While it is true that Ismail Sabri Yaakob is now the No.2 in cabinet, nonetheless, he could be left marking time like Penang’s forever Deputy Chief Minister II.
Umno must not expect that their party would be allowed to move up naturally and fill the No.1 slot should anything happen to the prime minister.
Look at the career trajectory of Penang Deputy Chief Minister (II) Ramasamy Palanisamy that is dead ended.
• Penang Chief Minister: Lim Guan Eng
• Penang Deputy Chief Minister(I): Mohd Fairus Khairuddin
• Penang Deputy Chief Minister(II): P. Ramasamy
In 2009, Fairus resigned but Ramasamy was not promoted. Instead Mansor Othman was appointed DCM (I).
• CM: Lim Guan Eng
• DCM (I): Mohd Rashid Hasnon
• DCM (II): Ramasamy
• CM: Chow Kon Yeow
• DCM (I): Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman
• DCM (II): Ramasamy
There has been no upward mobility for Ramasamy in his over one decade on the job.
BELOW: In Penang, Tokong calls the shots; his deputies – be they DCM (I) or DCM (II) – are merely decorative flower pots
The pecking order in the DAP Penang chief minister’s office is fixed at No.1 Chinese, No.2 Malay, No.3 Indian.
The Umno supreme council decision to withdraw from the Muhyiddin administration is so that Bersatu does not pull a Ramasamy on them, i.e. relegate the older party to perpetual second banana.
Umno will not settle for second place in the political hierarchy when they’ve been used to being top dog ever since Merdeka.
The decision today by Umno members of cabinet to pledge their loyalty to Muhyiddin and remaining as his ministers is not doing their party any service.
A silver lining in the dark cloud hovering over Umno is its recent attrition which saw Mat Hasan becoming the party’s new election director. He will provide a steady pair of hands to steer the floundering Umno ship.
The Umno deputy president is not an MP and thus ineligible to become prime minister (the PM must be an MP) this current term.
In the next general election, Tok Mat must of course contest a parliament seat. He will be leading a leaner and cleaner party.