Trapped the moment it joined Muhyiddin’s backdoor government, it’s now too late for Umno to cry over spilt milk.
The new cabinet was designed in such a way to ensure the survivability of not only Prime Minister Muhyiddin, but crucially the continuous existence of Bersatu (if they failed to take over UMNO) “after” the next 15th General Election. And if you look at the position of the chess pieces, some hidden hands had helped Muhyiddin in the entire architecture.
If Muhyiddin was such a genius strategist, he wouldn’t have had been sacked by former PM Najib Razak in the first place. Similarly, if Azmin Ali was such a brilliant tactician, he wouldn’t have had been caught engaging in gay sex video to begin with. Mahathir together with Daim Zainuddin plus some advisors were behind the whole drama in dislodging Pakatan Harapan and installing puppet Muhyiddin.
Mahathir initially called Muhyiddin a traitor. Muhyiddin denied and quickly sent a letter begging for forgiveness. Mahathir then said the much-anticipated vote of confidence will most likely fail and Muhyiddin will survive until the 15th General Election, as if was giving his seal of approval for the prime minister. Thereafter, Muhyiddin publicly asked Mahathir for endorsement.
Both Mahathir and Muhyiddin appeared to be winking at each other. Now Mahathir claims he did not actually mean to say Muhyiddin betrayed him personally. It was referring to his actions in betraying the party’s struggle, says Mahathir. In other words, it meant while Mahathir condemns a man for his actions of raping a girl, he did not actually mean to call the man a rapist (*grin*).
There was no bad blood between them. There never was. It has been just a blockbuster movie to hoodwink the voters, whether they were Chinese, Malay or Indians, to a grand scheme to install the desired dynasty on the throne. And based on the chess pieces on the table, Anwar Ibrahim, Najib Razak, Hishammuddin Hussein, Tengku Razaleigh and Khairy Jamaluddin are out of the game.
Of all the UMNO talents and warlords, “turtle egg” Ismail Sabri Yaakob was deliberately chosen as the captain for one of four Senior Ministers. It’s not an exaggeration to say that among the three vice presidents of UMNO (Ismail Sabri, Mahdzir Khalid and Khaled Nordin); Ismail Sabri is the least intelligent. But that was the plan – putting a stumbling block so that others cannot challenge Muhyiddin.
Hishammuddin Hussein, arguably one of the smartest UMNO warlords, was appointed as Foreign Minister. That is as good as sending him to overseas to prevent him from plotting against the premier. Hishammuddin, hails from a political blue-blood family by virtue of him being the son of Malaysia’s third prime minister, is considered a direct threat to the Muhyiddin leadership (or Mahathir for that matter).
Khairy Jamaluddin, the son-in-law of former Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, has been appointed as Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, clearly an irrelevant and useless ministry. The fact that Khairy managed to grab 61 votes out of 191 divisional votes in the UMNO presidency post for the 2018-2021 term speaks volumes about his strength in the party.
In the 32-member Cabinet unleashed by Muhyiddin, UMNO only gets nine ministers, despite the party being the largest in the newly formed backdoor government. UMNO secretary-general Annuar Musa was appointed the Federal Territories Minister. Other portfolios allocated to UMNO include the Higher Education Ministry, Energy and Natural Resources, Health, National Unity and Youth and Sports.
Besides Senior Minister Ismail Sabri’s portfolio of Defence Ministry, you don’t need a rocket scientist to see how UMNO was given mostly junk ministries. Hence, the displeasure expressed by senior warlords Azalina Othman and Bung Moktar. Upset, Azalina argued that the coalition government should be based on proportionate representations and not dominated by any one party.
If you wish to know which ministries are the most lucrative, Azalina had accidentally spilled the beans. She said UMNO should be given more significant ministries like the Women’s Ministry, Home Ministry, Finance Ministry, Rural Development and Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry. Either in quality or quantity of ministries allocation, UMNO has been short-changed.
Even after Azmin Ali and his gang of traitors (11 MPs) joined Bersatu, Muhyiddin’s party has only 30 MPs. In comparison, UMNO-led Barisan Nasional contributed 42 MPs (UMNO’s 39, MCA’s 2 and MIC’s 1). Other component parties of the Perikatan Nasional coalition consist of Islamist party PAS (18 MPs) and Sarawak-based GPS (18 MPs). So UMNO has 30% more MPs than Bersatu.
