Muhyiddin might win the numbers battle, but Malaysians will loose the war against an illegitimate government. There are no two ways about it, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has clearly lost the majority.
In fact, he never had the majority from the time of the “Sheraton Move” onwards.
He had to camouflage the absence of majority by going for an Emergency Rule (ER). In other words, the ER was more intended to shore up his embattled government rather than the means to stem the tide of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In fact there is no relationship between the Emergency Ordinances (EOs) and the need to contain the pandemic. The PN government did not have the support of the majority of the MPs to start off with.
After more than year, the country has c ome to a standstill under the weight of the myriad heath and economic problems. The vaccination process might be ramped up, but there is much left to do to go back to normalcy.
The PN under the leadership of Muhyiddin has simply lost not the majority but the mandate to govern. I believe that too much emphasis on numbers might not be the right way to assess the PN government or the leadership of Muhyiddin.
The hurried through but failed attempt at the revocation of the emergency ordinances (EOs) bypassing the Agung is illustrative of the kind of government that the country has.
After the meeting with the Agung and having to swallow his pride, Muhyiddin had no choice but to set date for the tabling of the EOs to be revoked in a full parliamentary sitting.
Muhyiddin sought to convince the Agung that he has the majority and promising to prove it in Parliament in September.
The Agung is wiser this time around. Rather than be convinced of the argument of Muhyiddin, he wanted him to prove his parliamentary majority.
Whether he will be able to prove this remains doubtful. But knowing Muhyiddin he might be able to pull a surprise in the narrow game of numbers. Although some are saying that why wait until September, Muhyiddin could prove that he has the majority support by calling for a special session of the Parliament.
Calling for immediate parliamentary seating is simply out of question because the cunning fox knows that the majority is not there, not after the ten Umno MPs pulled out their support.
So Muhyiddin has one solid month to debate the EOs before their abrogation and to prove his majority. The former can be done without much difficulty but the latter is something to be watched keenly.
He needs the time simply because in the absence of a majority he needs the time to garner more support from the MPs who are undecided now or those who might be lured with material promises.
There might more Umno MPs who are willing to desert Muhyiddin, but have not come out in the open.
Right now Muhyiddin might not have the majority, but September might be different story. His government might not have the resources to fight the pandemic but certainly have them to buy support.
Muhyiddin thinks that the lure and temptation of financial rewards will be good enough to literally buy support. Of course, this has been tried before and there is no reasons why financial inducement will fail.
For Muhyiddin, hypocrisy and lies are something normal. His remark that some Umno MPs have pulled out simply because he refused to intervene in their cases before the court cannot be taken at face value.
The former prime minister Najib Tun Razak’s counterpoint that if he and others had become sycophants to Muhyiddin, Muhyiddin might have readily intervened to throw of their cases. In the turbulent and mercurial politics, it is not about legitimacy or the moral dignity to govern, it boils down to the game of numbers.
Muhyiddin might be a useless leader, but by virtue of his control of the federal government and financial resources, he has the means to alter the political game.
It might be more and difficult to stage the outcome, but it is certainly possible.
It is not that we had great and morally upright prime ministers in the past.
Najib Tun Razak was ousted in the last general election due to financial scandals and the two term prime minister Mahathir Mohammed who is desperate to come back is completely lost all legitimacy to govern.
Muhyiddin is no better than Najib or Mahathir, it is merely the question of damage that has been inflicted on the country and its people.
Whether Muhyiddin succeeds in establishing his majority or not remains to be seen.
Sadly, it has to be admitted that he like his predecessors Najib and Mahathir has done a colossal damage to the country at a time there when there is pressing need for moral and dignified leadership.
If Muhyiddin succeeds in the numbers game in September, he will continue as the prime minister.
This will mean that the country will take a further plunge in uncertainty.