The collusion of weird and delusion

pic by BERNAMA

IF THE Westminster tradition is observed, the current government has lost its moral right to continue holding on to power after the motion to extend a clause of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012 in Parliament on Wednesday was defeated.

But when dealing with a backdoor government which had broken numerous conventions, and immorally at that, such opinion becomes moot.

It is a weird government of which legitimacy had always been questioned until some too clever by half Opposition MPs decided to support the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government.

It effectively allowed the administration to continue uninterrupted by threats of non-confidence vote at a time when the nation faces the unprecedented pandemic calamity.

In return, Opposition MPs received allocations as extended to the backbenchers apart from the Opposition leader enjoying ministerial status and its perks.

A deputy minister who also seems to suffer from the too clever by half syndrome had criticised the Opposition for not supporting the Sosma motion, accusing them of disrespecting the MoU apart from prioritising politics over public interest.

The Opposition had retorted that the MoU is not a carte blanche that requires them to support just any government’s bills or initiatives especially those that went against their grain.

While they can argue to their hearts’ content, there are a couple of obvious giveaways that reflected their shallowness.

On one hand, much as the Opposition, in this case the Pakatan Harapan (PH), as they are the ones that signed the MoU, had retorted that they were not bound to agree to everything the government pursued, they should have been wiser to realise that their understanding of the MoU does not match with that of the government’s, in particular the deputy minister.

Secondly, by not supporting the motion and placing the government’s moral right to continue to rule at jeopardy, it negates one of the reasons for the MoU being signed which was to allow for the government to continue ruling until its term expires.

But most ridiculous is the deputy minister blaming and criticising PH for the motion being defeated when he should be directing his anger at the government backbenchers who didn’t turn up especially from the Barisan Nasional (BN) faction.

It is especially true since Sosma and extension clause were promulgated, tabled and passed during BN’s rule and they should at least feel morally obliged to support it even if they do not support the government of the day.

If there’s anyone to be chastised of prioritising politics over the people’s interest, it should be the Umno-led BN which had openly demanded for the dissolution of the Parliament because their confidence of doing well in the polls is at an all-time high.

Given the position they had taken, obviously they couldn’t care less for the government being left in the lurch after its motion is defeated as it serves the Umno/BN’s purpose.

And if the government does accede to the moral demands, then the dissolution of the Parliament is to be expected and the Umno/ BN leaders would get their way, again.

By any logic, whether the Westminster convention is observed or otherwise, the present government is dysfunctional and helmed by incompetent self-serving politicians.

In fact, it was already one when Tan Sri Mahiaddin Md Yassin decided to go against simple logic that striking a deal with the Umno leaders would only lead to disaster, not only to him but to the rest of the nation.

In the pursuit of coveted prime minister’s (PM), ministerial and other cushy posts, those from PH who supported the Sheraton Move couldn’t even do simple math in which, Umno/BN would be joining in from the position of strength given the high number of MPs on their side.

Mahiaddin was warned by his then superior Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad of the danger of working with the Umno leaders whose interest in the whole deal is about finding ways out of not being incarcerated for their kleptocracy and corruption.

But Mahiaddin refused to heed the advice, proceeded to ride the tiger and was mauled within 17 months.

His successor Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, though from Umno himself, is lightweight compared to the other Umno stalwarts who are pulling the strings. Looking at the manner they had treated Ismail Sabri, despite being a PM, showed that these Umno stalwarts expect him to jump when they ask him to stand. And Ismail Sabri had, affirm the suspicion when he declared that he is an Umno man first and PM second.

Such bravado then points to the fact that if Umno doesn’t believe or care about the crime committed by the kleptocrats and members of the court cluster, then Ismail Sabri too is expected to feel likewise.

This is where the nation had been led to by Mahiaddin. Having released the jinn out of the bottle, words have it that he is asking some opposition leaders to support him as a PM candidate so as to allow him to get the jinn into the bottle and close it.

Whether he is delusional or that some Opposition leaders, who are seeing an opportunity to return to power post-haste, are willing to be party to such an idea is anybody’s guess.

But any clear minded, decent and sober leader would see through the ridiculousness of the idea, kill it and bury it to the furthest corner of the earth, if the Opposition hopes to recover somewhat in the impending national polls.

The nation deserves better.

Shamsul Akmar is the editor of The Malaysian Reserve.