COMMENT | After May 13, 1969, this must be the blackest day in Malaysia’s history.
The formation of a backdoor government resulting from what is obviously a coup marks March 1, 2020, as a day when victory was achieved with treachery.
The legitimately elected Pakatan Harapan (PH) government is overthrown, along with the people’s mandate given to the coalition at GE14 on May 9, 2018. Now we are inflicted with a government called Perikatan Nasional (PN) comprising political parties that were rejected then, teaming up with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), which betrayed PH together with former PKR deputy president Azmin Ali and the MPs supporting him.
The man nominated by PN, Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, has been sworn in this morning as the eighth prime minister. Even so, controversy abounds as to whether he did actually command the majority support of the 222 MPs.
The Harapan side claims he does not. Its leader, Mahathir Mohamad, sought to present evidence of this to the king this morning, before the swearing-in, but his request was turned down.
Does Muhyiddin really have at least the simple majority support of 112? As it stands, perhaps only the Agong and PN know. As such, for the sake of transparency, the original list of the MPs supporting Muhyiddin should be made public so that the rakyat can see for themselves if he truly has it. By original, I mean the list he submitted to the king before he was declared to be qualified for the job.
It is only proper that we, the people, are duly informed. We have the right to see the list in order to be convinced, even if we still don’t agree that he and his partners should come to power in this manner. After all, the mandate we gave to Harapan has been stolen from us.
Furthermore, the coup that led to this has gripped the nation for seven days and caused untold anxiety to millions of Malaysians. It has also caused tens of billions of ringgit to be lost at the stock market. This is unacceptable. Why did it have to come to this, especially at a time when our economy is suffering and a global virus poses a severe existential threat?
To satisfy egos, save the political career of a certain politician who was fighting for survival, absolve the crooks of their crimes, acquit the thieves who have stolen from the nation?
How shameful this country has become because of these reasons.
How shameful, too, that parties such as Umno and PAS are now in power, the very parties that have been dividing the nation with race and religion rhetoric and made our society more polarised than it has ever been. How will they now govern the country?
From the composition of the parties linked to PN, it appears to be a concoction that is overwhelmingly Malay-Muslim. Bersatu and Umno are exclusively Malay parties, and PAS is open only to Muslims. The only token non-Malays come from are the MCA (two MPs) and the MIC (only one MP), and a few from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
Will this day mark the end of a multi-racial government as we have known it? Now that the precedent has been set, will it define the pattern for future general elections? The days ahead are frighteningly uncertain.
What is also frightening is the prospect that Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will be playing a major role in the new government. We don’t know yet which position he will take up in the new cabinet, but we can bet it won’t be transport minister.
It is shameful enough that this man who holds the record of 54 charges against him in court ranging from criminal breach of trust to bribery to money laundering will be among those formulating policy and direction for our country; it gets more shameful when you consider that these charges may now likely be dropped.
The other horrendous thought surrounds the litigious fate of former Umno president and prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor. Now that Umno is back in the saddle, we could face the prospect of their charges being dropped or their total acquittal. The 1MDB scandal will be buried. So will other scandals involving the current victors.
There are more negative implications accompanying the installation of Muhyiddin Yassin’s new backdoor government, but I won’t go on. The day is black enough, and many Malaysians are already in mourning.
All we can hope for now is a miracle. A miracle to save Malaysia from traitors, race-baiters and thieves.
Kee Thuan Chye is the author of the bestselling book The People’s Victory.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.