Bersatu five, including Dr M, insist still members as
they have never joined any other political party
Tuesday, 02 Jun 2020 04:23 PM MYT
BY RADZI RAZAK
KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — The five Bersatu MPs whose membership is said to have been annulled by the party leadership last week remain defiant, insisting that the reason given for their termination is against their party constitution.
In a joint statement today, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah and Maszlee Malik said their actions on the May 18 parliamentary sitting as detailed by the letter informing them on their expulsion against Clause 10.2.2 and 10.2.3 of Bersatu’s constitution is invalid as they were denied the chance to defend and explain themselves to the party.
“The reasons given on why we have lost our membership due to sitting at certain seats in Parliament are not mentioned in the Party Constitution.
“We have clearly and completely, on 18.5.2020, during the Dewan Rakyat sitting chose to be in the bloc that did not support Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s government because it is the government that betrayed the people’s mandate given to Pakatan Harapan through the 14th General Election.
“We have never declared leaving the party nor ever joined or become a member of any other political party in the country.
“Our choice not to support the Government of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin or National Alliance does not mean leaving the party,” they said in a joint statement today.
On May 28, Bersatu’s organising secretary Muhammad Suhaimi Yahya issued letters to the five MPs stating that their party memberships were terminated according to clauses 10.2.2 and 10.2.3 of the party’s constitution.
Muhammad Suhaimi said this was because the five sat in the Opposition bloc during the May 18 parliamentary sitting and not with the Perikatan Nasional coalition led by Muhyiddin.
Clauses 10.2.2 and 10.2.3 state that membership of party members are cancelled if they leave the party or join any other political parties.
On May 30, Muhyiddin, who is also Bersatu president, appealed to Bersatu members to stay calm.
He said the Bersatu five were not sacked but their membership ceased after they acted against the party’s constitution.
The Bersatu five today also said Muhyiddin and six of the MPs should instead be referred to the party’s disciplinary body for pulling the party out of Pakatan Harapan without the consent of the Supreme Council as they had not made a decision on it.
The statement detailed that the clause explained about the purpose and agenda of Bersatu creation is to “strengthen the agenda combating corruption and abuse of power to create governance practices good governance and good governance, trust and integrity “.
There is no charge against us doing anything that contradicts the party agenda.
“The party’s constitution is also made in line with the Rule of Law. No one is above it. All party members are entitled to the party.
“Tan Sri Muhyiddin and the six other MPs’ action of stating that (Bersatu) has left Pakatan Harapan clearly broke the party constitution as there is no decision to leave Pakatan Harapan by the Supreme Council.
“So, Tan Sri Muhyiddin and six other MPs have violated the party’s ethics and should be brought to the disciplinary body,” said the statement.
Dr Mahathir today denied making any agreement for Bersatu to leave the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, saying he had no reason to reject the coalition despite allegations that it was controlled by the DAP.
Dr Mahathir asserted that PH could not have been controlled by DAP as he, as the prime minister, would not have allowed it.
On February 24, Muhyiddin announced that the Bersatu supreme council meeting a day before had decided to leave the coalition along with 11 former PKR MPs.
It was also the day Dr Mahathir resigned as both prime minister and Bersatu president though the party then rescinded it.
Since then, at least three audio clips about the February 23 meeting have leaked online. A voice sounding like Dr Mahathir can be heard saying Bersatu should have more time before deciding to leave PH.
KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and four other members of parliament must first overcome the applicability of Section 18C of the Societies Act 1966 if they plan to challenge their expulsion from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) in court.
The section provides that any decision or matter relating to the affairs of a party shall not be challenged, appealed against, reviewed, quashed or called into question in any court on any ground.
Prominent lawyer Nizam Bashir, however, said it is important to note that judicial review was by and large an entrenched right available to all citizens.
"I think it is only fair and appropriate to look at the initial letter claiming the cessation of membership (against Dr Mahathir and the four MPs).
