2 KEY MEETINGS ON MUHYIDDIN’S FATE SUDDENLY CANCELLED – WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? HAVE THE ‘LOSERS’ TURNED WINNERS & THE ‘WINNERS’ UMNO FORCED TO GO HOME EMPTY-HANDED JUST LIKE ANWAR? OR IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF ANOTHER ‘NEW MOVE’ TO OUST UNPOPULAR MUHYIDDIN?

MALAYSIA is at a political crossroads, unclear as to where the path it’s on will take it.

Things keep changing by the day, illustrative of the precarious position of the present Muhyiddin Yassin government.

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim stands waiting by the sidelines to take over the government any moment he can.

Meanwhile, Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad are also lurking in their own corners of the ring.

What we have is the beginning of Malaysia’s own version of Game of Thrones. It is set to be a brutal contest, and here are the winners and losers thus far:

WINNERS

Anwar Ibrahim

Not many believed the opposition leader when he announced on September 23 that he had garnered the majority of MPs’ support in Parliament. But this has changed since his audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong last week.

While it’s still unclear whether he will finally take the helm as prime minister, purported letters from him and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi seem to indicate that he has managed to topple Muhyiddin.

There is no doubt Anwar is back on the radar again for the iron throne after losing his opportunity to claim it with the toppling of Pakatan Harapan in February.

Umno

Umno used to be the king but could now instead be the king slayer if it retracts its support for Muhyiddin. And, if it subsequently backs Anwar, Umno will be a kingmaker.

Not bad for a party many thought was finished after the 14th general election, when 15 MPs defected to Bersatu.

The party, clearly wrecked by internal fissures and numerous skirmishes between warlords, looks set to decide on its destiny at a Supreme Council meeting later today. However, the question remains whether the decisions it makes will be unanimous.

Anwar Ibrahim (centre) and Dr Mahathir Mohamad (left) remain on the sidelines, ready to take over the iron throne should Muhyiddin Yassin’s government fall. – AFP pic, October 20, 2020.
Anwar Ibrahim (centre) and Dr Mahathir Mohamad (left) remain on the sidelines, ready to take over the iron throne should Muhyiddin Yassin’s government fall. – AFP pic, October 20, 2020.

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah

Not many paid any mind to the 83-year-old veteran lawmaker from Gua Musang until he was thrust into the limelight after his audience with the king last week.

Some said he is in the running to be the ninth prime minister, while others think he will only serve as the hand of the king and be deputy prime minister. Whichever it is, it’s clear the Kelantan prince has made himself relevant again.

LOSERS

Muhyiddin Yassin

Muhyiddin did not endear himself too well to Malaysians with his wilful ignorance of the political ruckus around him, saying he is too busy saving Malaysians from Covid-19 and economic purgatory.

A press conference he held on the same day Anwar met the king was his best chance to defend his position with all guns blazing, but the Bersatu president failed to do so.

Despite working behind the scenes on a political ceasefire, Muhyiddin looks limp after purportedly losing his thin majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

Even if he remains prime minister after cutting fresh deals with Umno, Damocles’ sword will forever remain over his position for as long as he does not have a strong majority.

Perikatan Nasional

The timing of this Game of Thrones couldn’t have come at a worse time for PN, as it prepares to table its first national budget in three weeks.

And, while PN has always been weak with just 113 MPs supporting it, it has never looked as fragile as it does now.

PN shouldn’t have tried to take Sabah in July, triggering state elections. And, it shouldn’t have taken away the chief minister’s post from Umno after winning it.

No one knows quite what to make of Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s fledgling youth party, especially when all other parties have their own youth wings. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, October 20, 2020.
No one knows quite what to make of Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s fledgling youth party, especially when all other parties have their own youth wings. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, October 20, 2020.

Muda

Till now, no one quite knows what to make of the fledgling youth party led by Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, especially when all other political parties have their own youth wings.

Attempting to “pause” politics right after Anwar’s announcement that he had enough support to be prime minister did nothing to win over the already sceptical public.

Other than having a few young activists on its side, Muda looks very much like an old party run by young people.

PAS

Despite being the smallest Malay-based party in PN, PAS was living the high life in Putrajaya, with ministers and deputy minister posts, riding Vellfires in Kedah and earning fat salaries as chiefs of government-linked companies.

It turned arch-enemy Umno into a close ally and gained a new sugar “abah” with Muhyiddin.

But things began to go south when the party split loyalties between Muafakat Nasional and PN, even as Umno explicitly announced it would not join PN.

This has forced Umno to question PAS’ commitment to Muafakat Nasional.

If Muhyiddin falls tomorrow, the biggest loser could very well be PAS.

Potential losers

Malaysians, for having to endure political shenanigans when putting food on the table and having steady jobs and a regular income should be the focus of the men and women elected to ensure all citizens’ welfare. THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

Umno-PAS and leadership meetings called off

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Media members waiting in vain for the Umno-PAS meeting at Putra World Trade centre tonight.

KUALA LUMPUR: A much anticipated meeting of the Umno and PAS leadership tonight was called off and another meeting of the Umno Supreme Council tomorrow has been postponed, on the advice of the National Security Council.

Umno Supreme Council member Annuar Musa said tonight’s meeting was called off at the last minute because of the rise in Covid-19 cases in the Klang Valley.

A meeting planned tomorrow of the Umno Supreme Council, to be held in Janda Baik, Pahang, was also called off because of MCO travel restrictions.

Both meetings were expected to have centred on support for the Perikatan Nasional federal government. Tonight’s meeting was expected to discuss PPBM’s membership in the Muafakat Nasional alliance between Umno and PAS.

Annuar, who is joint secretary-general of MN, said “some members of the supreme council attended (tonight) but it was cancelled at the last minute on the advice of MKN (the security council)”.

It was believed that those present for the meeting were Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan and women’s chief Noraini Ahmad, and also Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh of PAS, among others.

The meetings are being held at a time when Umno’s support for the PN government has been called into question. At the same time, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim who is opposition leader, has gone to see the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to press his claim of majority support to form a new government. Some Umno MPs are believed to be implicated.

Earlier this week, Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan said the party was deliberating a withdrawal from the PN government and was expected to present a list of demands to PN chairman Muhyiddin Yassin in writing after the supreme council meeting on Tuesday.

However, it was learned this evening that the meeting at Janda Baik, Pahang has been postponed to a later date because of travel restrictions under the conditional movement control order and the spike in Covid-19 cases. FREE MALAYSIA TODAY

THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT / FREE MALAYSIA TODAY

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