DAP is the kingmaker and whoever becomes the Prime Minister if Pakatan Harapan marches into Putrajaya will be decided by DAP. Mahathir wants Mukhriz. But with just one seat Mahathir is in no position to dictate anything. DAP is going to win the most number of seats in the next general election with PKR winning the second-most number. Pribumi will struggle to win just five seats, even with the help of the Chinese voters. Mahathir has to wake up to this reality, which is politics is a numbers game, and unless you have the numbers you are nobody.
PAKATAN’S GAME OF THRONES
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Even the man-in-the-street knows DAP will decide who becomes Prime Minister
A major crisis is about to erupt in Pakatan Harapan. And this major crisis is regarding who is going to become the Prime Minister in the event Pakatan Harapan marches into Putrajaya. By convention, the party with the most number of seats in parliament gets to decide who becomes the Prime Minister. In this case that would be DAP, who have confidently forecasted it is going to win more than 40 parliament seats as opposed to PKR’s less than 30 and less than ten each for PPBM and PAN — to give them a total of about 85 seats.
In fact, if DAP can get 90% or more of the Chinese votes, which they believe they can, then their parliament seats could go as high as 50-55. But that would mean almost every Chinese voter in Malaysia would have to vote for DAP. And if DAP can keep the hate-Umno, hate-Islam, hate-Malay and hate-Najib campaign on full throttle this may yet happen.
DAP and PKR sealing its alliance with Saifuddin Nasution Ismail swearing on oath of loyalty to Lim Guan Eng
Currently, DAP has the most number of seats in parliament while Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is the Opposition Leader in Parliament. And this is not by chance. Wan Azizah is the Opposition Leader in Parliament because DAP wants her or allows her to be the Opposition Leader — even though her party has less seats than DAP. And it is the convention that the Opposition Leader in Parliament is the Prime Minister-in-waiting, even in the UK.
The message here is simple. If Pakatan Harapan forms the next government, Wan Azizah is going to become the Prime Minister. And the other message is, as Dennis Ting said above, DAP will decide who becomes the Prime Minister — the ‘right Malay’, as Dennis Ting said.
Some say we should not read too much into this. They argue that the reason DAP ‘appointed’ Wan Azizah as the Opposition Leader is because the Opposition Leader must be Malay-Muslim and DAP does not have a suitable candidate.
That is not true. In 2004, DAP won 12 seats against only seven for PAS and merely one for PKR. So Lim Kit Siang became the Opposition Leader (because DAP had left Barisan Alternatif and was no longer a member of the opposition coalition). In 2008, PKR won 31 seats against DAP’s 28 and PAS’s 23 and Wan Azizah took over as the Opposition Leader. In 2013, DAP took back the majority when it won 38 seats but they allowed PKR to retain the post of Opposition Leader. And the message here was PKR’s candidate is the Prime Minister-in-waiting.
At the back of Kit Siang’s mind, the PKR leader is going to be the Prime Minister even if DAP wins the most number of seats. And if Anwar Ibrahim is not available then Wan Azizah would take over. That was the same thing that happened in Selangor. DAP wanted Anwar to become the Selangor Menteri Besar and since Anwar could not DAP nominated Wan Azizah instead (but HRH the Sultan rejected her).
Mahathir seems to think he is running the opposition with only one seat and 10,000 members
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is acting as if he is the Opposition Leader, wants to decide who is going to become Prime Minister. That was why he announced in the UK that Muhyiddin Yassin is going to be the Prime Minister if Pakatan Harapan wins the general election (but did a U-turn when he realised he had blundered). He then said it was too early to decide because he knew whoever becomes the Prime Minister is not for him to decide but will be decided by DAP.
Politics is a game of numbers and DAP has the numbers. The Prime Minister is going to be whoever the party with the most number of seats says it is going to be. And at the moment the person who Kit Siang — whose party has the numbers — has in mind as Malaysia’s Prime Minister if Pakatan Harapan wins the next general election is Wan Azizah. And with only one seat, Mahathir has no power to decide who is going to be the Prime Minister (unless his Pribumi can win more than 50 seats in the next general election and become the party with the most number of seats).
