Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
The wind of speculation is blowing hot air these days. Everyone seems to have a theory or other regarding a closed door session Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had yesterday with Members of Parliament (MPs) and leaders from PPBM. Some insist that the Prime Minister is desperate and is on a ‘head-hunt’ to collect supporters. Others say the meeting was the calm before a storm that is about to rage soon after Hari Raya Haji.
Which is which?
The latter, of course.
Do you honestly think I was spinning yarns? When I told you I had fake Statutory Declarations, did I not publish them? When Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s cyber team spread rumours about him becoming Prime Minister two days after the Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting, did I not tell you it was hogwash? Did I not say hours before Anwar’s Port Dickson retreat that Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali and his cohorts would not turn up?
Ok, so Mahathir is going to do something. But what?
Finish Anwar off, of course.
First, he will reshuffle the Federal Cabinet and may drop a couple of DAP ministers and (or) deputy ministers. His biggest dilemma isn’t that he lacks support to pull such a stunt off. He’s simply trying to figure out if it would be wiser to replace Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail with a Muslim MP from DAP or if he should pick someone who isn’t from the DAP. But that’s all part of his Plan A and B (and C, D, E, F, G, etc) which we will get into much later.
For now, one of the options he’s considering is to appoint ministers from the Federal Opposition, i.e., PAS and UMNO. There is even a theory that he may consider pulling someone who isn’t attached to a political party or isn’t an elected representative into government by first appointing that person as Senator. Why, it could even be your butcher or that guy you bumped into in the toilet last night. Jokes aside, the reshuffle is bound to raise eyebrows and will touch off a bitter power struggle that will end before you can say ‘semburit’.
Yes, the reshuffle will be the beginning to the end of Pakatan Harapan as we know it.
How did Mahathir suddenly get majority support?
Who told you it was sudden?
Mahathir is a Machiavellian and master illusionist. If you think you have him figured out, and if he finds out about it, he’ll fuel your conviction to kingdom come by pretending to be in the predicament you think he is in. Many in UMNO and the DAP actually believed that they had him cornered. While the DAP was able to keep its mouth shut, Anwar became overconfident and wouldn’t stop yapping about his ‘numbers’. That allowed Mahathir and Bukit Aman to tap into some conversations involving PKR, DAP, UMNO and MCA leaders.
The tapping gave away several plot points related to a move to topple Mahathir and allowed the old man to maneuver himself accordingly. Occasionally, he would call this leader or that leader and pretend to want to enter a deal. Many took this as a sign of desperation and were convinced that he was cornered. The whole thing ballooned into a ‘confidence bubble’ that convinced Anwar he had the numbers. It was this bubble that drove Anwar and his men to collect signatures and prompted some of them to forge Statutory Declarations.
So it was all planned?
From day one.
Like I said, Mahathir went into the 14thgeneral election with eyes wide open and knew what he was up against. He knows Anwar like the back of his palm and how the latter tends to get overexcited and overconfident towards the finishing line. And when Anwar gets overexcited and overconfident, he stops thinking and starts acting foolish. So the name of the game was to shift Anwar’s gaze towards the finishing line by getting pro-Mahathir MPs to whisper support for him. The whispers were so effective in fuelling Anwar’s confidence that he never once stopped to see what Mahathir was up to.
What was Mahathir up to?
Collecting numbers, of course.
Mahathir was realistic about the whole affair. He decided to start small and set the bar at 90 heads. Once he got firm commitments from 95 MPs – and we’re talking really, really firm here, the “iron rod” kind – he opened up his dirty book and flipped through its pages. He then appointed Latheefa Koya as MACC chief and Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat as Chief Justice. Following the appointments, he met several MPs on condition of anonymity and brought his total to 123. Quite a number of these MPs will swear heaven and earth that they’re with Anwar but will ditch him at a moment’s notice.
And Anwar doesn’t know this?
I don’t know, and I don’t care.
What concerns me most is how some of you keep getting conned almost as if you like getting conned. One minute, you tell me that Anwar is a big bluff and that the majority is no longer with him. Next minute, you refuse to believe that every bit of information your “well placed sources” are feeding you is designed to muddy the information pool. Did I not tell you Anwar and the DAP forked out millions of dollars to litter the internet with disinformation with the intent of manipulating MPs?
Mahathir built his support base long ago but is short of two thirds. He has several options to gain that majority but is stuck on the horns of a very sticky dilemma. One of his options is to establish a Muslim majority coalition together with UMNO and PAS. But he has his doubts on UMNO as its leadership no longer has its finger on the pulse of the nation. He also knows that the party’s top brass is positively pro-Anwar. That is one of the many reasons he set out to cripple PKR first before deciding what to do with UMNO.
Was it the fake SD expose that crippled PKR?
