The stage is set for a showdown on Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as Prime Minister when the Sabah state general election is over this Saturday.
Muhyiddin has turned the Sabah state general election into a forerunner of the 15th general election when he said in Kota Belud yesterday that if the Perikatan Nasional (PN)-BN-PBS alliance was to win in the coming Sabah state election, a snap general would not be far away.
The Sabah general election is a result of a Bersatu plot that went wrong, for the political “frogs” who backed the former Chief Minister, Musa Aman, did so to capture the Sabah state government and not to precipitate a Sabah General Election.
But Warisan leader Shafie Apbal was one step ahead of Musa Aman and now we have a Sabah state general election.
In the process however, the bickerings and contradictions in the Perikatan Nasional government has sharpened, spawning “alliance within an alliance”, which is why it is difficult to tell friend from foe among the so-called PN-BN-PBS alliance in Sabah.
Muhyiddin wants Hajiji Noor to be the next Sabah Chief Minister, but this is not supported by UMNO, which wants its Sabah chairman Bung Moktar to be the next Sabah Chief Minister.
The animosity and even contempt of UMNO for Muhyiddin and Bersatu could be gleaned from the interview of the veteran UMNO leader, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in The Malaysian Insight today.
Tengku Razaleigh keeps up the pressure for dissolution of Parliament and immediate snap national general elections.
Calling the Muhyiddin government as “illegitimate”, Tengku Razaleigh blamed Bersatu as the cause for the toppling of the BN in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 and said Muafakat Nasional should not accept Bersatu as a member.
Tengku Razaleigh contemptuously described Bersatu as “ular lidi” (a small snake) wanting to befriend a python (Umno).
He said: “Bersatu should have some standards. It is a small snake trying to get close to a python.
“It’s enough for Umno and PAS to co-operate.”
Tengku Razaleigh also said that Umno would contest in Pagoh and Langkawi, the two seats won by Muhyiddin and Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“Umno will take back the seats they have lost – even in Pagoh and Langkawi – those are Umno’s seats. They belong to Umno.”
On the proposal by some that Muhyiddin should re-join Umno and continue as Prime Minister, Tengku Razaleigh asked:
“Who said we are going to accept him?”
The animosity and contempt of UMNO for Muhyiddin as Prime Minister is the reason UMNO is not prepared to accept Hajiji Noor as the sole nominee to be the next Sabah Chief Minister , why there are the multi-contests among themselves in PN-BN-PBS ‘alliance’ in the Sabah general election and why Muhyiddin is the first Prime Minister who is campaigning so hard in the Sabah general election.
In contrast, the Warisan Plus is united in asking Sabahans to give undivided support for Shafie Apdal to continue as Sabah Chief Minister and fully endorse his slogan, “In God we Trust, Unite We Must”!
Muhyiddin has elevated the Sabah state general election to national importance, because whether he would continue as Prime Minister after Sept. 26, and for how long, are intriguing questions after this Saturday.
(Speech by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang at a Sabah general elections ceramah at Kepayan on Saturday, 19th September 2020 at 8 pm)