Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Senator T. Murugiah is the loser in the recent PPP spat between him and the party president M. Kayveas. Supporters of Murugiah had conducted an emergency meeting to 'elect' him as the new president of PPP in an attempt to dump Kayveas.
Murugiah was desperately trying to lobby for support from several UMNO leaders including PM Najib Razak. However, all these attempts were futile. On Thursday, the Registrar of Societies declared Kayveas the lawful president, adding that the party could proceed with its 56th annual general meeting.
Now, according to Kayveas the party is turning its back permanently on Murugiah. Since the winner is obvious, Murugiah who will soon lose his deputy minister position may find himself in reeling in political isolation.
There is a lesson to take away from this spat. Never fight an incumbent force if one is not sure of being able to deliver the ultimate blow. It was clear that UMNO top leaders wanted to stay away from being involved in another political quagmire. From their perspective, Murugiah is less troublesome compared to Kayveas.
By alienating Kayveas, the coalition may potentially face a rebellion and a fight back from his faction in PPP. It was a fact that Kayveas was fully in charge of PPP.
It will be interesting to watch how Murugiah intends to fight back to salvage his political career.