Sunday, April 12, 2020

PM Riding on Covid-19 Pandemic and the Economy

A Kadir Jasin

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

PREAMBLE: Views expressed herein are entirely mine. I am writing in my personal capacity as a blogger. It has nothing to do with whatever position I may hold.

The PM is strengthening his position in the government
I COULD have been wrong when I stated in my Sinar Harian column on Sunday that the toppling of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Government by the Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin-led faction of the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) had nothing to do with the Covid-19 pandemic or the economy.

It might be the case at the point when an uprising was mounted against Bersatu Chairman and the then Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, on February 23 but might no longer be the case now.

Then the mantra for leaving PH was the survival of Bersatu. Muhyiddin and his supporters in the party’s Supreme Leadership Council (MPT) had argued vehemently that Bersatu would lose the coming General Elections if it remains in the PH.

The reason being, the Malays could not accept the cooperation with the DAP. This, they said, was amply seen in the defeat of Bersatu’s candidates in the Semenyih state by-election in March 2019 and the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election the following November.

Also the majority of the MPT members were not comfortable with the prospects of Dr Mahathir handling over power to the PKR leader, Anwar Ibrahim.

But looking at Muhyiddin’s moves since being sworn in on March 2, it is clear that he is taking full advantage of the pandemic and the economic chaos to secure and strengthen his position as the Prime Minister.

He acknowledged the legitimacy deficit of his backdoor government or the government that came in through the roof, according to Pas President Abdul Hadi Awang.

On March 27, when presenting his first Economic Stimulus Package, Muhyiddin openly admitted in a nationwide broadcast that “..this government may not be the government that you vote (sic) for.”

First of all, he used the pandemic as an excuse to postpone the sitting of Dewan Rakyat from March 9 to May 18. This would give him time to gather support should there be a vote of no confidence against him.

Second, he created a large Cabinet assisted by an ever larger number of deputy ministers. He sacked board members and top executives of GLICs, GLCs and government agencies appointed by the PH Government to be replaced by his political allies starting with the appointment of the Machang Umno MP, Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub, as Chairman of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).

Today, the Pas Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in-charge of law and parliamentary affairs, Takiyuddin Hassan, was quoted as saying that government MPs would be appointed to head GLCs.

Muhyiddin has also been accepting all and sundry into Bersatu without consulting the MPT. The PKR MPs aligned to Mohamed Azmin Ali had reportedly been admitted into the party.

The Movement Control Order (MCO) also gives him room to strengthen his position in Bersatu. All party activities, including divisional annual general meetings and leadership elections, are being postponed. He is being challenged for the post of President in the party’s first ever leadership elections.

Dr Mahathir had already won the Chairman’s post uncontested. That would pose a problem for Muhyiddin as they are not seeing eye to eye on the coup and the en bloc acceptance of members into the party.

The party is fractured. Among the original members, some are aligned with Dr Mahathir while others support Muhyiddin. Then there are the Umno MPs who crossed over after the 2018 GE and the Azmin faction of the PKR who allegedly joined after Muhyiddin became the PM.

Muhyiddin does not seem to care that he was once a senior member of the PH Government and was involved in the GLICs, GLCs and government agencies appointments. He is removing them at will.

It appears that what matters to him is pacifying and satisfying his new friends from Umno and Pas. It does not matter if Umno is gaining an upper hand in his government and his own party, Bersatu, losses out – like losing the Johor Menteri Besar post to Umno.

He does seem to mind that his publicity-hungry Umno ministers are stealing the limelight and, in the process, making mockery of his government. It would appear that these seasoned Umno Ministers are setting the narrative of the government.

This leads to speculations that he may eventually merge Bersatu with Umno and used his position as PM to lead the merged entity.

This could be a way for him to get rid of Dr Mahathir for good. The latter had said he would not accept Umno en bloc into Bersatu although he was willing to accept Umno leaders as individuals.

It is very clear that Muhyiddin is leading the country back to the last two decades of Umno era when good governance, accountability and professionalism were not the priority.

Nobody had seriously wanted to make Muhyiddin PM. Now that he had successfully made himself PM, why should he not consolidate his position and, hopefully, win the next GE. Or at the very least hangs on to the position for the rest of the parliamentary term.

That’s what he is doing. He is buttressing his position by dispensing favours so that when the Parliament sits in May, the chances of him being defeated in a no confidence motion are minimised.

He is also shrewdly making himself indispensable and unchallenged by not appointing a Deputy Prime Minister. Instead he appointed four Senior Ministers who are theoretically beholden to him and, therefore, are not likely to gang up to challenge him.



