Muhyiddin Yassin is set to resign on Monday during an audience with King Sultan Abdullah. After his too-little-too-late offers to the Opposition were flatly rejected without even a roundtable talk, it was game over for the 74-year-old prime minister, whose leadership has been plagued with the legitimacy issue ever since he was sworn in as the 8th Prime Minister on March 1, 2020.
After he publicly spoke on national TV, admitting that he indeed has lost the majority as widely suspected, his best option is to resign. At least he could preserve whatever little dignity left. To insist on testing his majority in Parliament when there is none is both foolish and futile. To argue he still has the biggest majority and refuse to let go of his power, and risk being sacked, is even more humiliating.
After betting the wrong horse, one of UMNO infamous rebels and gangsters – Nazri Aziz – is now betting on another horse. He is now running around soliciting statutory declaration for Deputy Prime Minister Ismail Sabri to be the 9th Prime Minister to replace Muhyiddin. But is “turtle egg” Sabri really a prime minister material to begin with? It doesn’t matter even if he has the “IQ of a carrot”.
When Sabri met with Sultan Ibrahim two days ago, just a day after the Johor Ruler lunched with Muhyiddin at the state palace, it immediately sets tongues wagging. To ensure Bersatu (PPBM), Muhyiddin’s party, remains part of the government even after the PM’s resignation, it appears the plan is to promote Deputy PM Sabri and Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin as No. 1 and No.2 respectively.
A weak and clueless new leader like Ismail Sabri is definitely great news to not only the ambitious traitor Hamzah, but also to the Malay Rulers. The last time Malaysia had a strong leader and government, the monarchs saw then-PM Mahathir Mohamad defanged and stripped powers of the Sultans and Agong (King). There’s little doubt that Sabri is an excellent puppet candidate.
The Sabri-Hamzah tag-team is consistent with our article published 2 months ago . But what will happen to Azmin Ali, the blue-eyed gay boy of both Mahathir and Muhyiddin? Azmin, who brought 10 MPs to quit and betray their own party PKR (People’s Justice Party), triggering the collapse of Pakatan Harapan government last year, was thought to be the future prime minister.
The popular belief, or at least the propaganda, says that UMNO MP Hishammuddin Hussein and Bersatu MP Azmin Ali would become No. 1 and No. 2 respectively when the time comes for Muhyiddin to retire. It was the ultimate secret recipe to power sharing between UMNO and Bersatu. Both individuals are not only relatively young and cunning, but also are good buddies who holidayed together.
However, the problem with Hishammuddin-Azmin tag team is that both individuals do not have full support from their own parties. If UMNO cannot even fully support one of their own kind (Hishammuddin), how could the party accept an “outsider” like Azmin, who was not only a traitor and untrustworthy, but also a Muslim who was caught in gay sex, as the deputy prime minister?
To make matters worse, Mahiaddin’s two top lieutenants – Senior Minister Azmin Ali and Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin – have been fighting tooth and nail to become the top dog. While Azmin and Hamzah are both traitors, having betrayed their own PKR and UMNO parties respectively, the power-crazy Hamzah considers himself to be more senior and cleverer.
The bad blood between both men actually started after PM Mahiaddin designated Azmin as the de-facto deputy prime minister. While the prime minister said when his new Cabinet was formed in March 2020 that all the four senior ministers are “equal”, he had also announced that Azmin Ali will chair Cabinet meetings whenever he is absent. The next in line is Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
That explains why Azmin Ali and Ismail Sabri was caught banging the table in their argument to claim their seniority and territory. At the same time, Azmin and Hamzah do not see eye to eye largely due to jealousy or envy over the unfair distribution of portfolio, positions and power. Hamzah believes he was the brain behind the “Sheraton Move”, hence deserved the senior position.
Bersatu is clearly divided between Azmin team and Hamzah camp. If Hishammuddin can team up with Azmin, why can’t Hamzah work with Sabri for the position of prime minister and deputy prime minister? After all, Sabri is one of the UMNO vice presidents while Hamzah was formerly from UMNO. There is more synergy with Sabri-Hamzah combo than Hishammuddin-Azmin.
