PKR renegade, Azmin Ali, has now placed himself in the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office of the PN government and sadly there can be little doubt he is relying on the ill health of PM8 to deliver on his ambitions.
After all, this whole mad caper of an un-legitimised Frankenstein administration comprised of a political minority of charged crooks, aggressive extremists and once sworn enemies has been cooked up thanks to him.
The question is can he pull the whole thing off, once the chickens finally come home to roost, as soon they must now that the Covid Cover is starting to evaporate, and international lenders are starting to question whether the PN government can deliver on its cheques?
In February, Azmin knew as well as anybody else that he was about to be thrown out on his ear from PKR … and that few would follow him after months of destructive politicking and disruption. In the end he mustered 9, including a sorry band of deluded yokels from Sarawak. So, he had the choice of accepting failure gracefully or to come out fighting like a cornered rat.
He chose the latter and threw his energies into the most outrageous, daring and dastardly plan imaginable, which was to betray each and every principle he had ever purported to campaign for or believe in for the past decades and to join up with an opposition defeated by his own allies at the last election, owing to a tsunami of popular disgust over their political greed, corruption and abusive authoritarianism.
His new bedfellows were made up of desperadoes and bigots with greedy tendencies, but by then Azmin was also a desperado, angered and embittered by his failure to dominate his own party PKR. PN is an administration of desperadoes who have thrown in their lot together like brigands in a jail-break movie – many of them indeed facing decades in jail themselves, so with little to lose.
The plan has been jaw-dropping and left former prime minister Dr Mahathir in tears of astonishment and for a while disastrously confused. However, it had been long enough in the making (as a Plan B at least) and in the first instance it has proven an astonishing success and a tribute to just how far ruthless, determined and focused machination and deception can get an individual in politics.
As Mrs PM8 was heard to gush at their victory celebration, the Agong having nominated her husband as the man who should attempt to seek a majority in Parliament, “You have all worked so hard”.
However, like Hitler having crossed the Rhine, there can no longer be any doubt for those who love liberty in Malaysia and deplore corruption (i.e. most people in their right minds) where Azmin stands. And, like Hitler, Azmin appears not to have thought his onward journey through.
Of course, there was a general strategy, based on the long-standing motto of Malaysian money politics that Cash is King. The self-same truism had failed spectacularly in 2018, however you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and the old dogs of UMNO, PAS and it seems also Azmin Ali clearly reckoned that if they could just but re-seize the levers of power and the strings to the money bags, then they could buy their way back to a parliamentary majority.
Excitingly, the formula almost immediately started to deliver at state level and Azmin found himself able to nail down the ‘loyalty’ of his handful of PKR followers and those from Bersatu with a bountiful distribution of ministerial positions and cosy salaried jobs.
Meanwhile, PAS relied on fat GLC appointments (all with plenty of discreet money-making potential at the public’s expense) as their way to keep MPs happy. To hell with morality and conflict of interest – such principles are for suckers, comes the message from the ‘religious’ party.
However, now they are all looking a little stuck as the plan is failing to gel and starting to unravel. They should have remembered that Najib’s tried and tested handouts failed to win him 2018, yet, together with his allies facing charges as long as both their arms, this remains the PN strategy now.
Likewise, those UMNO hoppers who joined Bersatu after the election plainly did so primarily with a view to possibly selling their votes back to Najib and the boys at a later date. But, they didn’t count before and don’t count enough now either.
All the signs now are that Azmin and his equally treacherous ally PM8 (the back-stabber of no less than three PMs himself) have reached a roadblock as the majority of wary MPs, burdened with such things as principles, the expectations of friends, family and constituents and troubled by less exalted personal ambitions than Azmin Ali, have decided to put public service, their country and political party (PH) before cash promises.
Even if they didn’t do so on principle, there is the practical matter of the personal danger attached to those cash promises. Azmin has not yet got his dictatorship nailed down, far from it. It is a foolhardy fellow indeed who throws his cards onto the table and admits he is corruptly up for sale at such a juncture.
If anyone was in any doubt that Azmin and what functions of PM8 have yet to nail their numbers, the proof is in their failure and refusal to call a proper Parliament in order to take up the Agong’s challenge to prove their numbers, which is their legal obligation under the constitution. They dare not attempt to legitimise their acting status as the government of the country, because they clearly can’t.
If they could, they would.
The Covid 19 crisis, which to the rest of the world has been a time of suffering and mourning, has been snatched upon by these chancers like a cloak behind which they had hoped to perform their political skullduggery – to unconstitutionally shut down Parliament (everywhere else Parliaments have stood in emergency session to legitimise their governments’ decisions), terrorise the population into silence and impose authoritarian strictures as if they had legitimacy to do so.
However, their actions have been blatant and predictable and utterly exposed them. For a start, the creatures within the Frankenstein mix that is PN immediately and predictably returned to type the moment they returned to the opportunity to give out orders. Like hyenas slinking back to an abandoned carcass, they have been snarling and scrabbling for all the financial spoils they can get, in full sight of the disgusted nation at a time of crisis.
After all, they have been all the more encouraged by the open invitation by Azmin and his crew to join the coup to get the pickings.
Every day, new information has emerged of disgraceful behaviour as such creatures have scented their opportunity over the huge sums raised to support the Covid humanitarian effort. These have now predictably been shown to have been raided by cronies through untendered contracts and commissions to middlemen and the like. It is what BN politicians are expert in and most of Azmin’s new friends are old BN.
And to cover such criminality, that other BN trait, state bullying, has also flourished back into instant life during the past few weeks of this unscheduled return match initiated by Azmin Ali’s shock defection.
Authoritarianism, preferential treatment and vicious clampdowns on criticism came back overnight with a vengeance after two years of relative freedom for Malaysians to voice criticism and say what they believe.
Laws, which ought to have been abolished (and would have been were it not for Azmin’s games and his distractions) have been taken out and dusted down to throw innocent folk behind bars for alleged ‘insults’, ‘false statements’ and ‘seditions’ that are deemed to challenge the authority of a government that has yet to establish its authority (or of various dignitaries from whom PN would like to claim legitimacy).
As for preferential treatment, women and teenagers and respected elder citizens have been treated harshly, jailed and fined for mistakenly transgressing new and draconian movement orders, whilst newly promoted ‘PN VVVVIPs’ have been let off or slapped with mini fines.
Malaysia has been reminded of and treated to the very worst of BN grandiosity and excesses once more, even before this coup coalition, largely comprised of charged kleptocratic criminals, has confirmed its right to rule. The majority of Malaysians will not like it any more than they did in 2018.
So, how will this runaway trucker behind the wheel of this speeding stolen political juggernaut (with his crew of fellow convicts on board) treat the impending roadblock known as May 18th and the bogus one day Parliament, which is all that he and his colleagues dare allow to get the stamps of approval needed to continue for a few more weeks?
Malaysians can be sure that he will jam his foot on the accelerator and aim to blitzkrieg on right through – sending parliamentary precedent, the constitution and political dead bodies flying in all directions. He may continue in the short-term to succeed, but as with Hitler, it will not solve his wider problems or bring him nearer to winning his ambitious objective, which is to become PM9.
His problems include being a man now hated not just by his present and former allies but by much of Malaysia for several and conflicting reasons related to his treachery of party and principles. He is short on resources – the economy is on its knees and the bankers deeply wary – he is short on foot soldiers (his is the smallest grouping in PN and other bigger hyenas fancy their own ultimate chances more than him) and the longer this whole farce drags out the lower his credibility is starting to rate.
Credibility is something money can’t buy and eventually Azmin Ali faces running off the road or running out of gas.