Umno leaders are not saying it openly but read between the lines. Following a meeting between Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the Johor Umno division leaders, supreme council member Datuk Shahrir Samad said the state Umno would work together with Abdullah "until the party's general assembly in December" after which "Abdullah will sort out the succession plans with Najib."
Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muyhiddin Yassin revealed a bit more - Abdullah touched a bit on the transition plan, The Star reported April 12.
In short, it is safe to conclude that the transition period has started. An Umno leadership succession plan is or would be worked out.
The popular guess around town is that it would be a Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak-Muyhiddin partnership. Both come from Pahang and Johor - two powerful Umno states and the combination would certainly be accepted by the Umno ranks.