Slim By-Election the Biggest Losers Are Muhyiddin, Azmin

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It’s not an exaggeration to suggest that Muhyiddin has almost given up on his own party as he is being cornered by a gam of UMNO sharks.

On the government side, UMNO and PAS could not wait to ditch their ally of convenience, PPBM (Bersatu), despite the fact that all the three “Malay-Muslim” parties are part of the loosely glued Perikatan Nasional coalition government. Not only UMNO and PAS do not need PPBM to share the cake, they also do not trust traitors like PM Muhyiddin and Gay Minister Azmin.

On the opposition side, PKR, DAP and Amanah could not wait to teach PPBM a lesson after Muhyiddin Yassin and Azmin Ali betrayed them, leading to the collapse of Pakatan Harapan coalition government. Like their enemies UMNO and PAS, the remaining three members of Pakatan coalition also do not trust their “former friends” Muhyiddin and Azmin. Nobody likes traitors.

Muhyiddin’s plan A was to attract UMNO leaders to jump ship and join his PPBM party so that he can lead a dominant Malay party. But nobody was interested, forcing him to go to plan B, which is to rejoin his former party UMNO. When push comes to shove, his plan C is to rejoin Pakatan Harapan which he had betrayed. And of course, his last plan is to retire if everything fails.

The problem with plan B is that not only will he become a “temporary” prime minister warming up the seat for a pack of power-hungry UMNO warlords eyeing the throne, there is no place for his blue-eyed boy Azmin. UMNO has made it known that while they can accept the return of Muhyiddin to the party, the door is closed (with keys thrown away) for an outsider like Azmin.

Things get tricky not only for Azmin but also the 13 UMNO defectors who jumped ship to PPBM after UMNO stunningly lost in the May 2018 General Election. UMNO, extremely confident of winning the next 15th election with PAS, has also made it clear that all PPBM leaders – either MPs or Supreme Council members – will become ordinary members once they join UMNO.

Of the PPBM’s tally of 32 seats, 13 are from UMNO defectors with 11 from Azmin faction who betrayed their own party, PKR, thus leaving Muhyiddin with only 8 MPs (out of 13 MPs) who originally won their seats in the 14th General Election. To add salt to injury, UMNO wants Muhyiddin’s PPBM to return all the 13 seats it had won in 2018, further putting pressure on the prime minister.

But traitor Muhyiddin’s nightmare has just begun. Mahathir’s newly-founded party “Pejuang” (Parti Pejuang Tanah Air) was chipping away – slowly but surely – PPBM grassroots even before the party could be officially formed, suggesting Muhyiddin’s fading popularity within his own party. With neither plan A nor plan B working, PPBM is running around like a headless chicken.

Like Mahathir’s previous wishful thinking, Muhyiddin cannot make PPBM more Malay than UMNO or make his party more Islamic than PAS. UMNO Malay nationalist party and PAS Islamist party, two original members of Muafakat Nasional alliance, would easily eat up PPBM for breakfast. It won’t make any difference even after PPBM was accepted as a third member of Muafakat.

When a snap election is announced, there’s no guarantee that PPBM’s membership in the exclusive club will still be valid, not that UMNO president Zahid Hamidi gives a damn about the prime minister. Trapped and desperate with few friends but truckloads of enemies, PM Muhyiddin was forced to do something unexpected, but silly – open the “Malay-only” PPBM party to non-Malays.

Some analysts were quick to say that it was a strategic and brilliant move. Seriously? If non-Malays wanted to join a multi-racial party, they would join PKR – or even DAP and Gerakan – but certainly not PPBM. What are the compelling reasons to join a racist party like PPBM who currently allows non-Malays to join as associate members but are not allowed to hold leadership positions?

It’s not an exaggeration to suggest that the backdoor PM Muhyiddin has almost given up on his own party as he is being cornered by a gam of UMNO sharks. His decision will make the party lose whatever little Malay support is left and at the same time not able to win over non-Malay support. The decision, however, was a last resort to allow Azmin Ali do whatever he could to salvage the sinking ship.

As much as traitor Azmin Ali wanted to hoodwink non-Malays that his “Malay First” boss Muhyiddin treasures multi-racial culture, the minority non-Malays were not born yesterday. They could see that PPBM desperately wants to replicate the success of PKR. Does he think PPBM can become a multi-racial party overnight when it took PKR over 20 years to build its current strong foundation?

Being racist is one thing, but being treacherous is another thing altogether. In fact, pro-opposition voters despise PPBM more than UMNO and PAS. Even if Barisan Nasional, led by UMNO, wins the 15th General Election, they could accept the devil they knew for over 60 years. They would be happy as long as PPBM is exterminated in the next general election.

Coincidentally, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, one of five PPBM rebels led by former PM Mahathir Mohamad, who refused to join Muhyiddin’s backdoor government, has confirmed that he will be forming his own multiracial and youth-centric political party. That will definitely jeopardise Azmin’s plan to entice and charm young voters to support PPBM.

The doom and gloom of PPBM were clearly visible when its youth leaders were booed and jeered by their supposedly ally, UMNO supporters, during the launch of the Barisan Nasional Youth election machinery at Trolak Felda for the “Slim by-election”. It was a slap in the face of Muhyiddin as he had just announced his decision to join Muafakat on the same day.

The Barisan’s massive win in the just-concluded Slim by-election – 13,060 votes against Mahathir’s Pejuang who grabbed only 2,110 votes – shows that the biggest loser is not Mahathir but Muhyiddin. The result proves that Muafakat Nasional (UMNO and PAS) can easily win all the Malay-majority parliamentary seats without any help from PPBM.

The bad blood between PPBM and UMNO continued when the prime minister travelled to Sabah over the weekend to officially launch the Perikatan Nasional coalition on August 31 (to coincide with Independence Day), only to scrap the plan due to a breakdown in negotiations between both parties in anticipation of the Sabah state election next month.

There aren’t many cards left to play. Heck, the lame-duck prime minister is so weak and vulnerable that he could not even sack or replace Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali, the controversial minister from the PAS Islamist party who broke the law when he deliberately skipped a 14-day mandatory home quarantine after his visit to Turkey from July 3-7.

Thanks to Muhyiddin’s weakness, PAS extremists decided to continue their rampage when MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh freely and deliberately mocked and insulted the Bible and Christianity in the country. The prime minister chooses to look the other way despite a seditious remark by Zawawi that the Bible had been altered, perverted, distorted and corrupted.

Farizul Hafiz Awang

After insulting the Bible with regards to drink-driving offenders, the arrogant Nik Zawawi refused to apologise, insisting that he had no reason to do so since his statement was “a fact”. Heck, he had even suggested the Christian community had “no right to be offended.” Exactly what type of multi-racial party PPBM is if its president dares not even defends non-Malay from such attacks? – Finance Twitter