~ PROLOGUE ~
The olive branch, as well as the peace pipe, is already extended by our new PM to Tun, apparently seeking for forgiveness. Tun then reciprocates by extending his hands out, waiting to be kissed, thus paving the way for a truce, when there never was, as far as their working relationship goes, any bad blood between them, to begin with.
The sworn partners, the ‘capo’ and his ‘accolito’, as the main performers in this play, then strolls down the aisle, turns around with their backs facing the altar and renewed their vows. One could hardly accused them as an unholy match . The ‘accolito’ first encountered Tun some thirty-eight years ago, when he was first made the Deputy Minister of Federal Territories, then to Commerce & Industry before he was tasked as the Menteri Besar of Johor for two terms, only to reappear again in federal politics during Tun’s 5th and 6th term, emerging as the Youth & Sports Minister and then, as Minister for Domestic Trade & Consumerism. He then served under Abdullah Badawi as Minister for Domestic Trade & Consumerism before becoming the Deputy Prime Minister as well as Minister of Education under the disgraced Najib’s administration until he was sacked with his remarks over the 1mdb saga.
As the spotlight watches their sidekicks sitting on three legged pews both sides of the aisle sprinkling confetti’s over the next chapter of their matrimony and at the behest of our new PM, Tun attended a closed door meeting and receives as a token for his condonation, the offer to appoint a Deputy Prime Minister of his choice ~ a post left vacant assumably, as a betrothal.
Will Tun accede the deal placed onto his lap given that all eyes are on him watching his every move?
Tun’s acceptance would make the glory seems effortless and underachieving. It doesn’t bode well when Tun’s dignity is compromised as well as the legitimacy of the ascension without the blessings from his own party grassroots. The perception of things through the eyes of the public is utmost important. Therefore, with an added twist, glory could sound sweeter and less of a buddy contract. The appointment would thus be more palatable if earned through a formal party election.
But why then must it stop at that rung when Tun commands substantial influence all the way to the top? And would our new PM readily vacate his position in favour of Tun’s pick? Who, one wonders, does Tun have in mind?
As an added punch depending on the severity of the rage it has overtaken the rakyat, they would then replace the ‘locum’ finance minister with a politician from the noisiest party ~ possibly from the opposing camp~ a conditional offer which warrants the dropping off of all charges against our former ministers now facing trial. That will conveniently shift the responsibility, and implicate whoever accepts the role, as a party to the crime, and in turn, the nation’s traitor. As for the current locum, he will eventually head Bank Negara, as most abled CEOs of Malay stock are usually designated to become.
The above script is easy to digest. Had there been more exhaustive scenarios, maybe Sherlock Holmes needs to be engaged to solve the now infamous ‘Sheraton Move’ plot. Speculations rife that this whole episode is nothing but a ‘Sandiwara’ ~ a carefully crafted theatrics engineered by a band of conservatives, each having an ambition of their own ~ a play that would have won the Oscars hands down for Best Original Screenplay if ever it was pitted against the very best of Shakespearean plays. But what was the motive behind the ‘Sheraton Move’ and why was it allowed to manifest?
~ INTERLUDE ~
The prelude as gathered from the media, began with Tun waging his dissatisfaction over the DAP at the Malay Dignity Congress, alleging DAP to be the puppet masters of PH, followed by massive street protests what to the conservative Malays beckoned as a show of strength ‘to regain their lost dignity’. That mere utterance by none other than Tun himself has a sliver of propagandist undertone that infuriates the ultra-Malays to mistrust and despise the DAP even more ~ the final nail over DAP’s coffin, so to speak of.
The question is why and what motivated Tun to moot this crisis when he was at the height of his fame and also, the leader of PH?
For those familiar with Tun, it is a wonder that Tun can be puppeteer-ed. Thus, rumours speaks of Tun’s ‘face-saving grace’ in some instances, for his reluctance to fulfill his election promises and thus was at loggerheads with the leaders of PH. That prompted him to target DAP as his convenient scapegoat. Others claim that DAP which heads the offensive against corruption, left many a Tun’s crony bruised. The third and final reason is about entitlement and the fear of losing race-based policies to needs-based ones. But one thing is for certain. With traitors abound from within, and vultures scouring around for bits of the remaining flesh left on the carcasses, minor problems could turn ugly unless resolved. Tun, the ‘Pezzonovante’ extraordinaire should be well aware of the implications or should he not?
Well, for some uncanny reason, right after the dust has subsided, Tun, during one of the press conferences, denied that DAP controls PH or him for that matter as how the ultra-Malays were so taken in to believe. So why his change of stance and for what good does that remark do when the damage was already done?
