Kalau boleh ‘Pecah dan Perintah’ (Divide and Rule), buat apa serah…..

It is the most effective and productive strategy Gerontocracy Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad the Lord of Machiavellianism ever deployed to remain in power for so long and there on, remained politically relevant.

The Star story:

Will Anwar become the 8th Prime Minister?


A discussion about a new book draws interesting perspectives on the much debated transfer of power from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. 

A DAY after Shahbudin Husin launched his book, Anwar PM Ke-8: Janji Serah Kuasa Yang Mesti Ditepati (Anwar The Eighth PM: A Promise To Transfer Power Which Must Be Fulfilled), I met the author to get some insight on this hot topic.

When we met in a cafe in Subang Jaya, Selangor, on Thursday, I jokingly asked him, “Is your book nonfiction or fiction?” to check if he really believed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim would be Prime Minister. 

“It is nonfiction,” was the firm reply from the former journalist who has written seven books in Bahasa Malaysia on Malaysian politics.

In January last year, Pakatan had made the promise that if the coalition won, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would be PM and Anwar would replace him later. 

“After PH won, it was ding dong, ding dong. At first, before GE14, Dr Mahathir said the transfer of power would be in two years. After winning, he said maybe in two years, or more or less. And then at a press conference, with Anwar by his side, he said if Anwar gave permission, he would get two and half years. And later he said three years,” the author said. 

With no fixed date set for the transfer of power, Shahbudin contends that Pakatan has a problem. He said that is why it is desirable for the Pakatan presidential council or Dr Mahathir himself to set a firm date.

“I don’t think Dr Mahathir has a problem with setting a date, as this is his second time as PM. Previously, he set a date when Pak Lah took over as PM. No problem,” he said, referring to Dr Mahathir setting the timetable for Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to replace him and become the fifth Prime Minister in 2003.

“The title of your book is ‘Anwar, the eighth PM’. Do you think it will really happen?” I asked. 

“I am confident it will happen,” Shabudin replied.

“Firstly, this time Dr Mahathir is already old, he is not like before – he ghairah (was passionate) to be PM for a long time. Then he got to be PM for 22 years.

“This time, his intention was to get rid of Najib Razak and bring down BN,” he said, referring to sixth Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Barisan Nasional. 

“Secondly, this time Dr Mahathir doesn’t have any strong men.

“Now, he only has Tun Daim Zainuddin. In 1998 when he fought with Anwar, he had Megat Junid, Aziz Shamsuddin and Sanusi Junid. This time he can’t afford to fight.

“For his own good, he should follow his plan (to transfer power to Anwar),” Shabudin said.

During the Dr Mahathir versus Anwar fight in the late 1990s, among the PM’s loyalists and strategists were Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin, the late Tan Sri Megat Junid and the late Tan Sri Sanusi Junid. Back then, the outcome of the fight was that Anwar ended up in jail.

If indeed there will be a stable transfer of power and it is only about the date of the handover, why then in the last one year does it look like Anwar can’t be PM, especially with PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali seemingly in the way, I asked the author. 

“This is mostly influenced by people surrounding Dr Mahathir who are afraid they will lose their privileges when he steps down,” Shabudin replied.

“But then why is there a pergolakan (struggle) in PKR, especially this week when it looks like the party is like retak menanti belah (a crack waiting to split)?” I asked.

“I’ve mentioned in my book that the perpecahan (split) in PKR is because of Dr Mahathir.

“Maybe because he has 13 (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia) MPs, PKR has 50 MPs and DAP has 42 MPs, he feels he is not strong.

“To make himself stronger, he appointed Azmin as Economic Affairs Minister even though PKR did not nominate him, as he was Selangor Mentri Besar then,” Shabudin explained.

“Dr Mahathir made PKR shaky so that people will come to him. That is his style.

“But I don’t think he can last for two years. PH is different from BN. In BN, the PM determines who will replace him but in PH, the presidential council – which consists of DAP, PKR, Amanah and Bersatu leaders – decides who will be PM.

“I think Amanah might follow Dr Mahathir but PKR and DAP will follow Anwar.”

On what is Azmin’s gameplay, Shahbudin said the PKR deputy president indeed wants to be Prime Minister. But he did not think Azmin would get strong support from Pakatan.

“Between Anwar and Azmin, PH definitely will support Anwar and not Azmin,” he said. 