Melayu hampa said...

Salam Dato,

Indeed, "Wallhahuaklam". Because ultimately, who knows.

As in all you said above about the current pm could have been wrong.

Everything is so biased to your obvious feelings towards him.

I like to think that i know him as well. And i have known him since my younger days. Tht he did not choose the fame but the job choose him instead. He did not strike me as someone who wanted to be pm. Maybe u could enlighten me on this point. He has never been ambitious towards becoming pm instead almost always choosing the opposing current during pak lah, najib and ph era. All i know is tht he rose to the occasions whenever the people especially the bumi is unhappy.

Evrything tht you pointed out about him, maybe theres a diff answer for tht altogehter. Wht u said is at best ur theory on whts going on. Do u know this for a fact ? Tht he was riding on the pendemic for example ?

Well at best i could have been wrong, but thts also mean tht you could have as well been wrong all along.

I sense hatred reading your piece lately. How would u have him do his job otherwise, if he is riding on the pendemic and the economy ? Wht would be the right thing for him to do and say ? Anything he did and does would have been wrong to your eyes. And it seems to me there is only one answer to tht question isnt it ? But the reality is he is our pm now and ph has lost the power. Have u not move on from tht yet ?

It is one thing to be a critic, but u dont seem to be one now. More like a hater. It is a pity.


albi said...

Any PM in Muhyiddin's position would do the same. Anything that can offer him advantages will be gladly taken. He is a politician after all.

His position is very precarious. He must strengthen his position in order to prevent Najib and Zahid from making a comeback and taking over. So far, I think he has done quite well.

First he was successful in excluding Zahid, Najib and the crooks from his cabinet. At the same time, he is bringing in Zahid's rivals into his cabinet, people like KJ and Hishamudin. This is really like killing 2 birds with 1 stone.

Second, while he has rewarded Azmin in giving him the senior minister role, he has actually also clipped Azmin's power by giving him a lesser ministry.

Third, he appointed Hadi as the minister-envoy. By doing so, he will gain much needed support from Pas.

Fourth he is taking over control of the GLCs by his new appointments.

I too don't like the way he took over as PM. But now that he is the PM, the most important thing is to prevent Najib and the penyamuns from returning to power. For that I am willing to give him my support.

khairi said...

Salaam Dato',
Previously we had heard that " Cash is King". Now we are hearing " My power is King". History are repeated . Hopefully changes for the better are not far. We had to work hard. Hopefully TM is still willing to play a part in it.

Koperal Malaysia said...

Elephant fight elephant

johanm said...

The level of dedak-scattering by Muhyiddin is completely shameless.

Even the 'pendekar Bugis' would not have stooped to this level.

He has replaced qualified professionals with greedy, unqualified cronies.

As simple as that.

The string of chairperson departures - Noripah Kamso from Bank Rakyat, Hasnita Hashim from Mara, Noor Farida Ariffin from Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) and Mohd Bakke Mohd Salleh from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).

Zakri Khir resigned from his post as Socso chairperson, as did Nungsari Ahmad from being the Khazanah Research Institute chairperson.

The Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF)’s new chairperson is Nelson Renganathan, an MIC member, who replaced Noor Farida Mohd Ariffin, a lawyer who was getting to the bottom of the HRDF scandal under BN.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

The Parti Mercedes & Bonus's Sec-Gen has the nerve to say, "Alhamdulillah saya difahamkan semua MP kerajaan akan diberikan tanggungjawab mengendalikan GLC.Kerana mereka semua ini layak, mereka ini adalah ahli parlimen."

This statement is both breathtakingly stupid and self-serving.

The whole reason the PH govt moved towards professionals rather than politicians is the legacy of UMNO and the wastages and cronyism of the past. Now Muhyiddin is not just reversing that, he is making the corruption even more blatant.

Take MARA and its many scandals under BN. These will just get worse.

Look who was removed, to make way for a crony.....

"Hasnita is a PhD holder in nuclear physics from Oxford University and is a trained actuary.

She has 26 years’ experience in financial management and was at one time the CEO of Guidance Investments Sdn Bhd, which is the investment arm of Guidance Financial Group, an investment company with assets under management of around US$1bil.

Hasnita also founded IslamiQ, the world’s first online Islamic finance portal in 1998. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Surrey University and is also presently an Associate of the Institute of Actuaries, Staple Inn, London."

This is the kind of person who should be heading our GLCs.

Not backdoor crooks who are desperate to hand out positions, perks and money to secure "loyalty" - when they themselves are the most disloyal to the mandate of the people.