Events leading to the coup is ladened with obvious bleeps, some too glaring to vanish. As the petals unfurl, it became obvious that all possible obstacles were cleared to ensure a clean unobstructed path. When the Red Sea opens up, none of the acrobats which follows Azmin to the promised land however, were left stranded. Fact is, most of them were rewarded with full ministerial posts in exchange for their loyalty. Or so to speak, to deter them from crossing back.
The first bleep sounded when our new PM and Azmin daringly executed the coup, knowing full well, Tun’s position as ‘capo’ and his firm grip as PM. Tun at that moment still holds and control the deck. Coincidentally, this was exacerbated by the ‘hattrick’ resignation of Tun as PM, Tun as the leader of ruling coalition PH, and Tun with his own party, PPBM. As a seasoned politician, Tun would have realised the implications of his move. Conceding defeat with premature resignations paves the way for an easy coup. And relieving himself from the top job triggers a parliamentary meltdown, rendering all the ministers and executives ‘powerless’ thereby handing all the decision making as according to the constitution, back to our DYMM. So, what prevented him from taking charge when he could have easily nipped the coup on he bud? One thing is for certain. If the DYMM takes charge, everyone is gagged. But what a strange audience Tun had with Tuanku that when asked to name a successor, Tun chose to remain silent!
So what was his motive then?
Another bone of contention saw our new PM and Azmin happily tango-ed to the other camp whilst looking behind, shouting and pledging their loyalty to Tun. Can a person run forward whilst gazing backwards? It is public knowledge that both sides of the opposing camps during their squabble for power did indeed vouch for him to be their leader. Was Tun then as he himself would have known, also the PM designate of the backdoor camp? Quaintly and within minutes of the crossover, he was again appointed to be the Chairman of PPBM.
For what good if one may ask?
The roller coaster railed on lightning speed after that. When news of our new PM announcing his audience with Tuanku on the context of garnering enough seats to form the new government, it created wide spread anxiety thereafter. Nevertheless the uncertainty of Tun would have left some parliamentarians to squander and join the new PM . But who could have guessed that yet again, another resignation occurs. This time, of AG Tommy Thomas’s which leaves our three prong government of executives, judiciary and the legislature crippled, thus leaving the monarchy with only his ‘Curia Regis’ to consult with if an interim prime minister is not appointed then, The judiciary could have provided sound recommendations to Tuanku to dismiss the entire coup because the power is within the Agong’s hands. Without Tuanku validating the backdoor government, the power grab would have been crippled entirely with some arrests held at the pleasure of Tuanku. That move would have gone down very well with the rakyat and serves as a precedence and a lesson to all would-be party hoppers for years to come. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.
So what motivates TT’ to resign and was it voluntary?
That was a high sounding bleep! The high-handed approach of the Home Minister in disputing the AGs decision regarding the status of LTTE a week before the coup was unusual but could that be the signal that there was already in existence, bad blood between the AG and the new PM therefore his resignation? Tommy did not had it good ever since his appointment as attorney general was announced by Tun. It invited undeserving criticisms and brick batting from the conservative Malays whom are certain only the indigenous has the rights to helm this position.
Next to happen was the parliamentary speakers refusal to allow Tun’s petition to dispute our new PM’s list. Apparently, the speaker has reasons not to entertain Tun’s request, after being summoned by Tuanku to explain the debacle even though Tun was the interim prime minister then and had Statutory Declarations of his loyalists in his possession. What followed was the refusal of Tuanku to grant Tun an audience to counter our new PMs list. To the public, these were all strange occurrences.
As the tussle trails towards uncertainty, the new PM was finally picked by Tuanku after a few bouts of interview with parliamentary MPs at the Istana, with the Council of Rulers acting as his able advisers. The rousing cheers expected from the announcement of the new PM was overshadowed by sadness looming outside the palace gates over the refusal of Tuanku to grant Tun an audience. But shortly after Tuanku’s official announcement blared over the main media, fate was sealed, ending all speculations. No more word was said. Indeed, the choice caught many off guard because the new PM was an obvious sick horse resting in the stable of potentials.
~ EPILOGUE ~
Fast forward to today, Tun had just conceded defeat. Finally letting off his plans to table a no-confidence motion towards the loose coalition that currently forms the government in May, when the next parliamentary sitting begins, unless deferred. According to Tun, he no longer commands the numbers, after being hijacked by the latest crossovers. By law, the backdoor government is permitted to govern the country till the next General Elections in 2023, by the latest.
Next comes the mother of all questions. Who was behind the backdoor formation and who funded it? Public opinions crucify Tun as Chief, the new PM and Azmin as commanders together with leaders from the new governing coalition on Mount Calvary. It is also clear who were conveniently left out. Whilst the two supposedly PM designate struggles with their popularity, Azmin’s being tarnished by the backdoor move he was seen leading, and Anwar, whom for one reason or another was sidelined, a pattern now emerges owing to PH’s elimination.
