Mahathir Mohamad exposed in early April how his former most trusted lieutenant, Muhyiddin Yassin, had met him with the shameful intention of seeking his support to become prime minister again. However, Mahathir publicly said it was impossible for both of them to work together again, especially after Muhyiddin’s betrayal during the “Sheraton Move” coup, which led to the old man’s resignation.
However, Mahathir cunningly left the option open when he also said that his party, Pejuang (Homeland Fighters’ Party), has yet to decide on whether to work with Muhyiddin, who is the president of Bersatu (Malaysian United Indigenous Party). They formed Bersatu together in 2017, but Mahathir was sacked as the party chairman, along with three other MPs after Muhyiddin’s betrayal.
After Mahathir’s revelation, opposition de-facto leader Anwar Ibrahim said he too had met with Muhyiddin. But Anwar said there were no discussions about supporting Muhyiddin as a PM again. PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution, however, said the Opposition Pakatan Harapan was prepared to negotiate and discuss with any political party about cooperation in the upcoming general election.
Likewise, DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu (popularly known as Mat Sabu) said their respective parties would not work with Bersatu, let alone extremist Islamist party PAS, as the two parties’ leaders cannot be trusted. Mat Sabu even said there was no way that Pakatan Harapan would work with “traitors” who betrayed the people’s mandate.
However, not long after Mr Lim and Mat Sabu rejections to any sort of cooperation with former PM Muhyiddin and Taliban Hadi Awang, their deputies – either ignorantly or deliberately – issued contradictory statements. Amanah deputy president, Salahuddin Ayub, disagreed with his boss and said Bersatu and PAS should not be automatically excluded from Pakatan’s “big tent” concept.
Statements from DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook were more confusing. First, he said the issue of cooperation between Pakatan Harapan and Bersatu did not arise as Perikatan Nasional is still part of the ruling government. Then, the genius Loke said any cooperation between Pakatan Harapan and Bersatu can only happen if all the coalition’s component parties agree to it.
Does that mean the moment Prime Minister Ismail Sabri dissolves the parliament, DAP will rush to cooperate with Bersatu because there would be no government anymore? But if it’s true that the Democratic Action Party has already decided that it cannot work with the traitors come rain or shine, why did Mr Loke vaguely suggest that cooperation is still possible?
Exactly why can’t the newly crowned DAP secretary-general just say Bersatu traitors should stop dreaming about getting any support from the Democratic Action Party, consistent with Lim Guan Eng’s stance? Diplomatically and sarcastically, Anthony Loke should have said that both PKR and Amanah can do whatever they want, but DAP has principles, integrity and dignity and will not be part of the orgy party.
If Mahathir can still work together with the same man who backstabbed and betrayed him, then he has lost his moral ground to talk about fighting corruption and sending crooked Najib to jail. After all, it was the power-crazy Muhyiddin who interfered and dropped all 46 criminal charges against former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman, as well as Najib stepson Riza Aziz.
If Anwar can still work together with the same man who had not only betrayed his party, but stole the post of prime minister from under his nose, then he is stupider than he looks and deserves to be humiliated as the world’s longest PM-in-waiting. After all, if he can be easily tricked and fooled – repetitively, chances are he is not a good prime ministerial candidate.
Get real, another half-baked reunion will not work simply because of distrust and bad blood among Pejuang, Bersatu, PAS, PKR, Amanah and DAP. It’s already a non-starter when a simple question is raised – who will be the next prime minister if they somehow win the 15th General Election? Mahathir (or his son Mukhriz), Anwar and Muhyiddin all wanted the same trophy.
Next is the question of seat allocation. Let’s assume Pakatan Harapan, consisting of PKR, DAP and Amanah, agreed to let bygones be bygones and work again with Bersatu just like the good old time before the 2018 General Election. Will they be satisfied with the previous seat arrangement (the easiest formula based on time restriction) and welcome despicable traitors like Azmin Ali and Zuraida Kamaruddin?
In 2018, PKR (People’s Justice Party) won 47 seats, while DAP (Democratic Action Party) grabbed 42 and Amanah (National Trust Party) got 11. Bersatu, under the leadership of Mahathir, took 13 seats, allowing the four political parties to win a simple majority of 113 seats in the 222-seat Parliament. Again, let’s assume they could win back the same seats, which they absolutely can’t.
What can PKR, Amanah and DAP do if Muhyiddin pulls another betrayal stunt, plotting again with PAS and UMNO to form yet another backdoor regime under the pretext of a “Malay-Muslim” government? The old script will be played again to stir up racial and religion sentiments among the Malays that the Muslims and Malay Rulers have lost power to the “Chinese, Christians and Communists”.
Even if a Pakatan Harapan 2.0 government could be formed, does DAP really think it could get back the finance minister portfolio? After the disastrous results in the Sabah, Sarawak, Melaka and Johor state elections, where PKR won only 2 seats, 0 seats, 0 seats and 1 seat respectively, does Anwar really think he could win even half of his party’s current 47 seats in the parliament after the next election?
Likewise, Mahathir should be certified as “senile” if the 96-year-old man really thinks he’s still a force to be reckoned with. The God probably wanted him to be alive to see how his party Pejuang annihilated in the Johor state election, where all the 42 candidates lost their deposits. And does Muhyiddin really think Chinese voters will easily forgive and forget his treachery and treasonous?
