The story of what ifs…

Had he tabled the vote of confidence after assuming power in March last year, Muhyiddin might not have had to fend political attacks on his legitimacy as the PM throughout his tenure


WHAT the caretaker prime minister (PM) has managed to do in the past two weeks is delaying the inevitable.

There were various reasons that could be attributed to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s resignation, apart from the obvious that Umno MPs retracted their support for him.

He finally succumbed to the political pressure by resigning on Monday, but the writing was on the wall since the suspension of Parliament early this year.

Had he tabled the vote of confidence after assuming power in March last year, Muhyiddin might not have had to fend political attacks on his legitimacy as the PM throughout his tenure.

In general, that is what is expected from any person with principles to do.

Of course, everyone is right in hindsight. Sabah’s by-election and the inconsistent policies thereafter proved to be the Achilles heel for Perikatan Nasional (PN).

PN won the state, but in exchange, the nation faced the resurgence of Covid that undid all the good work the government had done in containing the virus last year.

This ultimately led to a series of dissatisfactions among the public, due to months of lockdowns imposed nationwide.

Fast forward to July 2021, the major gaffe by then de-facto law minister on the revocation of Emergency provided ammo for the Opposition.

Instead of issuing clarification over the matter, as requested by the Palace, the government then took it a step further by declaring the matter was moot as it had lapsed on Aug 1.

What happened next is history. After all, Muhyiddin’s rise to the premiership was on the appointment of the King. The battle of PDF, as one pointed out, did little to preserve his reputation. It alienated some of his Umno allies further.

It is not politically popular to be seen as turning back against the very institution that put Muhyiddin at the helm of the national leadership.

The Pagoh MP had reportedly hinted that he still has the majority support, as opposed to his opponent, whom he accused of never being able to substantiate the “strong, formidable and convincing” claims too.

The best avenue for these claims to be proven, again, was in Dewan Rakyat. However, judging from a letter by Dewan Rakyat speaker that lawmakers will have to submit the candidate of their choice by statutory declarations, this would spring surprises for heavyweight candidates such as Gua Musang MP Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Even Muhyiddin reportedly did not dismiss the comeback possibility.

As of yesterday, political party leaders were called for an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to determine who commands the majority support.

Now we are back to February 2020, but unlike last year, we are also saddled with five-digit Covid cases while racing for herd immunity.

Whoever appointed to be the next leader would find himself to resolve this health and economic crisis, and as evident, the public would demand it fast, no matter how unfair it would be for the new PM. It is a demanding position but would determine Malaysia’s political direction for the upcoming general election.

Still, this mammoth task should be expected from any leader. Just like Muhyiddin’s pledge last year, all political moves are meant to save this beloved nation of ours.

With more than 12,000 deaths due to Covid, this nation needs strong leadership to formulate policies that would guide us out of this pandemic.

And hopefully, this would be the last of us having to witness democracy behind closed doors.

Azreen Hani is the online news editor of The Malaysian Reserve.