And that is precisely what happens now. Hishammuddin-Azmin combo won’t work even if Muhyiddin prefers the combination. While Hishammuddin is weak and has lesser influence among the UMNO rebels, arrogant Azmin has bad blood with both Sabri and Hamzah. To push for Hishammuddin-Azmin as a replacement will definitely destroy Perikatan Nasional beyond repair.
However, the hastily hatched plan to propose Sabri and Hamzah to the King tomorrow may not necessarily work. Not only Sabri, like Hishammuddin, has bet the wrong horse when they blindly stood behind Muhyiddin during the regime’s act of treason against the monarch, but both UMNO rebels have also defiantly disobeyed their own party’s decision to pull out – even till this hour.
The lust for power saw how Hishammuddin and Sabri wanted to have the cake and eat it too. They refuse to quit UMNO because they knew Muhyiddin’s party lacks grassroots and machinery. At the same time, they refuse to quit Bersatu because they wanted to stay in power. The power game has become very interesting because none of them has enough votes to form a new government.
It appears Muhyiddin’s loss of majority – short of 11 votes – has become a new problem with the wicked plan of promoting Sabri. With 15 UMNO MPs out of the government, thanks to UMNO president Zahid Hamidi and his predecessor Najib Razak, Perikatan Nasional coalition is still staring at its 100 votes against the Opposition’s 120 (including 15 UMNO votes).
That’s why Sabri has reached out to former PM Mahathir for support. If the former world’s oldest prime minister can be convinced to swing his party Pejuang’s 4 seats in favour of Sabri, it was hoped that Sabah-based Warisan would fall in line, bringing its 9 MPs to the board. The additional 13 MPs would be enough for Sabri to present his case to the King, at least that was the wishful thinking.
As the kingmaker, you can count on Mahathir to present a long wish list to the desperate PM wannabe Ismail Sabri. The old man had made known that he isn’t interested to become a powerless Mentor Minister. What he wanted is the formation of a National Recovery Council (NRC), of which he will lead. It means Mahathir also wants to become the prime minister – for the third time – under a different pretext.
Even if Mahathir miraculously agrees to the clueless turtle egg Sabri becoming the next PM, there’s a problem with the PAS Islamist party. PAS, upon confirming that Muhyiddin will resign, has made a U-turn. Without the Iron Throne, Bersatu is useless to PAS. In order to suck up to UMNO, PAS reportedly has rejected UMNO rebel Sabri. The Islamist party now says only UMNO endorsed candidate is acceptable.
Still, assuming the monarch is ready to forget and forgive the treachery and treason of Muhyiddin and Sabri, will Azmin play ball with the latest political realignment? Like it or not, once Muhyiddin resigns, it will be dog eat dog once again. Without power, Muhyiddin cannot protect Azmin anymore, let alone give orders to Hamzah to play nice and don’t harm the gay boy.
Sure, Sabri and Hamzah still need Azmin and his 10 loyalists (assuming his loyalists do not jump ship) to ensure Perikatan Nasional coalition remains intact, for the time being. But you don’t need a rocket scientist to tell Azmin that his future is bleak. It’s unlikely he will retain his current powerful and lucrative portfolio – Minister of International Trade and Industry.
Azmin should be smart enough to hedge his bet. And you can bet your last penny that he has already reached out to his former boss, PKR president and Opposition de-facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, seeking opportunities for reconciliation. Considering that Anwar has urged MPs from both sides of the political divide to put aside politics of revenge, eyes should be on Azmin and Anwar.
Azmin’s silence is deafening at the crucial hours when Sabri scrambles soliciting votes and support. Will Azmin once again betray his own government – Perikatan Nasional? The stunning collapse of the Muhyiddin regime effectively traps Azmin in the no man’s land. He needs to think wisely whether to remain in the fragile coalition or start repairing his reputation and image.
The return of Azmin and his band of 10 traitors to PKR or as pro-Opposition independents would certainly boost Anwar’s chances for the Iron Throne and demolish Sabri’s plan. But that would invite a backlash from Pakatan Harapan angry supporters, who may boycott or abandon the Opposition in the next 15th General Election, which is just less than 1½ years away.
Source : Finance Twitter