Just as the Sabah state elections are in the stage of final countdown, out of the blue PKR president Anwar Ibrahim sent a new shock wave across the Malaysian political landscape by claiming that he already had the numbers to form the new government while declaring PM Muhyiddin’s PN government had collapsed.
But, he fell short of mentioning the names of MPs who would support him as PM. Nor did he prove his claim, arguing that details would only be unveiled after he has an audience with the King.
With the failed September 16 coup attempt still fresh in our minds, coupled with a number of dubious points yet to be clarified, it is understandable that Malaysians in general have reservations about Anwar’s sudden announcement.
Firstly, Anwar claimed he had nearly two-thirds of MPs on his side, most of whom Malay-Muslims. However, he said it did not include members from Mahathir’s new party Pejuang nor former PKR MPs who had defected.
Most Malay-Muslim MPs are from PPBM, Umno, PAS or Sarawak’s PBB. Does that mean Muhyiddin’s allies are now turning against him, or Umno and PAS are about to abandon their Muafakat agreement, or GPS is now ready to work with DAP?
If Anwar has near two-thirds of seats, these seats must include those from DAP (42). Umno and PAS orchestrated the Sheraton Move mainly to get rid of DAP, therefore supporting Anwar means they are now willing to reconcile with their sworn enemy?
It is impossible for PAS’ 18 MPs to betray Muhyiddin because Hadi Awang is not in good terms with Anwar, and the PM has been treating the Islamist party well enough with government and NGO positions, not to mention no action taken against plantation industries and commodities minister Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali who blatantly flouted quarantine SOPs.
Muhyiddin is also doing everything to please GPS, including the recent disbursement of RM2.96 billion in sales tax on petroleum products to the Sarawak state government. Can Anwar offer anything better than that? It is therefore unsurprising that chief minister Abang Johari has reiterated his support for Muhyiddin.
The only obvious differing voice came from Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who confirmed that some Umno and BN reps were indeed eager to change side to support Anwar’s bid to be PM. Ahmad Zahid might be unhappy with Muhyiddin for overriding his party in Sabah elections and for delaying GE15.
If Umno is divided because of this, Anwar may not get the numbers to be PM. Moreover, Ahmad Zahid’s ultimate motive is to have a snap election, not to team up with PH to seize power.
Secondly, why didn’t Anwar wait until after he has an audience with the King and the King agrees to him forming the new government, before making the announcement? Does such non-compliance with the SOP constitute disrespect for the Ruler? Moreover, this gives Muhyiddin and his PN team ample time to recapture the hearts of defecting MPs and crush Anwar’s PM dream.
What is perplexing is that, Anwar may not get to become PM if Muhyiddin is forced to dissolve the Parliament, because Muafakat is poised to sweep most of the Malay votes and PH will not have the chance at all.
If what Anwar did was akin to the power seizure announcement of Sabah’s Musa Aman, he will likely meet with the dissolution of the Parliament, if what he claimed is substantiated.
Thirdly, why did he choose such a bad timing to announce he had the numbers? Why couldn’t he wait until the Sabah elections are over? While the announcement may help PKR in state elections, it may not be a good thing for Warisan +, as Warisan’s allies are doing the same thing Musa Aman was doing!
Anwar could have done this under mounting pressure from within the PH coalition that he failed to get enough support to be PM, he should let Warisan’s Shafie Apdal take over.
Two PH component parties appeared to be overjoyed with Anwar’s announcement. DAP sec-gen Lim Guan Eng and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu have vowed full backing for Anwar to be PM. They seem to have forgotten how fiercely they have condemned political defectors. How are they going to work with a corrupt Umno in future?
Having analyzed the situation, it is not hard to deduce that Anwar actually does not have full confidence his coup attempt is going to work this time. It might be just a strategy employed to divide the ruling PN alliance for the benefit of Pakatan Harapan.
But the thing is, making the rushy announcement is a very bad move. His personal integrity as well as that of PKR and PH will be totally crushed if it is proven in the end to be just a smokescreen, as the voters will lose their faith in him.
Malaysian politicians have been avid in their power games since the Sheraton Move, even as the coronavirus outbreak has intensified in recent weeks and the rakyat are struggling to make ends meet. Politicians on both sides of the divide should have focused their attention on battling the virus and fixing the economy instead of digging their own graves by exploiting dirty political tricks.
By : Lim Sue Goan – Sin Chew Daily