|Two out of three ain't bad? NST Sept 11, 2013|
There are three elected vice presidents in Umno, the party that dominates the ruling BN coalition, but only two out of the trhee VPs - Zahid Hamidi and Hishammuddin Hussein - are featured prominently by the New Straits Times in its Umno election run-up interviews today (pages 8 and 9 plus a front page blurb).
Where is Shafie Apdal?
Shaife says he, Hisham & Zahid team up like a "sleek football team"
I'm sure a lot of people are asking the same question and reading into this. The New Straits Times is a newspaper that's closely linked to Umno top leadership and its editors rarely leave any editorial content on the party's top brass - the President, Deputy President, and Vice Presidents, especially - to chance, especially when party election is just around the corner.
The interview with Hisham was done by Jalil Hamid himself. Jalil is the NSTP group managing editor, meaning he is the boss for NST, Berita Harian, Harian Metro, their websites, etc. The interview with Zahid was led by Rashid Yusof, who is Jalil's Deputy Group Editor for NST. Nope, they do not leave such things to chance or minions.
Musa Aman: Delivered Sabah in PRU13Ok, for all you know Shafie Apdal's interview has been lined up for tomorrow's NST. Maybe Jalil's planning an across-the-gutter, pages 8 and 9 with Musa Aman, the Sabah Chief Minister, who is expected to contest for a VP slot. I sure hope so. If Musa does go for it and Shafie decides to defend his post, there will be two candidates from Sabah. "Only one of them will remain standing," a veteran editor told me. Read Musa Aman vs Shafie Apdal.
So I'll look out for tomorrow's NST.
One last term. In the meantime, I hear that Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat Jalil and Azalina Othman had a heart-to-heart recently. A compromise on the cards. Azalina, the former Puteri chief, will not challenge Shahrizat. In return, Shahrizat will spend her final term as Wanita chief to put in a succession plan, which may feature Puteri but not necessarily Azalina herself. Also heard, Isa Samad may pull out of the Veep race; still too soon after the money politics affair. Mukhriz Mahathir might also want to focus on Kedah, it's his first term as Menteri Besar. Ali Rustam was still keen, as of yesterday, but many are hoping that common sense will prevail and the 64-year old former Melaka Chief Minister would be persuaded in the name of transformation to pull out for younger blood to start taking over the party. Wallahualam bisawab.