Warung Pak Lah

Spot this small Malay coffee shop at Kampung Datuk Bintulu – called Warung Pak Lah. It attracted my attention as the name “Pak Lah” is how Malaysia embattled Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi are known to among his inner circle.

He was once asked by member of the press if he is comfortable being called “Pak Lah”. He said yes because there is one Pak Lah and that is him but there are a lot of ‘Datuk Seri’. But look like there are also a few Pak Lahs around – including the owner of the above coffee shop.

Power Lunch. Today Pak Lah had lunch meeting with several Umno MPs where they pledged their loyalty to Umno apparently in rebuffed of an invitation by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to join him and quit the ruling party en masse.

In the meeting, Pak Lah said Mahathir had put self above the interest of the party when he urged party members to quit Umno. MPs who attended the meeting said the atmosphere was calm with the bulk of the discourse being on strengthening the party and the strategy to tackle a motion by DAP’s Lim Kit Siang on the illegal immigrants problem in Sabah.

Quit Umno calls. Tun Dr Mahathir stunned the country yesterday when he announced that he was resigning from the party and would only rejoin when Abdullah stepped down as party president, chairman of Barisan Nasional and prime minister of Malaysia. He said that he was forced to take this drastic action because Abdullah refused to take responsibility for BN’s poor performance in Election 2008 and quit.

He urged Umno ministers, MPs, state assemblymen and division chiefs to follow his lead and quit the party. Only by doing so, will Abdullah be forced to step down before the party elections in December, he reasoned.

Tun Mahathir may be a little disappointed as there is no taker yet. Event his own son Mukhriz decided to stay with Umno. He knows by quitting Umno that would be the end of his political career.