SUPPORTERS of eighth prime minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin obviously does not want his current successor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to walk out the victor or the Bersatu president being left out in the race of forging ties with Saudi Arabia which is touted as the epicentre of Muslim civilisation.
Either that or to run down on Anwar’s reputation after the Tambun MP claimed “very positive outcome with several discussions made with the Muslim community and businesses that allowed the relationship between the two countries to continue growing” following his three-day official visit to the kingdom which ended yesterday (March 25).
As Anwar wins hands down by turning PAS president Tan Sri Hadi Awang’s previous Middle East envoy role into a joke in terms of the breadth and depth from his visit, Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Muhyiddin is portrayed by his supporters to be triumphant over Anwar in terms of protocol and state reception in a recently uploaded TikTok video.
In the 1 minute 34 seconds video entitled “Kerajaan Madani Dimalukan Di Arab Saudi” (Madani Government Shamed in Saudi Arabia), Muhyiddin’s camp belittled Anwar by claiming that he had failed to make any courtesy call on Saudi Arabia’s King Raja Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince-cum-PM Mohammed bin Salman as per stated on the itinerary issued by the Foreign Ministry.
“PMX was only greeted by the Jeddah Governor which is similar to the level of Melaka Chief Minister,” noted the TikTok video. “More steady PM Muhyiddin previously as he was greeted by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia which is a rarity.”
Another revelation which could mean ‘spiritual victory’ or morale booster to PN supporters, is that the TikTik video demeaned Anwar by asking if indeed he was prevented from entering the Kaaba which is deemed to be Islam’s holiest site.
“Kiss the Hajarul Aswad (the revered Black Stone which an ancient Muslim relic associated with Prophet Muhammad) also cannot PMX? Shame! Shame! Shame on Malaysians!” the short video further chided.
“Previously, Muhyiddin and wife (Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman) were brought into the Kaaba and able to kiss the Hajarul Aswad. This is then only a respected and revered Muslim leader.”
“Beyond that, PM Muhyiddin was able to discuss the hajj quota, talked about investment prospects and delved on the Muslim world. But the PMX was unable to meet the Saudi head of state nor discussed about the hajj quota, etc. Only managed to meet investors at best.”
“The TikTok video concluded: “It boils down to merely being self-conceited for PMX. No state reception whatsoever. Failed to discuss hajj quota. Failed to meet (top) Saudi leaders. Biggest PM flop yet arrogant”.
Probably, the timing of the politically-motivated video post is inappropriate considering that Ramadan is the best time for both self-reflection and to seek forgiveness from one another, even between political foes.
Anwar’s visit has its own merit as per his own report on his Facebook page (prior to flying home):
“I’m with Azizah and the delegation to Madinah al Munawwarah for the breaking of fast ceremony with Malaysian students who are demanding in Madinah. We then performed Maghrib, Isyak and Tarawih prayers at the Nabawi Mosque.
“Alhamdulillah, the delegation and I were also honoured by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to visit the Raudhah and Tomb of Prophet Muhammad SAW.” – March 26, 2023