Azmin Ali could be the PM

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It’s an open secret that ambitious Azmin wanted to become the youngest premier.

Barisan Nasional (BN), under the leadership of Zahid Hamidi, is in deep trouble the moment Prime Minister Ismail Sabri was pressured to hijack King Sultan Abdullah for an unscheduled meeting. Disappointed, the monarch granted the request to dissolve the Parliament, paving the way for the 15th General Election in the middle of the monsoon season. People obviously were angry.

Perikatan Nasional (PN), under the leadership of Mahiaddin Yassin, had tried to stop the PM from dissolving the Parliament. Afraid that they would lose power and position, 12 of its ministers wrote to the Agong (King) to reject the dissolution of Parliament. It was then used by UMNO as an excuse to justify the dissolution –PN’s action was tantamount to a no-confidence vote against Sabri.

Pakatan Harapan (PH), under the leadership of Anwar Ibrahim, had also rejected the dissolution of the Parliament as it was done with bad intention – to free UMNO president Zahid Hamidi from all his pending criminal charges. It provided the opposition with the ammunition to condemn selfish BN who would rather see people die and suffer from flood just to save some UMNO crooks.

About a month since the Parliament was dissolved on Oct 10, the world appears upside-down for BN. The United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the dominant party in the BN coalition, has misread and miscalculated the Malay support for the party. The landslide win in the Melaka and Johor state elections does not guarantee the same victory in the general election.

It was not Zahid’s fault alone. Even the brilliant Najib Razak, the first former prime minister imprisoned for corruption, thought all the Malay, Chinese and Indian voters had returned to BN. Narcissist Najib misinterpreted his popularity when people, fighting tooth and nail to take selfies with him, as a sign that people loved him so much they had forgiven and forgotten his corruptions.

Najib’s “Malu apa bossku” (What’s the shame, my boss?) moniker, which had taken the country by storm previously, is now dead. He was sent to prison by a Malay judge, Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat – the first woman Chief Justice. And it was his own UMNO government that sent him to Kajang Prison. He can’t blame the cruelty on the DAP-Chinese or Pakatan Harapan.

To make matters worse, Zahid made the tactical mistake when he dropped all UMNO warlords aligned to poster boy Sabri in order to consolidate his power. A gangster will always do what a gangster does – eliminate all your rivals and enemies before they strike. Zahid, over-confident of BN’s chance to win at least a simple majority, was preparing to become the 10th Prime Minister.

But UMNO warlords dropped from contesting started a rebellion, largely because they were humiliated publicly. For example, Shahidan Kassim, the warlord in the state of Perlis, did something unthinkable – contesting the Arau parliamentary seat on PN ticket. Others have quietly campaigned for rivals and could even sabotage UMNO internally to teach Zahid a lesson.

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For the first time in history, BN is behind both PH and even PN in the “flag war” due to insufficient funds. Each constituency reportedly only received one-third of their normal allocation this time. For decades, BN depended on money to grease its machinery, including hiring people to raise the banners and plant flags, as well as arranging lucky draws to buy votes.

Suddenly, all surveys and polls show that BN could lose. This is an entirely different picture from the Melaka state election in Nov 2021 and Johor state election in March 2022, when BN won two-thirds majority. A vote for BN is a vote for Zahid to become the next prime minister, an increasingly popular belief that has spooked even UMNO hardcore supporters.

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Already the first UMNO president who did not get to become the prime minister, Zahid could become the first UMNO president to lose his seat. He won his hometown parliamentary constituency – Bagan Datuk – with a 5,072-vote majority in the last election. However, his victory was partially due to the Hutan Melintang army camp, which contributed roughly 2,000 votes.

The army camp, one of fixed deposits for BN top leaders, was part of the Defence Ministry’s controversial land swap deal under the BN government. The stunning defeat in the 2018 General Election saw the scandal involving 16 land swaps exposed by the Pakatan Harapan government, and the camp in Bagan Datuk closed. Without the army votes, Zahid could lose.

As disillusioned UMNO supporters leave the party in droves, they have no choice but to explore alternatives. Spooked by Democratic Action Party (DAP), one of four component parties in PH that have been accused by UMNO for decades as a Chinese chauvinist party, Malay voters brainwashed to hate and fear the party could end up voting for Perikatan Nasional.

Even though Mahiaddin (Muhyiddin) had mishandled the Covid-19 pandemic and mismanaged the economy during his 17-month backdoor government, previously pro-UMNO Malay voters would rather vote for an incompetent Mahiaddin than PH prime ministerial candidate Anwar Ibrahim who is backed by DAP due to racial and religious politicking.

