Najib’s slow and steady ascent in UMNO over 40 years in politics also meant that many people who identified with Najib also similarly rose steadily in politics. Those who were divisional Youth Chiefs during Najib’s time as Ketua Pemuda UMNO and Naib Presiden UMNO rose to become multimillionaire Ketua Bahagians as Najib rose through the ranks in UMNO. The only other person in UMNO’s history who could come close to matching such a feat was Anwar Ibrahim, but his rise was too rapid, much like an .com stock, and so his descent was rapid as well as Anwar did not have the political divisional leaders support like Najib had.
In fact, many UMNO divisional leaders were proud to display a portrait of Najib in their house as a mark of their subserveince to the Pekanite. We are not sure if they also put garlands around it for such was the length pengampus and pembodek went to curry favour with Najib that the occassion of the 40th anniversary of his involvement in politics became a major party celebration . (To clarify, this is called bodekmus maximus)
In the leadup to the General Elections of 2018, Tun Mahathir was right in calling UMNO Najib’s party as the party literally revolved around propping him up, in order to preserve their kleptocractic ways.
With the cataclysmic events of May 09, 2018, not only did Najib fall, but hundreds of thousands of UMNO associates (“rent seekers”) fell as well . From being the backbone of the Government, UMNO now has less seats than either DAP or PKR and people are still not sure whether UMNO can see out the year . There are very strong feelings that a bunch of Johor MPs will leave UMNO very soon.
However, even though the Mother of All Bombs (“MOAB”) dropped on UMNO, UMNO has not been “de-Najibified.” Najib still maintains strong influence over UMNO. Associates like Tun Faisal still control the party’s online media strategy. The “Blogger Voices” section under UMNO Online still features articles written by Isham Jalil, who used to work under Najib in the Prime Minister’s Office.
Najib has his voice in the UMNO Supreme Council as well, as Lokman Adam is a known Najib sycophant , who will go down in infamy as suggesting that Najib assume the role of “Ketua Umum” or Chief at large of UMNO, a role that never existed in UMNO before and denigrates UMNO to the status of PKR.
And the current President of UMNO, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was known to be sympathetic of Najib.
UMNO might as well put Najib’s portrait on its Meeting Room for he still looms large behind the shadows.
So how can UMNO convince the rakyat that it has repented of the sins of kleptocracy if Najib still looms in the background. Already there is talk of making Najib advisor – further proof that UMNO has still not managed to rid itself of its Najibian ways.
It is about time that a full purge of Najibites in UMNO is conducted by the acting President. These influences have already caused UMNO almost total destruction, and now, a weakened UMNO seems to lack the immunity / antibodies to fight of this virus. Thus, it is imperative for the Acting President, Mohamed Hassan to wield the power invested in him and wage an allout war to deNajbify UMNO completely, once and for all as Najib has been in UMNO for over 40 years.
Once UMNO recovers from Najib’s influence, UMNO can return to where it came from – a nationalistic party for the Malays and the dominant party in the Malaysian Government.