Today 8 Oct 2009 postal voting begins for the Bagan Pinang by election. It will continue tomorrow. This according to Datuk Ngah Senik, the Election Commission secretary "is necessary as there are 4,604 postal voters in the constituency." Polling proper as we know is on Sunday.
Anyway since nomination last Saturday, many have been using the word "when" instead of "if" in referring to Tan Sri Samad's bid for the Bagan Pinang state seat. In short, many believe Isa will win. They have their own reasons for coming to an early conclusion, all of which we have heard many times before.
So let's not go there. But with such conclusion comes this--a logical question which was and still being asked: "What do you do with a senior party man when he wins?" What this simply means is "How do you reward him?" Some are speculating Isa will be given an exco portfolio. Isa has declared that he wasn't promised anything if he wins.Many are not convinced. The Menteri Besar Mohamad Hassan is keeping mum, only wanting to say: "Let Isa win first." Hence the speculation continues. Many still firmly believing Isa will be made a senior exco befitting his stature.
Assuming this happens, will that make Mohamad Hassan less comfortable? What with Isa being much more senior than him? And was Negeri Sembilan MB from 1982 to 2004. (in the 2004 General Election he contested parliamentary seat of Jempol, won it and was made Federal Territory Minister. A year later he had to relinquish the ministerial position because of his UMNO problems which we all know about). Said a Negeri Sembilan'UMNO watcher, it's an open secret Isa and Mohamad Hassan are not in the best of terms, something both have strongly denied.
Mohamad Hassan is saying he was the first to nominate Isa as Bagan Pinang candidate. Isa on his part say both of them "are so busy" that "we don't have time to fight." He has also denied that the leadership's decision in picking him as candidate is splitting UMNO especially in Negeri Sembilan. Isa and Mohamad Hassan of late have been seen together at functions, obviously projecting an "all's well" front. Still there are folks who's not buying.
Word have it that Mohamad Hassan does not enjoy the full support of UMNO Negeri Sembilan. Such talk has been heard for a long time. An UMNO watcher put it as five out of eight UMNO divisions in the state as not supporting the MB. It seems that Rais Yatim and Shaziman Mansor , big names in UMNO Negeri Sembilan are also not keen on Mohamad Hassan. True of false? It all depends on who you talk to.
Some say when Mohamad Hassan became MB, he incurred the wrath of Isa by chopping off Isa's men. Now it looks like it's pay back time. According to an UMNO watcher, the day Isa was officially named BN candidate for Bagan Pinang, many of Mohamad Hassan supporters abandoned him and jumped onto the Isa band wagon.
Now some are boldly speculating that Isa will be made, no not senior exco but Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar, replacing Mohamad Hassan. The UMNO watcher who claims to have been following Negeri Sembilan UMNO politics for a long time feel there's a possibility PM Najib Razak will appoint Isa as MB. He went on to state the reason why, which I feel should be omitted at least for now.
All this however cannot be independently substantiated and remain speculative. Maybe hear-say even.
Still it's safe to assume supporters of Isa will push, shove and prompt that their boss be made MB. But Mohamad Hassan is no pushover. He too have his own supporters (although some said to have jumped ship). And as Menteri Besar he is the incumbent despite being junior to Isa, in age and experience. He won't give in easily. His band of supporters will make sure of that, if not for anything else.
If the speculation and conspiracy theory become a reality, then a bigger war is in store after Sunday's by election in Bagan Pinang. Like Karen Carpenter said in her song "We've only just begun..."
But first thing's first. Isa must win. Can he? Will he? (By MOHSIN ABDULLAH/MySinchew)