The schemers of the scheme of things

pic by ARIF KARTONO

AS THE scheme of things of the current government seems to unravel, the move by Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (picture) to claim that he has the majority support achieved its intended impact.

Firstly, it was to point out that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has lost his majority and secondly to stake the claim that he is the candidate to take over the prime minister’s (PM) post.

Muhyiddin’s majority has long been disputed, the move to prove it to be so by Anwar is anything but by chance.

But Anwar’s audience with the King to prove that he had the majority hit a snag when the palace issued a statement to the effect that Anwar did not provide the list of names of the MPs that he claimed supported him.

That led to several speculations. Popular among them was that he did not have the numbers, but rather just commitments from party heads claiming that their party MPs were collectively with Anwar.

If that was the case, then it would have been no different than what Muhyiddin did when he claimed to have the majority support to stake the PM’s post in March.

Secondly, Anwar had refused to list out the names of the MPs because it would show that they included the kleptocrats, the MPs from Umno facing multiple charges of corruption and other related offences — Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and past president Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak.

Ahmad Zahid is saddled with dozens of charges and on trial, while Najib has already been convicted by the High Court and is appealing while facing trials for other cases.

The duo’s reactions after Anwar claimed to have the majority support and that Muhyiddin had lost the majority were very telling and it is not far-fetched to conclude they are behind Anwar in the manoeuvre.

Ahmad Zahid’s remarks that he has no objection to their decision could only mean that he too was backing Anwar. Najib had taken one step further by listing out the wrongs that the current Muhyiddin-led government had committed and justifying any move by Umno to pull out of the government.

The combination of their remarks for obvious intentions — Ahmad Zahid’s to show that Anwar had the majority, while Najib’s to show that Muhyiddin had lost the majority.

Again, whether it is intentional or by chance, their moves only served to strengthen Anwar’s cause.

But both are not admitting that they support Anwar and neither does Anwar want to declare that they are among those supporting him.

The reason for this is quite simple. Anwar’s allies in Pakatan Harapan (PH) — the DAP and Amanah, alongside with Anwar’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) — have a collective 91 MPs in their stable.

DAP and some in Amanah are quite uncomfortable to have the support of Umno, especially from Najib, Ahmad Zahid and the few others facing graft-related cases.

But not knowing that they are part of Anwar’s scheme of things will make it less uncomfortable — what they do not know doesn’t hurt kind of reasoning.

Of course, all these are speculative, but that is what is playing in the minds of most keen observers.

While all these are playing out, Muhyiddin’s position remains as untenable.

If Ahmad Zahid and Najib had openly expressed their support for Anwar and the other withdrawing his support for Muhyiddin, obviously the sitting PM had lost his majority.

Adding to his woes, veteran Umno MP Tengku Tan Sri Razaleigh Hamzah pushed for a vote of no confidence to be tabled in Parliament against Muhyiddin, meaning the PM is another MP less.

Given his razor-thin majority of 113-114, the three publicly declaring their allegiance being with someone else or not with him anymore, Muhyiddin should accept that he has lost it.

By now, he should admit that what Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had warned him about working with Umno en bloc is proven to be true.

For Muhyiddin’s supporters in Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia who believed the spin that the Sheraton Move and the backdoor government had the blessing of Dr Mahathir, they should realise that it was merely to justify the betrayal and opportunism to secure the coveted post and other spoils of war that are being shared with the co-conspirators.

For those from PH who criticised Dr Mahathir for resigning despite him saying that he could not stay on when he had lost the majority and without the support of his party, they should realise that they may still get their wish fulfilled if Muhyiddin refuses to relinquish his post and dig his heels deeper.

And for those in PH who were critical of Muhyiddin for opting to work with the kleptocrats in his quest for power, they may soon have to swallow their own words as they attempt to get back into the driver’s seat.

In the midst of this confusion and as the nation grapples to keep afloat, someone has the right to say “I told you so”.

However, there will be no satisfaction, only grief.


Shamsul Akmar is the editor of The Malaysian Reserve.