THE Sheraton Move 2.0 threat – and to that extent, the threat of an impending federal government collapse – has long hung over the heads of the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim-led unity government.
However, according to a report by The Star, the recent actions of the four Bersatu MPs who declared their support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his unity government seem to have foiled any possibilities of such plans as the government now has a stronger two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat, according to a report by The Star.
But such a move is not without consequences as the careers of the four MPs in question may not continue into a second term for they will likely be dropped by their party before the 16th general election due in 2028.
The four Bersatu MPs who had pledged their support for Anwar’s leadership are Jeli MP Zahari Kechik, Gua Musang MP Datuk Mohd Azizi Abu Naim, Kuala Kangsar MP Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid and Labuan MP Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman.
“They will be able to fulfil their duties as parliamentarians and their constituents will reap the benefits of development funds but their future careers as politicians are in doubt.
“Their actions will now end the narrative of ‘tebuk atap’ (breaking and entering) which is still going on,” Ilham Centre executive director Hisomuddin Bakar was quoted as saying, referring to the Bahasa Malaysia term indicating ‘back-door’ plots to overthrow the government.
He said this is because the actions of the four will likely weaken the morale and the momentum in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition to topple the administration since it is the opposition bloc that is losing support among its MPs.
“There’s also going to be finger-pointing about who was behind all of this and the blame game will weaken solidarity in Bersatu and the Opposition as a whole,” Hisomuddin reckoned.
Recall that in March PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang asserted that the opposition bloc had a “right” to make plans that can topple the government of the day, adding that no one can stop them from doing so.
In August, Hadi again insisted that there will be a change in the federal government if PN win all six states in the state election. He later made a similar claim that a strong showing by PN in the Pulai by-election could trigger a change in the federal government.
Meanwhile, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s (UTM) Razak Faculty Perdana Centre political analyst Dr Mazlan Ali noted that the shift in support from the four Bersatu MPs indicated that even some PN members want political stability.
“It shows that they want the Prime Minister to focus on governing and their actions will put an end to rumours of Anwar’s administration being toppled,” Mazlan told the English daily.
Following their announcement that they would support Anwar’s efforts to revive the economy and for extra development funds for their respective constituencies, Kuala Kangsar MP Iskandar and Labuan MP Suhaili were suspended by their party although they were still able to retain their seats in the Dewan Rakyat.
Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin recently announced that Iskandar and Suhaili had been suspended from the party for four and six years respectively by the party’s disciplinary board committee, and that they had also been relieved of all positions in the party.
The party had indicated that similar punishments will be meted out to Gua Musang MP Mohd Azizi and Jeli MP Zahari for also supporting the unity government.
Although the four have stated that they remain loyal to Bersatu, Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul said they have requested that their seats be moved from their current section.
UTM’s Mazlan further noted that the shift in support would mean that the unity government effectively has 151 seats, giving it a super-majority in the august house.
“Their decision shows that the four are confident in the policies and reforms being brought by the government. They will likely support Budget 2024 and other government policies,” he added. – Nov 10, 2023
Main pic credit: Bernama