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Earth-moving change in March?

  • "If they are no longer loyal to the country, I will also move to other parties... We are mobile, we are not fixed." Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

By TAY TIAN YAN
Sin Chew Daily

No one knows whether there will be earth-moving change in March.

But rumors have it that it will be in March

Why March?

They say March is when the Parliament sitting will resume, and something big may be taking place.

Some say Mahathir is ready to strike, while others argue that Anwar has no choice but to act fast. Whoever goes first, a war is imminent, and will invariably drag people in the likes of Azmin Ali, Hishammuddin, Umno, DAP, PAS... into the picture.

To be honest, rumors like this had been spreading around before the parliamentary sitting last October. Nothing happened eventually.

No one can tell whether this will happen later or will not happen at all.

As we are preparing to step into the month of March, PM Mahathir is the one taking the first move:

1. Admission of former Umno reps into PPBM

Despite strong opposition from other PH component parties and the civil society, Mahathir is opening the doors wide to allow six former Umno MPs to join his party. It is now proven that the top PH leaders have been powerless in stopping Mahathir.

2. PPBM going east

Several months ago, Mahathir said it very firmly that his party would not go into Sabah.

But to our prime minister, nothing comes before own interests, not even a brotherly relationship with Warisan's Shafie Apadal.

It looks like the PM is determined to swiftly expand the territories of his party PPBM, even at the expanse of his relationship with PH parties and Warisan.

And this phenomenon speaks volume of two things:

- Mahathir has all the powers in his hands, such that no PH component parties or allies can stop him.

- Mahathir is expediting his plans to get PPBM in full charge and to consolidate his succession plan.

3. New relationship with PAS, Umno

Mahathir's high profile second meeting with PAS' Hadi Awang seems to deliver some kind of message.

He seems to be telling the Malay society that PPBM (not PH) can also work with PAS, not only Umno.

In today's Malay political market, the only party that commands a solid mass foundation is PAS, which Umno is well aware of.

For a party with a much weaker follower base, PPBM can hardly fight PAS, and since you cannot fight it, why not join it?

Hadi has reciprocated with a generous gift: a pledge that his party will not back Umno in Semenyih.

There are two possible reasons for the Islamist party's change of direction: the investigation over RM90 million political donations, and taking advantage of fence-sitting.

As for Umno, needless to say half the party today is already in Mahathir's pocket.

4. Anwar getting further marginalized

Mahathir has repeatedly said he would hand over the baton to Anwar Ibrahim, but what he has done seems to tell the opposite.

While the recently formed Economic Action Council can include Umno veterans like Rafidah, there is no place for the "PM-in-waiting" who once served as the country's finance minister and was indeed crowned "Asia's best finance minister".

5. Azmin as DPM?

The rumors first surfaced some two months ago but have lately been denied by the PM.

But that does not mean it will not change, as seen before!

Quoting Mahathir on Feb 14: "If they (other PH component parties) are no longer loyal to the country, I will also move to other parties.

"We are mobile, we are not fixed."

 

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