Sebaliknya UMNO akan kembali kepada Muafakat Nasional atau MN yang dibentuknya bersama Pas, selain terus kekal sebagai tunjang kepada BN yang turut dianggotai oleh MCA, MIC dan PBRS. Malah, dengan lebih awal memaklumkan status hubungannya itu, UMNO sebenarnya sudah pun mengucapkan salam perpisahan kepada Muhyiddin.
Ke mana Muhyiddin dan Bersatu mahu pergi selepas Parlimen dibubarkan nanti bukan lagi urusan atau hal yang mahu diambil berat oleh UMNO, meski mereka sebelumnya bersama-sama dalam kerajaan. Nasib Muhyiddin dan Bersatu di mata UMNO tak ubah bak kata pepatah – habis madu sepah dibuang.
Berdasarkan apa yang dinyatakan oleh Tok Mat, UMNO sebagai tunjang kepada BN hanya ada kerjasama dengan Pas dalam Muafakat Nasional saja. Dengan Bersatu atau PN, UMNO sama sekali tidak ada sebarang hubungan atau ikatan apa-apa dengannya.
Bermakna juga, tindakan UMNO menyokong Muhyiddin hanyalah semata-mata untuk membolehkan parti itu kembali menjadi kerajaan sementara menunggu Parlimen dibubarkan yang selewat-lewatnya mesti diadakan sebelum tahun 2023.
Sebelum ini, Pas melalui Naib Presidennya, Mohd Amar Abdullah turut membuat kenyataan yang hampir sama dengan apa yang dinyatakan oleh Tok Mat. Kata beliau, kerjasama politik Pas dalam PN bukan suatu ikatan yang konkrit, tetapi hanya diwujudkan untuk menyelesaikan kelompongan politik yang berlaku ketika itu.
”Ikatan ini bukan ikatan yang konkrit, sebab pada waktu itu mungkin boleh saya katakan ia bersifat ad-hoc untuk menyelamatan keadaan apabila Tun Mahathir Mohamad letak jawatan dan negara tidak ada kerajaan.
“Jadi untuk menyelamatkan keadaan pada waktu itu, parti PAS, UMNO dan BN terpaksa buat keputusan segera dan daripada itu lahirnya Perikatan Nasional.
“Nama Perikatan Nasional pun tak tahu siapa yang bagi. Kita pun hairan dari mana keluar nama (PN) itu.
“Tetapi sebenarnya untuk selamatkan negara daripada kelompongan politik yang berlaku ketika itu,” katanya lagi.
Oleh kerana sudah ada kerjasama melalui MN, UMNO dan Pas mesti berbahagi-bahagi kerusi untuk mengelakkan pertembungan sesama sendiri serta untuk memastikan kemenangan lebih terjamin dalam PRU15 akan datang.
Sementara proses pembahagian kerusi itu belum lagi bermula dan ia dijangka bukan sesuatu yang mudah kerana UMNO dan Pas masing-masing ada kekuatan serta pemimpinnya sendiri yang sentiasa ghairah untuk bergelar YB di setiap kawasan Parlimen, melibatkan pula Bersatu dalam perebutan itu tentulah menjadikan rundingan akan bertambah rumit lagi.
Maka, jalan mudah ialah UMNO dan Pas hanya perlu komited kepada MN saja dan melupakan PN, Bersatu dan Muhyiddin. Untuk itu, apa nasib Bersatu, Muhyiddin dan mereka yang menyokongnya serta tidak sedarkah beliau bahawa dirinya kini hanya diperalatkan oleh UMNO dan Pas untuk mereka jadi kerajaan dengan harapan MN lebih selesa memenangi PRU akan datang? - ShahbudinHusin
UMNO threat to Bersatu main
challenge to PN's stability...
Bersatu' s leadership is aware of its fragile political position. Its short term priority is to ensure the stability of the current government. They will offer GLC and other government agency positions to PN backbenchers in order to secure their loyalty. They will continue to ‘entice’ opposition MPs to join PN with various offers. Read Part 1 - Umno's dilemma in the PN coalition government
The Prime Minister will continue to seek Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s ‘blessing’ for his government. The current Bersatu leaders will also want to strengthen their positions within the party by winning positions in the upcoming party elections. But even if Bersatu can slightly increase PN’s parliamentary majority in the short term, it cannot hope to just continue with the status quo until GE15.
