YOURSAY | Can Muhyiddin rise to the occasion in new Covid-19 world?



YOURSAY | ‘The virus may be the best antidote to the Mahathirist ills, which the country has long endured.’

COMMENT | Muhyiddin is locked down, and the way out

AnotherKomentar: Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) sole raison d’être is to keep Muhyiddin Yassin as the prime minister until Umno, PAS and GPS decide when they are ready to ditch this unworkable and tenuous marriage of convenience.

Covid-19 will exacerbate the already fractured racial, religious and political divides and makes the return of multiracial consensus government almost impossible and unlikely.

Given the government’s heavy reliance of revenue from oil and gas to finance public expenditure, the collapse of energy price and the tumultuous global economic downturn will reinforce race-based economic affirmative actions to secure continued Malay-Islamic political allegiance.

Political reforms, exemplified by corruption prosecutions, will eventually be reversed under the pretext of “political stability”.

Muhyiddin’s and Bersatu’s survival is within the umbrage of Umno and returning to Umno remains the pragmatic option given the moral calibre of Muhyiddin and former PKR leader Azmin Ali.

Malaysia’s decline as a nominal multiracial democratic society is cast in history. Democracy has no place in the post-pandemic new world of Malaysia.

Mortality: "Muhyiddin (still) has the opportunity in this crisis to improve his government’s response and restructure his government," writes Malaysiakini columnist Bridget Welsh.

The question is whether he wants to do so. I think all his actions to-date point to him trying to cling to power by all foul means possible.

It is good to read from Bridget’s analysis that the backdoor PM8 (eight prime minister) is far from secure and the PN government may yet fall. Yes, let GE15 be called then. We will be in uncharted waters. But let it be.

I am prepared to be ruled by a democratically-elected ‘Pengkhianat Nasional’ government than this backdoor government.

Dr Spin: The PM should look long and hard at this. The most important ingredient for Malaysia's survival and recovery, and for the PM to survive as well, is the gathering together of the country’s best brains and talents.

That certainly needs some changes from those currently appointed and the host of wannabes clamouring for positions.

The PM's greatest strength would be a team of the best people around him. Not warlords or ‘yes men’ but effective managers, technocrats, and selfless community leaders. Can he do that?

FairMalaysian: People are not confused, politicians are. I think they may have a grip on what it may look like in the months to come.

The greatest fools are those from Umno and PAS. Some in Umno may have seen it that waiting it out to face the next GE may have offered the best hope to make a comeback.

The Pakatan Harapan government was already reeling. What to do, some in Umno had big hammers hanging over their heads, and for their survival, they had to go with the coup and screwed up whatever little chance that they may have in Umno staging a comeback had they waited.

Anonymous #33227154: In a coup, even the winner is never safe as he is always surrounded by a bunch of hungry traitors who can't wait to devour him.

This is Muhyiddin's retribution for betraying Malaysia. He won't have any peace. The only way to right his wrong is to hand the government back to Harapan (minus the traitor, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad).

Anonymous 2043581479977820: Bridget, based on the panacea you have suggested, it appears like Mahathir's unity government which he mooted whilst he was interim PM. Well, it’s not too late to try it out but as many commentators have said, most politicians will find it difficult to accept this.

The only way I see it is for Bersatu to realign with Harapan again. Then the most pressing and jarring issue of legitimacy will be addressed.

The government can then be restructured, yet again to include competent ministers from the first Harapan government and professional technocrats. Muhyiddin can continue as PM until GE15. Harapan then goes into GE15 with PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim as the PM candidate.

This way, the people's anger against Muhyiddin for forming a backdoor government will ease and he saves his legacy and reputation. I don't think Mahathir would want to be in the government so long as it is properly formed and run.

The only problem is whether Muhyiddin has the gumption to initiate this move. He should be smart enough to see that PAS and Umno do not make the cut.

Rasa Sayang: Yes, Bridget’s suggestion is a sane 'solution' out of this God-forsaken mess: Covid-19, worldwide economic and political disruption, rock-bottom oil price, pervasive supply-chain disruption which Malaysia could or would suffer from, rising NPLs (non-performing loans) in our banking system, impending or already implemented politically-motivated but dysfunctional 'restructurings' in the civil service and government-linked companies (GLCs), etc.

The question is whether time is on the side of the two Ms (Muhyiddin and Mahathir) to cobble up a unity government.

Quigonbond: Bridget, one can hope, but Mahathir would never have resigned as PM and Muhyiddin would never have taken Bersatu out of Harapan if it could continue to live as a mosquito party within Harapan.

Muhyiddin’s supremacist agenda is so strong that he prefers to work with other son-of-the-soil shark/snake types rather than quite possibly more modernist, progressive and enlightened non-Malay types.

So, he will continue the lockdown to the grave detriment of the nation. I'm not shy of claiming that Malaysia is heading towards 'pariahship', in a manner second worse only to Najib Abdul Razak's kleptocracy.

Unspin: The single biggest issue with our politicians is that they view reaching the summit as an end goal for themselves, instead of a beginning to serve the country and the people. We saw that in Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Najib and now Muhyiddin.

Who can forget Muhyiddin thanking God profusely and sobbing on the shoulders of Azmin when it finally sunk in that he was going to be the next PM of Malaysia?

It is unlikely that Muhyiddin can rise to the occasion. Even when he was heading lesser posts vis-a-vis the premiership, his performance was lacklustre and forgettable. The PM shoes are simply too big for him.

Doc: Malaysians generally are not racist. Push comes to shove; everyone, notwithstanding race and religion, will help each other.

The problem of racism was created by politicians, mostly Umno and PAS, to further their political agenda and seize power and that racism strategy is killing Malaysia socially, politically and economically.

Muhyiddin is trapped in this racist political agenda along with Umno and PAS, and there does not seem to be an exit strategy for him to wangle his way out of the political mess he has gotten into.

MS: Leadership in the ‘Koestenbaum diamond model’ has four dimensions - vision, reality, ethics and courage. Moving forward in turbulent times requires each of these to be demonstrated in equal measure perhaps.

Muhyiddin, by his own admission, is Malay-first - which simply means he is unable to see himself beyond the limits of his ethnic boundaries or rise above them.

Disabled in that sense, his sense of reality is totally and hopelessly coloured by ‘ketuanan’ shades - everything has to pass through the Malay filter and never what is good for all Malaysians.

Where courage is concerned, he has not demonstrated any other than to connive and conspire for self-serving ends and never for the furtherance of Malaysian imperatives.

And ethics? There is still that thing about Stamford Holdings and his role as Johor menteri besar. That and his "loyalty" to his two previous bosses says something.

I think the virus may be the best antidote to the Mahathirist ills, which the country has long endured.

If it persists and spreads and cripples enabling structures and mindsets, it may force a purging of the nastier corrupting elements in the body politic, then correct the myopia that has always reduced the vision of semi-literate 'kais pagi makan pagi' politicians and set the stage for the resetting of national priorities based on a truly inclusive model of governance.

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