Keep up the good work, Dato' Scribe.

Berani kerana benar.

As you know, many of the dedak-eaters will send their konco2 to attack your points on this blog. Many of them (in classic UMNO mentality style) also want to lick up the crumbs after the Bersatu elections are held, and their masters take advantage of Muhyiddin's desperation.

See it as a badge of honour and an indirect compliment to you, as they are most eager to cover their masters' tracks.

That is the power of dedak over the mentally & ethically weak.

OKJ said...

Salam Dato’ Kadir

Win win

Saya bukan nak kata apalah tapi Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin ni orang berpengalaman. Mula-mula beliau pastikan dapat sokongan majority dgn besarkan cabinet. Kemudian lantik setiap ahli parlimen yg menyokongnya ke dalam GLC. Satu langkah yg amat-amat bijak. Ini menunjukkan TSMY menghargai setiap mereka dan mereka juga akan rasa dihargai. Inilah dikatakan formula menang-menang. Saya amat bersetuju dgn formula ini.

Keduanya, beliau pandai ambil hati seluruh rakyat jelata. Makcik Kiah dan keluarga tersenyum lebar sekarang dgn bantuan ikhlas dr kerajaan tu. TSMY juga amat mementing kesihatan rakyat Malaysia. Terus di lockdown sampai 6 minggu utk pastikan penyakit terkawal. Pintu masuk negara juga ditutup dan dikenakan kuarantin 2 minggu utk sesiapa nak masuk Malaysia. Nampak tak. Beliau dengar apa nasihat KKM. Ini menunjukkan beliau lebih mementingkan kesihatan rakyat dari duit, berbeza dgn kerajaan PH dulu yg degil betul, sombong, tak dengar cakap.

Kalaulah TSMY menggantikan Tun terus selepas Tun meletak jawapan dulu, rasanya standard kita dah setaraf Singapore dah yg diakui betul stratergynya di seluruh dunia. Tapi nak buat macam mana Tun buat macam-macam hal. Sekali resign, sekali nak balik jadi PM tanpa parti, bila orang tak setuju, nak diadakan undian di parlimen pulak, bila orang tak setuju jugak, barulah kata setuju TSMY jadi PM jika dapat sokongan. Tapi bila dihasut semula oleh PH, akhirnya nak balik jadi PM. Berapa lama dah masa yg Malaysia rugi masa tu sampai terlepas pandang Persidangan Tabligh di Sri Petaling yg akhirnya menyumbang 40% sakit Covid di negara kita.

Tapi sebenarnya, Dato’ Kadir yg bersalah dalam soal ni kerana memberi nasihat dan harapan palsu kpd Tun Mahathir. Sepatutnya bila Tun Mahathir dah tekad nak resign dulu, itu adalah keputusan yg terbaik yg dibuat oleh Tun seperti yg diharapkan rakyat. Malangnya, adanya suara-suara songsang yg memberi harapan palsu balik kpd Tun termasuklah Dato’ Kadir sendiri. Apa ni Dato’….

Akhir kata, Dato’ kena minta maaf kepada Tun Mahathir dan seluruh rakyat Malaysia kerana memberi harapan palsu kpd Tun sehingga menyebabkan Tun Mahathir yg sebelum ini dikenali sebagai negarawan akhirnya dipinggirkan rakyat dan teman. Ini semua salah Dato’ Kadir sendiri sebenarnya. Kesian Tun Mahathir, harapkan pegar, pegar makan padi. Sekian TQ.

wansee c said...

It is somewhat unfair to say that PM8 is riding on Covid19 pandemic and economy. Well, he did not ask for it to happen nor bring about the happening in the first place. Instead, he came in the right place at the right time. By sheer coincidence, the outbreak of virus erupted almost right after his sworn-in. Fortunately, he managed to set up a Cabinet in time to jump in to deal with the unexpected crisis. Or else, the grave repercussions would be unthinkable. Can you imagine what it would be like if the pandemic occurred while Tun was the only soul in the PMO? Or, what would happen if the tug-of-war power struggle prolonged in the middle of pandemic? Such imaginings make me cringe in fear.

TSMY is never my choice of PM nor my favourite politician. But, he sidled up as a dark horse and rose to the occasion to end an endless pain. At least, he has the courage and strength of character to admit that PN government has no mandate of the people. The act itself is laudable in comparison with the erstwhile PM-in-waiting who denied every single muckraking that he involved despite evidently proven. I dare say, not an iota of heroism he possesses yet insists to become the hero of everything by putting on airs and graces, every single day. Why bothers to even mention this sour grapes who actually victimised himself in his own hands? We all know the details but he knows even more. No wonder the majority of the Bersatu MPT members totally rejected him, and so does Tun, I suppose.

