If Malaysia wants to become a real democracy we need to develop political institutions that practise more democratic principles than at present.
For example, with UMNO the transfer of power from one leader seems to be arranged among the top leadership as if it were a family business. The grass-roots really do not get to pick their Number One but the power is given to the division heads to decide.
We know that UMNO introduced even more restrictions for the contest of the top posts with the introduction of the minimum nominations rule. Effectively this means you have to be very popular or very rich to stand for elections.
According to this malaysiakini article PM's fate rests with Umno divisions even after swapping the Finance post with his DPM, his future tenure is uncertain as many in his own party want him to leave earlier.
Of course his preferred date of 2010 is really too long and mid-2009 should be acceptable to most reasonable Malaysians. Has anyone thought about why the PM should vacate his office just because he is no longer the President of UMNO? I know that is the convention but just look how the UMNO politicking itself is also affecting investor confidence.
It is not fair to blame it all on Anwar and PAKATAN.
If the PM has decided he will quit, I think he should not even contest the UMNO elections but focus on perhaps his last 6 months in office.
Maybe we could learn a little about proper democracy from the Israeli regime, as our newscasters like to describe that democratic nation. The Prime Minister there has been charged with corruption and decided to step down. The process of picking their next leader involves all their party members who vote for up to 4 candidates in this case. It is a good example where democracy is driven by the grass-roots and quite different from UMNO that uses the top-down approach. You can watch their process
here. Their PM retains a care-taker role for a few months before stepping down.
Further away, even the UK Prime Minister is under siege as the UK economy falters with the looming recession.