YOURSAY | ‘The referee could blow the whistle at any time and it will be game over.’
RedWolf4463: When you are less than capable, you appoint very capable lieutenants to help you govern.
To begin with, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had very little choice among his party and coalition partners - most of them have credentials that are way below the minimum requirements needed for the job.
So the bar gets lowered and the result is manifest incompetence as displayed to the world at large. A comparison of the Singapore cabinet and our cabinet will reveal the embarrassingly wide disparity of talent and intelligence between them.
Did he reach out to members of the opposition to arrive at some kind of Confidence and Supply Agreement (CSA) arrangement like what was done in the Johor and Perak state governments? No, his advisers wouldn’t allow him to.
The true mettle of leadership is always tested in crisis, such as our war against the Covid-19 pandemic. Some leaders are like Neville Chamberlain of UK, who was not cut out to deal with the war with Germany and was known for his policy of appeasement in the Munich Agreement.
Such similar comparisons can be drawn with Muhyiddin’s policy of appeasement in handing out plum cabinet posts, government-linked company (GLC) positions, and lately the positions on the boards of public universities when all other possible posts had run out, in exchange for support regardless of their competence or qualifications.
Chamberlain had to resign to make way for Winston Churchill who made the cut in winning the war against Germany. So yes, Mr Prime Minister, it’s about time to cut and cut cleanly. Let a Churchill take the lead.
Apa Nama: Like in a football match, Muhyiddin is now in injury time. The referee could blow the whistle at any time and it is game over.
Last October, when the Yang di-Pertuan Agong rejected declaring a state of emergency, Muhyiddin knew he was living on borrowed time.
Later, the king said the government can convene Parliament during the emergency, and Muhyiddin ignored His Majesty’s statement.
The Conference of Rulers came up with a press release which seemed to detail all the failures that Muhyiddin has committed since last year.
The king and his brother rulers seemed to be telling Muhyiddin, “you have failed and you need to go”. This is why Muhyiddin has been very quiet besides issuing that pathetic "take note" statement.
Does he have room to manoeuvre now? What will be the next move by Muhyiddin?
Dr Raman Letchumanan: Malaysiakini columnist Francis Siah, you should know by now, the problem is not Muhyiddin.
It is all his parasites - the 32 ministers, 37 deputy ministers, hundreds of parliament secretaries, political secretaries, politically appointed heads of civil service, heads and directors of GLCs, academic institutions and cronies - who won't let him resign.
They number in the thousands. Remember when the prime minister seemed like he wanted to resign after the Agong didn't agree to the first emergency advice, all these parasites gathered that night and forced him to change his mind.
In Malaysia, nothing can be that cut and dry, especially when race and religion are involved. Parasites by nature will not leave the host until they have sucked him dry and dead.
But my concern is, if and when Muhyiddin is allowed to step down, what next? Who is there to take over? Another set of parasite-infested majestic old tree trunks that have seen better days?
The only option I see now is the tussle between a PM-in-waiting and the PM-in-wanting spiced up with the ‘court cluster’.
Headhunter: I think there is no comparison between the two (Muhyiddin and former Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos).
Marcos won his presidency lawfully. Apart from his power to hang on and the massive corruption which impoverished his people like Umno did to Malaysia, he was an astute and intelligent politician who played his game skillfully till the very end.
Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak is more in the vein of Marcos, utterly corrupt, a similar wife, and who cultivated his image with massive PR spending.
The only thing I see Muhyiddin doing to keep his position is to bribe key supporters with high positions in his cabinet, the civil service, GLCs, and public universities.
There is no lasting loyalty for him. His supporters are there for the gravy and will abandon ship the moment they see it sinking. That's his legacy.
Cogito Ergo Sum: Muhyiddin’s downfall was appointing incompetent but loyal people to portfolios they are incapable of managing. And he made matters worse by not sacking them.
Despite statistics that showed the pandemic was getting worse, he kept with the same strategies, hoping repeating the same thing would produce a different outcome. That is stupid. Staying on will be the height of stupidity.
GrayMacaw7141: @Cogito Ergo Sum, true, if only he sacked the non-performing ministers and put competent replacements in place - because there is absolutely no space for mismanagement while handling the national Covid-19 response.
I dare say Muhyiddin could have salvaged his reputation despite the backdoor method in which he came into power.
Heck, maybe even part of the populace would have been endeared to him had he agreed to work with Pakatan Harapan to form a unity government, But alas, we all know he's just borrowing from the BN/Umno-era handbook and stupidly hanging on to power.
Clever Voter: Muhyiddin will likely end his career as the shortest and probably least effective PM. But he leaves behind worsening problems than what he inherited. The trouble is, he got entangled in a system based on patronage.
Rewarding everyone who supported him is one thing, but when he found that was inadequate, he compromised the integrity of our institutions.
Today, the embattled PM risks confronting the recent royal directive to end the emergency. He now faces an embarrassing exit and it is not entirely his fault.
He grew up in a corrupt system where everything is compromised based on patronage, and the world is no longer the same as what he once knew.
He should take back what he gave out and return it to the people, but he won't as he does not want to lose face. The country will not recover soon and massive economic and social challenges await the next government.
The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. In the past year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.
These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.