So far, PM8 is doing a fairly good job in handling the Covid19 crisis. He was appointed by Agong, and so, he should be given a chance to prove his premiership, or, this pandemic may serve as a yardstick for his capability and competency. Even now Tun seems like opt to move on and no longer commenting on this topic any more. So, give TSMY a break and allow him to focus on those intense issues at hand first. It is untimely to use any stick to beat him with as he holds all the cards now. Politicking may resume once the Covid dust settles. Agree?

RD. said...

Ehmm... no wonder our 'through the roof' PM seems to shy away from the media.

Unlike, our 95 year old ex-PM... who has nothing to hide... every-time... as soon as he finishes his speech, reporters would scrambled to ask questions.

Aku said...

Kadiag : السلام عليكم,
Hang bulih kata dah kaba (‘cover’) banyak segi dlm susog jalog siyasah atau muslihat orang muapo ni.
Tapi nampak macam depa tak ambik kira pon, tak luak apa pon. Nak harap malu, aku rasa jauh sikit.
Dari ayag suam untok bunuh virus korona kpd nak bukak balik kilang arak
kpd nak bukak balik kedai guntin atau dandan rambut.
Munkin sebab yg tekesan adalah orang2 kebanyakkan yg tak dak nilai sisi depa munkin melainkan waktu pilihanraya,
terutama yg temakan dgn cogan2 ‘DAPigs’, ‘buy Muslim first’, Anwar akhlak burok
ejen barat, ejen yahudi dan macam2 lagi, terutama kalu kata2 ni mai dari ‘agamawan’ apalagi kalu disokong pulak
olih tok peti tok peti.

Lantaran tu Kadiag, izin aku kemukakan satu konsep bekenaan takwa, kod2 ada orang yg nak ambik tau,
terutama untok mengingatkan diri aku. Ini sabit dgn hujong ayat 23, suroh al Mukminun,
“ أَفَلَا تَتَّقُونَ “
yg lebih korang bawak maksud “ Maka mengapa kalian tidak bertakwa (kepada-Nya)? " (dari
dgn sikit suntingan).
Tulih Prof. Hamka dlm Tafsir Al-Azharnya,
“Kalau takwa bertali dgn ‘wiqawah’, yaitu memelihara hubungan baik dgn Tuhan,
Karena apabila telah ada hubungan yg baik dgn Tuhan, apa pun yg akan datang menimpa diri,
namun kita tidak akan merasa cemas.” Pokok soainya, dlm kontek ni, pasai apa tak mau jaga hubungan baik dgn Allah ta’ala.

Jugak dlm bidang ekonomi,
sebagian pelantikkan ni macam tak indah kpd para penting nya ilmu atau kepandaian
atau bakat pengurusan dan perniagaan,
geng2 muapo ni pi buboh orang2 parti untok jadi kepala syarikat2 negara
(macam jugak sebagian pelantikkan menteri2).
"Apabila sesuatu amanah itu disalahgunakan (disia-siakan),
maka tunggulah saat kehancuran (kiamat)."
Para sahabat bertanya: "Bagaimana amanah itu disalahgunakan, wahai Rasulullah?"
Baginda menjawab: "Iaitu apabila tugas atau tanggungjawab sebagai pemimpin itu
diberikan (diserahkan) kepada bukan ahlinya (jahil) atau bukan orang yang layak (fasik),
maka tunggulah saat kehancuran.” Dari Wikipedia basa melayu dlm bab tanda2 kiamat.

Wallahua’lam dan terima kasih Kadiag, dan kalu tesalah tesilap, sila tegog no dan
maghap no,
Yg dhoif

Mika Angel-0 said...

The Scribe

Dont we love to ride on Nika G, too?
Is the DAP dead from Covid-19 complications?

Don't we love to ride on Nurul I, too?
Is the UMNO dead from Covid-19 complications?

Wait till the SRCI case ends
Wait till the Rosmah case ends
Wait till the Q reports are out
Wait till the unemployment numbers are out

But why is this?
SHAH ALAM - Sultan Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah hari ini memperkenankan tempoh penangguhan solat Jumaat, berjemaah dan aktiviti ceramah serta kuliah di semua masjid, surau dan musala di negeri ini dilanjutkan sehingga 31 Mei depan.

Is the economy dead due to Covid-19 complications?
Do you love to ride on Semburit, too?

