Faced with a stark challenge to his sinking government, premier Muhyiddin today treated the Malaysian people to a public lecture.
They should “reject politicians who want to affect the political stability” he announced, adding “If we don’t work together, if we are divided in these trying times, then it is difficult for the government to achieve its critical goals to ensure the wellbeing of the people and the country“.
Not one of his listeners will have failed to spot the irony of the arch destabiliser and defector coming out with such words, whilst his own followers and allies continue to fight each other like rats in a sack, failing even to pull together over the disastrous Sabah state election that will put his government sorely to the test this weekend.
Likewise, his equally riled up right hand man, Azmin Ali, spat out his fury at Anwar Ibrahim (who’s announced he has now secured a strong majority of MPs) describing him as an “incorrigible liar and political psychopath”, which confused many into thinking he was referring to himself.
As Sarawak Report observed yesterday, the PN government appears to have reached a rock-bottom in terms of credibility, unable now to muster even a majority in Parliament without continuing to allow the convicted felon Najib Razak to unconstitutionally retain his seat.
Months of disgraceful bribes and office peddling have failed to attract enough MPs to the rag-tag PN coalition of corrupted and conflicting interests that ‘Moo’ and Azmin pulled together, having promised commanding support at the time of their coup in February.
The Sabah back-door coup debacle must have been the last straw for the duo’s rivalling allies, especially UMNO, who have felt constantly targeted and squeezed to the benefit of the shell of a party formed from Moo’s breakaway Bersatu group and Azmin’s band from PKR.
Instead of pulling off the Sabah gambit it appears the duo took a step too far and ended up with the last thing they wanted, which was an election to let the people decide instead. Faced with the strains of trying to put up a united front for his fragmented crew of political rivals, Moo has struggled and failed to prove his command with battles over seats remaining unresolved.
His anti-corruption boasts have been shredded since he showed himself willing to drop 72 criminal charges against the local crook Musa Aman to head up his plot and sought to place him as the candidate for governor.
Meanwhile, the PH coalition overthrown by the original Muhyiddin/Anwar coup in February remains by comparison remarkably intact. Anwar’s core support in PKR, DAP and Amanah commands 92 federal seats which have proven impervious to the sort of party-hopping ‘money politics’ integral to PN.
Anwar just needed a few more to join him – and given the vicious infighting in PN it now appears he has them. Indeed, there was only one statement today from PN that really mattered and that was the one provided by the UMNO leader straight after Anwar announced his move.
Zahid Hamidi, who has chaffed at Muhyiddin’s leadership from the start, confirmed that he knows that several from his ranks have indeed signed up to support Anwar and he announced he wouldn’t be stopping them:
““I have been informed that many Umno and BN Members of Parliament (MPs) have expressed their support. I respect their stand,”
In which case, game over.
Muhyiddin cannot afford to lose a single MP from his coalition and the leader of the largest party in his alliance says he has lost several. So much for providing ‘stable government’ and so much for complaints by the likes of GPS and Alex Linggi that Anwar is “creating instability”.
The next steps lie with the King, who has just emerged from hospital, given that Muhyiddin’s tactics have been to avoid a proper vote of confidence where it ought to be taking place, in Parliament.
The King has announced he will grant Anwar an audience to show his numbers. Unless Muhyiddin has further doubled the national debt to buy off his defectors by that point, he will be forced to step down or accept a vote of confidence or call for the King to trigger an election.
Sarawak Report understands that the King is unlikely to support the calling of an election unless there is total deadlock, given the conditions of the economy and Covid and it being over two years before the constitution requires it.
Neither are Muhyiddin and Azmin likely to relish any vote, as they would most likely lose their seats. The pair look dangerously boxed in with few potential exits.
PM8, the arch defector and master of frog politics, is now denouncing defectors and frogs who are deserting him instead. Only a good result in Sabah can save him. He needs voters to stay at home and for his battered allies to deliver in their strongholds.
Alternatively, Sabah’s voters could teach him a lesson about ignoring the will of the electorate and give PN a drubbing this weekend, which would finish off the back-door coup once and for all and place them at the forefront of reforms long overdue for all Malaysians.