Something’s gotta give

pic by BERNAMA

THE drama over the forced resignation and new appointment of the Perak mentri besar (MB) reaffirms that the backdoor government is indeed directionless, sickly and sickening; huddled together under a roof that continues to leak no matter how much sealant is used to plug the holes.

The fear of losing power and the desperate need to hold on to it had defined the government since it took over.

With its razor-thin majority and allies that do not inspire trust, the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government‘s fear of collapsing is perpetual.

Just when it thought that it had turned the corner since the Opposition’s bungling during the budget’s second reading, the Perak Move happened.

The Perak Move, by any standard, is a classic backhanded, backstabbing manoeuvre that could have even surpassed Brutus’ or other traitor’s acclaim to fame.

Firstly, the PN government, at all levels, state and federal, was premised on establishing a Malay/Islam administration for the community which allegedly suffered during the Pakatan Harapan (PH) rule.

So, the Sheraton Move was initiated to bring about the end of the PH government and the move was justified, by those who betrayed PH, that it was necessary as the DAP was the puppet master of the Malay leaders in the ruling coalition. Thrown in for good measure was a rejection of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who was dubbed as PH’s prime minister (PM)-in-waiting.

But now, just over eight months since the Sheraton Move, Umno which was party to it, decided that it had enough of its ally’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s MB and basically did not support the confidence vote.

It would have been unimaginable in the past for a government backbencher to table a confidence vote for his MB and when it is up for voting, the very person who tabled it did not vote for it.

Neither would it be imaginable that the DAP would vote alongside Umno to bring down the MB who is allied to Umno, and for the DAP to later offer to work with Umno in forming the new state government.

While Umno later snubbed the DAP when it could regain the support of PPBM and PAS to secure the majority, the crux of the matter is that Umno, assisted by the DAP, brought down a Malay Muslim leader.

It may be argued that when the PH was formed before the 14th General Election, it was unimaginable for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to ally himself with Anwar and the DAP.

Orwellian as it may be, they, however, had a clear agenda then — topmost of it was to bring down the Barisan Nasional government which was led by kleptocrats.

Further to that, the alliance was a pre-electoral pact, meaning that the voters had a choice of rejecting or accepting it. It is judged by its promises and agenda.

However, the PN government is a backdoor government and it was never voted in for its agenda or manifesto. The closest agenda that can be taken as an agenda from PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is the intangible promise that as much as it is a government that was not voted in, it cared for the people.

With the caring for the people part losing steam by the minutes, the government is left clutching to its Malay/Islam badge. But that, too, sounds hollow if not false, considering the Perak Move.

In other words, the PN government has no reason whatsoever to rule the nation, not that it had any legitimacy in the first place. Luckily for them, and unluckily for their critics, the Opposition is in total disarray.

After Anwar’s grandstanding of having a strong, convincing and formidable majority in September, with the exception of his hardcore supporters, the rest of the nation is ready to move on.

To make it more unpalatable are talks that the majority that was to be achieved would include Umno kleptocrats.

And the kleptocrats are moving unashamedly and getting bolder by the day. Apart from dictating the Perak Move, they are also holding the Muhyiddin government to ransom and any slight to their interest, the threat of pulling out and sending the PN government tumbling is no more a secret.

Along the way, the Opposition, under its current form, had somehow lost the plot, allowing itself to become blemished and embarrassed as its leader becomes as desperate for the PM’s post as Muhyiddin is in holding on to it.

And in both their equations, the kleptocrats seem to have styled themselves as the ones to turn to for the advantage.

With cases against some of them being dropped and those convicted and still on trial moving around, unabashedly giving opinions and advice on how to manage the government’s expenditure, it is obvious that the kleptocrats believe that their return to power is an inevitability.

All these are occurring right before the eyes of the public with the critics and discerning ones appalled, while the gullible and partisan ones celebrating.

Something’s gotta give. The suggestion that a new coalition, a new front that makes a clear stand on stopping the kleptocrats and corruption that is now endemic, could provide some hope to a bleak future.

It should cut across party lines. Surely, there are those in Umno and PAS, and leaders from Sabah and Sarawak who are as nauseated by the parade of kleptocrats in the nation’s political frontline, but did not find a suitable, or an alliance they’re comfortable with, to denounce the nation’s scourge.

Even those in the Opposition — who are chagrined with their leaders who are prepared to compromise and work with the kleptocrats and backdoor architects just to become the PM and members of the Cabinet — should chart their own destiny, stand up and be counted.

And leave the political eunuchs behind.

Shamsul Akmar is the editor of The Malaysian Reserve.