Shahbudin speculated that Azmin could even be sacked from the party: “It will happen soon, Anwar will suspend him for his move to attack the party president,” he said, referring to Azmin telling Anwar to “look at the man in the mirror” after the PKR president said his deputy president should resign as Economic Affairs Minister if he’s conclusively identified as one of the two men in a recent viral sex video.

The author also does not think Azmin would become Deputy Prime Minister in the next few weeks around Hari Raya Haji, as rumour has it.

“Tidak. Gaduh lah. Mesti pecah PH (No. It will be a fight. PH will break). If Dr Mahathir appoints Azmin as DPM, PKR and DAP will pull out of PH,” he said. 

Break it down in percentages, I said, for Anwar becoming PM. 

“I feel more than 70%,” he said.

Azmin?

“Below 10%,” he replied. 

How about a dark horse PM, I wondered.

“The most qualified is Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. But he is not healthy. I think there is no choice (but Anwar).

“Unless Dr Mahathir wants PH to be destroyed. There is talk that Dr Mahathir wants to join Umno. But Umno doesn’t want him,” he said. 

On the day Anwar PM Ke-8 was launched at a restaurant in Shah Alam, a panel discussion of the book took place. One of the panellists, Prof Datuk Dr Redzuan Othman of Institut Darul Ehsan, revealed the findings of his think tank’s survey of 1,600 people in Peninsular Malaysia on who they preferred to succeed Dr Mahathir.

Redzuan said 45% were for Anwar, 16% for Muhyiddin, 11% for Azmin and 1% for Amanah president Mohamad Sabu.

The rest of the results were: 6% for Najib, 3% for Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, 2% for any Barisan candidate, 1% for DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, 1% for Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, 3% for “none qualified”, and 8% of the respondents did not want to answer the survey.

“It is clear that only Anwar can succeed Mahathir. Anyone else can dream of becoming PM but based on our survey, only Anwar is accepted by the people,” said Redzuan, who is a longtime friend of Anwar’s.

After Redzuan spoke, it was the turn of panellist Datuk A. Kadir Jasin, who is special adviser on media and communication to the Prime Minister, to speak: “I see that 6% wants Najib to be back as PM. Shahbudin needs to rethink, as 6% wants Najib to be PM,” he pointed out.

Later, Redzuan defended his survey saying that it allowed the public to say whoever they wanted to support as the next Prime Minister: “For sure Najib still has his supporters. But 6% is still far from being a favourite. The majority feel that Anwar is qualified to be the eighth PM,” he said. 

Redzuan also revealed that his survey found that 75% of Malaysians did not want Dr Mahathir to stay on as Prime Minister beyond two years. Of that group, 44% said Dr M could go within the next six months while 20% want him to go immediately.

Interestingly, a survey by the Merdeka Centre that was published yesterday found that Dr Mahathir’s approval rating had jumped seven percentage points. Its monthly study revealed that the Prime Minister’s popularity rose to 62% in June compared with 55% in May. 

During the panel discussion, veteran newsman Kadir said he is confident that Dr Mahathir will hand over the premiership to Anwar. He also explained why he thinks there is no timetable for the transfer of power.

“Imagine if Dr Mahathir says that I am going to step down and hand over to Anwar on this date, the lobby for positions will be hebat (great). Maybe the surprise element is useful not only for Dr Mahathir but also for Pakatan,” he said. 

He said, based on his understanding, Dr Mahathir will give up power to Anwar in two years or slightly more than two years.

If Kadir hasn’t misunderstood Dr Mahathir, Anwar will become Malaysia’s eighth Prime Minister at the latest by 2020.


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/its-just-politics/2019/07/21/will-anwar-become-the-8th-prime-minister/#l2qqS8OI1ZiQVkCY.99

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In the same paper, top political analyst Joceline Tan opined that if the Economic Affairs Minister Azmin “Semburit-Gate” Mohamed Ali is forced to be brought down, then he would take Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim with him.

The Star story:

Fallout at point of no return


ANOTHER bombshell has just fallen – the sex video, which has dominated the headlines, is more likely to be authentic than a deepfake.

The revelation will further rattle the situation in PKR which is being dragged down by the open warfare between president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his deputy Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

However, in a move worthy of a suspense movie, Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Hamid Bador said there is a high likelihood that the video is authentic but that the identities of the men in the video have yet to be ascertained.

One of the men in the video has confirmed that it is him, another has denied that he is the other man, but the police are not 100% certain of their identities.

