The rumblings of a return to power are gaining momentum, but a foundation is rarely built on shaky ground.
IT’S politically bizarre by any standards, but somehow, some of us are still compelled to believe it. Then again, this is Malaysia, where many things make little sense anymore.
Malaysia must be one of the few democratic countries where component parties of a coalition, holding the most seats, want to pick a prime minister from a minority party.
We are also the only country, presumably, where a serving PM resigned and caused his own government to collapse despite having the majority.
So, we now have the DAP with 42 MPs, Amanah 11 and Warisan 9, totalling 62 seats at the Dewan Rakyat. Inexplicably, the coalition is pleading with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to be its choice for PM should it form the next federal government.
Dr Mahathir, who was sacked from Bersatu, has only four other MPs with him and is currently seeking a court review for their expulsion. However,they are as good as out in the cold now.
Basically, Dr Mahathir and his four ex-Bersatu loyalists don’t belong to any party now. It’ll be tough to start one from scratch, as an operational structure is truly essential before the next general election.
In the 2018 general election, Pakatan Harapan, comprising PKR, DAP, Amanah and Bersatu, contested under the PKR banner, but this time, the symbol it will contest with in the polls remains unknown.
It’s unlikely PKR would want Dr Mahathir to contest under its symbol, and vice versa. And certainly, the rocket badge won’t be the best choice for him either.
So, we have a situation where these PH leaders don’t seem too comfortable with Dr Mahathir yet want him to lead the fight. That’s the case at least for the DAP and Amanah, which are both pining to be back in the government.
After decades being in the opposition, many of these fighters had difficulties adjusting to be ministers in the PH government, with many still using combative language then. But now that they’re back in the opposition, they seem to have forgotten opposition conduct instead.
The perception is that they are so busy engineering returning to government that they have failed to provide checks and balances. Many of them have also stopped issuing press statements like they used to.
Some, who used to be vocal and critical, have become so quiet that their critics have accused them of preferring a low profile for fear of drawing MACC attention, which could look through their files, rightly or wrongly.
But that’s not the point. Why would these three parties, not including PKR with its 38 MPs, want Dr Mahathir as PM? It’s a baffling question.
When the former premier realised his plans were going askew, he recommended Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal of Warisan.
It’s also equally perplexing because why would PKR (with 38 MPs) want to back Shafie with only nine MPs and ramp up the insults by making Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim DPM with Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir as the second DPM?
Yet, some of our countrymen, with their simplistic wishful thinking, assume it’s a brilliant and workable idea, so long as the present government headed by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is kicked out.
It was a false start from the beginning as there was no way Anwar would accept the formula, and there was really no need for Shafie to even “consider”, in his own words, the offer, because the idea is as good as dead.
Gabungan Parti Sarawak leader Tan Sri Dr James Masing put it bluntly when he described it as the “biggest joke of the century” and since then, talk of this has gone quiet.
It would make more sense if the PH focuses on acting as an effective opposition and pose a formidable challenge in the next general election, since it’s the strongest opposition in Malaysian parliamentary history.
Anwar must now convince Malaysians why he is worthy of being the next PM and not because Malaysians must fulfil his dream of being a PM. There’s no such thing as entitlement in this realm.
We all have the right to know his economic and financial policies to take Malaysia forward, and not lofty democratic principles which won’t put food on our tables.
But the opposition has busied themselves by fighting each other even before they can form the government, and while they accuse the incumbent for being a “backdoor government”, the PH may just ended up being shown the exit door by the voters in the next general election.
The PH has made too many presumptions. It doesn’t look like they have 112 MPs, which is the simple majority, and even if they have more than 114, which the Perikatan National government has, Muhyiddin will just call for a fresh elections if he loses power.
No way will he hand over the reins on a silver platter. It looks like PH is putting the cart before the horse and offering a weary steed to run the race doesn’t look attractive. In Sabah, the Bajaus are the best horsemen, not the Suluks.
But for now, no need horsing around since the PM has the numbers and is in command.
Wong Chun Wai began his career as a journalist in Penang, and has served The Star for over 35 years in various capacities and roles. He is now group editorial and corporate affairs adviser to the group, after having served as group managing director/chief executive officer. On The Beat made its debut on Feb 23 1997 and Chun Wai has penned the column weekly without a break, except for the occasional press holiday when the paper was not published. In May 2011, a compilation of selected articles of On The Beat was published as a book and launched in conjunction with his 50th birthday. Chun Wai also comments on current issues in The Star.
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