Tag Archives: new coalition

Don’t dangle the PM carrot before Malay govt MPs

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.

Time’s ripe for a new coalition to emerge

Until Members of Parliament act swiftly to form a new Malay-led majority coalition, the Prihatin Nasional (PN) alliance will continue in government by default.

So, if MPs want the PN coalition to step down, emergency lifted and Parliament restored, their parties need to realign themselves and coalesce into a new coalition which can offer itself as a legitimate alternative. When that happens and Umno withdraws from PN, PN will have no choice but to resign. And, it must because a viable alternative has presented itself, proving that PN has no majority.

There will be no need for a general election that would only be a strain on the national coffers and voters tired of Malay politics. The new coalition faces a vote of confidence and if it wins it, wins the mandate to form the new legitimate government until the next general election.

If MPs don’t form a new majority coalition now, there’ll no difference in the outcome of results should a general election take place and PN, though a minority coalition, might still be installed as a caretaker government and it will stay on in government until a majority coalition is formed, which may take a long time to happen if it can not happen now.

It appears as if efforts are afoot for a new coalition to be formed and the immediate strategy of MPs must be to make it happen to bring about PN’s resignation. With an alternative coalition poised to take over and with Umno withdrawing from PN, the latter has to step down.

That would consequentially level the playing field. PN would lose the advantage it now has to attract MPs because of the RM3.5 million allocation available to its MPs for community servicing. With the RM3.5 million bait gone, MPs will have to chose sides based on what is best for their constituents. And some may even leave PN to join the new coalition.

What options do the MPs have? With Umno out of it, PN will become a much smaller entity. With PAS in it, it is unlikely to get the majority support of Christian-based Sabah and Sarawak parties which means it will not be able to get a majority.

The best possibility for a majority coalition is Pakatan Harapan (PH), comprising Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), DAP and Amanah — if it can get the support of Sabah’s Warisan and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s yet to be registered Pejuang. GPS has pledged support for PN but if PN resigns because an alternative exits, GPS may change its mind. In fact, it should; any alliance with a coalition in which PAS is a member will backfire on it.

Today, at the end of its two-day retreat in Port Dickson, PH named PKR president Anwar Ibrahim as its candidate for the prime minister’s post in the 15th general election (GE15) due in 2023. However between now and then, PH’s leadership is left open, which means there is a chance for Mahathir to return or someone aligned to him to return to lead a PH Plus majority coalition.

The Mahathir factor should not be excluded because he could rally the support of Warisan and perhaps GPS too and even some Umno MPs to join forces with PH to form PH Plus which would have a very comfortable majority, at least until GE15.

Umno’s future is uncertain. It’s court cluster leadership is being asked to make way for new elections. So, there will be new leaders or some MPs may break away. In either situation, there would be possibilities to negotiate with Umno or its breakaway MPs to join or be friendly towards PH. By itself Umno can’t form a coalition. If it joins forces with PAS no one else will join it. By allying itself with PH it can survive in some way.

If PH Plus can be a convincing majority coalition, PN will have to resign and a caretaker government or new government under a leadership that can ably manage the transition period can be formed to last until GE15. It’s the best option to move forwards and it’s up to the MPs to make it happen.