Musa Hitam, a politician from the earlier days of Mahathir’s premiership, was once the country’s deputy prime minister and a reckoned political force in the 1980s.
During the 1987 Umno political struggle, he teamed up with Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and nearly took down then prime minister cum Umno president Dr Mahathir.
Long staying out of politics, he offered his exciting and insightful views on the country’s current political situation during a recent interview with Utusan Malaysia
As he is no more inside the political circle, he can speak with a free will, giving a vivid account of the many faces of Malaysian politicians as well as the prevailing political culture. And he is tactical enough not to offend any of the leaders he has mentioned: Tun Mahathir, Muhyiddin Yassin, Najib Razak, or Anwar Ibrahim.
Nonetheless, he has grown extremely sick of current political developments in the country and how politicians have placed their own interests above those of the nation and rakyat, a phenomenon aggravated by the “party-hopping” culture. As a consequence, endless conflicts emerge within a party and between a party and another, reducing politics to the “main main masak” of rogue politicians.
Musa urges lawmakers to immediately enact an “anti-hopping law” to bring to an end such destructive and destabilizing acts.
Party-hopping is a lethal weapon that kills the normal development of democratic politics, and constitutes an extremely malicious political culture.
None in modern-day democratic world is like our country where politicians would shamelessly hop to a rival party to seize power and advance their personal gains.
Here, both the frog and the mudpool that accepts the frog (party) will not be condemned in the strongest terms, nor feel the slightest hint of shame for their despicable actions.
PH supporters do not resist PN traitors that defect to their camp, while PN supporters welcome PH deserters with open arms. In short, their ulterior motive is to seize power and become government.
Such a culture will send democratic politics faster into decline, and failure to stop it through legislation will render the country perpetually in a state of chaotic mess.
All parties—ruling, opposition, as well as the general public—will set to win if the anti-hopping law eventually goes into effect. The only losers are the political frogs. For those in power who condone such acts of party-hopping, who knows the same ill destiny will not befall them some day.
Talking about Muhyiddin’s “back door government”, Musa doesn’t feel that it’s shameful, for at least Muhyiddin has come to power after defeating Mahathir. It was Mahathir who abruptly resigned first during last year’s “Sheraton coup”, while Muhyiddin was able to secure support from enough MPs to be sworn in as PM before the King on Feb 29.
Musa says it was an outcome of inter-party struggles within the same coalition that could be attributed to disunity within PH under Tun M’s leadership as well as his miscalculation of the actual situation.
Musa admits that both Tun M and Najib have been excellent leaders. Barring his “personal problems”, perhaps Najib was the country’s best leader since Tengku Abdul Rahman, he opines.
As for Tun M, he said, “I never really trusted him.” He said during Pakatan’s time, Lim Kit Siang visited him several times, appearing very excited and talking incessantly. He told Kit Siang he didn’t trust Mahathir from the political point of view, and that this had nothing to do with his personal love-hate relationship with his ex-boss.
And he thinks Anwar has what it takes to be PM. “Someone had promised him, but nothing came out after much waiting.”
What about Umno, which has just decided to sever its ties with Muhyiddin’s party Bersatu? Will it get another chance?
Musa says Umno was once very powerful but is now going downhill and split into three factions, one that is still holding fast to the party’s principle; one that is headed by Ahmad Zahid and Najib; and one that has the capability but not a chance to perform. If they fail to integrate, Umno’s chance of recapturing Putrajaya is nil. To win back its lost respect, the party must draw a line between itself and leaders tainted with court cases.
As for severing ties with Bersatu, Musa feels that it will not become a reality, just a make believe show.
Looks like Umno is still going to work with Bersatu come the next election, huh?
Sin Chew Daily