Coming from Johor, I'm used to celebrating the birth of our Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) over a period of 5 months while it is usually remembered and observed for a day in other States and Muslim countries. I look forward to it because these functions are usually coupled with Briyani in a large tray to be shared amongst Muslim brothers and sisters and a religious sermon to round off the evening.
I never realized that Christmas too can be stretched over a period of 5 months until the announcement was made after the Emergency Supreme Council meeting yesterday at noon. Yes indeed, from 9th November till March, "tis the season to be jolly "for those successful candidates in the divisional delegates meeting beginning October 9th. For the first time from as far as I can remember having been a delegate since 1996, this is yet the longest campaign period ever to be experienced.
I may be chastised for likening it to Christmas but let's not fool ourselves. Several times before, the campaign period has been shortened to avoid political corruption in the party. Did it help? Perhaps. Did it wipe out corruption completely? NO. The candidates always had ways of reaching the delegates.
Even when the team of watchdogs were deployed, there were leakages from those high above who wanted to protect their "favoured ones" by alerting them of the names of the personnel in each state watching out for money politics (as it was known then). I'm not just "spitting in the wind here", I'm talking through experience. I was one of those who were recruited to cleanse the party of such ills only to be treated like a leper once a candidate explained to our common friend why he was against coming to my residence where most of the Johor delegates had usually met potential candidates. Having been a delegate many times, those contesting for posts in the Supreme Council knew me and the others fairly well and was comfortable with holding clean meetings at my residence. No money changed hands but of course refreshments were served. Once my cover was blown, the venue changed, not because they were all dirty but because they just wanted to be safe. It's like you're driving within the speed limit but once you see a patrol car, you slow down just in case. I never trusted UMNO officials ever since and I'll give you one guess which finger I'll flash in their faces if ever they try to recruit me again for such a purpose.
To me, this extension primarily for the election of federal posts in UMNO is rediculous. We've already postponed it once to make way for the general elections, now we have to do it again presumably to save the President's face. Looking at it point blank, moving back the goal-post isn't going to change a thing if the momentum is against him. It'll just add the yardage that he has to recover to score at the other end! Either way, he'll be humiliated unless one possiblity occurs, i.e. he decides to either go out fighting or get a fresh mandate from UMNO using all possible resources he has available to him whether known or otherwise.
Whatever is said and done, yesterday, the interest of the party wasn't taken under consideration. We should've continued with the original schedule and let the chips fall where they may according to the party's constitution without paralysing Putrajaya for the next five months due to heavy politicking.
With that, a bonafide leader would emerge, colossal political corruption would be avoided and much attention can be given to the economy instead.
For the life of me I can't fathom why Dato Sri Najib won't grab what's already his for the taking given the circumstances and instead prefer to take further risks of losing his support from impatient members from the grassroots., many of whom are beginning to see Tengku Tan Sri Razaleigh Hamzah as the original and true candidate who is willing and able to carry their aspirations through.
The RAHMAN theory might very well turn into RAHMAT if the current trend persists. May Allah grant the Nation with the best possible leader. The Supreme Council, nay, the President and his Deputy may propose, but God disposes. That is a promise.