Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Who knows the origins of this odd little prophecy that has been going around for at least a couple of decades. The prophecy is supposedly a formula to predict the succession of Malaysian prime ministers starting with the first, Tunku Abdul Rahman; then Abdul Razak, Hussein Onn, Mahathir Mohamad, Abdullah Badawi... and, it would appear that the N would be Najib Razak.

When I first heard about the R-A-H-M-A-N prophecy, the question that immediately sprang to mind was: does this mean Malaysia will only have six prime ministers? What happens after RAHMAN? Do we become a republic where the office of prime minister will be superseded by that of president? Or will the country disintegrate into shambles and end up annexed by Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand? Only recently the thought struck me that the RAHMAN prophecy was probably initiated within Umno and it's supposed to track the six presidents of Umno before the party destroys itself through internal rot and infighting. Najib Razak has no contenders as the next Umno president (Tengku Razaleigh, to his credit, received only one nomination because he refused to pay the required fee to Umno division chiefs). As soon as Abdullah Badawi steps down as Umno president, Najib automatically takes over, thereby fulfilling Umno's R-A-H-M-A-N prophecy.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean Najib will become PM. Anybody with even one functioning braincell can see that the Altantuya trail leads straight to Najib's doorstep. The only ones who can't see it have either been paid off with submarine dividends or they happen to be the AG or IGP.

With the swift and irreversible decline of Umno, Najib will have the dubious distinction of being the last president of the Ketuanan Melayu party before it sank out of sight into a quagmire of its own making. Even if Najib does appoint himself PM, his tenure will most certainly be short-lived. Nobody can rule a country at gunpoint - and that's what Najib would have to do to stay in power, such is the man's unpopularity.

So let's say Najib gets to play PM for a couple of months and then there's a vote of no confidence against him in parliament. The Agong will dissolve the government and allow for a snap election - which Pakatan Rakyat will easily win with Anwar Ibrahim at the helm. That would place Anwar as Malaysia's seventh PM and put an end to 52 years of Umno-dominated BN misrule.

Think on this scenario and perk up, folks.

Pic by TV Smith