1. I seriously doubt Anwar Ibrahim has the guts to dump Zahid Hamidi. Not yet anyway. He'll wait until a court in Malaysia finds Hamidi guilty. But then Hamidi will launch into a string of appeals and until he is imprisoned, he will stay as Anwar's "deputy" and connive to weaken Anwar from within and without. Ordinarily, when a politician, or even a CEO, is facing an indictment, let alone a score or more of them, he or she would would either stand down or quit (out of embarrassment). Not Hamidi. Just as the Great Big Thief Najib Razak did not. Moreover, whoever said Malaysia's politics, such as it is, has been, and will be, is an "ordinary" one? It's predictable but not ordinary.

2. And just because Hamidi sacked Khairy Jamaluddin (and his bunch of poodles) from Umno does not -- generally or specifically -- mean Umno is imploding or will implode or sack itself into the bog. Jamaluddin has been spoiling for a brawl since he, more or less, ingratiated himself a seemingly credible health minister during the worst years of the covid pandemic. He'd even won over the usually boisterous and mealy-mouthed Chinese crowd. Jamaluddin thought his star shone ever brighter and his chance had come to dethrone Hamidi who, like Razak and Mahathir, thought they owned Umno. Whether Jamaluddin had gotten it into his head that he could be Umno's saviour that Mahathir and Razak weren't (proved) is an open question. If he did he'd be deluding himself, given, as rightly pointed out, he has enemies within Umno from the days his father-in-law Badawi gave him a leg up in politics. Otherwise he would well have been a nobody despite his Oxford (big deal) credentials but would have been given a senior management job in one of the Umno-state-owned loss-making firms.

3. Before you suggest the purging of Jamaluddin would/could/will/might see the end of Umno, I suggest you revisit the 1986/87 bitterness the original Umno faced that led to the party splitting up into Umno Baru and the filthy-rich Razaleigh Hamzah's Semangat '46. Which one imploded? Not Umno Baru? Who rejoined Umno Baru? Not Hamzah's grandpa but rich Hamzah himself. Why? That's the question Hunter and Berthelsen must grapple with. It'll point them to some clues as to why Umno won't collapse -- as long as Village Malaysia exists and as long as the racist, incompetent, fundamentalist PAS does not also gobble up Village Malaysia's support to become its base. Umno's base remains. But how strong is it?

4. Hamzah has no real and effective voice in Umno. He's all washed up. Just as the racist Hishamuddin Keris Hussein is all washed up. Razak (the thief) ruined Umno's image among the Malays through his (and his wife's) kleptomanic tendencies. Mahathir was never a "maverick" but a feudal lord (not bad for a half-Indian, half-Malay to don that face-mask) and ruled the Malays like Rasputin-on-heat and the country like a fascist Thatcherite.

5. I know what you're thinking: that Jamaluddin is Umno's last option. Last may be true, in more ways than one. But he'll only be able to make a comeback if Javanese Hamidi goes to jail for a long time, because Anwar won't have the guts to sack him. Once Hamidi goes, Jamaluddin will make his move to return to Umno (he won't join another party) and take it over. He could be waiting a while, though. A long while. But if popularity poll after popularity poll on Hamidi prove his death-knell, that time for Jamaluddin could be a lot shorter. Jamaluddin has to play the long game to make his odds shorter.

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Good article. Zahid Hamidi was already massively unpopular (bc of his corruption cases and repulsive, domineering personality) and Malaysian voters decisively rejected him and Umno at the General Election last November.

Now with his antics of suspending the party election for top 2 positions, and Stalin-like purging of his Umno rivals especially the popular KJ, Zahid pretty much leads Umno to a slaughter field.

He’s now the most hated man in Malaysia, and if PM Anwar still can’t see that and keeps him as DPM, then be prepared to lose both Negeri Sembilan and Selangor.

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"He was forced to defend – successfully – a new parliamentary seat against a popular opposition figure in the most recent election."


(a) The seat is Sungai Buloh. He didn't "defend" it; he'd never stood there before. (b) He lost. So, not, ummmmmm, "successfully", then. (c) His opponent was far from "a popular opposition figure". Google Is Your Friend.

This level of inaccuracy is truly Berthelsen-esque.

Must be something in the water at AS : )

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It seems as if anyone smart who's not connected to the ruling elite has left the country. Now it's swirling round the plughole. Next stop Pakistan? Iran? Venezuela?

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