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After the Fall and The Stumbles Since

It was the morning of the 24th of February 2020. I was in my office, a little earlier than usual, to meet up with my then deputy, Dato Shahruddin. I was anxious to know about the PPBM meeting, the event at the Istana Negara and the gathering at Sheraton Hotel, all held the day before, Sunday the 23rd. Everyone knew that these events could well mark the beginning of the end for PH, as we knew it then, but no one knew, at the time, how exactly it would occur. Treachery was oviously in the air, but what it would lead to was anyone's guess.

When he arrived, we sat and discusssed and I heard from him what had happened. It did not differ much from what was later related by DS Mukhriz. Dato Shahruddin related how Tun was adamanant, refusing to leave PH, as according to Tun, there was no reason to leave. However, the opposite side were equally adamant, if not more, and they were more in numbers.

As we spoke I received news that the leaders of PH had all gathered at Tun's office, only to discover that he was not coming to office that morning. They rushed to his house and were asked to wait outside as Tun was undecided as to whether he wanted to see them or otherwise. After about half an hour, they were called in, one at a time, first DS Wan Azizah, followed by Guan Eng, then Mat Sabu and last DS Anwar Ibrahim. He met them all, one at a time, one on one and told them that he had resigned as the Prime Minister! The letter of resignation being handed to the YDP Agong earlier the same morning!

Then, almost immediately after that came news of TS Muhyiddin declaring that PPBM has left PH. That made Dato Shahruddin feel a bit uncomfortable as it left the question of our relationship in doubt. Were we still friends and colleagues, or had this turn of events, changed our relationship too?

I had my programs scheduled for me that day and knowing this, when the time came, Dato Shahruddin asked to be excused. I thanked him for meeting me and informing me of the situation and of what was brewing. He told me he was loyal to TSMY, having being groomed from the post of Political Secretary since UMNO days and he told me frankly that he would not leave TSMY. He said he was amazed, in comparison, how Azmin was willing to betray DS Anwar. I told him, equally frankly, that that was what TSMY was doing to Tun. He gave me an akward smile and did not respond. We shook hands, thanked each other for the mutual help and cooperation and parted ways. I wondered how our next meeting would be like.

I then attended the official launching of the Inernational Hot Air Balloon Festival organised by Perbadanan Putrajaya, my attendance being something Najib is still making fun of, and after lunch I was in Port Dickson officiating a PLAN Malaysia program. I am proud to say, while the conspirators were planning and plotting away, I was busy doing my job. Although aware of Tun's resignation then, but as always, I was hopeful the meeting at Tun's house would see things resolved. Unfortunately it was not to be.

That evening I got news of Tun being appointed as the 'Interim Prime Minister' and I felt maybe, he has a plan up his sleeve which will still see PH through. His insistence to not leave PH gave me hope that he would try to reinstate he PH government.

On Tuesday the 25th of February I was told that all the Members of Parliament were to go to the Istana Negara to individually and personally cast their vote to decide who is to become the new Prime Minister. The MPs of the PH component parties were to go and vote the next day, which is on Wednesday.

That night we called for a Majlis President PH meeting to decide who to vote for. Tun was invited but he refused to accept the invitation saying PPBM was no longer in PH and that if he was to attend PH's meeting then he would also have to attend the meeting of the other party. Tun was still confident that he would get the support from all parties as they, just a week or so ago, had declared their unconditional support for him. PH had also agreed to let him continue as PM, on that Friday night, until such time he decides to resign, merely 4 days ago.

Perhaps, the lack of open and sincere communications between Tun and PH, saw the PH leaders unsure of the reason and true intentions behind Tun's resignation. We were thus in the dark as to how to handle it. It was clear that Tun no longer identifies with PH at that point in time and wanted to get a new mandate on his own, on new terms. This understanding was based on Tun's condition, made known to all PH leaders that morning in his house, that if he was revoted in as the Prime Minister, he would be free to do as he saw fit. This was as the new mandate was based on the Members of Parliament voting for him on his personal capacity.