The video scandal has dented the image of the government and rocked PKR to the core.

The split in PKR has been laid bare for all to see and a number of party leaders admit that the animosity and distrust between Anwar and Azmin have reached the point of no return.

The battle lines are clearly drawn.

“It’s a very bitter feud. My fear is that it’s beyond any kind of reconciliation,” said lawyer and Selangor PKR politician Lee Chin Cheh.

The verbal warfare between PKR’s top two has escalated into a dramatic show of strength and numbers, with the two men out to show who has more support in the party.

A total of 28 people issued a joint statement yesterday that was read as a show of support for what Azmin is going through and also as a reprimand of Anwar for not standing by his deputy.

It was a pertinent statement, pointing out how Anwar himself had been a victim of sex allegations and how the party had defended his innocence, enduring tear gas, water canons and even jail time for him.

That was probably what Azmin’s jibe for Anwar to “look at the man in the mirror” was all about.

Among the signatories to the statement were several assemblymen and, more important, a total of 14 MPs. This is an impressive number because MPs have become a highly valuable commodity in the current game of numbers.

According to Lee, two more MPs requested to support the statement after it came out. 

They were Kuala Langat MP Xavier Jayakumar who is also a minister, and Alor Setar MP Chan Ming Kai.

However, the situation is quite fluid because two other signatories, Saratok MP Ali Biju and Puncak Borneo MP Willy Mongin, were seen at a press conference alongside Anwar hours after the statement came out.

Both Anwar and Azmin have their own carrots to dangle for support in the party.

Anwar’s appeal is that he is the prime minister-in-waiting and that is a big carrot to hold up.

Anwar is confident he has the numbers and he is sticking to the script that the transition is intact, saying that he and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad meet ever so often.

He also told a senior journalist that there is even a written agreement that he will take over from Dr Mahathir and the document is in the safekeeping of his secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution.

In short, he is saying to his party that it would be wise to stick to the next prime minister.

Azmin has a bad habit of letting others, especially his loyal ally and Ampang MP Zuraidah Kamaruddin, do the fighting for him.

However, the last one week has seen him emerge to speak up and defend himself. That is what his supporters want to see him do.

But will he shrink back again like a tortoise into its shell given that the video may be authentic? The Anwar camp will surely ramp up the pressure for him to resign.

The Azmin camp insists that Dr Mahathir is with the Economic Affairs Minister. If that is true, it is a pretty awesome thing given the elder man’s clout over the coalition.

Dr Mahathir thought it wise to take a step back from the issue.

His excuse when waylaid by reporters for his opinion on the latest development was that he has “lots of other things to do”.

The Prime Minister is a busy man but you need to read between the lines when it comes to Dr Mahathir and some thought it was his way of saying that he has more important things to do unlike the warring leaders of PKR.

Others suspect that he might actually be enjoying the whole spectacle. At 94, he thought he had seen it all but politics continues to surprise him. 

The video scandal as well as allegations that the mastermind is a top aide of Anwar has somehow complicated the transition plan. If Azmin does fall because of the scandal, he will do what it takes to drag Anwar down with him. 

PKR is navigating extremely troubled and murky waters and doubts have resurfaced that Anwar’s ship may have difficulties arriving safely at the harbour.

Joceline Tan was an associate editor of The Star and continues to contribute political analyses. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of The Star.



Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/analysis/2019/07/19/fallout-at-point-of-no-return/#5MlWYCtjI0AWX119.9

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It is abundantly clear this ‘Semburit-Gate’ is a very divisive element not only within the PKR party, which is the largest component of the ruling party but also to Pakatan Harapan itself.

Another case in point is that Gerontocracy Prime Minister managed to hoodwink the members of his own party from being democratic. Especially, in their zest to expand as the leading Malay and Bumiputra political power, when the expansion into Sarawak and Sabah.

The EGM in Serdang yesterday saw the aspiration for the grassroots to decide for the top leadership diminish when delegates voted for the ‘One Member, One Vote’ (Satu Ahli, Satu Undi -SASU) only stop short at branch and division levels.

Supreme Council posts are to be decided by delegation.

The party election would also be extended to a maximum of four years, which the fourth year of its inception considering all the Supreme Council leaders have been appointed and placed by only a few at the top.

Perhaps people in Johor, which is one of the two mainstay of PPBM May conveniently forget that Gerontocracy Prime Minister utilised the ‘Divide and Rule’ to put the party’s state leadership in disarray and disunited.

