It is clear that certain quarters in UMNO, in particular the "green" youth leaders, are after Mukhriz Mahathir's throat. To them, Mukhriz committed a very serious crime when he said that he was a little disappointed by the speech of party president Abdullah Badawi on Wednesday.
To the UMNO youth apple-polishers, that statement was a big sin. A big sin. One cannot criticise the party president although one's statement was simply a personal view. One must "kowtow" with the rest of the EXCO headed by Hishamuddin Hussein, one of the most unpopular personality to lead UMNO youth.
Mukhriz was given one or two days to explain to the great Hisham and company, why he issued such a statement on Abdullah's presidential speech at the UMNO general assembly.
The son of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will face disciplinary action if his explanation is unsatisfactory. Hishamuddin said Mukhriz must explain why he made a statement that was not in line with the movement's stand.
Well, Abdullah Badawi is such a great leader that he is above one and all and cannot be criticised. Is this the democracy adopted by UMNO under Abdullah?
May be Abdullah should be reminded of his harsh criticisms against Dr Mahathir in 1987 although at that time he was a member of Mahathir's cabinet in charge of defence. Did Mahathir or any UMNO supreme council members ticked off Abdullah for openly hitting Mahathir below the belt? Did Mahathir took disciplinary action against him?
Permit me to repeat what the then education minister and Mahathir's protege Anwar Ibrahim said on 13 April 1987 (see The Star dated 14 April 1987).
Anwar said various criticisms being hurled at the government because Dr Mahathir was liberal. He said that situation had prompted members of the public and the mass media to be more brave in criticising the government compared with the past when those who were extreme in their criticisms would be detained.
Anwar described Dr Mahathir as "firm and open" in replying to criticism and some mistook that as being intolerent.
Among those who openly criticised Dr Mahathir during the run-up to the party's 38th general assembly to elect new leaders were members of his cabinet led by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Musa Hitam. They were supported by Abdullah Badawi (Defence Minister), Rais Yatim (Foreign Affairs Minister), Ajib Ahmad (PM's Dept), Kadir Sheikh Fadzir (Deputy Foreign Minister), Radzi Sheikh Ahmad (Deputy Primary Industries Minister), Daud Taha (Deputy Public Enterprise Minister), Rahmah Osman (Deputy Transport Minister) and Zainal Abidin Zin (Deputy Energy, Communications and Post Minister).
What they had said about Dr Mahathir was worst than what Mukhriz said about Abdullah's speech but Dr Mahathir did not take disciplinary action against them.
The same cannot be said about Abdullah Badawi or his apple-polishers such as Hishamuddin and his Exco members, Rafidah "crocodile tears" Aziz or Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
"Hidup UMNO! Hidup Pak Lah! Demokrasi macam mana? Hidup atau mati?