Yesterday, the Pakatan Harapan MPs walked out and demonstrated outside Parliament while the PM was halfway through his budget presentation. The protest was not about Budget 2017. It was for Mahathir to show Najib that he has control over Pakatan and can tell it what to do. This was merely a show of strength or, as they say in the west, a pissing contest.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Yesterday, 21st October 2016, was the long-awaited day when Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was to present his Budget 2017. Malaysians from both sides of the political divide had been discussing what to expect and whether the opposition-spread rumour that the GST would be increased to 8% is true or not. Others wanted to see whether it was going to be an ‘election budget’, which means the next general election may be held early next year instead of in 2018 at the end of the current five-year term.
Anyway, the Pakatan Harapan Members of Parliament triggered an anti-climax yesterday when halfway through this budget presentation, even before Najib could finish — and long before any debates could be held to discuss the merits or demerits of next year’s budget — they walked out and demonstrated outside Parliament.
It was not about Budget 2017 but about the Anti-Najib Campaign.
What was more perplexing is that the demonstration had nothing to do with Budget 2017. It was to embarrass Najib and the theme of the demonstration, ‘MO1’, showed that it was not only meant to ridicule Najib but was an extension of the attacks started by the ANC (Anti-Najib Campaign).
In other words, the Pakatan Harapan Members of Parliament were not wearing their MP hats yesterday but were wearing their ANC hats. And the fact that they were elected into Parliament and are being paid salaries by the taxpayers to do their jobs and play the role of watchdog in Parliament seems to have been missed. What has the ANC and MO1 got to do with Budget 2017? Is that going to help rural Sabah and Sarawak citizens get water, electricity and roads?
After the failure of the NCC2 earlier this week (READ HERE:Mahathir sends Nazir to inform Najib that a coup has been launched) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad needed a new sideshow. This is Mahathir’s strategy — to keep attacking to show that the ANC is not dead and is still very much on the offensive. Hitler did the very same thing during the last days of Berlin when he sent schoolchildren to fight the Russians for purposes of appearance.
The main players in this whole thing are Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali and disgraced ex-Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin who is floundering under a sex scandal with someone’s wife. Both are currently Mahathir’s two key agents or Trojan horses in the opposition (with Mahfuz Omar as his agent or Trojan horse in PAS…hello, hello, Sirul ke sana?…ah line putus…).
In fact, Mahathir is trying his best to help Azmin oust Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and take over as the new PKR party president. Mahathir wants his party, Pribumi, to merge with PKR as the backdoor entry into Pakatan Harapan because Anwar Ibrahim, Wan Azizah and Nurul Izzah are not too keen about the idea. In fact, Lim Kit Siang, too, has gone cold on the idea of Pribumi joining Pakatan Harapan (READ HERE:Pribumi must merge with PKR or die).
While Azmin and Muhyiddin were pushing for yesterday’s walkout and demonstration, Tan Seng Giaw was not too happy about it. However, Lim Kit Siang, who hates Seng Giaw, wanted DAP to join the walkout and demonstration (Kit Siang always votes opposite to Seng Giaw). So Seng Giaw had no choice but to reluctantly go along with it or else face disciplinary action and risk getting sacked or suspended from the party that does not allow anyone to break ranks.
(They even sacked PAS from Pakatan Rakyat and then accused PAS of resigning when it was the other way around).
Of course, as usual, Wan Azizah has no strong view on the matter and just went along with it, not really knowing what was going on…as usual. She must have gone home feeling very silly after she realised that Azmin and Muhyiddin were behind the whole thing. Or has she not realised yet until now? I would not put it pass her to still be in blur. In fact, her statement yesterday (see video below) gives an impression she is not sure whether she is coming or going…poor thing.
Tan Seng Giaw
Seng Giaw has three very valid points in opposing yesterday’s walkout and demonstration. His first point is that they should at least wait until the budget presentation is over before protesting. Then, after the budget is presented in Parliament, you debate the budget. Only then if you are not happy with the budget or with the replies given to the questions regarding the budget do you protest.
