When skeletons won’t stay hidden


Muhyiddin and Mahathir’s alleged sins may hinder their campaign to gain allies against Najib

Scott Ng, Free Malaysia Today

It seems that Muhyiddin Yassin has at last stepped into his role as Mahathir Mohamad’s appointed successor to Prime Minister Najib Razak. While the move comes somewhat late, Muhyiddin still has some positive public sentiment behind him, and as the Deputy President of Umno, he still stands as the next in line to the premiership should Najib be deposed.

The problem here is one of reputation. Muhyiddin may not have courted controversy as often as many of his BN colleagues, but one of the questions that was brought up following his removal from the Cabinet was: what leverage does Najib have to ensure Muhyiddin’s silence?

Like any authentic Malaysian politician, especially one who has held power, Muhyiddin probably has skeletons to keep in the closet – iniquities great and small that make up the backbone of a politician’s career. G25 member Tawfik Ismail recently spoke of some of Muhyiddin’s supposed skeletons, mainly the dissatisfaction of Johoreans over management of land during his time as Menteri Besar of the state. “I reminded Muhyiddin that there are so many things that he and Dr Mahathir did that people have not forgotten,” Tawfik said.

Memories are long indeed in politics, and it seems like Muhyiddin’s alleged sins are still weighed against him. Such is the price of the game of thrones, and Muhyiddin must move forward even with the knowledge that progressive and moderate Malays are not behind his push to remove Najib from office. The question of unfettered cooperation with Muhyiddin and Mahathir is not one the G25 is willing to answer with a “yes,” and one can assume a similar response from other prominent and moderate or progressive figures.