KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — DAP’s Liew Chin Tong claimed today Datuk Seri Najib Razak was behind Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s attempt to drive a wedge between the Pakatan Harapan-Parti Warisan Sabah coalition and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia faction.
Collectively calling Pakatan and Dr Mahathir’s faction “Pakatan Plus”, the former defence minister claimed both Najib and Muhyiddin wanted to break up Pakatan Plus in order to obtain a comfortable majority in Parliament.
He also claimed Najib was waiting for his chance to turn on Muhyiddin as the latter was dispensable in Najib’s game.
“They are churning out massive propaganda pitting one Pakatan Plus party against another,
provoking mistrust among leaders and supporters of Pakatan Plus.
“Second, while Muhyiddin is trying hard to entice members of Parliament from Pakatan to his side, Najib wants a fresh general election. He doesn’t want Muhyiddin as prime minister, and the talk in town now is that Umno is pushing for dissolution by the second half of this year,” he said in a statement here.
He further suggested that Najib was confident he could win a general election with the Umno-PAS alliance of Muafakat Nasional as opposed to Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional coalition which Muhyiddin is trying very hard to avoid because Bersatu would be wiped out.
“Najib’s group is banking on the breakup of Pakatan Plus and its component parties would go separate ways because he believes Dr Mahathir and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim can’t see eye to eye,” he said.
He also sarcastically congratulated Pakatan Plus for exposing the “truth” in the one-day Parliament sitting on May 18, thereby foiling Muhyiddin’s plan to swing enough Pakatan MPs to cross the floor with offers of positions as well as threats.
“The whole country now knows about Muhyiddin’s lack of majority in Parliament, as well as his lack of control in the PN coalition,” he added.
Liew said Najib, who is on trial over dozens of corruption charges, cannot afford to wait for too long as Muhyiddin would want to see the former prime minister imprisoned should he obtain a sizable majority in Parliament as a buffer against Najib’s faction of Umno MPs.
“Never mind that Muhyiddin has no political legitimacy, if Najib goes to prison under his watch for corruption charges, Muhyiddin’s political stock would rise very high.
“Muhyiddin would also be able to take the moral high ground to say that he has not compromised on his principles, when it comes to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case at least,” he said.
He also described how understandable differences within the grand coalition were exploited to maximum effect by “Trojan Horses” within Pakatan working treacherously with Umno and PAS.
“Knowing the differences between Dr Mahathir and Anwar, they constantly pushed repeatedly on the question of transition of power, and in hindsight the information being fed to both leaders by those surrounding them played a role to further sowing distrust.
“The differences in political understanding between Bersatu and DAP supporters were extensively exploited through the fanning of racial anxieties on both the Malay and non-Malay ends,” he said, adding that Dr Mahathir told him during a meeting in February 2019 that the elder statesman was quite certain that Anwar was not plotting against him but he was briefed that “Anwar’s people” were.
As a result, the Malays were worried that the Pakatan government was controlled by DAP with acquiescent Malay leaders while the non-Malays were worried that Pakatan was singularly
controlled by “dictator” Mahathir with DAP being quiet and submissive to him, Liew added.
“The truth is, Anwar is not Dr Mahathir’s enemy and vice versa. People who knew their psyches too well from the past were playing them off against each other.
“Their aim was simple — to break the centre, knowing that the entire edifice would collapse. Both Dr Mahathir and Anwar were the centre,” he said.
Liew therefore said Pakatan Plus parties would have to stay together tightly to give hope and purpose to the Malaysian middle ground to foil the return of the kleptocrats led by Najib.
“I have faith in the Malaysian middle ground. I believe that when they are energised, Najib’s scheme of things would be defeated. The combined forces of Umno and PAS are not as strong as they thought. One plus one doesn’t equal to two.
“It’s still murky waters ahead but if Pakatan Plus holds together, there will be renewed hope,” he said.