KUALA LUMPUR (SIN CHEW DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The mass exodus in Umno has spawned the conspiracy theory of an imminent ouster of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
I have tried to figure out why Umno has been divided into three different sects and why PM Mahathir's ouster to pave the way for Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Anwar Ibrahim to take over when the Parliament sitting resumes next March, has been implicated.
A group of Umno leaders have been meeting over their court cases and possible dissolution of Umno.
Those against Mahathir argue that the PM is not someone you can negotiate and they are therefore more inclined to support Anwar's early ascension to power because they believe Anwar will keep Umno and help them with their cases.
As for those without court cases or are unhappy with Anwar, they are more likely to continue supporting Mahathir as PM because they don't trust Anwar.
The meeting of these Umno leaders ended with no conclusion, and soon afterward we have all kinds of rumours.
It has been reported that Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is more towards supporting Anwar, and may have instructed Padang Rengas MP Mohamed Nazri to talk divisional leaders into supporting the PKR president, and to form a coalition government with PKR and DAP.
The move has nevertheless backfired among the grassroots.
Larut MP Hamzah Zainudin is strongly against Anwar.
He claims that 36 Barisan Nasional reps have signed a letter in support of Mahathir.
It is also said that Hishammuddin called a secret meeting last week that included among others Hamzah and PKR's deputy president Azmin Ali, who was accused of trying to stop Anwar from becoming PM during the recent party elections.
If Pakatan Harapan (PH) remains disunited, it will not be able to focus on dealing with Umno, allowing the latter to take advantage of the chaos to gain a backdoor access to federal administration.
PH will become BN 2.0 if these people were to be allowed to join the coalition and have their court cases forgiven. This will deal a lethal blow to the country's judiciary.
Why are PH component parties still willing to accept worthless Umno politicians?
Very simple: they want to strengthen themselves by absorbing Umno MPs. And also Malay votes will go to them if Umno is eventually dissolved.
Doing so will also ensure that PH secures a two-thirds majority advantage in Dewan Rakyat so that the Constitution can be amended and their political agendas fulfilled.
Also, Bills tabled by the PH government will no longer risk rejection in Dewan Negara following the side-changing of Umno senators.
If these Umno reps are not allowed to join PH, they may eventually defect to PAS, making the Islamic party all the harder to fight in future.
That said, ship-jumping will have very severe impact on the country, as the acceptance of political frogs will invariably trigger renewed political tug-of-war within PH, in addition to betraying the public mandate.
Can Lim Kit Siang sit alongside Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik, who has applied to join PPBM, and who he said was the culprit for his son Guan Eng's imprisonment for helping an underage Malay girl?
Will Anwar pardon someone who in 2011 wickedly distributed his fake sex video clip?
We can judge from their recent public comments that indeed some PH leaders' stand has already softened.
They are more willing now to accept these frogs on grounds of political interest.
As a matter of fact, the PH leadership's position has swung away from that of ordinary citizens who are frustrated that corrupt Umno leaders can be whitewashed and allowed to join PH.
This has contravened the coalition's pledge of battling corruption and upholding clean governance.
Unfortunately, the PH leadership appears to have turned a deaf ear to the rakyat's views dutifully reflected by the elected reps from DAP and PKR.
If Umno eventually goes bust and the opposition is significantly weakened, who will be there to oversee the government?
Lest we forget, BN was so powerful in the past and could deliberately amend the Constitution because we had a weak opposition.
PH leaders are humans and are thus susceptible to temptation.
The country's reforms will never materialise in the absence of a healthy check and balance mechanism.
New Malaysia must reject immoral political deals.
The new government must draw a line between itself and treacherous politicians.
Some PH leaders seem to have lost their direction as they are engrossed in the game of engaging Umno reps, putting behind their priority of revitalising the country's economy.
PH will have nowhere to go but down if it steers off course and forgoes its principles.
The writer is a regular commentator with Sin Chew Daily. The paper is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 23 news media entities.