibrahim of Johor will never meet Najib at the prime minister’s official residence because he couldn’t stomach the sight of Auntie Rosy, amongst other reasons. If Najib wants to meet the Sultan of Johor, then he has to go to Johor, not the other way. The Sultanate of Johor is considered the “Sultan of Sultans” due to historical reason.
What business was the Johor crown prince bringing to Seri Perdana? Government-controlled media reported that Tunku Ismail was “invited” so the fair conclusion is it was Najib who had serious matter to discuss with the Sultan of Johor but wouldn’t want to send a wrong (and embarrassing) signal by travelling all the way to the Kingdom of Johor.
Surely Najib didn’t invite Tunku Ismail only to force him to surrender his pendrive of which the crown prince claimed contains information about corruption within FAM (Football Association of Malaysia). Najib wouldn’t dare and the Johor crown prince couldn’t care. Therefore, the discussion between both individuals could be related to business.
The only huge business worth mentioning was the recent high-speed rail project linking Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. However, according to the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page, the channel Tunku Ismail uses to express his “opinions” about Najib administration, the tea-session was to convey the views and voices of the “rakyat” (people) as well.
Unless the Sultanate of Johor was of an opinion that the Singapore-KL High-Speed Rail project was another way Najib administration will use to conduct further corruption hence opposes it, the meeting could be due to political reason. Was Najib Razak trying to sweet-talk the Sultan of Johor into agreeing to an “unexpected” snap state election in Johor (*grin*)?
Yes, forget old rumours of Penang, Selangor or Terengganu state election. An “unprecedented” snap election could happen in UMNO’s own backyard – Johor. But does it make sense for Najib’s political party UMNO to call for a snap state election now after he won handsomely in the Sarawak state election plus Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar’s by-elections?
Why can’t Najib call for a snap general election and send all the opposition parties, which are now in disarray, to oblivion, once and for all? Well, he can but Najib is also a very indecisive person. It’s insufficient for Rosmah to say he’s the best looking man on planet Earth. He needs another thousand women to assure him he’s better than Tom Cruise.
There’s actually one huge thing that has been bothering Najib. You see, unlike Sarawak, Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar; the state of Johor is extremely unique. As we had analysed last year, UMNO could easily lose Johor, for real. With due respect, Johoreans are not as ignorant and uneducated as Sarawakians.
More importantly, both Islamist-party PAS and UMNO-splinter PKR were very weak in Johor as compared in Sungai Besar (in Selangor) and Kuala Kangsar (in Perak). PAS contested 31 state seats in Johor during the 2013 general election, but won only 4 seats. PKR, on the other hand, contested 11 seats and won 1 in the same general election.
Like it or not, both PAS and PKR were considered “mosquito” parties in Johor. Only DAP won convincingly – took 13 out of 14 seats contested. In other words, Johorean Malays have no sympathy towards Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy persecution, or Hadi Awang’s promise of 72 virgins in paradise. And the statistics are scaring the shit out of Najib Razak.
In an event of a 5% votes swing, Najib government could lose 11 Johor state seats, assuming opposition can maintain their 2013 general election’s vote bank. This will reduce Najib’s Barisal Nasional (BN) coalition to just 27 seats from the present 38 in the Johor’s 56 state seats government, essentially handing over Johor state to opposition parties.
In an extreme situation where between 5% and 10% votes swing to opposition, BN could lose another 12 seats. Are we exaggerating things here like a snake oil salesman? Statistics don’t lie and if you care to look hard enough, the critical 11 state seats mentioned were won by Najib government with maximum 54.6% votes.
Coincidently, DAP brilliant strategist – Liew Chin Tong – has started drumming the possibility of a snap state election in Johor. Given the refusal of 1MDB scandal to die a natural death, Najib dares not declare a nationwide election, without first testing the wishes of Johoreans. If Najib, despite the lawsuits by US-DOJ on 1MDB scandal, can still win Johor state with better results, he can win a nationwide election hands down.
The issue with Johor is that during the 2013 general election, BN won comfortably only in seats where ethnic-Malay votes were above 70%. And there’re only 15 such seats in Johor where BN won 60% and above of total votes. If a snap election is called in the Kingdom of Johor, Najib is expected to flood the state with money like running tap-water to buy votes.
Johor also commands the highest number of parliamentary seats in Peninsula Malaysia at 26 seats. If BN doesn’t do well in a state election, naturally it will do badly too in parliamentary election, although this isn’t necessary true. Opposition, especially DAP has high hope to do better in Johor. If BN could do better instead, Najib would win psychology warfare.
We believe, should the corruption-tainted Najib be able to win convincingly in a Johor state election, he will most likely call for an immediate snap general election thereafter to buy himself five more years to neutralise his 1MDB scandal – once and for all. That’s why Najib Razak has to suck up, reluctantly, to the Sultanate of Johor.
Najib doesn’t need the Johor royalty to sing songs of praise but begs a stop to negative comments from the royalty. He will take care of the rest with cash. The question is: what’s the level of preparedness and strategies of opposition parties? PAS and PKR will have little chance in Johor but both are expected to spoil the game by engaging in multi-corner fights.
That’s where former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s new political party comes into picture. Calling it Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, or Bersatu (United) for short, the new party was deliberately designed as a “racist” party to specifically target ethnic-Malays. The battle for Johor state will be between UMNO and tag-team DAP-Bersatu.
Of course, there’re other reasons why Mahathir’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia was custom-made to become more racist than the already super-racist UMNO. But that would be another article for another time. For now, let’s wait for the possibility of Johor Chief Minister calling a snap election on behalf of PM Najib Razak.
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