The King and I and Muhyiddin's big loss
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin “lost” in a big way in his meeting with the King of Malaysia.
His Majesty Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and the Conference of Rulers on October 25 rejected his demand for emergency powers.
Muhyiddin actually sought powers to rule Malaysia with an iron fist, but instead, he got a massive “NO!” No to darurat it was.
In refusing PM Muhyiddin’s request, the palace issued two statements.
The first rejected the request for Emergency rule and included some conciliatory remarks about trusting the government to handle the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some in the PN government misinterpreted these comments as a thumping endorsement of its policies. Again, no it is not!
In a faint attempt to use the letters for their own good, they raised havoc among the public in Malaysia.
The people roasted them on social media for this latest attempt at hijacking everything under their nose.
The second statement which was released just after the first demonstrates clearly why the Conference of Rulers were not pleased with Muhyiddin and his cabinet.
ABUSE OF POWER
The statement says the rulers recognise the need for “checks and balances.” They would protect the country from those seeking to abuse their power.
For the Rulers go that far in hinting at abuse of power is not only unprecedented. It is a black and white slap in the face.
For a sitting Prime Minister to get such a remark, it is a lot to bear.
The Royal rejection is unprecedented in Malaysian history which has seen its fair share of Emergencies.
In the history of Malaysia, there has never been a moment where the Rulers rejects a request from a sitting PM.
Muhyiddin did not only make the headlines all over the world with this. He also became the first sitting PM to get such a smack.
The damaging effect of a rejection of His Majesty and the Conference of Rulers are three cornered.
We can draw our own conclusions from this.
First, the King and the Conference of Rulers do not trust Muhyiddin Yassin and his Cabinet.
This is why some Cabinet members such as Azmin Ali cried emotionally when they heard of the decision.
It is clear they did not expect such a decision and was preparing for the enforcement of their demand for emergency.
But on Sunday, the country was saved!
Second, other members of the coalition of Perikatan Nasional, also do not trust Muhyiddin Yassin.
With the Prime Minister on shaky ground – leaders of other parties will be careful in their interactions with him.
Third, with no ability to command the confidence of the Palace across the country, the influence of Muhyiddin has immediately nosed dived to zero.
He may also find it tough to command the respect of Chief Ministers and Menteri Besars too.
UMNO understands all three implications, and immediately convened a Supreme Council meeting to deliberate over the issue.
They wanted to debate on whether they should remain with Perikatan Nasional or not.
In the history of Malaysia, there has never been instances where a coalition had to meet, and go, and meet again, to decide on the fate of a PM,
Therein, the sorry story of the 8th Prime Minister. He has lost his base and the political map to plot forward.
The clock is ticking and it is a matter of time before he will be forced to resign.
Muhyiddin Yassin was given a chance by His Majesty Yang di-Pertuan Agong to lead Malaysia during one of its most difficult times.
With all the apparatuses of the state at his disposal, after eight months in office, Muhyiddin has failed to consolidate his power.
By returning to the Palace with the unreasonable and unthinkable request for Emergency powers only to save his own political life, the triumphant story of Muhyiddin Yassin who became the 8th Prime Minister of Malaysia is now becoming just a sad tragedy.