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Did a slip by PKR MP confirm that UMNO is calling the shots in the unity government?

Publish date: Sat, 13 Apr 2024, 01:05 PM

WHICH party holds more sway in the current unity government has been a subject of intense speculation since Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as Prime Minister to helm the unity government in late 2022.

Officially, it could be PKR of which Anwar is the lynchpin of the coalition of over 10 parties cobbled together after the 15th General Election (GE15).

But last week, PKR’s Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin who is also the party’s strategy director called on Anwar to take charge and act like the dominant party in the coalition.

Sim who is the new political secretary at the party’s presidential office contended that PKR must galvanise the party at all levels to be a leader in all aspects of governance.

Did Sim inadvertently publicly admit that Anwar is not as powerful and influential as the PM made himself out to be but is hamstrung by political considerations from his once foes?

Since taking power following the GE15, the previously reformist Anwar has come under intense attacks for turning his back on his earlier electoral pledges such as fighting corruption.

It is an open secret that Anwar is dependent on Barisan Nasional’s (BN) 30 MPs to become PM. Of the total, 26 are from UMNO, a party he had ceaselessly attacked as corrupt and incompetent in the past.

Sore points

The narrative about Anwar being under the thumbs of UMNO has gained further credence following a series of decisions that favour the party but is detrimental to Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) standing in the eyes of the electorate.

This includes the decision to discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA) the 47 corruption charges against UMNO president and Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi under questionable circumstances.

And then, there’s the decision to halve the jail sentence of disgraced ex-premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak to six years and slash his fine from RM210 mil to RM50 mil.

Although Anwar has said that the decision was the prerogative of the then Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, PKR’s Federal Territories Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa who sits in the Pardons Board had confirmed that it was a “collective decision”.

In other words, Anwar’s administration was party to the decision regarded as a compromise to appease some UMNO leaders who had wanted Najib’s immediate release.

Further, the unity government seems to have lost its momentum in going after the culprits responsible for the RM11.2 bil Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) scandal. When PH was in the opposition, the LCS was a pet topic used to attack UMNO leaders.

Senior UMNO leaders like Zahid, Najib and former vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein who held the defence minister portfolio at some point had had their names dragged into the controversy by PH.

But today, PH hardly ever brings up this topic while the Defence Minister is now UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Khaled Nordin.

The above is just some examples of PH seemingly being subservient to UMNO. So far Sim, the former agriculture and agro-based industry deputy minister, has not clarified if UMNO is the culprit preventing Anwar from rolling out more aggressive reforms.

But even without Sim’s disclosure last week, the optics of Anwar bending backwards to appease UMNO has left many disappointed. Nevertheless, the PM should take heed of Sim’s warning.

He can start by seriously considering ditching UMNO. With support from East Malaysian parties expected to remain solid - coupled with backing from several Bersatu MPs - Anwar will still command enough backing from MPs to remain as PM after being subject to waiting for almost a quarter of a century.

If he doesn’t ditch BN - especially UMNO - which has proven to be a torn in the flesh as evident from the recent sock-gate controversy and start pushing for reforms that he had pledged for over two decades, there’s a strong likelihood that the voters will ditch him and PH in the next poll. - April 13, 2024

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60 years of cancer can only be cured with the support of the majority m… If majority m don’t support ph, then investors will run away

1 month ago


No need so many formulas if majority m don’t like cumbersome formulas…

1 month ago

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