Secondly, you need to clarify which part of the budget you are protesting. For example, the government did not increase the GST (as the opposition said the government would) while the government reduced income tax. Is this what the opposition is protesting? Also, within the budget is the salaries for about 1.4 million civil servants and security personnel. Is this also what the opposition is protesting?
Third and most importantly is whether PAS is going to join the walkout and demonstration. If only the Pakatan Harapan MPs walkout and demonstrate while PAS does not join them, that will prove that Pakatan Harapan and PAS are not together. And the fact that PAS has also announced it is not joining Bersih 5.0 plus it is not supporting the Anti-Najib Campaign is a triple blow to Pakatan Harapan.
Seng Giaw felt they should not openly show that Pakatan Harapan and PAS are not on the same page — and yesterday’s walkout and demonstration did just that. Hence they lost more than they gained by that walkout and demonstration. And netizens are taking to the social media condemning Pakatan Harapan and are asking what the hell the opposition is trying to prove by shooting itself in its own head — which was why Najib just smiled when they walked out (he knew it was hara-kiri).
I suppose that makes sense. You do not oppose the budget in totality because, while you may consider some parts of the budget as bad, there are also some good parts in that budget, and maybe even more good than bad. So you oppose that part of the budget which you may consider bad. And surely reducing income tax cannot be bad when the opposition itself is complaining about taxes and wants Malaysia to have zero tax and toll-free highways, free healthcare, free education, no road tax, cheap oil, and whatnot.
Anyway, Seng Giaw knows that yesterday’s walkout and demonstration had nothing to do with Budget 2017 and was just about Mahathir’s signal to Najib that he has control over Pakatan Harapan and can tell them what to do — so Najib had better sit down with him (Mahathir) to discuss Mukhriz’s future and his career as Malaysia’s next Finance Minister.
The message is clear: Pakatan is my attack dog and I have the power to call off my dogs if you agree to make a deal with me. If not I will ask them to keep barking at you (which is all they can do, bark, but not bite, like yesterday). And the ‘MO1’ theme yesterday undoubtedly had Mahathir’s fingerprints and trademark all over the place, another reason Seng Giaw was not happy about it.
The more we say that Mahathir is a spent force and is no longer relevant the more he wants to prove you wrong. Mahathir needs to show his critics and Najib that he still has some pull over the opposition. Mahathir is really no threat to Najib. However, Mahathir is trying to show Najib, “You are not dealing just with me. You are dealing with the entire opposition and I have control over the opposition and can tell them what to do.”
Muhyiddin was also very upset yesterday because he has to now sit in the opposition seats while Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is sitting in his old seat. It is like when your spouse kicks you out of the house and you bump into him or her the next day holding hands with a new partner. This is even more troubling when you suffer from gila talak, like Muhyiddin is. And if you look at Muhyiddin’s face yesterday you can see the look on his face that tells the whole story…poor thing.
Muhyiddin knows that if the general election is going to be held next year then this is his last budget sitting. Muhyiddin is going to lose the election if he contests in his traditional seat in Pagoh. The Malay-majority voters there cannot accept someone who has been having an affair with someone’s wife and has been rumoured to have secretly married her.
Muhyiddin’s only hope is to beg DAP for a safe Chinese seat to contest just like what Mukhriz is contemplating. Even then he has only a 50:50 chance of winning because the Chinese have never forgotten and forgiven his “I am Malay first” declaration. And if the Chinese discover his Pekida links, Muhyiddin is finished for good. Pekida was formed after May 13 to act as the paramilitary force in the event of another May 13.
By the way, how come no one talks about Mahathir’s links to Pekida as well and his position as the patron of the Kedah branch of Pekida? I am very surprised that the Chinese whack people like Ibrahim Ali, Jamal Yunos, Ridhuan Tee, and so on, while people like Mahathir and Muhyiddin are spared the attacks when they are deeply involved with Pekida.