OPINION: Unpredictable twists in Malaysia's political drama
KUALA LUMPUR (Sin Chew Daily/ANN) - It is an open secret now that some quarters within the ruling PH coalition are looking for the crucial "112" number. In the event of a deadlock, it is likely for the Parliament to be dissolved to pave way for a snap election.
Political whistleblower Lokman Noor Adam said he was sacked by Umno for revealing the secret talks between PM Mahathir and some in Umno on a "Pakatan Nasional". At the same time, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi dismissed "Pakatan Nasional" as pure rumor after the much watched supreme council meeting, putting a timely brake on developments that would otherwise lead to the imminent collapse of PH coalition.
The sinister overhanging dark cloud that would usher in a dramatic change in the country's politics was instantly lifted.
Someone asked me about my views of such a development, and I replied it was just a prelude to much more intriguing events to come.
You see, on the one hand someone has been consistently putting all the blame on the media for spreading lies but on the other hand admitted the opposition was indeed putting up a new pact with the motive of capturing Putrajaya through the "back door", adding that such a move was haram and must be rejected at all costs.
Indeed, we must renounce any "back door" attempt of seizing power because this constitutes a grave betrayal of public mandate. Anyone who desires to change the government must wait until the next general election for the voters to decide. PH leaders must do everything to keep the coalition intact and impenetrable to the opposition's wicked intents.
As a matter of fact, it is an open secret now that some quarters within the ruling PH coalition are looking for the crucial "112" number. In the event of a deadlock, it is likely for the Parliament to be dissolved to pave way for a snap election.
The whole thing is now akin to a suspenseful drama with our political leaders taking up acting roles in it -- at least in the perception of many. While the drama is very much real, the promises and utterances are feigned. They tell you they will not take the "back door" approach today, but who knows they will not change their minds tomorrow? We have seen too many of such breaches by now that we know we cannot believe in what we hear any more.
The political development of this country at this very moment is way more thrilling than a blockbuster movie. The "rumor" of a "PN" government would not have come without viable leads, less so a "fake news" concocted by Sin Chew Daily and other media. Its plot has to be developed in line with the director's plans and the footage has to be taken according to a specified schedule.
Tun M is the director, and the other key person is, of course, our "next prime minister" Anwar Ibrahim. Other supporting roles need to be thrown in to make the storyline complete, each playing his designated role in full dedication.
Last week, many started to sense that something earth-moving was about to take place. Everyone was instantly tensed up, but from what I have been tipped, the first step towards the formation of the rumored "PN government" has yet to be made.
According to a reliable source, the current stage is only to get Umno, PAS and other opposition parties to support Tun M as PM for a full term until he has completed his reform agenda. Hopefully this could get the support of at least two-thirds of all parliamentarians. PAS has openly declared that the party would table a private member's motion in support of Tun M in Dewan Rakyat.
In line with this, the prime minister said suggestively during an interview with The Malaya Post that as prime minister, he must have the support of majority of MPs.
"The MPs hold the power to decide. If I don't have the support of the majority, I can't be the prime minister."
Judging from Mahathir's interview to the recent remarks by Umno and PAS leaders on various occasions in support of Mahathir, it is not difficult to visualize the unpredictability in Anwar's takeover, even though the PM has reiterated his commitment to honor his promise of handing over his job to Anwar. Having said that, even a single day's wait is way too long in politics, as anything can happen in between. Now that the deadline has been postponed from May to November, no one can say for sure it will not be further postponed after that.
Although Mahathir openly denied in that same interview that a "PN" government was in the making, talks of defections and new alliances will not be put to a halt following the denial. With secret meetings come the stories, which could be killed as a consequence of premature exposure, or aborted or modified in tandem with the evolving situation. This is absolutely normal in politics, but in no way should it be dismissed as non-existent or that no attempts have been made to make it happen.
After Mahathir's meetings with PAS, Umno and Gerakan leaders, it is understandable that some people will leak out some insider tips to advance their respective political ambitions.
Anwar's supporters have become increasingly impatient and have been pressurizing Tun M to hand over the baton by May 9, not after APEC in November. Sure enough Mahathir and his people are aware of such anxiety, and will not sit back and do nothing about it.
Whether this seemingly failed "Pakatan Nasional" will eventually come into fruition will very much depend on Anwar's next move. I agree that it is not Mahathir's style to make alternative prior arrangements, but this is not a bad political idea at all, given that politics could be much more complicated than "1+1=2". This will not only serve to warn Anwar of any unbecoming move but will also complete the "Malay grand unity" agenda.
I always believe that Tun M will not do anything to fail the Malays, and uniting the Malays is an aspiration planted deep inside his heart. As for Umno, he only wants to get rid of Najib, Ahmad Zahid and all others waiting to face their court charges. It is never his intention to kill Umno in the first place. Of course, Hishammuddin, who has so far remained in low profile and holds no party posts, can only hope for a favorable environment to ascend to the top.
To be frank, from the Umno-PAS "Muafakat Nasional" to the seemingly existent "Pakatan Nasional", I am personally more concerned about what kind of Malay unity plan it is going to be. Will the country tilt more towards conservatism or will our leaders hold dearly to the commitment of moderation erected by the nation's founding fathers? The answer will depend solely on how things develop from here and which path Mahathir's successor is prepared to take.
What is going to happen next is no longer within the grips of Chinese Malaysian voters who made the decision on May 9 two years ago.