"The goalpost-shifting which happens after is an afterthought and legally, it would be inappropriate to entertain any statements that were issued after the (initial) letter (of the cessation of membership involving the five MPs).
"I think the 'Bersatu 5' have a more than a fair chance to deal with their expulsion by way of legal proceedings for that purpose," he told the New Sunday Times.
'Bersatu 5' is a term coined for Dr Mahathir, his son and Jerlun MP Datuk Seri Mukhriz, and three others, whose Bersatu memberships were terminated after their actions allegedly went against the party's constitution.
The three others are Dr Maszlee Malik (Simpang Renggam), Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah (Kubang Pasu) and Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Muar).
According to the initial letter on the expulsion of the five MPs, their memberships were nullified as their actions went against Article 10.2.2 and 10.2.3 of the party's constitution.
Both articles stated that a membership in Bersatu will be revoked if a party member declares quitting the party and that if a member joins or becomes a member of other political parties in the country.
"Have the five MPs actually done that?
"Certainly, expressly, they have not done so. What they have done is, however, to merely intimate their preference on seating and which may be suggestive of their votes on a particular issue.
"The Bersatu Constitution — certainly where Article 10 is concerned — is silent on the consequences of doing so."
The letter on the cessation of membership against the five MPs appears to have constructed that Dr Mahathir and four others had committed an act similar to "crossing the floor".
Nizam said such an action generally happens in one of the two following ways.
First, when a member of a parliamentary party resigns from his existing party and joins another; and second, when a member of a parliamentary party votes or abstains from voting, contrary to any direction issued by the party he belongs to.
"As none of the above scenarios have actually taken place, the cessation of membership letter appears to have been issued without cause and the posturing adopted by proponents of the cessation letter is similarly baseless. In short, the five MPs are still members of their political party."
Dr Mahathir and four other Bersatu MPs were issued termination letters, saying that their decision to sit in the opposition bloc during the May 18 Dewan Rakyat session led to their expulsion.
However, Dr Mahathir rejected the sacking, saying that it was done against the law and the party constitution.
It was also reported that Dr Mahathir's lawyer, Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, said the five MPs were considering legal action and that he would do so under the advice of the former prime minister and the others.
Saddiq: Dr M not to blame for collapse of Pakatan govt
PUTRAJAYA: The collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government cannot be solely blamed on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s resignation as prime minister, says Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (pic).
“It started with meticulous discussions and then these people met with (Tan Sri) Muhyiddin (Yassin) to ask him to lead the new political pact.“Yes, Pakatan isn’t perfect, there are problems.
But our stand is that if we can’t serve the people, then punish us at the ballot box, ” Syed Saddiq said during a press conference here yesterday.
He said Home Minister and Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin had made many allegations against Muhyiddin during the 14th General Election.
The Muar MP claimed Hamzah made the allegations in an attempt to entice him to pledge support for Najib at the time.
“I still remember that before the general election, a minister met with me in an attempt to pull me out of Bersatu.
“Unfortunately, the same person was given big powers to determine the direction of Bersatu. This person is none other than Hamzah, ” said Syed Saddiq.
He said he had other similar information but decided to hold back for the time being “because I want to remind Muhyiddin to remember your friends.
During tough and good times, who left you behind?”Last Thursday, Dr Mahathir, Syed Saddiq, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Dr Maszlee Malik and Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah were informed in writing that their Bersatu memberships were nullified because they sat with the Oppostion in Parliament on May 18.
Hamzah joined Bersatu in 2019 and was later appointed as Bersatu secretary-general on March 26 by Muhyiddin, who is the party president.
However, this has been disputed by Datuk Marzuki Yahya, who claimed that he was still the legitimate Bersatu secretary-general.
MAY 31 — The whole country now knows about Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s lack of majority in Parliament, as well as his lack of control in Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.