PAS Islamist party, the main component party of PN, repetitively approves, subscribes and even promotes racist hatred, xenophobia, Malay supremacy and all forms of bigotry in his attempt to hate non-Malays, especially the Chinese. Extremist PAS president Hadi Awang has started attacking non-Muslims, especially ethnic Chinese, as “roots of corruption” and DAP as communist.

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If Malay voters continue to join PN at the expense of BN, the landscape could change in favour of Muhyiddin. Therefore, it’s absolutely possible that the PN coalition could emerge the second biggest winner, trailing behind Pakatan Harapan. Polling data from various sources show PH is leading with between 80 and 100 parliamentary seats in the Peninsular Malaysia.

Unless PH could win at least 112 of the 222 parliamentary seats to form a simple-majority government on its own, the Opposition has to negotiate with Sabah or Sarawak or both. However, Sarawak-based Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) prefer BN or PN because both coalitions have half-baked policies about fighting corruption, meaning corrupt GPS politicians will be untouchable.

Most analysts believe post-general election would see the return of the previous fragile Malay-centric government comprising UMNO, Bersatu, PAS, GPS and Sabah-based Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) and other smaller parties to make up the number, leaving PH alone as the biggest bloc of opposition. But the bad blood between UMNO and Bersatu might see another permutation.

If GPS plays hard to get, there’s the remotest possibility of PH working with BN. However, it would be hard to see how Anwar would agree to interfere in the judiciary process to free crooked Zahid, not to mention the challenge in the allocation of ministries to UMNO, MCA and MIC. Either way, it’s non-negotiable that Anwar must lead and becomes the 10th Prime Minister.

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Even if UMNO cannot work with PH, let alone DAP, do you think Sabri could return as prime minister again if BN wins less seats than PN? Assuming PH wins 90 seats, that would leave just 76 seats in the Peninsular (which is home to 166 of the 222 parliamentary seats) to be won by BN (UMNO, MCA, MIC) and PN (Bersatu, PAS, Gerakan). Can you see now why it’s highly likely PH will form the government?

In the 2018 General Election, UMNO won only 54 seats. Now, with its Malay supporters fleeing to PN, it might win less than 40 seats, ending its dominance after more than 60 years. But it doesn’t mean Bersatu or PAS could replace UMNO as the dominant party, at least not in this general election. While Malay votes are split three ways, it’s not enough for Bersatu to win a meaningful number of seats.

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On the contrary, the split in Malay votes – the more PN could swing from BN the better – would benefit PH tremendously. With Chinese votes in its pocket, PH would need even lesser Malay votes to win if PN could swing more UMNO votes away. By diluting UMNO-Malay votes, Bersatu and PAS would capture more Malay votes, but not enough to win due to lack of Chinese and Indian votes.

Let’s assume PH remains as the opposition, while PN, BN, GRS, GPS and whatnots agree to form a government like previously again. Who will become the next prime minister? When they work again, it means BN has won less than 40 seats. It’s highly unlikely Sabri would be allowed to become prime minister again. But will Muhyiddin return as premier again?

Abdul Hadi Awang cannot become the next prime minister, even if his Islamist party wins the most number of seats. As a start, Sarawak-based GPS will not endorse an extremist and racist like Hadi to lead the country. It would be a suicide mission as Sarawakians would rebel against the Borneo state. In addition, foreign investors would avoid Malaysia like a plague if a Taliban were appointed as prime minister.

In 2018, Muhyiddin won the Pagoh parliamentary seat with a majority of 6,927 votes. The ethnic breakdown of the constituency consists of Malay (67%), Chinese (29.3%) and Indian (3.4%). Clearly the traitor had won based primarily on Chinese votes, without which he could lose the seat. In the event Muhyiddin loses, guess who will become the prime minister.

Yes, Azmin Ali (assuming he does not get slaughtered in Gombak) could be the 10th Prime Minister. Malays who despise Zahid, flipping their card for Muhyiddin, could end up with the biggest surprise in their life. Without realizing it, they might elect the first “Malay gay” prime minister. Azmin was caught with his pants down engaging in “gay sex” at Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Sandakan, Sabah.

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It’s an open secret that the ambitious Azmin wanted to become the youngest premier, leading to his betrayal in 2020 when he led 11 PKR MPs to defect. After his new political master Muhyiddin was backstabbed and betrayed by Najib and Zahid, Azmin had wanted to become deputy prime minister, but did not succeed. As Muhyiddin’s deputy, he is next in line to become PM. – Finance Twitter