Muhyiddin Yassin has taken full advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic turmoil to solidify his position as the prime minister, veteran journalist A Kadir Jasin claims.
Kadir argued in his blog post that the Pagoh MP has taken these developments to give him ample time to garner support by postponing the sitting of Dewan Rakyat.
“He (Muhyiddin) used the pandemic as an excuse to postpone the sitting of Dewan Rakyat from March 9 to May 18.
“This would give him time to gather support, should there be a vote of no confidence against him,” he said.
The movement control order, Kadir said, has also been used to buy Muhyiddin time to strengthen his support in Bersatu.
“All party activities, including divisional annual general meetings and leadership elections, are being postponed,” he said.
For the record, Dr Mahathir Mohamad had won the Bersatu chairperson’s post uncontested while Muhyiddin is vying for the post of president in the party’s elections.
By not appointing a deputy prime minister, Kadir said, Muhyiddin has shrewdly made himself indispensable and unchallenged.
“Instead, he appointed four senior ministers who are theoretically beholden to him and, therefore, are not likely to gang up to challenge him.”
Kadir noted that Bersatu is fractured, with some aligning with Mahathir while others are in Muhyiddin’s camp and that there’s speculation that the party will eventually merge with Umno.
More so with Muhyiddin allowing Umno senior ministers to steal the limelight in the Perikatan Nasional government, he said.
“He does seem to mind that his publicity-hungry Umno ministers are stealing the limelight and, in the process, making mockery of his government.
“It would appear that these seasoned Umno Ministers are setting the narrative of the government.
“This leads to speculations that he (Muhyiddin) may eventually merge Bersatu with Umno and use his position as prime minister to lead the merged entity,” he said.
Mahathir had repeatedly said that he is not willing to work with Umno but that he accepted its members into Bersatu as individuals.
“It is very clear that Muhyiddin is leading the country back to the last two decades of the Umno era when good governance, accountability and professionalism were not the priority,” Kadir argued. – Malaysiakini