PERIKATAN Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who reigned as Malaysia’s premier with the second shortest stint at 17 months – only to be beaten by caretaker prime minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s 14 – is seemingly reluctant to concede his defeat in the race to be Malaysia’s 10th PM.
As Indonesian President Joko Widodo became the first head of state to congratulate Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who ended his 24-year wait to helm Putrajaya, the Bersatu president stands tall as one of the few political leaders who is still questioning the validity of Anwar’s appointment.
Already outright derhaka (treacherous) for his action defies the order of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and the Council of Rulers for their selection of Anwar as the best man for the job, imagine the further disrespect demonstrated by the incumbent Pagoh MP by staging a media briefing which coincided with the swearing in ceremony at 5pm yesterday (Nov 24) to denounce Anwar’s validity as PM.
Even PN’s dominant partner, PAS – though short of congratulating Anwar for his premiership appointment – has endeavoured to move on by accepting that “whatever has happened, has happened and there must be a wisdom attached to it”.
“The important thing is that we be honest with the people, be patient, and remain steadfast (in our struggle),” penned PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang in his latest Facebook post. “We have tried our best. The onus is now on the PM to prove the actual support that he received.”
Even if PN is not part of Anwar’s unity government which features PH, Barisan Nasional (BN) and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), the very least Muhyiddin-led PN can do is to provide the check and balance machinery as a forceful opposition in the Dewan Rakyat when Parliament convenes on Dec 19.
Although he is still revered by Pagoh folks – very much the way Pekan’s born and bred towards incarcerated former PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak – Muhyiddin must realise that Malaysians tend to associate him as one of the masterminds/key defectors of the infamous Sheraton Move which toppled the 22-month-old PH Government in February 2020.
This has led to the stigma of “traitor” and “backdoor government” which is very difficult to be erased from the minds of Malaysians towards the 75-year-old eighth Malaysian PM.
If this is not bad enough, his flawed COVID-19 management has resulted in countless fatalities among Malaysians, many of whom could still be alive today.
“Malaysia (at the height of the COVID-19 health crisis) had the worst Health Minister in the world and Malaysia plunged from a country with a good record to a country with one of the worst records in the world in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic,” lambasted retired DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang who faulted Muhyiddin for the poor handling of the pandemic
Recall that the declaration of emergency during Muhyiddin’s administration on Jan 11, 2021 had not only failed to stem the spread of the pandemic in Malaysia but the number of cases actually spiked to 17,150 with daily COVID-19 deaths soared to 160 on Aug 1 that year being the last day of the COVID-19 emergency.
This is a stark contrast from the 2,232 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths on the day the emergency was declared.
Well, whether ‘caretaker’ Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun is right to describe Muhyiddn as an “overlooked reformist” is as good as anybody’s guess. – Nov 25, 2022
Main pic credit: Berita Harian
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