COMMENTARY, Oct 16 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim opened up the floodgate to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s front door for votes of no confidence following his meeting with Yang Di Agong on Tuesday.
Five MPs from Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) submitted the motions today. Pejuang chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also submitted a similar motion.
On the night after Anwar met the Agong, the Umno political bureau decided to review the party’s cooperation with Perikatan Nasioal (PN) demanding for equal partnership on reasons that the biggest Malay-based party had been short-changed since it became partners in March.
Even a month-old motion by Gua Musang MP and Umno advisor Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah seeking a debate for similar motion appeared.
What began as just a motion has now become a conspiracy theory when Tengku Razaleigh’s photograph with Dr Mahathir appeared and became viral, creating theories the two are proposing themselves to lead the country.
The way things are going following Anwar’s meeting, Muhyiddin can be considered as walking on a tightrope.
All of a sudden, dissatisfaction arose at the same time. This bares the Muhyiddin government’s weak position.
Anwar probably did not anticipate that the sudden emergence of no confidence motions following his meeting with Agong would clear the path for him to claim the position he was promised by Dr Mahathir.
It is to his benefit. But with Dr Mahathir and Tengku Razaleigh in the picture, he may have to still wait for his turn, which may not come at all.
Pejuang has been taking aim at Muhyiddin. Political enmity forced Dr Mahathir to form Pejuang and target Muhyiddin.
Muhyiddin is not only Dr Mahathir’s prey but also Anwar, whose patience has probably ended after being “politically” played out by Dr Mahathir.
Whether he has the numbers as he claimed or he does not, Anwar was daring enough to make his claim, which is a “political gamble” as he waits from Agong’s next move.
From within PN, Barisan Nasional (BN) with Umno as the backbone, has also begun to raise its dissatisfactions over its claim of unequal treatment it has been subjected to, which prompted it to review its political cooperation.
The current political situation seems volatile and the relationship between two main parties in PN has become hostile as leaders of both parties try to manoeuvre and mend the rift so that the government will not collapse.
The ruling PN majority is just two seats, which is 113. This makes it very vulnerable to any crossover that can automatically cause the collapse of the government.
Call it under siege. Muhyiddin may consider a serious talk with Umno, which will not just save his position but the government he leads, given Umno’s objectives are the same as his and his party: a government of Malays minus DAP, the common political enemy.
PAS should be playing the intermediary role between Muhyiddin and Umno because if the two parties split, the Islamist party will also fall from government. PAS now enjoys lots of benefits.
It is now up to Muhyiddin whether to accommodate Umno’s request or fall together and have a fresh general election, which is not a good decision because of the Covid 19 pandemic.