Bersatu knows that Umno and PAS has no incentive to have a PN coalition contest in GE15. It knows that it is much weaker in terms of its political machinery and branding compared to Umno and PAS. Hence, it has only one option for survival which is to replace Umno as the main Malay party in a ruling coalition. To do this, Bersatu has to do the following:
(1) Entice more Umno MPs and state reps to join Bersatu and to ‘divide’ Umno in preparation for GE15.
(2) Continue to put pressure on Umno by not dropping the ongoing court cases against Umno leaders
(3) Try to build its alternative coalition to Barisan Nasional/Muafakat Nasional/Pakatan Harapan.
UMNO merger unlikely
Of course, some may bring up the possibility of Bersatu merging back with Umno similar to what Semangat 46 (S46) did in the past. But S46 did not have any incumbents with government positions whereas in the case of Bersatu, you have many MPs who are used to the trappings of power and would do whatever it takes to retain their positions.
They know that in a merger with Umno, very few of them will survive the internal ‘purge’ and be allowed to contest in GE15. After all, many of its leaders, especially at the grassroots level, joined Bersatu because they were not able to obtain significant positions in Umno. As such, the possibility of a merger is not preferable or possible for Bersatu.
Umno knows that the more time Bersatu has, the greater the likelihood of it succeeding in weakening Umno and building itself up in preparation for GE15. Hence, the optimal long term strategy for Umno to regain its dominance in government is not to ensure that the current government led by Muhyiddin can last the full term until GE15, which has to be called by 2023.
Hence, Umno has to choose the best time to withdraw support for this government in order to trigger a general election. This may not happen in the near future as the country is dealing with the health and economic crisis created by the Covid-19 virus. But once there are signs that the Covid-19 health crisis becomes more manageable, Umno's leadership may strike at any time.
One thing which is hard to predict is the strategy of the Umno MPs who have not been given any cabinet positions, especially those which have outstanding court charges. Will they ‘sabotage’ the current government by, for example, not turning up to lend support to a key government bill and by doing so, trigger the collapse of the government?
This consideration becomes more likely if the court cases against the Umno President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan and some members of the Umno Supreme Council are not dropped before the end of 2020.
In the meantime, we can already see some signs of disgruntlement among Umno leaders against the current government. Their targets seem to be focused on Bersatu leaders so far. For example, Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki questioned Azmin Ali’s decision to allow additional sectors to operate from the April 15-28.
Zambry Abdul Kadir, former Menteri Besar of Perak, tweeted pictures of undistributed food aid from Jabatan Kebajikan Malaysian (JKM) and questioned Bersatu Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Rina Harun, on whether they were waiting for the ‘penyelaras parlimen’ or parliamentary coordinator to be appointed before the aid could be distributed.
Khaled Nordin, former Menteri Besar of Johor, also criticised Deputy Health Minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali, for having a meal with a group of tahfiz students in Perak during the MCO by saying that this was not a good example to set for others.
There will likely be more of these kinds of direct and indirect attacks by Umno leaders against the PN government, especially from leaders who did not agree to the formation of the PN government together with Bersatu
This dilemma is the main reason why the PN government will not likely last the full three years before this parliamentary term expires in May 2023. The Umno dilemma is a real threat for Bersatu and for the PN government. - Ong Kian Meng,mk
Will there be accountability
for Covid-19 funds?...
It was two weeks after the tsunami hit north and east Sri Lanka on Boxing Day in 2004. Photographer Raj Kumar Soman and I were inside a huge zinc-roofed store – the logistics hub of the Tamil Tigers in Killinochi in Sri Lanka - where a lorry load of donations from Malaysians were being unloaded. With clipboards in hand, we were monitoring the unloading when a boy, who could be no more than 15 approached us.
“What are you doing?” he asked. We explained that we have to account for all the boxes because these were donated by generous Malaysians for the people affected by the tsunami.