However, why Tun was behaving in such a way was still not completely clear to us. Was Tun part of the plot? Was his resignation based on some strategy known only to him and his co-conspirators? Was there a conspiracy? Why was he not standing with Muhyiddin, or was he?

Whatever the case may be, the PH Presidential Council had to make a decision that night itself. Based on the conditions set by Tun, we found it difficult to name him as our candidate. It would mean reinstalling him, but now with absolute disgression as to what he would do. No promises to hold him to, no policies committed to; it was like giving total and absolute power to him. And so it was agreed that we would all name DS Anwar as our candidate. That would be a PH candidate and in conformance with the promise to appoint DS Anwar as PM after Tun.

Perhaps, if we were all closer to one another in the coalition, more sincere and more open, Tun would have opened up and told us the real reasons behind his resignation. We could then reassure him of our support and of our willingness to have him still as the Prime Minister even without PPBM in PH. Perhaps, his discomfort of having to place himself 'at the mercy of PH' or more correctly, from his perspective, 'at the mercy of DS Anwar', could have been handled, if given the chance. Tun's unwillingness to turn to DS Anwar for help, in his time of need meant he had to find another formula.

Tun believed that everyone would support him, as such was the impression previously given. He wanted to be free, unbridled by PH, which he saw as DS Anwar's bastion of support and also of PN, which is Muhyiddin and Azmin's patched up coalition of crooks and traitors. He felt that was the only route opened to him to escape from being between a rock and a hard place as explained in the previous article. He believed he could get a new mandate on his personal capacity. But, it was not to be.

On our side, we too felt we could get more than the 112 votes needed. We have 92 in hand which will not falter or run. We only needed another 20. And we believed that if we fell a few votes short, the logical thing for the YDP Agong to do would be to appoint DS Anwar as he would then be the person with the highest likelihood of getting the 112. So the night was filled with phone calls to all MPs who may be willing to support DS Anwar's candidacy. And this went on until the wee hours of the morning.

So on Wednesday the 26th, we all came to the Istana. We were earllier informed that PAS and UMNO had not given their support to Tun. We were wondering what was being planned but we decided to stick to our decision as Tun's conditions were difficult to accept. And having voted we all waited anxiously for the result.

As it turned out no one received the minimum number of 112 and although it was not declared, we were told Tun received less votes than DS Anwar this first time around but the amount received by DS Anwar was nonetheless less than the 112 required. The other names reportedly were TSMY, and two others, all of whom, including TSMY got even far less than the two.

We waited to see if the YDP Agong would then name DS Anwar, as it was believed he had the highest number but unfortunately, it was not to be. The YDP Agong had to be personally convinced that DS Anwar would be able to get the few additional names but it seemed very difficult as the race card was being used by UMNO and PAS. They highlighted that although DS Anwar may have the largest number, it was predominantly non-Malay and non-Muslim. With such strong racial undertones, it was believed that it would be difficult for DS Anwar to get additional votes. Or so it was believed. At the same time, the others were left far behind. Having no party being able to generate His Majesty's confidence, the YDP Agong decided on a revote, in order to be sure, but this time the votes are to be handed to him by the party presidents.

For those who lament that we never tried to put DS Anwar's name as THE candidate for the Prime Minster's post, I wish to state clearly here that we did. But we fell short and it was not for the lack of trying either. For now, with the current batch of MPs, some who are dead against DS Anwar, we could not get the numbers. And so we went back to the drawing board and restrategised.

And this time around we did what we probably should have done the first time around. We sat with Tun and renegotiated with him his terms. And after much haggling and exchanges it was agreed that it would be 'status-quo' but without 'the traitors' should he be returned as the Prime Minister. However it has to be said that Tun's agreement may or may not have been possible the first time around as he believed then that both UMNO and PAS would vote for him.

