Is Anwar’s risky deal with the MPs drowning Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s hopes for a mega-Malay Union?
Mahathir seems to be weary of the sudden changes in the political equation. Anwar Ibrahim is suddenly, with the turn of events, the best candidate for the post of Prime Minister.
His party is pushing hard on the agenda and Anwar’s address to the media on Wednesday rocked the boat.
It sapped the moral of the Perikatan Nasional to begin with but it is not such a surprise after all.
For weeks, the situation in the PN was chaotic and the rise of the Muafakat Nasional as the potential ruling coalition added to the chaos.
Pejuang is now in a dilemma. First, it had to deal with a new party from break-away MP Syed Saddiq who formed his own MUDA.
We believe MUDA is encroaching in Pejuang’s terrain altogether and this is an added challenge for Mahathir to handle.
Now comes Anwar, whom Mahathir has written-off, with his mega-Malay-MP coalition talks.
With this new development, Pejuang will have a tough fight on its hands. Rejecting Anwar Ibrahim’s deal with the Malay MPs would make it difficult for Pejuang too.
It will drown Mahathir’s fantasy of an alliance of all Malay parties, one that was almost achieved by Muhyiddin.
The current PM of Malaysia, Muhyiddin Yassin is ruling with the support of the Bersatu, the Umno and the PAS. They are all Malay-based parties.
Anwar is the opposition leader of Malaysia with his Pakatan Harapan coalition. They are the biggest grouping in the Parliament.
The deal that Anwar says he brokered with MPs from the ruling coalition will be to form a loose alliance.
Loose in the sense it will not be an alliance with Barisan Nasional or the Umno. The MPs are, according to Anwar, crossing party lines to join him in a broad-based alliance with the PH.
This was Mahathir’s original idea after he was appointed interim PM by the King of Malaysia in February.
After his abrupt resignation that took the nation by surprise, Mahathir offered to form a new government.
The new government were to recruit MPs from all parties but it will not be an alliance of parties. It will be a new political design, one that by-pass political party allegiance.
MASSIVE POLITICAL DISRUPTIONS
Anwar’s move represents a massive political disruption in Malaysia. But to make it happen, Anwar now depends on the King.
The latter has all the powers to decide on the next move in the political game. Will he give Anwar the audience the latter is seeking to decide whether he has the majority in Parliament or not?
If not, the King will then have the option to dissolve the Parliament if the Prime Minister advises him to.
Though this will sound like a plot to undermine Anwar again, it is not within Anwar’s capacity to prevent it.
WIth Mahathir breaking away from Anwar on the deal with Barisan MPs, it will harder for Pejuang than for Anwar.
The reason is there are chances the King will call Anwar up to give him a chance to present his case to Parliament. If Anwar defeats Muhyiddin in a vote of no-confidence, which may happen, Anwar will be the PM.
This will put Mahathir in front of a few calculated choices. Will Mahathir be fussy in supporting Anwar, the person the PKR says he sabotaged, or will he shun Anwar again?
If he joins Anwar in the new government, he may do so to push the agenda for his son’s political future.
He may also do so to give Pejuang a shot at governing again, albeit as a very minority partner but one with support from PH.
Mahathir will still have a lot to say and do if his party is in Anwar’s cabinet. And we hope it is the case because it will bring Mahathir’s dream of a mega-Malay union at play.
If he could not achieve it with Muhyiddin, he may achieve it with Anwar though he seem to have problems with the latter.
The disruptions Anwar is bringing with the deal will altogether give Mahathir another shot at fame.
Having lost his glitter since he took over as PM in 2018, Mahathir is desperate to regain the popularity and love he enjoyed after winning the polls.
Cased in the opposition with some of the villainous MPs in the history of Malaysia, Mahathir will shine in the eyes of the public.
As an opposition leader, Mahathir will be a pain in the neck of Anwar. Pejuang will get a real taste of what it is to fight for the Malays as an opposition party.
It will have the support fo the PAS, perhaps, since the PAS leaders seem to love Mahathir a lot.
THE END GAME
But it is the end-game for Mahathir that will count the most in the coming days.
He will also have the support of the blue-eyed boys of his previous cabinet who joined Muhyiddin in forming the PN.
They are the break-away PKR faction headed by Azmin Ali who will probably be in opposition if Anwar takes over as PM.
Is this Mahathir’s end-game scenario? That is either he is in power with the PAS-Azmin cartel or he is opposition with them?
From the opposition, they may then get a long shot at entering Putrajaya with the next General Elections!