Opinion: Why is govt not learning from costly mistakes?
Such practices laid bare the buying of support and loyalty besides the intrigues and methodology in which government MPs can be lured to cross the floor through wealth and power, as in the case of the Sheraton Move.
After the back-door government was in place in 2020 after the now infamous Sheraton Move, an audio recording made its rounds which was purportedly made at the Bersatu Supreme Council meeting on Feb 23.
In the recording, a voice resembling then prime minister in waiting, Muhyiddin Yassin, wanted to entice Umno leaders to join his party with promises of positions in the cabinet and GLCs.
The voice had said: “If they know a new government is going to be formed with Umno, why not tell them to join us now rather than later? I think if we do that… 10, 20 people… Najib and his gang… and we give them positions… if not ministers, then chairmen of GLCs.
“They might not want to be left out. Rather than stay now and become the opposition, they want to be a part of the government.”
Appointments in government-linked companies and government bodies were the long-standing practice of the BN government to reward their supporters and cronies. Usually, Umno took the bulk, leaving MCA and MIC to feed on the crumbs.
Hence, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi defended Muhyuddin’s stance by saying the appointment of MPs to head GLCs and agencies was to help ensure that they can carry out Putrajaya’s agenda.
Skill, knowledge, experience, and academic qualifications were never considered as long as he or she was able to raise hands and say “setuju” (agree) or “sokong” (support).
These did not stop prime ministers and their deputies, including Najib Abdul Razak and Zahid, from continuing the practice of extracting every ounce of support from supporters akin to throwing a bone at someone who desperately needed income.
Among others, such practices laid bare the buying of support and loyalty besides the intrigues and methodology in which government MPs can be lured to cross the floor through wealth and power, as in the case of the Sheraton Move.