Pakatan Harapan (Amanah, DAP and PKR) and Warisan, together with Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s faction of Bersatu – whom I will collectively call “Pakatan Plus” – should be congratulated for exposing the truth on 18th May 2020.
The Parliament sitting, originally scheduled on 9th March, had been postponed to 18th May – more than a two-month delay - based on the assumption that Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional would have sufficient time to swing enough Pakatan MPs to cross the floor with offer of positions as well as threats.
In a 222-member Dewan Rakyat, Pakatan Plus held tightly to its 107 parliamentary seats which was later increased to 109 seats. Muhyiddin’s wishful plan was foiled.
Even on 18th May, technically, there were no actual Parliament sitting. The fledgling Perikatan Nasional government was very worried about possible defeat of a confidence vote or even any procedural vote.
Holding on to the 109 seats tightly is the most crucial test for Pakatan Plus. The moment this number is broken, it’s game over, and the other side would be laughing all the way to the bank.
Muhyiddin-Najib’s scheme of things
Muhyiddin is the public face of the other side but we must not ignore Najib Razak’s not-so-hidden hand in the larger scheme of things. Muhyiddin is dispensable in Najib’s game, and Najib is waiting for his chance to throw Muhyiddin under the bus.
There are two slightly different games being played against Pakatan Plus.
First, both Najib and Muhyiddin want to break up Pakatan Plus. If successful, they would have a more comfortable majority in Parliament. 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 second half of this year.
Najib who is facing massive corruption charges can’t wait for too long. If Muhyiddin gets a sizable majority in Parliament as buffer against Najib’s faction of Umno MPs, the Prime Minister would want to see Najib in jail. 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 1MDB case at least.
On 9th May 2018, Pakatan Harapan was a grand coalition which means parties and people that were impossible allies came together for a larger common purpose – like United States, United Kingdom and Soviet Union came together to fight Adolf Hilter’s Nazi in World War II.
Plot against Pakatan Harapan
After 2018, plotters – some Trojan Horses in Pakatan were working treacherously with Umno and PAS – exploited the understandable differences within the grand coalition to maximum effect.
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 the distrust.
When I met Dr. Mahathir on 26th February 2019, he told me he was quite certain that Anwar was not plotting against him but he was briefed that “Anwar’s people” were.
The intra-party differences between Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin in Bersatu as well as Anwar and Azmin Ali in PKR were also heightened to the point of no return.
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. 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.
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.
Internal crisis of Perikatan Nasional
After the 18th May Parliament sitting which Muhyiddin failed to bring Pakatan MPs to his side, we have entered a new phase. He is racing against time to persuade parties to his side.
He has about a month to do this. His timeline is the July parliament sitting which veteran politician Lim Kit Siang suspects the government would attempt to postpone, using Covid19 as an excuse if Muhyiddin still doesn’t have a comfortable majority.
However, the Prime Minister can’t escape the Parliament sitting for Budget 2021, without which the government would have no money to spend next year.
As for Najib, he wants a fresh general election which Muhyiddin is trying very hard to avoid because he knew Bersatu under him would be wiped out.
The tainted 1MDB scandal-ridden Najib is confident he could win a general election with the Umno-PAS (Muafakat Nasional as opposed to Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional) coalition.
Najib’s group is banking on the breakup of Pakatan Plus and its component parties would go separate way because he believes Dr Mahathir and Anwar can’t see eye to eye.
The group is also assuming that there will be a general apathy towards politics, thus swing voters who live in urban areas but casting their votes in rural seats would not return to vote.
Coupled with Covid19 difficulties in travelling and the need to fend for oneself and families, the group is hoping that Malaysians who work in Singapore and other cities may just switch off and not turn out to vote. Turnout in GE14 was 82 percent, and if the next one is below 65 percent, Najib’s plan may work.
To battle Najib’s move, Pakatan Plus parties would have to stay together tightly, and give hope and purpose to the Malaysian middle ground to foil the return of the kleptocrats.