Who else then is worthy to be Tun’s successor? Was the backdoor PM indeed Tun’s choice? Till today, they funder was never identified. That indeed is a mystery.
It is however, sad to watch fellow Malaysians, many whom are too gullible, too trusting, too lazy, too busy or too naive to ask questions when something is not right, but got sucked into the fanfare. It really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that a betrayal this grand was happening right before their eyes, and who engineered the hushed-up coup, so discreetly hidden that there weren’t signs of it looming on the exterior surface. Possible? That is hard to believe. Tun would have known because walls have ears!
On the ground, it is clear that Tun commands an astounding influence over many, especially the younger generations. The older ones would have exercised some reservations over him because of his high-handed ways when he was a younger, more assertive, autocratic, vicious, but a truly handsome leader. Back then, he was feared by many, even to his peers and political rivals. Nevertheless, at a grand old age of 92, his victory over a 60 years ruling coalition he once captained was overwhelming indeed. No one thought he could penetrate that fort, but he did, on PH’s ticket. He became the celebrity politician, twice a PM and was humbly turning down invitations from abroad to share his experiences and the secret of his youth. Just like a rock star, Tun was rocking the world! He became allies with his nemesis Kit Siang whilst campaigning amidst clouds of cheer from the forgiving crowd. Together, they had fun with the corkers (ceramah), bashing Najib’s administration from kampong to kampong as they gradually built up support with a common vow ~ to dismantle the current system and build a ‘Malaysia Baru’ seconded with a promising manifesto which is to bring corruption and those involved to their knees. The rakyat was totally taken in and saw them as ‘the’ pillar of change, just when reports indicated that Malaysia is at the brim of becoming a failed nation. Before they realises their manifesto, the takeover surfaces! It catches everyone off-guard, though sad to say, their acquaintanceship did not last long enough to ensure a stable economic reform. Public opinions were mean and harsh, as many singled out Tun as the architect of the coup. His legacy was never at stake, some claims, because if his involvement ran according to plan, Tun would still be the PM of the opposing camp.
But Tun has an alibi.
His alibi being, he did not participate in the Sheraton Move. Neither was he, as he had many a time stressed, in the mood to work with thieves who plundered the nation when he has spent many a night identifying and nailing them down whilst realigning the entire administration. (He was referring to some UMNO politicians currently facing the heat in court).
So, why then must he shift his goal post midway through his term? Was there an offer so tempting to make him betray his own manifesto?
His premiership this time round marks his seventh term as Prime Minister. A record. And also it made him the oldest PM in the world! Tun practically knows the workings of the government inside out. So why if the allegations were true did he want to severe ties with his allies when he still has time to make amends to a system he founded 22 years ago as PM? Didn’t he want a forward progressive nation? And is Tun entirely to be blamed for this fiasco that saw our country being fractured by power brokers for weeks on end? The answer lies within him. All we can do now is to wait for newer developments before this evidence of him being the culprit became certain.
Although Malaysians willingly geared for changes and are excited about ‘reformasi’ being the key word that unites the rakyat in rejecting poor governance, the initial statements made by ‘virgin’ politicians in the ‘accidental’ takeover leaves many perplexed, and bedazzled. Then, there was the black shoe saga, the flying car syndrome, party infighting and disagreements with the exception of some abled-ministers whose performance were truly above par. Anthony Loke, Yeo Bee Yin, Hannah Yeoh, Mohamed Bakhtiar, and Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad, to name but a few. They are natural politicians. Of course there are other notable ones.But right now, the disappointed rakyat yearns for the opportunity to exercise their voters right and put right, once and for all, the democracy that was taken off them through the now infamous “Sheraton Move”..
Right after the naming of the new PM was announced, the reasons not to call for fresh elections is obvious. It works against PPBM. As the rakyat waddles through the pond, the more they feel the need to exercise their votes to usher the party hoppers out through the backdoor and out from parliament, nevermind if the PH coalition wins or not. That will instinctively push PPBM to oblivion because most of their MPs were involved in the crossover. To the rakyat, what should happen must happen, before kleptocracy again rears its ugly head to cripple the nation. That iconoclastic move already costs us two potential successors for the role of PM. One, was due to ???? , and the other, lost his popularity due to his involvement in the coup. The current opposition perhaps needs to recruit younger and more fiery ‘kamikaze pilots’ whose main mission is to regain back the dignity of the rakyat, whilst staying independent from the parties. Tun by then may no longer be the leader of choice because of his age. The younger ones must be seen and be heard, so that the nation will never again be drowned with lies nor taken hostage by a band of self/enriching megalomaniacs. That said, the rakyat certainly do not need anymore bleeps. The olive branch as well as the peace pipe should be reserved for more important truce than resolving personal ambitions.
The rakyat is indeed fed up.
Kris Lee 2020.