As I write this on what could possibly be the eve of the imminent departure of Malaysia’s first backdoor prime minister, my humble wish is this: Let no evil men ever attempt to hijack a duly elected government from the people, ever again. Here are Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s 10 mortal sins which I find unforgivable.
1. A reluctant Pakatan Harapan player post-GE14 Now, we know why Muhyiddin was not really an active Harapan player after the opposition coalition’s historic victory in May 2018. Muhyiddin chose to sulk after he was not given the finance portfolio which he requested from Dr Mahathir Mohamad. This was revealed by Mahathir himself. I cannot recall any significant contribution from Muhyiddin during Harapan’s 22 months in federal power, even if we leave out the few months he was on medical leave. He was a mere “passenger”, to the best of my knowledge.
2. Consorting with shady characters in Harapan History will not remember Muhyiddin kindly. By his association with Harapan traitors such as the most vilified Azmin Ali, Muhyiddin’s name will be tainted forever. Muhyiddin, Azmin, and their fellow traitors are so infamous for their deeds that their names have become synonymous with treachery. For a good part of 2019 during Harapan’s rule, Muhyiddin was more involved in hatching his plan of betrayal rather than helping Harapan to govern.
3. Main player in Sheraton putsch Muhyiddin, “we know what you did last summer”. Yes, we do. After he arbitrarily declared that Bersatu had left the Harapan coalition on Feb 23 last year which effectively caused the collapse of the government, Muhyiddin finally exposed the evil and treachery inside him that was not known to many in Harapan then.
Today, the past has returned to haunt him. Malaysians will never forgive Muhyiddin for forcing his way in to become the prime minister via the backdoor.
4. First white lie of many “Oh, I did not aspire to become prime minister. I have to take up the post only after Mahathir had resigned in order to save Malaysia”. Talking of one lying through his teeth. Muhyiddin is only a very typical, ordinary politician who sustains his political career by spinning grand tales and white lies. Let me say it again – this man is no PM material; he never was. So, Muhyiddin said he never wanted to be prime minister. Well, DAP’s Liew Chin Tong will know for sure Muhyiddin was telling the first of possibly his many white lies as prime minister. Liew has revealed that Muhyiddin had asked for DAP’s support to be the prime minister candidate before GE14. Liew has no reason to lie on this.
5. Bloated cabinet and buying frogs A total of 72 ministers and deputy ministers – Muhyiddin would just appoint anyone to the cabinet, never mind their qualifications, suitability, or integrity. Appointing a donkey to head a ministry and being assisted by two monkeys is also okay, it seems. Not only that. He also appointed a coterie of his political friends to head GLCs and to lucrative positions across many statutory bodies and educational boards. Muhyiddin would make sure anyone who matters to his survival as prime minister will be given a post. When the ministerial posts ran out, he would appoint them as his special advisers or Malaysia’s special envoys abroad. Worse, he would make sure that his administration is open to buying political frogs and they would be handsomely rewarded. It was during Muhyiddin’s premiership that the despicable “frog culture” was as openly and shamelessly blatant as it possibly could be.
6. Schemer behind Sabah state election Hamzah Zainudin, known as Muhyiddin’s errand boy No 2 after Azmin, had his work cut out for him as Bersatu secretary-general and home minister. He should know how former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman managed to wriggle his way out of his many court tussles and later, triggered the Sabah elections and the downfall of the Warisan state government. Muhyiddin must be held responsible for the second deadly Covid-19 wave that emerged after the Sabah polls. Within the first month, more than 150 Sabahans died. Almost a year later, about 1,000 had lost their lives in Sabah. Muhyiddin and his henchmen chose political power and expediency over the lives of Malaysians. This brings us to No 7.
7. Total failure in tackling Covid-19 In all fairness to Muhyiddin, he has conceded that the government was caught unprepared with the onslaught of the coronavirus. This is the case with many other governments as well.
In all fairness to Muhyiddin, he has conceded that the government was caught unprepared with the onslaught of the coronavirus. This is the case with many other governments as well.
But what is unacceptable is the many U-turns in managing the pandemic, the haphazard SOPs, the poor vaccination rollout coupled with alleged sleazy deals, and the overall poor handling of the health crisis with overlapping decisions made by different ministers. With more than 1,400,000 infections, almost 12,500 fatalities, and being one of the worst affected countries in the world, this is not only about not being acceptable but that it should never have happened.
8. Economic sector in limbo The economic sector has been in limbo, yet we have a finance minister trying to paint a picture as if everything is fine when it is not. This is the sheer incompetency of a government with no strong leadership nor a clear direction. The Covid-19 pandemic has seriously impacted the Malaysian economy and the sooner we realise that and do something about it, the better it will be for the nation. While the public appreciates the loan moratorium and welfare packages, they are only temporary solutions. Economic recovery is what we need in the long term. The finance minister must work in tandem with all to formulate policies that will help Malaysians through this challenging period, the small and medium-sized enterprises, and underprivileged families in particular.
9. Disrespect for royalty This is something unprecedented. Muhyiddin has surrounded himself with advisers but they do not seem to be competent people. For the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to publicly tick off the de facto law minister for “lying in Parliament” is not something we hear every day. After that, we heard of another minister (a woman this time) trying to teach the king the proper procedures to act like the king. What? Hello Muhyiddin, we wonder whether you have told that known cocky minister of yours how to accord His Majesty proper respect?
As it turned out, whatever we may think of the monarchy here, it pays to have the king and his brother rulers on your side.
10. Being paloi (stupid) and not seeing the end coming Oh yes, being paloi, bodoh, and stupid is also a mortal sin – you cannot afford to be paloi when you are the prime minister. Not in my book, at least. There were four occasions over the past three months when I cautioned Muhyiddin in this column that he could well be the shortest Malaysian prime minister and that his end was near.
On May 26, I expressed my sympathy with the prime minister when he said he was prepared to take abuse from the public amid frustration over measures against Covid-19, including people calling him “stupid”. I wrote that I believe Muhyiddin was sincere in his statement, “but we can’t have a ‘paloi’ PM now”.
No, we need a smart, intelligent leader. On June 20, I warned the prime minister that when the Agong and the Malay rulers are no longer seen to be on your side, then you have a very serious issue at hand. This was after the king made it clear that the emergency will not extend beyond Aug 1 and that Parliament should reopen as soon as possible. Again on July 6, I warned the prime minister: “If Muhyiddin Yassin does not step down voluntarily, he might be unceremoniously removed. Either way will spell the end of the PN government”.
Finally, on July 11, I chastised the prime minister after he promoted two of his cabinet ministers, saying that “while Malaysians are dying and fighting for hospital beds, the prime minister is playing musical chairs within his cabinet and promoting his “undeserving” ministers.” This is where Muhyiddin and his PN government have failed and failed miserably. And this is why it is becoming clearer that he would probably be Malaysia’s shortest-serving prime minister of only 17 tumultuous months. All 17 months of miseries, suffering, torture, and deaths which should never be – No, never again, Malaysia!