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.
*This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.
Behind Muhyiddin’s grand scheme of things is Najib,
claims ex-deputy minister
Sunday, 31 May 2020 03:41 PM MYT
BY KENNETH TEE
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.
Dr Mahathir: Are Bersatu leaders ok with 'thieves' as
allies? What about the fight to save Malays from
Monday, 01 Jun 2020 12:30 PM MYT
BY IDA LIM
KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today fired his latest attack against the leaders of the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) party that he had founded, questioning if they were willing to accept alleged “thieves” among political leaders as their partners for the sake of forming the new government under the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.
While Dr Mahathir did not directly name those who he was labelling as “thieves”, he alluded to the previous Najib administration under the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition that PPBM had in the past sought to remove from power.
Dr Mahathir suggested that there were PPBM leaders that had forgotten the promise to voters in the 2018 general elections to remove allegedly corrupt leaders.
Dr Mahathir pointed out that PPBM leaders and its members previously held the purported intention of removing a “prime minister” who had allegedly stolen “billions” of government funds and had cooperated with then opposition parties under the Pakatan Harapan coalition for the same purpose, noting that voters had granted victory to the PH parties including PPBM in the 2018 elections as they trusted in the “sincerity” of the political leaders' promises.
Following the 2018 election where the BN coalition was defeated, Dr Mahathir who headed the PH coalition and PPBM as the PPBM chairman became the seventh prime minister.
In the February 2020 political crisis, the PH government collapsed after Datuk Seri Azmin Ali's faction parted ways with PKR and after PPBM pulled out from the PH coalition. Dr Mahathir quit as prime minister during the crisis, and has previously asserted that he was against PPBM's decision to withdraw from PH and form a new government under the new Perikatan Nasional coalition.
Without mincing his words against PPBM president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who succeeded him to become Malaysia's eighth prime minister, Dr Mahathir claimed that the party president had allegedly plotted with the defeated political parties in the 2018 elections to have the PPBM party pull out from PH to trigger the PH government's collapse.
“With the support of thieving leaders, the Bersatu president became prime minister together with defeated parties given the name of Perikatan Nasional,” Dr Mahathir claimed in his blog post today. The Perikatan Nasional coalition is formed of PPBM; BN parties Umno, MCA, MIC; PAS with Gabungan Parti Sarawak as its ally.
“What say the other leaders in Bersatu? Are they willing to accept thieves as leaders? Okaylah ― as long as benefits can be enjoyed,” Dr Mahathir said sarcastically.
“What happened to the pledge in the past to fight and bring down kleptocratic leaders? Oh. That is just a pledge to get the support of voters. Now can just forget it,” he continued to say mockingly, referring to the term kleptocrats or government leaders who make themselves rich by stealing from their fellow citizens.
Dr Mahathir warned however that those who adopt such a viewpoint would risk having their parties destroyed and would also risk losing the trust of the public.
“With this Bersatu will be destroyed!! With that, what will happen to the struggle to save the Malays from kleptocrat leaders? That is Bersatu's problem. As long as can enjoy then oklah. In the future, people will no longer trust us ― is that alright?” Dr Mahathir said in his blog post in his caution to PPBM's leaders.
Dr Mahathir’s blog entry also comes just days after the PPBM party claimed that he and four other MPs had ceased to be party members, but Dr Mahathir has disputed the party sacking and challenged its validity while insisting that he is still PPBM chairman.
In his second stint as prime minister until late February 2020, Dr Mahathir had heavily stressed the need to fight corruption and had in January 2019 unveiled the country’s National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) 2019-2023, with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) also having then set up a portal with the names of MPs who had declared their assets and the value of their assets.
Following the 2018 elections, multiple Umno leaders including its former president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, its current president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi were brought to court to face corruption charges, with many of them undergoing trial.
Umno is now part of the new government via the Perikatan Nasional coalition.
