The “TN50” or National Transformation Plan 2050 is another calculated move by embattled PM Najib Razak to steer Barisan Nasional clear of all association to former leader Tun Mahathir Mohammad.
The most interesting thing here is the fact that Youth Minister Khairy Jamaluddin will lead the program. TN50 is Khairy’s biggest assignment. Najib knows Khairy is a good politician. Instead of sidelining Khairy, Najib will use TN50 as a conduit for Khairy to capture the votes of Young, Urban Malays that are the most likely to vote for the opposition compared to rural or older Malays.
It is a smart move on the part of the PM to place Khairy front and center of the initiative, given that Khairy has already stolen the hearts of hundreds of thousands of Malaysian youth through programs like Hari Sukan Negara as well as the recent successful Malaysian Olympics outing .
The fact that TN50 stretches 33 years into the future is simply BN succession planning on display.
Q:Is the government trying to divert national attention away from Vision 2020? And why?
A:Very much so. Mahathir is known as Malaysia’s Father of Development(Bapa Pemodenan) and it is clear that now with the rise of Pribumi, Najib will definitely not want voters to remember the work of the former leader as he launches the next election campaign in 2017-18. The Tun Razak Exchange, christened after Najib’s father and former PM, is a city on its own, built to succeed the aging Kuala Lumpur city centre(which, by the way, is the centerpiece of Vision 2020) – the company in charge of the development is aptly named TRX City for a reason.
Q: Is Khairy Jamaluddin running the corridors of power? Was this all his plan?
A: We don’t know for sure, but we know whatever cards Khairy has, he is playing them right at the moment. It is very clear, however, that both leaders have had done serious work regarding TN50. Khairy and Najib are working hand in hand.
Q: Is Najib preparing to hand over the reins to Khairy, or is Najib planning to stay on until 2050?
A: I doubt Najib wants to leave – at least for a decade or more. Mahathir’s children rose to become powerful men – one a state minister, the other a billionaire – before Mahathir left his position. Najib probably would want to see the same thing happen too, before handing over the reins to current DPM Zahid Hamidi or Hishammuddin Hussein. Khairy”s turn could come much sooner, or much later, depending on what happens next. 33 years is enough for Najib to make internal plans for a successor. Keeping power within the family is a common concept for Asean regional superpowers. Singapore leader Lee Kuan Yew left when his son was secure politically. Thaksin left and his younger sister took his place. Khairy Jamaluddin is the son in law of former Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.
Risks to this view: If BN falls in the next election(which still looks like a far fetched dream), TN50 will collapse along with the rest of the party. TN50 will also collapse if coalition fails to hold to power after it wins the election.
By Alexander Winifred