22 February 2019
Malaysia Chronicle publishes an Asia Sentinel article…
There is growing uneasiness in Malaysia that the ethnic chauvinism of the United Malays National Organization under Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad during his first 22 years in power is rising to overpower the platform of multiracialism and ending political corruption that defeated the country’s founding coalition last May 9.
Thus fears are growing that letting Mahathir lead the Pakatan Harapan coalition means the founding parties – Anwar’s PKR, the DAP and Amanah – are likely to soon find the entire camel in the tent with them despite their Reformasi platform.
Mahathir has come to dominate the coalition with ideas that drove the Barisan Nasional, the ruling national coalition, and UMNO, its main component, during his reign from 1981 to 2003. He has pushed through yet another national car plan even though his previous one, the ill-fated Proton, lost billions of dollars. He is squabbling with Singapore and backing the concept of Ketuanan Melayu over the objections of coalition partners, the Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s own Parti Keadilan Rakyat, who favor a multi-ethnic government.
He has accepted eight former members of parliament who have crossed from the corruption-ridden and imploding UMNO into his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, with more possibly to come from the East Malaysia state of Sabah.
“There’s a lot of resentment over the acceptance of these eight UMNO bozos and they are possibly going to accept several more in coming weeks,” said an annoyed Kuala Lumpur-based political analyst. “The coalition partners have expressed unhappiness, the same way the minor parties expressed unhappiness during the Barisan days – muted and sheepishly. None have the balls to vigorously stand up on principle against Mahathir.”
Mahathir, by far the country’s most popular political figure at age 93, is having none of it. He said earlier this week that he wouldn’t hesitate to abandon his coalition partners “if they are not loyal to the country.”
When the country’s 14th general election was held last year, Mahathir’s Parti Bersatu emerged with just 13 seats, compared with 47 for Anwar’s PKR and 42 for the DAP, with a handful of lesser parties making up the rest. With the defections from UMNO, Mahathir’s party has nearly doubled its seats in parliament to 22.
Despite some concerns over nonagenarian forgetfulness, the prime minister appears to be as headstrong in his new incarnation – despite swearing fealty to democratic principles during the campaign to oust former Prime Minister Najib Razak – as he was during his reign as premier from 1981 to 2003.
Bloodletting in the new ruling coalition appears to have claimed several scalps including Nurul Izzah, Anwar’s daughter, who quit as vice president of PKR in December along with giving up her chairmanship of Keadilan Penang, reportedly in disgust over the political situation. Rafizi Ramli, the party secretary general, also appears to have been sidelined, with former Selangor Chief Minister Azmin Ali – a favorite who was appointed economics minister by Mahathir — now playing a leading role in Anwar’s own party.
Whether Anwar can emerge from the two-year sabbatical he promised is also unclear. He is not trusted by many including some in PKR, and thus the squabble for party primacy between Azmin and Rafizi.
Mahathir has never made a secret of his insistence of ethnic Malay primacy that characterized UMNO during his first 22 years in power. Since the election, he has repeatedly defended the concept of Malay rights, saying at a party assembly in December that “Malays feel that they must be protected and they feel this could only be done by their own race through politics. That is why a party comprising Malays and led by them needs to be formed.”
Anwar has been careful to say that Mahathir has changed his stripes. But Parti Bersatu bills itself as an “older and better version of UMNO” with no need to accept non-Malays. That appears to be a recipe for disaster. It was UMNO in the fading days of the Barisan’s reign that kept the now-disgraced Najib Razak in power through massive bribes to party members.
Pakatan Harapan has made some progress towards multiracial government, with a highly respected ethnic Indian – Tommy Thomas – as attorney general, and Lim Guan Eng, the effective Chinese chief minister of Penang, as finance minister. It appears to be making steps towards cleaning up the judiciary, and it has arrested Najib and his grasping wife as well as others. But the coalition hasn’t helped its reformasi reputation with the discovery by opponents that at least five officials appear to have faked their university degrees.
But there is little doubt that there is an elemental inconsistency between Mahathir’s view of governance and that of the other component parties, and that Mahathir, through the sheer force of his will, is winning.
Nine months ago, country was euphoric and jubilant,” a disillusioned source said. “Today people refer to the new PH Government as ‘the bloody government.’ No more of this ‘New Malaysia’ stuff. You bring that up, people whack the shit out of you. Because there is no New Malaysia. There is only one Malaysia – the Malaysia that we have all allowed to exist, the old Malaysia, where corruption, cronyism, abuse of power is all justifiable in the name of national unity.”
21 February 2019
IN A FRENZY, NAJIB CAMP STIRS UP 2 NEW SPINS: SEMENYIH A PROXY BATTLE BETWEEN MAHATHIR & MUHYIDDIN – SODOMY 3.0 PROBE AGAINST ANWAR COMPLETED, UP TO DR M NOW WHETHER OR NOT TO PACK HIS NEMESIS OFF TO JAIL AGAIN
Anwar’s dilemma: is he the next Prime Minister or is he going to jail for Sodomy 3.0?
The Sodomy 3.0 investigation has been completed and the evidence is overwhelming. It now only remains whether Mahathir wants to send Anwar to jail or not and if so when. Anwar may never see May 2020 as a free man and this time he may have to serve the full 20 years jail term as a repeat offender — or at least 14 years after a one-third remission.
Muhyiddin knows his career ends here. Mahathir cannot afford to allow him to go higher with the Nika Gee sex scandal still unresolved. How can Mahathir allow someone who has had an affair with someone’s wife to take high office? So Muhyiddin’s future lies with Anwar, and not with Mahathir. Bonking another man’s wife is acceptable to someone who bonks young men and boys. Hence Muhyiddin and Anwar make a good team.
Semenyih is in a mess. This is not Umno versus PPBM. This is Team Mahathir versus Team Anwar. And Team Anwar means Muhyiddin as well. Hence if Aiman loses then Team Anwar loses as well. And that is what is at stake here, which augurs well for Umno-PAS.
Pakatan’s Aiman upset over alleged campaign sabotage
(The Star) – Pakatan Harapan’s candidate in the Semenyih by-election, Muhammad Aiman Zainali, has decried actions by unknown individuals who allegedly attempted to sully his campaign with vote-buying offers and inflammatory flyers.
He said he was saddened by an incident on Monday (Feb 18) when a crowd had reportedly waited at a morning market to receive angpow, allegedly from Pakatan and the village head.
It is learned that members of the crowd had given their MyKad details to an unknown individual in order to receive the handout.
Pakatan has since regarded to incident as a scam and plans to lodge a police report over it at around 9am Thursday (Feb 21).
The campaign was further tarnished by the discovery of inflammatory flyers and banners featuring scandals surrounding former premier Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
However, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) information chief Sallehudin Amiruddin, who was accompanying Muhammad Aiman on his campaign trail Wednesday (Feb 20), denied that the materials were from Pakatan’s main operations room at the Semenyih by-election.
Muhammad Aiman, who is standing in an election for the first time, believes the incidents smack of sabotage but does not know who is behind the act.
“What we can hope for is a clean fight and we will take further action against those individuals,” he said, adding that he viewed the incidents as a challenge that he has to overcome when standing in an election.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
20 February 2019
The Coverage has sunk to a new low – appropriated a @malaymail article without any credit given, and changed the headline to make as if @LiewChinTong is attacking PPBM, whereas his original article was reconciliatory.
Protip: don’t share The Coverage. They got no ethics. https://t.co/MmqwMUXcww