If Malaysians were worried about their livelihood amid the highly contagious Covid-19 virus which is still at large in the country, politicians in the country have more important things to be occupied with. This week alone, we saw a number of outrageous issues take place, firstly, the Parliament seating which is way overdue will only convene for 1 day (not much can be debated), secondly the ongoing dilemma of who gave permission for Najib’s stepson to be acquitted and thirdly, the collapse of Kedah government.
All happened in the midst of the worst crisis Malaysia has ever endured, a triple whammy of economy possibly entering into recession, containing a deadly virus that has already killed 113 and the country still under the CMCO.
What is certain by this week’s highlight is that for politicians, politics always comes first. In January Malaysia woke up to a new government, Perikatan Nasional a coalition formed after the collapse of Pakatan Harapan when its leader and Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir resigned. This paved way for second-in-command, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to throw his hat into the ring as a potential candidate to take over and with the backing of Datuk Seri Azmin Ali who later defected from his original party under PH, became Malaysia’s 8th Prime Minister.
To give credit where it’s due, the premier has handled the Covid-19 crisis admirably, leaving important announcement and health updates rightfully to our Deputy General at the MoH. Formation of the task force was another key decision in tackling security, border control and plans in revising the economy post MCO.
Plots to oust Mukhriz Mahathir Chief Minister of Kedah was simmering from day 1, the exuberant son of Dr Mahathir was adamant that his father be returned as Prime Minister. His discontentment was obvious during the party convention few months back. With PH run states collapsing one by one, it was inevitable Kedah will also have a vote of no confidence of its Chief Minister and its administration. The writings were on the wall.
Wolf of Wall Street
Next involves the largest scandal of the century, 1MDB. Malaysia lost billions to former Prime Minister, Najib Razak and his involvement in the 1MDB sovereign fund which ironically was created to increase the wealth of the country.
While the main culprit Jo Low is still at large, authorities have managed to bring the rest to trail including his stepson Riza Aziz. Under PH, MACC was able to seize a substantial of ill-gotten funds from 1MDB and repatriate a portion of the money held in US with the assistance of DOJ. This week, the Attorney General allowed Riza Aziz to walk free and dropped all charges against him after he agreed for MACC to recover and keep assets it confiscated.
Malaysian were shocked on the precedent the new PN government was setting. But that’s not the end of the saga, the AG issued a statement claiming the agreement was made by the previous AG under PH, which is now being contended by Tan Sri Tommy Thomas the ex-AG.
And finally, the one day Parliament seating, by constitution the cabinet has to convene not later than 6 months. In accordance of this legislature, Muhyiddin has given his agreement to have the seating on May 18, however for only a day. This ruffled opposition leaders and questioned the action by the current Prime Minister. As there are many issues to be discussed, bills to be tabled and topics with regards to Covid-19 to be addressed, many were not happy with the 1 day seating. Muhyiddin gave the excuse of social distancing and CMCO for the decision. Another reason for the limited seating could be the fact that his predecessor has filed a vote of no confidence against him and facing an adversary of this magnitude needs more preparation.
Malaysian politics is a zero sum game, go in with all the chips and see whats the outcome even if its at the expense of the country. Scary thought, but what we are witnessing now is evident on the thinking behind the leaders managing the nation. The public is immune to surprises after GE-14 ,we have seen it all and how those written off can return, having the oldest Prime Minister in the world, steal money give a portion back and you’re free and how you can never have enough of Birkin bags.