Gerontocracy Prime Minister already got them divided, so that he could rule quite a bit more.

It is also reflective in very strategic Federal Government agencies like Attorney General’s Chambers, Royal Malaysian Police and MACC.

With staunch Mahathirist Chief Constabullary Hamid Bador “Buang masa!” comment just yesterday on how some politicians demanded for the quick investigation on the ‘Semburit’ shocking, it would manifest the Machiavellianism in the Police Force, if not erode public confidence as well.

What is interesting in the EGM Chairman maiden speech yesterday Gerontocracy Prime Minister took swipes against UMNO, instead of addressing political issues which Pakatan Harapan is facing and threatened by, clear and present danger.

Malaysiakini story:

Dr M warns Bersatu against Umno’s ‘dumb and dumber’ ways

Alyaa Alhadjri & Haspaizi Zain
 (Updated )

A  A

Bersatu chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the party should avoid being caught in a cycle of self-serving leaders who will prevent others with more capability to rise and succeed them.

Addressing 1,215 delegates at the party’s Extraordinary General Meeting, Mahathir said the same situation had led to Umno’s eventual downfall as the people moved to reject self-serving leaders.

“In order to preserve his position, an Umno branch chief is not keen to allow others who are more capable to be members. The only ones who can join are those dumber than him…

***********

UMNO is quick to respond to both Gerontocracy Prime Minister and IGP Hamid.

FMT story:

Confirmation by cops that sex video is authentic enough, says Umno sec-gen

Gerontocracy Prime Minister warns PPBM shouldn’t be for self interest.

The Star story:

What Cabinet reshuffle? Dr M refutes rumours


SERDANG: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has refuted rumours of a Cabinet reshuffle following a viral photograph of the full Cabinet taken on Friday (July 19) before a meeting in Putrajaya.
 
“Yesterday was one of the few times where all of the Cabinet members were present, so we wanted to take pictures of all members,” he told press conference after the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) extraordinary general meeting (EGM) here on Saturday (July 20). 

Asked if there was a possibility of a reshuffle in the near future, Dr Mahathir said: What do you suggest? 

“I listen to people, you know, I am influenced by you,” he shot back, drawing laughter from the media.
 

The photograph showed the full Cabinet – with no absentees – together with Dr Mahathir before the scheduled meeting in the morning at the Prime Minister’s Office.

On Bersatu’s election, Dr Mahathir, who is the party chairman, said they had yet to fix a date. 

“We hope to be able to do it this year,” he added. 

Dr Mahathir said 79 out of 80 amendments to the party’s constitution were approved by some 900 delegates who attended the EGM. 

“While they agreed to have affiliated members from non-Bumiputeras, they will not appointed as committee members,” he said without explaining which committee. 

He also noted there were proposals of “one member one vote” system for the party election, but said it was not practical.

Earlier, in his opening speech, Dr Mahathir warned party leaders and members that they must not go down Umno’s path of putting personal aspirations ahead of the struggle for race, religion and country.

“We do not fight for our own interest but we fight for the race, religion and country, so when we succeed, so we will be looked upon highly and respected after sharing all the benefits amongst us,” he said. 

“Let us not be like Umno. We fight for the party’s strugggle and not for self-interest. 

“We always have to remember that the rakyat will not support those who fight for their personal interests,” he said. 


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/07/20/what-cabinet-reshuffle-dr-m-refutes-rumours/#kEafsz9WOCAApozw.99

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It is interesting quite nearly one and a quarter year after denying UMNO power in the Federal Government and most of the State Governments, Gerontocracy is still using the nationalist party that he helmed for twenty two and a quarter year as the ‘Bogeyman’.

It is now up to Gerontocracy Prime Minister to stir up his agents within UMNO, in the moment of Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim’s systematic drumming up for the change-over of Premiership in PKR’s most vulnerable and lowest ebb.

At the same time, utilise and maximise the remaining 38MPs to gang up and fortify the notion ‘Lets stop Anwar from becoming PM’ by ‘encircling the wagon’.

Perhaps, ‘Demi kesinambungan kuasa Melayu dalam tunggak Kerajaan’ would be the quite apt excuse to sell.

Dr Machavellianist’s man in UMNO, would seize the moment.

Carpe Diem!

Published in: on July 21, 2019 at 18:00  Leave a Comment  

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