The National Front’s (Barisan Nasional) biggest political setback few weeks ago is leading to pick its own victim to compensate. It is Badawi who might be sacrificed due to his failure in maintaining the coalition power’s establishment in this recent election.
From outside, Anwar Ibrahim-led opposition of Alternative Front (Barisan Alternatif – by the way, why do they like using this military term “barisan”?) consisting of PAS, DAP, and PKR has been starting to show its leverage. Winning five states including the richest state, Selangor, the opposition has managed to share power accordingly and executed new policies by scrapping the National Economic Policy (NEP). Mahathir implicitly even demanded Badawi to step down to take the responsibility of failing to maintain stability.
From inside, Mahathir’s son being part of UMNO’s Youth wing has also resonated Badawi’s resignation. Though Badawi’s son-in-law being the Youth’s chairman would “take care” of the insider’s demand of resignation, UMNO’s internal politics is just getting more tense. Former finance minister and royal prince Razaleigh Hamzah together with Najib Razak, the deputy PM, are likely to contest Badawi for this August’s UMNO congress for chairmanship.
Even Badawi has come up with his new cabinet this week, he does not show conviction that he would offer something new to overcome issues that voters have been telling him: rising crimes, rising prices, rising ethnic tensions. Badawi is just counting down his power to diminish since nothing is changing.