Feb 15 2020
The big secret is out. Apparently 138 MPs (Member of Parliament) have signed statutory declarations (SD) for Mahathir Mohamad to serve a 5-year full term as Prime Minister of Malaysia. And since the news came from “The Star”, an English-language newspaper established in 1971, it must be true. There was a nice infographic attached to that piece of explosive news.
Hours later, that sexy infographic was gone. While the news remains, the infographic which summarised how the massive 138 figure was derived is no longer available. The newspaper can remove the image but they can’t delete the news because it had gone viral. Thanks to the stunning news, every news blog, including pro-opposition websites had screen captured the infographic.
The Star newspaper, which is owned by MCA (43.1% stake), one of the remaining three component parties in Barisan Nasional coalition government defeated in the May 2018 general election, has obviously screwed up spectacularly. In its haste to capitalize on Sarawak Report’s revelation about a so-called SD campaign to support Mahathir, the news media didn’t check any facts or figures.
In fact, the editor of the newspaper has failed one of four basic mathematical operation – addition. If you look at the infographic, the summary screams “138 MPs” have signed the SD for PM Mahathir to stay full term. The number 138 came from Pakatan Harapan coalition government (63 MPs), Pakatan-friendly parties (10 MPs), oppositions PAS (18 MPs) and Barisan Nasional (39 MPs).
Everything looked incredibly juicy until you pull out a calculator – the result of 63 + 10 + 18 + 39 is not equal to 138. The answer is only 130. But the fun didn’t end there. It further calculated that the 63 MPs from ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition government came from 26 PKR MPs and 26 Bersatu MPs, while “0” MP from Amanah and “NA” MP from DAP supported Mahathir.
Exactly what is the difference between “0” and “NA” is quite a mystery that not even Einstein could solve. But 26 + 26 is not equal to 63. Even a hamster can tell you within a split second that the answer to that sophisticated math question is 52. So, the newspaper did not only cook up the total number of MPs who had allegedly signed the SD, it also inflated the numbers from PH itself.
According to the calculator, the total MPs is only 119 (52 + 10 + 18 + 39). The number appears to be sufficient to form a simple-majority government in the 222-seat Parliament (which requires minimum 112 MPs), until one take a hard look at the 26 MPs from Mahathir’s party Bersatu (PPBM) and the 26 MPs from PM-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim’s party PKR.
It’s quite hilarious that opposition MCA party forgotten that they had successfully snatched the Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat from Mahathir’s party in November last year. After the humiliating defeat, where Bersatu (PPBM) lost by a whopping 15,000-majority vote, the party is left with only 25 MPs (not 26 MPs). So the total of MPs who had allegedly signed the SD is down to 118.
In the same breath, it’s also jaw-dropping to claim that 39 MPs from opposition Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition had thrown their support behind a sitting prime minister. Clearly, the number 39 came from all the UMNO MPs. Does this mean oppositions MCA’s 2 MPs and MIC’s 1 MP have chosen to remain neutral over the plan to keep Mahathir as premier until 2023?
More importantly, does it make sense that Najib Razak and his minions in UMNO joined the bandwagon, agreeing that Mahathir is to be protected at all cost? It’s both strange and amusing that Najib is so eager and determined to go to prison that he quickly signed the SD in order to facilitate Mahathir’s mission. Interestingly, MCA’s The Star contradicts with pro-opposition blogs.
The oppositions – UMNO, PAS and MCA – should make up their mind who actually controls UMNO now. So far only PAS Islamist party is obsessed with its own bizarre plan to move a “vote of confidence” in favour of Mahathir’s leadership. It was partly a strategy to divert attention after a bunch of fake holy men were exposed of having purchased 14 Mercedes-Benz and collected RM50,000 bonus for themselves.
UMNO President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s secret plan to persuade party warlords to follow PAS’ plan, hoping that the prime minister will drop his 87 criminal charges, has failed. Pro-opposition blog suggested that Najib is still in control of the party. Therefore, assuming Najib hasn’t been infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus, he and his minions didn’t sign any SD.
And if Najib still controls the deciding votes in UMNO, it also means he possessed a block of at least 20 simple-majority votes. Which means at most, the despicable Zahid Hamidi would have only 19 votes. Now if you minus Najib’s 20 votes out of UMNO’s total 39 votes, it means the MPs who had signed the SD have shrunk to merely 98 (118 minus 20).
Do we need to continue and argue how silly it was to assume all 9 MPs from Warisan would support Mahathir, after the old man defiantly expanded its wings to the eastern state of Sabah, hence greedily bullying and fighting with a supposedly ally for territories in the Borneo? Have the oppositions forgotten how they won Kimanis by-election in Sabah last month.
The Star conveniently claimed it had gotten the figures from “sources”. Perhaps the news media should be investigated for spreading fake news. But what is more important is to send their journalists to Basic Math 101 class so that they learn how to count and won’t embarrass themselves again in the future. Editors at The Star should stop insulting people’s intelligence.
The Math Doesn’t Add Up – There’s Something Wrong With The Number 138 MPs Claimed To Support PM Mahathir