Muhyiddin is now a liability to everyone
Muhyiddin has now been cut out from the equation. His failure to bury the Nika Gee divorce case yesterday has turned him into a liability for Mahathir’s Pribumi and for the DAP-led Pakatan Harapan. So now Mukhriz has to become Mahathir’s kuda instead.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
We wrote yesterday that Muhyiddin Yassin is Pribumi’s temporary president (READ HERE). Muhyiddin’s job is merely to set the party up and get things rolling after which Mukhriz would take over. This is because it would look odd if Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the party Chairman and Mukhriz the party President. It would appear like this is a father-and-son outfit (which it actually is) and not really the peoples’ movement as they are trying to portray Pribumi as.
In fact, not many believe that Pribumi is really a peoples’ movement type of party. Pribumi is reminiscent of Semangat 46, which Rais Yatim said is a party of generals without soldiers. The generals are in Semangat 46, Rais explained, while the soldiers are in PAS. And that is why Semangat 46 had to team up with PAS. They needed the PAS supporters to vote for them because Semangat 46 would not get many votes without PAS.
Some political analysts have said that the collaboration between Mahathir’s Pribumi and the DAP-led Pakatan Harapan is a win-win situation. Actually that is not quite true. Pribumi needs Pakatan Harapan more than Pakatan Harapan needs Pribumi. But then it is always wise to keep your friends close and your enemies, or potential enemies, even closer. And until they clear up the matter of the 800 or so parliament and state seats to be contested in the next general election, Pribumi must be treated as a potential enemy until and unless proven otherwise.
So Lim Kit Siang is not really as stupid as he looks. What he is doing is he is ‘locking up’ Pribumi in a marriage that benefits the DAP-led Pakatan Harapan more than it benefits Pribumi. And as long as Mukhriz’s future is guaranteed that is all that matters to Mahathir. So as long as DAP or Pakatan Harapan do not disagree with Mahathir regarding Mukhriz’s future then peace and harmony will prevail.
But then quietly, behind the scenes, two of Anwar Ibrahim’s many agents, Ambiga Sreenevasan and Clare Rewcastle Brown a.k.a. Sarawak Report, are campaigning for his freedom so that he can be released from jail and help ‘save’ Malaysia. Do they not have Mahathir, Muhyiddin, Mukhriz and the ‘Save Malaysia’ campaign for that? What about Pribumi, which emerged from the ‘Save Malaysia’ campaign, and the Citizens’ Declaration with those one million fake signatures?
Yes, up to yesterday, there was still some hope that Mahathir’s Pribumi can ‘save the day’ and become an asset to the DAP-led Pakatan Harapan. But Muhyiddin’s failure to get Stanley Clement Augustin to agree to an out-of-court settlement with his wife, Nika Gee Siew Yee (READ HERE), basically ruined everything. This means there is no deal, as what Malaysia Today wrote last week (Nika Gee will get only RM20 million and not RM50 million).
Mahathir’s Pribumi is not quite turning out into the gold mine that they all initially thought it would be. In fact, Pribumi can even be considered a paradox of sorts. And this is what worries Pribumi’s ‘friends’ in Pakatan Harapan. Pribumi needs the Malays to be able to make it. But then the bigger question is do the Malays need Pribumi?
This was what The Straits Times (Singapore) said:
Much of the work for the new party would be to win over hearts and minds in the rural Malay heartland, long regarded as solid Umno vote banks. The opposition is hoping that Mr Muhyiddin and Dr Mahathir, who expanded pro-Malay policies in his time in power, are voices the rural Malays will listen to.
“To be of any political added value, they have to win over at least a portion of rural Malays, as urban Malays are already carved up between PKR and PAN,” S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies’ senior fellow Oh Ei Sun told The Straits Times.
And Ambassador Dato’ Dennis Ignatius said as follows, as reported by Din Merican in his blog:
Of course, there are no guarantees that Mahathir won’t do a U-turn and re-join UNMO once Najib steps down or is forced to quit, but given present realities, Mahathir, warts and all, can help tilt the balance against UMNO-BN like no one else can. And that’s the only thing that really matters right now.
We can allow ourselves to get sidetracked arguing whether Mahathir is the messiah (of course, he is not), whether he has sufficiently reformed his race-based views (probably not), whether he is properly committed to democratic principles (debatable), or we can put aside all those questions for now and take a chance on Mahathir.
As you can see, most analysts talk only about two things. First is that Pribumi needs to focus on the Malay votes from the Malay heartland. Second is that they need to ‘steal’ these votes from Umno if they are going to achieve that. And Mahathir himself confirmed this in his blog posting today when he said:
“For the rural people who largely are poor, race is not only important but they believe is essential for their well-being. Umno’s popularity is because it is a racial party. If the new party is to compete with Umno, it must give the people in the rural constituencies and the unsophisticated urban constituencies the kind of comfort associated with Umno’s kind of racism.”
And this fact becomes a double-edged sword for Mahathir and his Pribumi. Pribumi is basically depending on the ‘Malay market’, and they make no secret of this. But then this Malay market is very sensitive to someone like Muhyiddin who goes around bonking another person’s wife. Most Malays view this sin as bad as sodomy.
So that means Muhyiddin can no longer be Mahathir’s candidate for temporary president and temporary Prime Minister. Mahathir needs to ‘cut out the middleman’ and directly promote Mukhriz as that candidate instead. As it stands now, because Muhyiddin failed to bury the Nika Gee divorce case, he will no longer even be able to hold his Malay-majority Pagoh seat in the next general election.
Lim Kit Siang is considering handing over the Gelang Patah seat to Muhyiddin. DAP has stuffed that seat with many Chinese voters who are working in Singapore so that is basically a safe seat for DAP. And if that seat were given to Muhyiddin he would have a better chance of winning than he would if he stayed in Pagoh.
Because of Muhyiddin’s failure to bury the Nika Gee divorce case yesterday, even those three Umno division chiefs from Johor and the one from outside Johor who were gong to announce their defection to Mahathir’s Pribumi have had a change of heart. They are going to wait and see first before defecting.
The problem is: even non-Malays do not take adultery with someone else’s wife lightly. So will the Chinese in Gelang Patah accept Muhyiddin or will they reject him like the Malays in Pagoh would? We will never know but to be safe Muhyiddin needs to be removed from the equation and now it has to be a straight fight between Mukhriz and Najib.
So, the question in the next general election will be, who do you want as Prime Minister, Najib or Mukhriz? Muhyiddin and Anwar have been caught with their pants down in sex scandals so we are basically left with very little choice. And whom do you want as the government, the Umno-led Barisan Nasional or the DAP-led Pakatan Harapan?
Of course, Mahathir would rather we ask whom do you want as the government, the Umno-led Barisan Nasional or the Pribumi-led Pakatan Harapan? But then Mahathir would first need to settle that question with Lim Kit Siang and I doubt Kit Siang would agree to play second fiddle to Mahathir when Mahathir really has nothing to bring to the table other than the mantra ‘Umno is a racist party so we need to fight racism with another racist party like Pribumi’.