It has been a weekend of utter confusion during Pribumi’s party launch. So many people are issuing statements and one person is contradicting the other. Ultimately Mahathir is playing a double-game and the contradictions are meant to hide the truth through confusion. As the saying goes: if you have no explanation then confuse them. Najib, however, knows what game Mahathir is playing, which is the same game since 2014.
Last Saturday was the official launch of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (a.k.a. PPBM or Pribumi) at the Malawati Stadium in Selangor. However, I can only describe this whole episode as a weekend of utter confusion and it appears like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his gang of Pribumi leaders, plus their comrades from Pakatan Harapan, do not know whether they are coming or going.
Lim Kit Siang did not attend the party launch so as to not upset PAS
First of all, the newspapers reported that PAS attended the party launch. Today, however, PAS Selangor announced that it did not attend the launch as reported (READ HERE: Pas Selangor nafi hadir program pelancaran Bersatu).
PAS also did not attend Pribumi’s launch as what the newspapers wrongly reported
Then Mahathir announced that BR1M will be continued if the opposition comes to power. Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali, however, contradicted Mahathir and insisted that BR1M is a bribe and will be discontinued if Pakatan Harapan comes to power (READ HERE: Azmin maintains that BR1M is ‘corrupt’, won’t be continued if opposition win GE14).
Lim Guan Eng then announced that not only will GST be abolished but highway toll charges as well (READ HERE: DAP: No GST, toll if Pakatan takes Putrajaya). However, Guan Eng did not announce how much this entire exercise is going to cost the government, which in the end is going to cost billions and will be borne by the taxpayers who do not even use the toll highways (as opposed to now: you pay only if you use the highways).
Mahathir then announced that since GST is going to be abolished and the government is going to lose RM40 billion a year, the GST will be replaced by a sales tax. So that means the government will still be collecting RM40 billion a year from Malaysians but they will just change the name from ‘GST’ to ‘Sales Tax’. Nevertheless, collecting RM40 billion in Sales Tax every year is better and fairer than collecting RM40 billion GST.
Mahathir then insulted PAS in his speech but at the same time said that the opposition must be united and avoid three-corner or more contests in the next general election. So this means PAS must join the opposition coalition. But it will be impossible for PAS to join Pakatan Harapan after DAP closed down Pakatan Rakyat and announced that a new coalition called Pakatan Harapan would be formed and PAS will not be invited or allowed to join the new coalition.
So, to save face for both PAS and DAP, Muhyiddin Yassin announced that Pakatan Harapan would change its name to Barisan Rakyat (READ HERE: Muhyiddin moots ‘Barisan Rakyat’ name for Opposition alliance).
Muhyiddin wants to change Pakatan Harapan’s name to Barisan Rakyat to help PAS and DAP save face
Actually, they did this before back in 2008 (READ HERE: On how Mahathir hopes to court PAS). In 1999 they formed Barisan Alternatif but two years later DAP left the coalition and in the 2004 general election went solo. In 2008 DAP rejoined the coalition but they changed the name to Pakatan Rakyat to allow DAP to save face and not let it appear like DAP was licking back its own spit.
Then DAP closed down Pakatan Rakyat and formed Pakatan Harapan. And the reason was so that DAP could get rid of PAS. So it would look awkward if PAS now joins Pakatan Harapan because the whole reason why Pakatan Harapan was formed was to get rid of PAS. And that is why Pakatan Harapan will need to change its name to Barisan Rakyat and give the impression that it is a new coalition and not the same old one with a new name.
Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer
Anyway, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was aware that this is the game plan all along. That was why when Mahathir wanted to meet him to ‘talk peace’ back in December 2014 Najib ignored him. Mahathir, in fact, admitted this in 2015 when he grumbled that he had been trying to meet Najib for the last six months but was not able to and that the Prime Minister was ignoring him.
Mahathir thought that Najib was braindead like most of the Pakatan leaders and that he could pull the wool over the Prime Minister’s eyes. More than two years ago in 2014 Najib already knew what Mahathir was up to and he just sat back and allowed Mahathir to make his moves while he made his countermoves and preemptive moves just like a cat playing with a mouse before it kills it.
Mahathir is so predictable and transparent it makes you laugh. His Plan 1A is to work on DAP and get DAP to go along with his plan. That is a done deal. Plan 1B is for Muhyiddin to work on PAS and get them on board and on the same page. That has still not happened yet and may never happen. Finally, Plan 2 is to change the name of Pakatan Harapan to Barisan Rakyat to allow PAS to join the opposition collation without them and DAP both losing face.
In fact, in September last year Malaysia Outlook already reported this in the article titled Barisan Rakyat the next opposition coalition? (READ BELOW).
Mahathir is taking everyone for a ride but the real deal is the one he made with Kit Siang
When you look at everything that has been done, not only over the last week but since the last two years, you can see that Mahathir does not respect relationships. To Mahathir only his personal agenda matters and the end always justify the means. Najib knows this perfectly well, which is why when Mahathir tried to do a deal with him back in December 2014 the Prime Minister just ignored the old man until he could no longer take and it and came out with guns blazing.
The plan for Mahathir to form a new party and eventually a new opposition coalition was already discussed and agreed way back in 2015. So why all this wayang over the last two years? In fact, the plan to make his son Mukhriz the Prime Minister, and not Muhyiddin as he has been leading people to believe, was also something he had decided even before Najib took over as Prime Minister in 2009.
Najib would not help Mukhriz by killing off Khairy so Najib must die
Mahathir wanted Najib to take over as Prime Minister because he thought this was the only way to kill off Khairy Jamaluddin and open the way for Mukhriz to climb the Umno ladder. But Najib did not kill off Khairy and help Mukhriz win the party elections in 2009 and 2013. And this made Mahathir pissed big time and that was when he decided that Najib has to go. The only thing was what issue to use against Najib to push him out — which was how the 1MDB issue came up in the first place.
Mahathir has been fooling Muhyiddin all this while by giving the impression that he was the chosen one. Actually there was never any intention to make Muhyiddin the Prime Minister. So, while Muhyiddin works on PAS and tries to fool them into joining the new opposition coalition called Barisan Rakyat (by telling PAS that he is against Mahathir working with DAP when he knows that is not true), Mahathir is fooling Muhyiddin by giving the impression that he and not Mukhriz is going to be Prime Minister (with Kit Siang as Mukhriz’s Deputy and Finance Minister).
Barisan Rakyat the next opposition coalition?
Raja Petra Kamarudin, Malaysia Outlook, 23 Sep 2016
Pribumi leader Mukhriz Mahathir has hinted that Barisan Rakyat, which was originally launched in 2008, could be revived to merge all opposition to face-off Barisan Nasional in straight fights in GE14.
Mukhriz Mahathir wants to re-launch Barisan Rakyat that was first launched in February 2008.
DAP wants to dissolve the Selangor Assembly and call for early state elections.
Azmin does not agree to this because he knows that would mean the end of him, as a new menteri besar would be appointed after the state elections.
When we announced the launch of Barisan Rakyat, Malaysiakini asked DAP’s Lim Kit Siang about the matter and he denied any knowledge of the issue — whereas Ronnie Liu, as representative of DAP, had attended the launch of Barisan Rakyat at the Blog House (READ MORE HERE).
BARISAN RAKYAT WAS MOOTED BACK IN 2008 TO UNITE ALL THE OPPOSITION PARTIES UNDER ONE UMBRELLA BUT LIM KIT SIANG ANNOUNCED HE WILL NOT SUPPORT THE MOVE.
Raja Petra Kamarudin