Editor’s Note: This article first appear in the MY Sin Chew news portal on Nov 23, a day before the official appointment of Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister.
AS a rakyat watching the drama of finding support for a new Prime Minister (PM) unfold, I am of the opinion that those Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs who are reluctant to give support to Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim are purely motivated by their own self-interest – not of their party’s and certainly not of the people.
From where I am standing, it is absolutely clear to me that the reluctance is simply based on a leadership struggle within UMNO and factors like getting possible titles and rewards. These BN MPs are serving themselves and not the interest of the rakyat. I will explain.
First of all, the most ridiculous reason given for not forming a government with Anwar is his relationship with the DAP. My first question is whether DAP is a terrorist party which blows up racial and religious hatred here and there or are they peaceful Malaysians?
My second question is, did caretaker prime minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob not sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Pakatan Harapan (PH) to prevent Bersatu and PAS from leveraging their loyalties to get whatever they want? Was not DAP part of that MOU?
My third question to these reluctant BN MPs is did you guys not enjoy being ministers and PM with all the perks that go with it under the blessing of PH and the DAP?
My fourth question is wasn’t Perak governed by BN and the PH when the then menteri besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu was thrown out of office? And wasn’t there the support of DAP required?
Finally, after the GE15, BN Perak was given chief ministership by PH that included DAP, even though PH and DAP have overwhelming seats in the state assembly?
So, please don’t treat us rakyat as stupid-lah! Now, we come to the juicy part on the question of what caused BN’s fall. Some of the BN MPs say BN fell because Zahid wanted to save his skin from the court charges.
And so, according to this narrative, the opposition PN and PH capitalise on that by saying Zahid is a perompak (robber). Well, we all sort of know about that – not only Zahid but the rest of you UMNO people with the missing LCS (littoral combatant ship) or vaccine procurement.
Thus I heard some of the UMNO candidates bad mouthing Zahid and this caused a sabotage that brought UMNO down by giving fuel and opportunity to its enemy.
So, sabotage brought UMNO down. Zahid was also attacked by those he had dropped to be candidates. I am not speaking for Zahid or proclaiming him innocent but I am just stating the facts as I have seen it myself.
UMNO fell because of inside job – not just outside. So, Zahid cannot be blamed entirely – and as Sabah UMNO chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin said everyone was at fault.
Ploy to oust Zahid
Now we can discuss why some of the UMNO MPs will not support Anwar. The real reason to me is simply there is a faction which wants to use the election defeat to its advantage in shaming Zahid and ousting him by popular support.
But if Zahid gets Anwar appointed PM, then Zahid is in good shoes with Anwar and may regain his stature and also strength politically. Zahid has also won the Perak game by getting his man appointed and Pahang may also follow suit.
Thus, it is clear to me that these people are reluctant to support Anwar because of their selfish reasons of wanting to oust their president. So, these MPs are not putting the rakyat first but putting themselves first, second and last!
Finally, there is the question of appointment to ministership. It is a sucker’s bet that those not aligned with Zahid will probably not get any appointment if Anwar comes to power. Why? Because in their Aku Janji (letter of pledge), Zahid holds the power to recommend the cabinet candidates among BN MPs, not Anwar.
Thus, the reluctance of joining up with Anwar is apparent – no cabinet posts! As opposed to joining the ‘other’ gang whose leader will expand the cabinet to 140 ministers and deputy ministers plus several more goyang kaki envoy, this leader seems to me the master of public wastage in terms of propping his PM-ship.
He probably thinks wasting money is an Islamic thing as long as Islam is in the driver’s seat, whatever the price. Anwar is a bit kedekut (stingy) to spend the people’s money because he happens to think that is a sin in Islam.
So, as a rakyat, I wish we don’t have to deal with these kinds of BN MPs but what to do? We just hope that the Agong will remind them that their duty is for the people first, second and last! — Nov 25, 2022
Prof Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is Professor of Architecture at a local university and his writing reflects his own personal opinion entirely.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.