And so the votes were sent in for the second time. But this time by the party Presidents. And we believed that together with PH's support, Tun did manage to have more than 112 votes. However, the Agong swore in Muhyiddin based on Muhyiddin misrepresenting his list of supporters which included Tun, Syed Sadiq, Mazlee Malik, Dato Amiruddin and Dato Marzuki of PPBM. And this perhaps, is the reason for the frenzy in GLC appointments currently being undertaken. To make sure TSMY has 115 'loyal supporters' who will not run away should a vote of no confidence be tabled when the Parliament sits!

What happened next, “is history”, as they say.

So the first Back Door Government in Malaysian history was thus formed and Muhyiddin has the unenviable distinction of being its Prime Minister. Hopefully it is the only back door government in our history. As its immediate challenge the back door government has to handle the Corona virus infection. A challenge which it put in the back burner for a good many days, due to their political ambitions, only to see the second wave arrive on our shores unnoticed and unmonitored.

But a challenge can also present one with oppurtunities, people always say, and it seemingly has opened up oppurtunities in more ways than one. Some more sinister than others. With all procedures thrown out the window due to the 'emergency status' of the Covid 19 threat, the government has a free hand and things can happen.

However, the question now on everyone's mind, can the PH government make a comeback, if so, how and when?

On the how, let me say that the first thing is that we must learn from our mistakes.

Our biggest mistake was to remain 'weak in the centre'. We did not take the oppurtunity to strengthen the coalition. Many who were sceptical from day one insisted to be sceptical throughout and unwittingly contributed to the weakening of the centre. With the fall they exclaim with glee, “I told you so!”. Yup, and maybe thanks to them. I hope they are satisfied. You can't prove the correctness of a strategy or otherwise unless you implement it whole heartedly.

The second biggest mistake was to allow traitors in our midst to roam free. We knew them but we did nothing to check them . They made their move and we were caught unawares.

And the list goes on. But one major lesson we must learn for now is;
DS Anwar cannot win without Tun. And Tun cannot win without DS Anwar.
To his credit, DS Anwar lived up to his end of the bargain, except for the sceptics in his camp who were adamant in their scepticism, and unfortunately very vocal about it. And I believe Tun must now reciprocate in kind. Whatever deal or arrangement made to bring the two to work together must acknowledge their invaluable contribution, without which neither would succeed.

This article was previously published in Bahasa Melayu on Malaysiakini: Selepas Jatuh dan Beberapa Kesilapan Sesudah Itu

WaLlahu 'Alam

KHALID SAMAD

Comments

Jsman Tori said…
Saya berpendapat tinggalkan sajalah DrM. Dia memang merestui usaha menghalang Anuar. Kalau dia iklas dia tentu telah mnghalang Azmin.Cuma dia ingin lakukan secara berprinsip sikit iaitu melalui dewan selepas Apec. Kalau itu berlaku tentunya dia nmpak bersih. Tidaklah seperti sekarang - ayam terlepas tangan bau taik. Syukur pengkhianat dah tak sabar nak tebuk atap. Kesannya mereka telah dihina. Rakyat telah kembali menyokong PH. Sejarah telah membuktikan ketua yang banyak buat onar tidak mungkin dilepaskan begitu sahaja di muka bumi ini oleh Allah taala. Just name it, hitler, mosoulini, sadam, gadafi, bro jib, marcos, suharto and many more. His time has come. Just wait and see. PH hanya perlu concentrate kepada PRU15. InsyaAllah akan menang mutlak tanpa penyangak.
fahmy Ibrahim said…
That was the end on Pakatan Haramjadah (PH) govt PH has been cheating, bluffing and dispersed fitnah to the rakyat right from the beginning of GE-14 campaign. Allah has accepted the doa from rakyat. That was why PH collapsed. Collapsed caused by PH leader himself. Do not blame others. YB Khalid during his tenure as Minister of WP wanted to sell the lands of Kg Baru owned by all Malay, KL. He wanted to become land broker instead of developing the land and to protect the Malays in the urban areas. Therefore please accept the facts that the collapsed of PH govt was due to power crazy by PH leaders. Someone wants to become PM, the other refuse to hand over the lucrative post. Whatever promises and agreement made before the GE-14 was thrown to Alam Flora

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