Pejuang, PKR and Amanah may pretend that nothing had happened to convince their Malay supporters to forgive and forget what Muhyiddin had done for the sake of Malay unity, Islamic teaching and whatnot. Mahathir, Muhyiddin and Anwar may even try to hug and kiss each other in front of the world to project unity in their crusade to stop Najib Razak and Zahid Hamidi.
However, DAP should realize that not all the Chinese voters are equally stupid and gullible. When Muhyiddin betrayed his own government – the democratically elected Pakatan Harapan government – by plotting with UMNO and PAS, he effectively crossed the “red line” despised by the Chinese community. For DAP to accept Muhyiddin is asking the Chinese community to embrace the traitor.
There’s a reason why Chinese education teaches students about past traitors in the history of China. In the 5,000 years of Chinese civilization, they have seen not only how traitors caused the fall of dynasties like the Song, Tang and Ming, but also saw the lost of tens of millions of lives due to treachery. Every student knew Wu Sangui (吴三桂), the Ming and Qing general who betrayed two successive dynasties.
In the same breath, “God of War” General Guan Yu is being worshipped for his loyalty, bravery, righteousness and credibility, some qualities that are rarely taught in national schools. This also partly explains why Chinese businesses tend to succeed, while Mahathir kept whining and bitching how Malay workers stole money from his bakery shop, “The Loaf”, which eventually closed down after 12 years in business.
Hence, the factions between English-educated and Chinese-educated leaders in DAP. Even after the “Sheraton Move” coup, some of English-educated DAP leaders can accept the idea of working again with Bersatu traitors just to get back to power, whereas majority of the Chinese-educated leaders prefer to remain as opposition than being betrayed again.
When DAP central committee member Ronnie Liu said the party should not degrade itself just to gain Malay support and did not have to “dilute its Chineseness” just because of criticism from political enemies, he was not entirely wrong. Like it or not, the majority of the Malays have been brainwashed by UMNO Malay leaders for more than 60 years to be racist.
You just need to read the comments from the Malays after Sam Ke Ting’s acquittal was suspiciously reversed by the High Court for accidentally killed some Malay “bicycle gang” teenagers, who terrorized main road with “basikal lajak (modified bicycles)” at 3:20am in 2017. Most of the comments refused to argue with facts, but looked at Sam’s conviction from a racial lens.
DAP should also be reminded that the Chinese are still mad and furious over the MOU signed with the racist government, which saw opposition Pakatan Harapan voted to pass the Budget 2022. Despite a monstrous RM332.1 billion budget, the budget had discriminatory and unfairly allocated a pathetic RM200 million for the ethnic Chinese and RM145 million for the Indian community.
The loss of Yong Peng to rival MCA (Malaysia Chinese Association) in the Johor state election is proof of self-inflicted damage from the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding). In order not to offend the sensitive ethnic Malay, DAP has been zipping its mouth since Pakatan’s collapse in March 2020. Yet, the strategy to appease the Malays has failed to attract any new votes from them.
Worse, the recent Johor state election results showed that majority of Malays would rather support a crook (Najib Razak) or a traitor (Muhyiddin Yassin) than a liberal Malay leader (Anwar Ibrahim). The only time the Malays can accept DAP is when the Chinese-dominated party is 90% controlled or infiltrated by Malay leaders. Malaysian Malaysia is a wishful thinking, which is probably centuries away.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush – DAP should stop chasing the bird in the bush (Malay) while risking losing loyal Chinese voters. True, politics is the art of the impossible, but in the context of rivalry between Bersatu and UMNO, the enemy of DAP’s enemy is not its friend. All the Malay parties – UMNO, Pejuang, Bersatu, PAS – are fighting for Malay voters, and desperately needed the Chinese votes.
Therefore, DAP’s best and only strategy is to aim to become a strong opposition party with dignity and principles. It should go solo if PKR and Amanah veto its decision not to work with Bersatu. It should reject the madness of going to bed with the traitors again because unlike PKR’s obsession to make Anwar the next PM, DAP’s objective is different and its role in a government will be limited anyway.
The big canopy concept is silly at best and stupid at worst. Even the acceptance of Mahathir into the opposition Pakatan Harapan in 2017 happened some 14 years after the former PM’s 22 years of iron-fist rule (1981-2003). If people need 14 years to give a second chance to a dictator, certainly more time is needed to recover from a disgusting treachery exploded just 2 years ago.
Going back to the old principled DAP might not win enough seats to form a government, but stubbornly bulldozing the idea of holding hands of the traitors will surely lose a big chunk of the 42 seats it won in 2018. It should not touch the toxic Bersatu or PAS with a 10-foot pole. It’s not rocket science that you don’t work with a power-crazy man whose middle name is betrayal.
Let PKR and Amanah dig their own graves if they want to sleep with the traitors. The only reason Muhyiddin desperately wanted to work with Pakatan is to leverage on DAP’s Chinese vote bank. DAP should not become a prostitute like PAS for the lust of power. It should not become the next MCA, the lapdog of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO).
More importantly, DAP’s top priority is to maintain its 42 seats, which can only happen if it does not lose any of the 90% Chinese votes it had won. Only then it could hope to be part of a government. It will be a miracle if PKR-Bersatu cooperation works. It will be a bonus if PKR-Bersatu could attract support from rural Malay voters. Either way, cooperation with Bersatu will come at a price.