Malaysians must be startled by Muhyiddin Yassin’ spate of confessions in the last two days as a renegade in the 22-month Pakatan Harapan government, in particular his statement that he is not like Mahathir Mohamad and that Perikatan Nasional (PN) won’t lie to the people.
It would appear that the main conspirator in the Sheraton Move conspiracy which toppled a democratically-elected Pakatan Harapan government after 22 months, and ushered in two backdoor, undemocratic and illegitimate governments was not Azmin Ali but Muhyiddin Yassin.
As a result of Muhyiddin’s spate of confessions, there is a need for a complete reappraisal of the events in the 22-month Pakatan Harapan government to understand why the promised institutional reforms and changes were opposed from within, like the arrest of elected representatives on trumped-up charges of terrorist links with Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers and the sabotage for establishment of an Independent Police Complains and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).
Be that as it may, Muhyiddin Yassin’s tenure as the ninth Prime Minister will be remembered by three things:
(i) The Sheraton Move conspiracy.
(ii) His abject failure in the Covid-19 pandemic.
(iii) Abuse of power in declaring an emergency purportedly to combat the Covid-19 pandemic but actually to prolong his premiership.
I can still remember the long debate in Parliament into the wee hours of the morning 44 years ago when the Barisan Nasional government abused its majority in Parliament to declare an emergency in Kelantan and took over the administration of the Kelantlan State Govenrmnt from Pas.
Nobody accused the DAP of being extremist, anti-Malay and anti-Islam when the DAP Members of Parliament supported Pas MPs to oppose the abuse of power in the declaration of emergency on 8th November 1977.
Muhyiddin dared not go to Parliament to declare an emergency in January this year or he would have served as Prime Minister for less than a year as he would be proved to be without a majority in Parliament and would have to relinquish his premiership,
But this proved to be his greatest failure as Prime Minister though he made Malaysians pay a heavy price in the Covid-19 pandemic for the Sheraton Move conspiracy.
When Muhyiddin became Prime Minister on March 1, 2020, there were a cumulative total of 29 Covid-19 cases and zero Covid-19 deaths.
When he declared Emergency on January 11, 2021, the cumulative totals were 138,224 Covid-19 cases and 555 Covid-19 deaths.
When he resigned as Prime Minister 17 months and 16 days later on August 16, 2021, there were cumulative totals of 1,424,639 Covid-19 cases and 12,780 Covid-19 deaths.
Now, there are 2,535,338 Covid-19 cases and 29,576 Covid-19 deaths.
Never before has a Prime Minister in Malaysia failed so colossally as Muhyiddin.
Will Ismail Sabri follow in Muhyiddin’s footsteps?
Muhyiddin tried to differentiate Bersatu from Umno by asking all Bersatu candidates to take an anti-corruption pledge.
Muyhiddin is right that Umno’s victory signifies a creeping return to kleptocracy but Muhyiddin’s tenure as Prime Minister had seen corruption increased by leaps and bounds.
I am still waiting for Muhyiddin’s answer to my question whether he would continue to support Ismail Sabri as Prime Minister if Bersatu is completely wiped out by Umno in the Malacca general election.
Muhyiddin has a time-bomb in Malacca – his inability to announce Mas Emieyati Samsuddin as the Bersatu’s nominee for the post of Malacca Chief Minister, because of strong objections inside the party.
Can Muhyiddin neutralise this time-bomb in Malacca?
This is the third article in my eight-part series on “My years in Malacca”.
It would refer to many episodes and stories which are retold in two books which appeared recently: Kee Thuan Chye’s “Lim Kit Siang: Malaysian First, Volume One” and Liew Chin Tong’s “Lim Kit Siang: Patriot, Leader, Fighter”.
As George Santayana said, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it”. Let us not repeat the mistakes of the past.
Third article in eight-part series by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang on “My Years in Malacca” on Saturday, 13th November 2021.