Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
سوك تق سوك، زاهيد ده كنا ڬايم دڠن منتري امنو
Earlier today, I engaged in an interesting conversation with a friend who asked if I could put into proper perspective the spate of affairs between ministers and deputy ministers from UMNO and the party leadership.
I told him that I did, and that in fact, I had spoken about the inevitability of the current ‘impasse’ way before the UMNO general assembly and had even put it in writing.
To this he said, “try a simple approach, tell the people who is calling the shots. Everyone has some source or other. Skip the sources, and tell us what is going on.”
That actually made perfect sense. So here goes:
The politics practised by Barisan Nasional and Perikatan Nasional is more or less the same and centred on a decades-old tradition.
That is to say, ministers and deputy ministers are only appointed from among Members of Parliament (both houses) who conform to the government bloc.
Barisan Nasional and Perikatan Nasional are both from the government bloc and run government together.
They submit to the idea that the coalition leadership tells ministers and deputy ministers what they must do and how government policies should be shaped.
In other words, the government is not in place for the sole purpose of serving the people, but to serve the coalition that runs government as well.
This is to ensure that whatever the government does or says will ultimately help the coalition maintain its grip on power.
This worked well when the government was run only by Barisan Nasional.
Under Barisan Nasional rule, the coalition chairman was always the Prime Minister, and ministers and deputy ministers would always listen to him.
But things are different now.
Today, Barisan Nasional shares the government with Perikatan Nasional and has less power since the Prime Minister is from Perikatan Nasional.
Worse, the Prime Minister is not on good terms with Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and wants the Barisan Nasional chairman replaced.
It follows, the chairman of Barisan Nasional cannot expect ministers and deputy ministers from the coalition to listen to him as the Prime Minister is neither him nor his guy.
Besides, it is the duty of ministers and deputy ministers to listen to the Prime Minister, as he is, after all, their boss.
What this means, is the flow of command in Barisan Nasional has been reversed, and it is now the coalition that adjusts to the decisions made by coalition ministers and deputy ministers.
In other words, Barisan Nasional is really under the control of coalition ministers and deputy ministers, not Zahid.
The only way Zahid can change this is to demand that all Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament resign from government and government linked companies.
Apart from eight or so ministers and deputy mimisters, many will, and their numbers are enough to collapse government once the state of Emergency is lifted.
However, once they resign, the focus will be on Zahid’s position as Barisan Nasional chairman.
That’s becauuse many in Barisan Nasional realise he cannot be considered for the role of Prime Minister and want him replaced.
This will be a huge problem for Zahid, and because of this, he is reluctant to put his foot down and say, “Look here everybody, I want you all to leave government tomorrow!”
See the problem?
None of the ministers and deputy ministers from Barisan Nasional aligned with Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will listen to Zahid because they now know that they are in control as long as the government is intact.
However, if Zahid remains silent, the majority that voiced displeasure during the recently-concluded party general assembly will be pissed at him for not putting his foot down.
In other words, Zahid is screwed, and there is absolutely nothing he can do about it!!