12:27pm 14/05/2020
Muhyiddin’s days are numbered?

By Pook Ah Lek, Sin Chew Daily

The 2018 general elections brought together four different political parties with divergent ideologies and political philosophies but one common goal, to topple the 60-year-old BN regime. The kingpin of that epoch-making miracle was Tun Mahathir.

The same Mahathir was instrumental in the collapse of the PH administration on February 24, 2020.

And with PH now moving to table a private member's motion of no confidence against the prime minister, still this same Mahathir is the proposer.

In other words, this guy plays a pivotal role in each and every key stage in the coalition's success as well as its downfall.

On the second anniversary of the nation's first ever change of federal administration on May 9, Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim were back in good terms, again. Many were awed when the news broke. The duo insisted in a joint statement that they were prepared to put aside their differences "for the sake of the people"!

I recently wrote on this very column about the political drama unfolding in the country. No, this whole thing has not come to a close yet. Expect more sequels to follow.

Indeed "power" makes one out of his mind and control. Politics itself is not a dirty name, but politicians are.

19th century British prime minister Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston famously said, "We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual…"

For the sake of political power, one would work with a demon that keeps betraying others, thinking that a little caution should keep the dangers at bay.

It doesn't matter now who was betraying whom or who was the culprit that brought down the PH administration. What is important is the reality that power is already in hand or about to be so. The noble rhetoric "for the sake of the people, nation and religion" is not to be taken seriously.

Apparently the coronavirus has failed to teach our politicians a lesson. Politicians on both sides of the divide have forgotten that a week before the regime change in February, the country went without a functioning government and cabinet. The whole burden was forced onto the shoulders of our health DG Noor Hisham. If the tabligh gathering at Masjid Seri Petaling could be stopped in time, the number of our positive COVID-19 cases could have been halved!

With the outbreak gradually tamed down now, these politicians are waiting to act again in a renewed round of power struggle.

Muhyiddin is rightly called the country's weakest prime minister in history. Response to his call to get 12 political parties to join forces to consolidate his Perikatan Nasional alliance has been underwhelming.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid says his party's support for PN is established upon the basis of individual Umno MPs being part of the government.

Zahid is not someone one should take very lightly, and Muhyiddin will learn about this in time.

Muhyiddin's excessively bloated 70-plus-member cabinet is not big enough to satiate the lust of the Umno chief, and the DPM post he has been coveting is still pending to this day.

PPBM has a total of 36 parliamentary seats, of which Muhyiddin comfortably commands 32, with the remaining four being Mahathir and his closest aides. The prime minister needs the support of BN (42 seats), PAS (18) and GPS (19) to make up 115 in order to hold on to his office.

It is a matter of time the PN regime will fall, if Muhyiddin is unable to meet the demands of Umno and PAS. PPBM will only lose working with Umno-PAS. Due to overlapping of seats, its candidates will inevitably have to fight tooth and nail with candidates from Umno and PAS come the next general elections.

There's no bounds to Umno's and PAS's greed. To quench their thirst, Muhyiddin has agreed to put all PN backbenchers on GLC boards in a blatant political appointment in gross disregard of an appointee's capability and background. But even that will not appease Umno-PAS, the starving vulture ready to gobble up the whole of PPBM.

Even within his own party Muhyiddin is no better than a lame duck, facing the hostile actions of Mahathir. And his plan to convene a supreme council meeting to ax Mahathir and his son has been cautiously shelved.

With enemies all around him—Umno and PAS on one side and Mahathir on the other—Muhyiddin's days are numbered barring any miracle.



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