Ex-deputy minister rues missed opportunity by Umno
to reform itself
Saturday, 30 May 2020 08:42 PM MYT
BY JERRY CHOONG
KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — The stranglehold of former Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak on the party has proven to be a great missed opportunity for Umno to allow people like deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and former Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin to rise and cleanse the party of corrupt leaders.
Johor DAP chief Liew Chin Tong shared this today in a lengthy opinion piece, in which he said all that was needed to be done by such individuals was to apologise to the nation for Umno’s past sins and plead for a fresh start.
“With the new blood and recasting of its messaging, Umno has a chance to win back the people’s support in a free and fair general election,” he wrote.
Instead, Liew said Mohamad and Khairy appear to have allowed Najib to call the shots, blaming the former prime minister for being a part of a ‘scorched earth’ political strategy by fanning racial hatred to make things ungovernable for Pakatan Harapan (PH).
Throughout the piece, the former deputy defence minister in the PH administration drew comparisons to the Umno of old and as it exists now, noting that the party had many strong points in the past which made it appealing to so many.
He cited Umno’s reputation as a rural party par excellence whose former leaders had a developmental goal, evident in the decent infrastructure seen in some rural areas in Johor, including pre-schools, healthcare, education and public amenities.
Yet the development of infrastructure may have backfired on the party, as Liew claimed it made many working adults leave their kampung to work in Johor Baru, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, where they were exposed to the harsh realities of life including the weaknesses of the Barisan Nasional government.
“Umno used to represent social mobility for the Malays, but now it is seen as an elitist party. At least until the 1990s, social mobility was the key message of the party for the community.
“When rural baby boomers began to look for jobs in the early 1970s, export-led industrialisation was pursued relentlessly and many had their lives transformed positively. Some even rose to join the life of the middle class. Opportunities for higher education were also provided for many, though not all,” he said.
In comparison, following the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and the subsequent economic stagnation in the past 20 years, Liew said this has disillusioned many as a result, especially due to wages that have plateaued.
“The increasing gap between the rich and poor Malays, especially between the Umnoputras and the rest, is fuelling very serious intra-ethnic resentment against the Umno elites and provoking repulsion against the party leaders known to be corrupt,” he said.
Similarly, Umno was also acceptable to middle-ground non-Malay voters up until 2005, when Liew said the party “burned its bridges”.
“Since Independence (of Malaya in 1957), Umno had never contested under its own logo. It was always the symbol of the Alliance, and later Barisan Nasional, until the by-elections after 2018.
“The modus operandi of the coalition was simple — as long as Umno and its coalition partners can win more than half of the votes of all ethnic groups, no one would be able to challenge the supremacy of BN,” he said.
Liew also pointed out then-prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Bangsa Malaysia concept unveiled in early 1991 as being BN’s strong point in winning the general elections of 1995, 1999 and 2004.
However, following Dr Mahathir’s retirement in 2003, the Johor DAP chief said Umno took a wrong turn by turning right politically in 2005. As a result, it is hard to imagine non-Malays voting for a highly racialised Umno in the last 15 years, and in the context of competitive Malay-majority mixed seats, having non-Malay support is very crucial.
Looking at the party in 2020, he said Umno’s position is precarious since it is no longer the ruling party under the current Perikatan Nasional government led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
“Since the change of government for the first time ever in 2018, the public knows that they can vote out any party, including Umno, without fear. The government machinery, including the civil service, knows that the rule of law now is being upheld slightly better than before.
“Top civil servants also know that should there be any funny business, they may be answerable if there is another change of government. From time to time, ousted former ruling parties do come back to power through election with a new set of leaders, especially when they learned their lesson and reformed their party,” Liew said.
However, Umno remains stuck with the ill-gotten gains obtained by Najib via 1MDB and other scandals, with the party structure after the 14th general election still very much controlled by Najib.
