Pic by BERNAMA
NOT many may have given attention to the fact that no one is keen to claim credit for the Sheraton Move. And surprisingly, this includes those who were outright beneficiaries, as well those who continue to justify that the move was necessary.
Instead, they chose to blame others — in particular Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad — for being responsible for it no matter how much the former prime minister (PM) had explained that he was opposed to the move.
Dr Mahathir had gone at length to point out that it was against his principle to do so and also that it was going to unleash the kleptocrat monsters that he and Pakatan Harapan (PH) had fought to slay, and to gaol.
Regardless whether Dr Mahathir’s explanation is accepted or not, anyone not suffering from the indolence of thinking always be guided by the pithy cui bono or “to whom is it a benefit” dictum.
The ones who benefitted from the Sheraton Move are obvious, and Dr Mahathir is obviously not one and, if anything, is the one who lost most.
Yet, the one who benefits refused to claim credit and it could only mean that the Sheraton Move is indeed evil — lacking in integrity, trustworthiness and good values, the whole works.
Despite having claimed that it was pursued to regain the Malay Muslim hold on the nation that was allegedly weakened during the PH rule, none of the objectives narrated in justifying the move is being realised.
What it had achieved thus far was for Tan Sri Mahiaddin Md Yassin to become a PM and several of those from his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia —who were previously overlooked from Cabinet and governmental-linked positions — as well as some from PAS, a chance to a cushy life.
However, the failure of Mahiaddin’s government to rule led him to claim the record of the shortest serving PM and in place, the second beneficiary, current PM Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Ismail Sabri, a senior minister of Mahiaddin’s failed government, did not venture much further and retained most of the members of his predecessor’s Cabinet, keeping it just as bloated and unwieldy.
And he is more stable than Mahiaddin, at least that is how it seems because he got the PH leaders to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to commit him to pursue their reforms and that the general election will not be called until the end of July 2022.
In other words, Ismail Sabri would not be subjected to the intense politicking and demands for resignation from allies as suffered by Mahiaddin.
In some pittance way, the PH leaders too, are finally benefitting from the Sheraton Move as the reforms promised by Ismail Sabri vis-à-vis the MoU included equal allocation being apportioned to their MPs as that received by the government MPs.
Of course, given that the PH lost the government from the move, what it receives now is truly pittance.
Now, two months since the signing of the MoU — former PM and Umno president Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak who is chief of the court cluster — has claimed that Bersatu is plotting to bring about Ismail Sabri’s downfall.
In short, he is accusing Bersatu led Mahiaddin of planning on doing the same as how he had suffered in the hands of Najib.
In the meantime, the nation, despite feeling somewhat relieved earlier that the MoU promised to usher some semblance of political stability at a time when the pandemic was raging, are now wondering if the whole episode is actually orchestrated to benefit the so-called “court cluster.”
Apart from several seeing their cases dropped and the Attorney General’s Chamber choosing not to appeal against them, others whose cases are still ongoing saw their passports returned and allowed to travel.
This included Najib and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and current Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who among them have more several dozens of court cases stacked against them.
Najib walks around unashamedly and is on a mission to prove that two wrongs make one right, accusing all and sundry of wrongdoings, obviously hoping that it would make his conviction by the High Court sound less unpalatable.
Even Rosmah seems to be caught in the cavalier mood, not turning up in court despite the time for her to be abroad has expired and to make matters worse, no warrant of arrest was issued as it would have been if the offender had been a member of the proletariat.
Given all these developments, it is becoming quite apparent the cui bono of the Sheraton Move is Najib and members of the rest court cluster.
In fact, if Mahiaddin and the other PH turncoats did not only think of the benefits they would reap from the Sheraton Move, they would have realised that they would only end up to be the pawns of Umno in making a return.
And if Mahiaddin and his partners were not too lazy to think and look beyond their noses, they would have realised that they would not have been able to sustain their position when Umno formed the biggest block. And they went ahead despite this being spelt out by Dr Mahathir.
Najib and his partners were shrewd and did not make their move to topple Mahiaddin until they were sure that the new Cabinet would be Umno-led. And Mahiaddin literally obliged them by naming Ismail Sabri his deputy. His shallow assessment was that by naming Ismail Sabri, Umno would be appeased.
But it was then when Umno struck. There was nothing Mahiaddin and his cohorts could do other than nurse their bruised ego and accept that they were mediocre players.
Whether they want to accept it or otherwise, it is their laziness to think that has caused the nation the present pain.
The nation is no more the better that it was prior to the 2018 polls. In fact, if then the kleptocrats were fighting to cover their deeds, they are now using all means to dismiss their crimes as trivialities of no major consequence.
If then, the struggle was about exposing their deeds, now it is about reminding the nation that their deeds are criminal and they must be stopped at all cost.
Failure will leave the nation’s values hanging in a balance.
Shamsul Akmar is the editor of The Malaysian Reserve.