To be honest, the majority of MPs in PKR were with Anwar once upon a time but not in the proportion you think. Anwar was simply a safer bet prior to the party election because he had the support of 40 MPs. But that number dwindled right down to 35 after Azmin defeated Rafizi Ramli during the deputy presidential election. The five that shifted camps did so because they saw a future in Azmin. But they were nonetheless worried that he lacked the guts to oppose Anwar.
Therein the problem.
You see, Azmin never once went against Anwar even though it was crystal clear that Anwar did not trust him. That bothered many Azmin supporters who felt that he and Anwar were ripping PKR apart. But they continued to stick with Azmin as it was he who took care of them while Anwar was in prison. The only question that lingered in their minds was if Mahathir would support Azmin should the latter go against Anwar.
It is for this reason, above all, that Mahathir assigned someone from his camp to architect a sex video scandal. The scandal was meant to be an excuse for Mahathir to demonstrate just how protective he was of Azmin.
Both Semburit and the fake SDs convinced a sizeable number of MPs that Azmin was a safer bet. Not only did he have a reputation for protecting his loyalists, he is known among his inner circles to be a clumsy yet “no nonsense”sort of character whenever things get bumpy. Many MPs began getting their input from these circles and stopped listening to Anwar altogether. Whenever Anwar declared that he had the numbers, they would run to Azmin’s confidantes and ask if it were true.
Was Mahathir involved in the fake SD expose?
Like the majority of MPs who got conned by Anwar’s men, he too got the shock of his life when I published the ‘SDs’ and even confronted Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin about it. As a matter of fact, the very next morning, both he and Muhyiddin had a meeting that was said to be so tense, those loitering around actually thought things would boil over. But the duo managed to sort some of their differences out and expressed each other’s concerns in detail, one by one.
I’m made to understand that the session was quite frank and may even have united PPBM to some extent.
So Muhyiddin is with Mahathir?
Along with the majority of PPBM and PKR MPs, yes. That is according to the information I have which I’m quite positive is accurate. Even the majority in camp Shafie Apdal is with Mahathir, though many of its members are tight lipped about it. Sarawak is most certainly against Anwar, while every independent MP and the better half of Amanah is firmly behind Mahathir and Azmin no matter what they tell you.
Do you know why?
Because they’re dead sure Azmin is with Mahathir and has the clout to destroy Anwar. That is the single most important factor that made the difference. Prior to semburit and the fake SDs, even the DAP was convinced that Anwar had the numbers. Sure, there were doubts here and there due to the 16th of September 2008 boo-boo and Anwar’s tendency to talk a helluva lot of kok. But deep down, many MPs were hopeful that Anwar had learnt from his past mistakes and could pull it off this time around.
However, despite all the money thrown and promises made, Anwar only managed to secure 90 written commitments from MPs. That’s when his men began flashing fake SDs to convince pro-Muhyiddin, Najib and Zahid supporters that he was in control. The move convinced quite a number of them to pen their support for him and brought the total number of SDs in his possession to 120.
However, the minute the fake documents went viral, 55 MPs came together to sign retractions under strict conditions of anonymity. The MPs even delivered written testimonies that were recorded for security reasons. The agreement was such, that should Anwar ever decide to commit democratic thievery, the retractions would surface along with the said testimonies. I am made to understand that a certain politician also arranged for 35 or so MPs to sign some documents he refers to as “self-protection SDs.”
Were you involved with the 55 MPs?
Yes, one way or the other.
Will Mahathir form a unity coalition with UMNO?
It really depends.
Like me or hate me for saying this, but BN’s top brass is pro-Anwar. Bukit Aman knows about it, and so does Mahathir. There even are recordings of conversations between UMNO and NGO leaders on the need to support Anwar. The whole lot of them are aware that Anwar plans to turn a senior DAP leader into Deputy Prime Minister but seem to be ok with the idea.
And these are people who tell you that “kami tidak akan bekerjasama dengan mana-mana pihak yang bersekongkol dengan Anwar.” One minute, they want you to believe that the mission is to destroy the DAP. Next minute, they rub shoulders with the very person who plans to make the DAP twice as powerful. One or two of these leaders will even swear upon Allah that they’re not with Anwar.
But not only are they with him, they’ve even entered into deals with him. Confident, they’re imposing all sorts of conditions and restrictions on Mahathir despite his efforts to bury the hatchet. They think that Mahathir is desperate and is communicating with them to save his neck. Tell me, if you were Mahathir, would you still want to enter deals with these leaders or would you go ahead and get your two thirds by entering deals with the DAP?
Yes, the DAP.
If BN’s top brass is going to be with the DAP one way or the other, what difference would it make if team Mahathir and Azmin decide to do the same?
See the problem?
To be continued…