Yet, Muhyiddin’s Bersatu has 11 ministers, 20% more than UMNO. To add insult to the injury, Bersatu snatched two of the four Senior Ministers, despite UMNO possessed the “golden chair”. Azmin Ali, who betrayed his former party PKR, was given International Trade and Industry Ministry while Mohd Radzi Md Jidin (Bersatu supreme council member) was allocated the Education Ministry.
The other seven portfolios held by Muhyiddin’s party include the Economy and Special Functions portfolios in the PM’s Department, Women and Family, Home, Agriculture and Food Industry, Rural Development, Communications and Multimedia, as well as Housing and Local Government – all of which are either strategic or important ministries with huge annual budget allocation.
Heck, even the powerful new Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, former chief executive of banking group CIMB, is linked to PM Muhyiddin Yassin’s family. Zafrul’s younger brother, Tengku Zuhri Tengku Abdul Aziz, apparently is married to Fara Nadia Abd Rahim, whose elder sister Fara Ikma Abd Rahim is married to Muhyiddin’s eldest son Fakhri Yassin.
Even at the very top level, bad blood has already begun among the three Malay political parties. The leadership of Bersatu was pressured not to appoint any tainted and corrupt leaders from the previous Barisan Nasional regime as the deputy prime minister, obviously referring to UMNO President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who has been slapped with record 87 criminal charges.
However, UMNO supreme council member Puad Zarkashi argued that if his boss Zahid cannot be appointed due to his corruption and money laundering charges, Azmin Ali too should be excluded in the Cabinet because of his leaked gay sex video performance at Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Sandakan, Sabah. After all, Zahid has not been convicted yet.
But not only Bersatu greedily gobbled two of four Senior Minister posts, PM Muhyiddin has announced that while the four senior ministers he appointed are all “equal”, Azmin Ali will chair Cabinet meetings whenever he is absent. That message was as good as telling UMNO and PAS that the de-facto Deputy PM is Azmin, the gay whom the police hilariously claimed cannot be identified in the sex video scandal.
At the same time, PAS grassroots believed it was only fair for their president Hadi Awang to be given the deputy prime minister post. When asked about the possibility of him appointed as the deputy prime minister, Hadi said – “I am open…I do not say I have to be selected (as Cabinet member). If I do not get selected, I don’t mind going back to be a fisherman. No problem. I want to work for the country.”
If you’re serious about not wanting any position or power, you don’t open up your options. To say so means you’re playing psychological games to hide your greed and lust and pretend to be “holier-than-thou”. In reality, both Zahid and Hadi were looking forward to be appointed as deputy prime minister, despite them putting up a drama saying they won’t mind if they didn’t get it.
Amusingly, Annuar Musa, who had called for a snap election prior to his appointment as Federal Territories Minister in the backdoor government, has made a U-turn now and denied asking for the Parliament to be dissolved. Similarly, Noraini, the Wanita Umno chief, had screamed her lungs out that in the name of UMNO dignity, Zahid must be appointed to the Cabinet.
But after she was appointed as the Minister of Higher Education, Noraini quickly resigned as the Public Accounts Committee chairman to take up the post and never spoke about UMNO dignity again. All the UMNO MPs who have been appointed to the Cabinet are as quiet as a church mouse. That doesn’t mean the discontent and unhappiness within the UMNO leadership can be ignored.
The racist party UMNO, unfortunately, is trapped the moment it joins the backdoor government of Muhyiddin. It’s now too late to cry over spilt milk. The party has now been further divided. Hishammuddin’s camp and Khairy’s supporters happily lick the bones thrown to them. Zahid and Najib’s camp, on the other hand, can only watch helplessly.
UMNO President Zahid Hamidi and PAS President Hadi Awang should have ignored the temptations of joining Muhyiddin, who essentially is Mahathir’s proxy, and pushed for a snap election instead. The sentiment against now-collapsed Pakatan Harapan was extremely high thanks to racial and religious cards well played by UMNO Malay nationalist and PAS Islamist party.
Had a snap election been called, UMNO and PAS will definitely win the lion’s share of the Malay-majority seats and would form a new government. Zahid would become the prime minister while Hadi clearly would be the deputy. UMNO and PAS would be left to share the spoils of war. Muhyiddin has admitted yesterday that he did not want a snap election. A snap election will send Bersatu to oblivion.