By Pook Ah Lek, Sin Chew Daily
The much talked about "Pakatan Nasional" has become a huge concern among Malaysians alongside COVID-19. Many are closely following the latest developments of these two events on a day-to-day basis, as they may bring dramatic changes that will have a strong bearing on the country's political as well as economic outlook, and each and every of us.
Someone insists that "Pakatan Nasional" is only fake news, but his party comrades have been closely watching and discussing its developments. Some are getting real anxious now, but there is nothing they can do.
From what we have learned, PPBM, Umno, PAS and pro-Azmin PKR MPs have signed a statutory declaration to support Mahathir to complete his 5-year term as prime minister. Meanwhile, PAS is prepared to table a private member's bill to express confidence for PM Mahathir with the apparent motives of blocking Anwar Ibrahim's access to premiership and jostling out DAP with its 42 elected reps.
Weirdly, Umno's 39 MPs have reportedly signed the SD, including Najib and Ahmad Zahid said to be unacceptable to Mahathir. We have yet to discover their untold intent!
Anything can happen in politics and it is too early to argue whether this whole thing is fake news at this juncture, not even when the plan is eventually dropped. All we can say is that Mahathir has managed to put things in order before the cards are shown.
No doubt Mahathir is a master in political maneuvering. PAS' vote of confidence bill is more like an insurance policy that could be put to good use in case someone tables a vote of no confidence against the PM.
Among the 222 members of parliament, PAS only needs to get 112 reps on its side to achieve its ulterior motive. PPBM currently has 25 seats, Umno 39, PAS 18, GPS 18, Warisan 9, pro-Azmin PKR 17 and GBS 4, making up a total of 130. Given the apparent disadvantage in numbers, DAP, pro-Anwar PKR and Amanah will have no choice but to support the bill.
Like during his previous tenure as PM, Mahathir continues to do what he wants and disallows criticisms from his allies. He hardly bothers about DAP's feelings with his presence at Gerakan Rakyat's CNY open house event. In addition to Hadi Awang, Ahmad Zahid and Hishammuddin Hussein, he also met up with Gerakan president Dominic Lau in private. Who knows he may meet MCA and MIC leaders next, but what can DAP do?
While a "Malay grand unity" plan is almost set to take off, no political alliance is complete without non-Malay representation in multiracial Malaysia. It is therefore not surprising if Mahathir happens to make arrangements to see MCA's Wee Ka Siong and MIC's Vigneswaran!
The crafty PM said he knew nothing about the rumored PN or the statutory declaration, and that he had nothing to do with them. Anwar subsequently rushed to Putrajaya from Port Dickson last Thursday to see him.
New Straits Times has reported that "something big is happening soon". Coincidentally, Anwar claims that tomorrow's PH presidential council meeting will have a decisive talk about the handover.
Politicians' remarks vary from time to time and are hardly believable. As if that is not enough, "denial syndrome" is endemic within the political circle. Things that have been said and done but are unfavorable will be squarely denied; so are things that have yet to materialize. Nevertheless, denial doesn't mean something is not going to happen at all, but that it is not yet time to happen and is therefore best covered up.
Righteous politicians are a rare breed in our society today. An immature plan is best denied wherever possible, and swallowed bitterly where not.
Insider source says Anwar has grown increasingly restless these days. Although he is doing his utmost to control himself lest the unpleasant history repeats itself, we cannot rule out the possibility that he may show his card if such is warranted.
As a matter of fact, more and more people have become less optimistic that Anwar will eventually get to become PM. Within his own party we have Azmin Ali and his diehard supporters and outside the party there are Umno, PAS and other rival parties eager to take him out. Moreover, Mahathir may get annoyed having to face repeated pressure for a handover date.
Anwar is not going to take the risk by trying to remove Azmin's people from the party. Zuraida Kamaruddin, one of Azmin's staunchest supporters, has escaped dismissal for the time being. Meanwhile, pro-Anwar treasurer William Leong has called for "Plan B": to take to the street to make sure Mahathir hands over the baton through people's power.
Even if Azmin is eventually forced to leave the party, he will have a new home to go to. He was there when Mahathir attended Gerakan's CNY open house, and the Gerakan president was his VIP at the CNY event hosted by him and Zuraida last Thursday. Their intimate relationship says everything!
All these point to one conclusion that politicians can change ship or captain anytime for their own interests. What's the big deal of going through the back door?