Not I say I
I rather ride on DrWanAzizah

tokomaya said...

Bismillah. I am penning my thoughts which is likely to be a very amateurish analysis on the content of the article written by Dato' Kadir; and as a commoner who is neither aligned nor a supporter of any one political party, I merely write to share my thoughts.

To quote from the article, "It appears that what matters to him is pacifying and satisfying his new friends from UMNO and PAS. It does not matter if UMNO is gaining an upper hand in his government and his party, Bersatu, loses out.........".

From the quotation, I would deduce three things, they are: (1) The situation that TSMY is in gives the appearance that the position of his - and that of his government - cannot stand without the friendship, interests and support of his new friends from UMNO and PAS; (2) If the friendship, interests and support of UMNO & PAS is indispensable insofar as the continuity of TSMY's own - and that of his government's - position is concerned, then from TSMY's point of view, for so long that the circumstance remains, TSMY has no other choice but to do his utmost best to dispense favors to his new friends from UMNO and PAS, even if it has to be done at the expense of Bersatu's interests; and (3) Since it appears that TSMY will have to continue on this course for so long that the circumstance remains, PH can "come to his rescue" (so to speak) by offering better terms of friendship and alliance with him and in so doing, offers him both an option and alternative to buttressing his own - and that of his government's - position, in which case, both parties involved further their interests.

Sekian, Wallahu'alam. Just a thought.

Marhaen kampung said...

Salam dato, regarding your statement, i assume that you really have no idea what the marhaen feel about venturing with DAP, dont you? We have eyes to see and mind to think, dato, no offense.

Abc said...

Umno dah goreng muhidin

msh said...

Salam Dato

Biarlah Muhyiddin buat kerja dia dulu.
Dia lebih tahu...lagipun dia tentu tidak sebodoh spt yg diperkatakan.

Komen Dato...

"Muhyiddin does not seem to care that he was once a senior member of the PH Government and was involved in the GLICs, GLCs and government agencies appointments. He is removing them at will.

It appears that what matters to him is pacifying and satisfying his new friends from Umno and Pas. It does not matter if Umno is gaining an upper hand in his government and his own party, Bersatu, losses out – like losing the Johor Menteri Besar post to Umno."

Bukankah ini dinamakan politik....bilamana dia bertindak memperkukuhkan kedudukan dia.

Malah..Tun M melakukan lebih dari itu bilamana dia berbaik dgn Anwar dan Dap untuk menumbangkan Najib.
Tiada pula tohmahan yg bukan2 terhadap dia ketika itu...malah mndpt sambutan baik dan diterima ramai.

Perihal 'berbaik2' dgn Umno dan Pas untuk mndpt sokongan...adalah akademik...kerana dia kini telah pun memegang kuasa.

Tetapi saya percaya mana mungkin dia boleh melupakan sikap buruk org2 Umno dan beberapa MP yg senior (kini dlm jawatan Menteri) terhadap dia hingga dipecat dari jawatan TPM dizaman Najib.

Yg jelas majoriti rakyat terutama Melayu merasa lega kerajaan tanpa Dap spt lontaran Dato diawal paparan...

"The reason being, the Malays could not accept the cooperation with the DAP".

Dari situ...saya bertanya....adakah perasaan majoriti Melayu tidak penting dan tidak wajar diberi perhatian oleh mana2 Ketua Melayu jika mahu menjadi PM negara....atau suara minoriti Dap dan Melayu Pro Dap lebih penting.

Justeru itu...Muhyiddin perlu diberi sokongan selain niat Anwar menjadi PM spt dikehendaki Dap juga telah digagalkan.

Ini adalah satu kejayaan buat org2 Melayu....tetapi Muhyiddin terpaksa berhati2 dgn beberapa Menteri2 Melayu dlm Kabinet yg memang 'kaki klepek'dizaman Najib dulu...(tidak perlu sebut nama)....kerana umum pun tahu...termasuk Dato.

InshAllah...saya yakin...Muhyiddin akan berjaya.

Unknown said...

Orang Kampong BP
Saya bukan penyokong TSMY juga bukan TM. Tapi TSMY telah pun diberi kepercayaan. Berilah peluang untuk beliau manage negara tercinta. Sokonglah pemerintahan mereka. Berilah cadangan dan pandangan membina agar pandemik ini selesai dan mengurus ekonomi negara yang tenat ini. Kalau berjaya...Alhamdulillah...pru15 nanti kita putuskan...boleh terus atau ganti yang lain pulak

About Me

My photo
I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).