“The disgraced prime minister knew this, continuing to play dumb like a spoiled rich kid that he is, to the delight of his staunch supporters. It may be too late for Najib to escape punishment for his involvement in the 1MDB mega scandal as well as his kleptocracy, but he is still trying to find a way to survive.
“The purpose of the racial hatred campaign was to cause the collapse of Pakatan Harapan government so that a new configuration could be engineered in which a friendlier government would be more benign to Najib’s personal interests,” he said.
As such, the situation has become a sad one for Umno, as Liew said its leaders missed kickstarting a reform agenda since they are comfortable with the old ways of doing things.
“For the benefit of Najib’s personal interest, some Umno leaders, including a few of Bersatu turncoats, have squandered the chance to return to power through winning the middle ground.
“I admit that if a general election is held today, those who voted for Najib might continue to support him, as no other Umno leader is holding on to that base as firmly as he is. That is how bad the situation is in Umno, controlled from outside by someone who has the money,” he said.
Yet not everything is doom and gloom as Liew said the middle ground is now an open political vacuum waiting to be filled, a path pointing towards a more sincere understanding and tolerance among Malaysians.
Bersatu Pontian, Johor menyatakan sokongan terhadap Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dan kesal dengan pemecatan yang dibuat terhadapnya dan empat lagi pemimpin tertinggi parti itu, lapor wartawan Sinar Harian, Nor Azura Md
SHAH ALAM - Kedudukan politik Perikatan Nasional (PN) di bawah pimpinan Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin masih belum teruji dan sukar diramal sepenuhnya, kata veteran Pas, Datuk Mustafa Ali.
Mustafa yang juga Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Penasihat Pas berkata, kemampuan PN untuk terus bertahan sehingga Pilihan Raya Umum ke-15 (PRU15) juga masih terlalu awal untuk diramal.
"Beginilah, kedudukan (PN) saya sebut secara umum. Di mana proses-proses politik ini masih sedang bergerak di Malaysia ini, satu kedudukan yang memang tidak begitu stabil. Jadi kita kena tunggu lagi, perkembangan masih berjalan, dinamika politik ini masih berterusan dan tiada siapa boleh menjangka secara pasti apa yang boleh berlaku, boleh jadi macam-macam.
"PN ini masih baharu dan belum diuji sepenuhnya sama ada mampu atau tidak PN bertahan sehingga PRU15 juga bergantung kepada proses yang sedang berjalan ketika ini," katanya kepada Sinar Harian.
Beliau berkata demikian ketika ditanya sama ada kemelut melanda Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) antara Muhyiddin dan Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad mampu mempengaruhi kestabilan PN.
Mengulas lanjut, Mustafa berkata, beliau tidak mengikuti secara dekat mengenai urusan dalaman Bersatu, namun berpandangan proses politik yang tidak stabil mampu memberi kesan kepada kerajaan PN.
Terdahulu, Dr Mahathir yang mendakwa dirinya masih Pengerusi Bersatu bersama empat lagi pemimpin dipecat keahliannya daripada parti itu.
Empat yang lain ialah Timbalan Presiden Bersatu, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir; Ketua Armada Bersatu, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman; Ahli Majlis Pimpinan Tertinggi (MPT), Dr Maszlee Malik serta Ahli Parlimen Kubang Pasu, Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah.
Berdasarkan surat yang diedarkan kepada media sebelum ini, kelima-lima mereka dipecat atas alasan duduk di bangku pembangkang ketika persidangan pembukaan Dewan Rakyat pada 18 Mei lalu.
Semalam, Setiausaha Agung Bersatu, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin turut menjelaskan bahawa bekas Perdana Menteri itu bukan lagi pengerusi parti itu.
Sebaliknya, keahlian Ahli Parlimen Langkawi itu terhenti selepas beberapa tindakan yang dilakukan oleh Dr Mahathir dilihat telah melanggar perlembagaan parti.