“You sit down there, sir. If anyone touches any of these boxes, I will but a bullet in his head.” It was an order from a Tiger cadre with a Smith & Wesson tucked in his belt. We asked for bottled water to quench our thirst in the sweltering heat.
When the whole unloading exercise was completed, the same boy came to us with a piece of paper: “Sign this.”
“What is this?”
“Sir, this is for the two bottles of water we gave you. We took it from our store and we must keep a record of everything.” That was more than a mere lesson in humility and humbleness – the bearer of donations has to account for two bottles of water from a donee!
Transparency and accountability are basic traits of good governance. Despite all the killing, maiming and destruction, the Tigers earned a reputation for being above board in their dealings and hence, they continued to receive aid despite the atrocities.
As this is being written, millions of ringgit have been collected by the Malaysian government. Business leaders have been lining up with their mock cheques handing them over to members of the cabinet including the prime minister.
Elsewhere, individuals and groups are raising money too – helping in their own way to help the needy. To all of them, nothing less than a "Syabas!" is due.
But some questions:
- What happens after the money is handed over?
- How is it being spent?
- Who decides how it should be spent?
- Are there proper procurement procedures?
- Are the best prices obtained for the purchase of goods and services?
- Are they dealing with reputable suppliers or have those with tainted hands returned to fray?
- Will they make public an income and expenditure statement and support it with documents?
- These are some of the questions that have arisen following various announcements by ministers.
Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa announced this week that a Crisis Management Centre will set up a bank account under Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to receive donations from the public. This is to cover the cost of purchasing essentials for some 17,000 residents, mostly foreign workers, staying near the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market who are affected by the enhanced movement control order (MCO) there.
This, he said, would be done to avoid using taxpayers’ money to finance the cost of providing supplies to foreigners who include Myanmar nationals, Rohingyas and those carrying United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees identification cards. In short, he expects citizens to look after their upkeep and welfare. But again, will the money be spent prudently?
So, is this another “secret” bank account and the signatories not accountable to anyone? How do you expect people to part with their money, albeit for a good cause, when they have no confidence that it will be spent for the cause or at the extreme, maybe on another Birkin bag?
Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has refuted allegations that the government is providing food aid not worth the budgeted RM100 per pack. Referring to the complaint by Rasah MP Cha Kee Chin, he explained that this “smaller” form of aid came from NGOs which sent them to the Social Welfare Department for distribution.
Inilah cara penyamun gagau duit...
Let us for a moment buy the minister’s story. Now, more questions:
- How many such packets of food were donated?
- Who are the NGOs or individuals who donated?
- Who keeps an account on such donations and who decides what goes where?
- Does this aid complement or replace the one worth RM100 promised by the government?
- Now, the most important question: What is happening to the Perikatan Nasional government’s promise to deliver 1,000 food packs for the B40 lower-income group in each Parliament constituency?
And this is a lot of money. At RM100,000 per constituency and with 222 constituencies, it adds up to a massive RM22.2 million. If you use NGO donations, then, where is this humongous amount going? Let’s have plausible and credible answers of a change – not one-liners like “Semuanya OK”.
On social media is a letter from the Health Ministry identifying suppliers of protective gear to hospitals. One of the companies on the list is one "Jakel Trading". Does the name sound familiar? Unless you are one of them who has forgotten the 1MDB saga during this period when our focus is on the coronavirus
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) last month failed in its application to forfeit RM10.7 million it seized from Jakel Trading Sdn Bhd, believed to be linked to the 1MDB scandal. The High Court judge Muhammad Jamil Hussin made the decision after he was satisfied that the payment received by Jakel Trading was a regular business transaction.
Well, enough said for the record. Are we going back to old ways of the abang-adik crony system? Are we going back to the era when it is not what you sold, but how well you knew the buyer?
By the way, how is the RM1.3 billion that was repatriated to Malaysia from the funds that were stolen from 1MDB going to be spent? Who’s keeping check or will it turn out to be a case similar to a "donation" from an Arab prince?
It is for all right-thinking Malaysians to demand for some kind of accountability from this government failing which thieves, felons and kleptocrats will dictate our lives, how we lead them and how we spend our money. - R Nadeswaran,mk