Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday called for the expediting of the anti-hopping bill. In saying so, could it also be an expression of his concern that he is aware that some of his party MPs may be planning to switch sides?
If Umno MPs are furtively wheeling and dealing to make a switch, it’s an utter shame that they are doing so without openly making a stand against corruption. To echo DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang’s words, “Does nobody in Umno dare to say that the party should not seek the return of Najib as prime minister and that his years as the prime minister when Malaysia became ‘kleptocracy at its worst’ worldwide is not something to be proud of?”
In other words, why wouldn’t any Umno MP call out against corruption in general and specifically against party leaders facing criminal charges of corruption in court and with one convicted? They prefer to wheel and deal quietly and work out the best deal for themselves like former primer minister Muhyiddin Yassin and current prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob?
The only Malay MPs who are making a stand against corruption are those in the Opposition. How then, can any of these Malay MPs now in government be allowed to continue in their positions as ministers and the prime minister?
If Malay MPs in the government won’t lead the charge against corruption, how can they be trusted with Petronas’s oil money and taxpayers’ money and managing government-linked companies? They will be throwing money to the B40 group in order to stay in power while good governance and progressive development take a backseat.
Malay MPs in government may be courted to join a coalition in order to defeat the court-cluster-led Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and to prevent Umno adviser and former prime minister Najib Razak from returning as prime minister. But not one of them should be baited with the promise of the premiership — not any government MP nor the current prime minister. They have disqualified themselves from becoming a prime minister or holding important posts by simply not taking a stand against corruption.
If a new coalition is being formed to defeat Umno, government MPs should join it for the sake of political integrity and stability. They should join the coalition for the sake of a clear conscience and the candidate for prime ministership should be decided collectively and by consensus, as was done when Pakatan Harapan (PH) chose former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to lead the PH’s first government.
Malay MPs who switch sides for political gain other than the interests of the country can not be trusted to put the interests of both the Malays and non-Malays first. Such leaders will be no different from Muhyiddin or Sabri or Najib!
Until Malay MPs learn how to play politics according to the rule of law, they will never have the confidence to transparently stand up for anything right and fight for it for the good of the country. The people — Malay or non-Malay — should not be burdened by such leaders.
The choice of the next prime minister would be better accepted if it came from the Opposition.