Wan Azizah is a weak candidate and many say she is not suitable as the Prime Minister. She cannot even hold a press conference without someone holding her hand. But that is just it. Kit Siang wants a weak candidate. If the candidate is strong then DAP will not be able to control him or her. So, if DAP can win 40-45 seats or more, and PKR around 20-25 seats — against less than 10 seats each for PAN and Pribumi — DAP will decide who becomes Prime Minister.
In 1965, when Singapore separated from Malaysia, Malaysians and Singaporeans were asked to choose whether they wish to be Malaysian citizens or Singaporean citizens. Kit Siang, who had migrated to Singapore in 1960, chose Singaporean citizenship. In 1966, Lee Kuan Yew sent Kit Siang back to Malaysia to manage DAP, a party that was set up just two months after Singapore separated from Malaysia.
Wan Azizah was born in Singapore and also moved to Malaysia with her father. So the Singaporean connection between Kit Siang and Wan Azizah is very strong and it suits Kit Siang’s plan to have her as Prime Minister with him as her Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister. What a coup it would be if both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia are ‘Singaporeans’.
Mahathir chairing the opposition coalition meeting, but why Azmin and where is Wan Azizah?
While Mahathir wants Kit Siang to back Mukhriz as Prime Minister — who is not yet even a Member of Parliament — the reality is with only one seat Mahathir is in no position to dictate anything. Pribumi must first win the second-largest number of seats in Parliament. And if PKR can win 25-30 seats this would mean Pribumi has to aim for at least 30-35 seats. However, Pribumi will be hard-pressed to win even five seats in the coming general election. And the question would be can Mukhriz himself win a seat unless they move him to a safe seat where they can depend on DAP’s Chinese supporters for votes?
If you compare Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali to Wan Azizah, he is by far a stronger candidate. But then if DAP backs Azmin for Prime Minister this will make him even stronger and this will allow him to kill off Wan Azizah. DAP, however, does not trust Azmin. Azmin is still playing footsie with PAS and is Mahathir’s proxy in PKR. So Azmin has shown he can play all sides at the same time. And Azmin would sell out DAP if it suits his personal agenda to work with other parties, Umno and PAS included, two parties that DAP hates to the core.
So, DAP will decide who will be the Prime Minister and they have already decided it is Wan Azizah by allowing her to continue as the Opposition Leader. In other words, in case many may not have noticed, DAP is saying that Wan Azizah is the Prime Minister-in-waiting and it is DAP and no one else that can decide that. And if you say Wan Azizah is lembap then Mukhriz is even more lembap.
Mahathir and Kit Siang having a pow-wow in Mahathir’s office two days ago to discuss Pribumi’s entry into Pakatan Harapan
Of course, if Pribumi ends up winning 35 seats in the next general election (with Mukhriz winning one of those seats) against PKR’s 30 and DAP’s 40, then Mahathir can demand that his son be made the Prime Minister. Until that happens Mahathir has to act like a follower and not the leader. With the current only one seat that Pribumi has they are in no position to make demands. In the first place Pribumi’s 10,000 members is far short of Umno’s 3.5 million. That in itself shows that Mahathir and his Pribumi do not have support.
To DAP this issue is very simple. If DAP backs Wan Azizah, Azmin is dead. If DAP backs Azmin, Wan Azizah is dead. So DAP also gets to decide PKR’s future as well. And DAP’s future lies in PKR’s future. So, for the sake of DAP’s survival, they have to determine who is in charge of PKR. With Wan Azizah in charge, they get Anwar on their side. With Azmin in charge, Mahathir will call the shots. Anwar is in jail and is no threat. Mahathir is desperate and is in a hurry so he is going to be very greedy.
It does not take a genius to figure out that DAP is safer with Wan Azizah than with Azmin. And with PKR having the second-largest number of seats and Pribumi struggling to merely stay alive, DAP need not layan Mahathir or Pribumi too much. In the meantime, however, DAP needs to layan Mahathir and Pribumi in the extremely slim chance that they can take away support from Umno. It is better DAP keeps its friends close and its enemies even closer.