Pakatan’s multibillion electoral war chest

“While still the deputy premier, Muhyiddin had the support of Dato’ Seri Shafie Apdal, who, as Minister of Rural and Regional Development, was recruited by the UMNO shadow movement to penetrate Najib’s innermost circle and infiltrate his media team. Shafie went on to announce his resignation from UMNO days after Muhyiddin was sacked from the party. He then established Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan), yet another surrogate concern that housed anyone who hated Najib and believed in an autonomous Sabah”

THE THIRD FORCE

On the 24th of June 2016, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Dato’ Seri Mukhriz Mahathir broke the internet when news of their sacking from UMNO went viral. According to reports, the duo was sacked by the party’s supreme council for attacking Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak from enemy territory. It wasn’t long thereafter that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) came into the picture. An UMNO surrogate concern, the new outfit was the brainchild of Dr Mahathir Mohamad and had on board Muhyiddin as president and Mukhriz as his deputy.

Then, we had the case of Mohamad Sabu.

A onetime PAS favourite, the Kuala Kedah Member of Parliament (MP) was rudely jolted from the number two spot by Dato’ Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man during PAS’ 61st biennial Muktamar. The year was 2015, and the month, June – Sabu had already broken ranks with PAS president Dato’ Seri Abdul Hadi Awang a year earlier and was widely deemed by the ulamas as “the one who consorted with the enemies of Islam.” 

It didn’t take long for the dejected Kuala Kedah MP to assemble his own team like Muhyiddin and Mukhriz did. On the 13th of July 2015, Sabu launched Gerakan Harapan Baru (GHB), another surrogate concern that housed PAS progressives who lost out to the Ulammas. The movement went on to swallow the Malaysian Worker’s Party (MWP) whole before rebranding itself as Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah). Needless to say, Sabu assumed the role of party president and arranged to have the DAP pay his salary.

So you see, in a span of just one year, the Registrar of Societies (RoS) had on its list two surrogate concerns with very different agendas. On the one hand, you had a team of saboteurs from PAS who were on a mission to teach Hadi a lesson. On the other, you had a team of saboteurs from UMNO on a mission to teach Najib a lesson. It wasn’t long thereafter that the two met halfway on a number of issues and decided that the only way they could ever assume positions of real power is if they worked together to ‘save’ Malaysia from the clutches of an ‘evil’ and ‘corrupt dictatorship’.

And guess who sold them that idea?

But he wasn’t alone.

While still the deputy premier, he had the support of Dato’ Seri Shafie Apdal, who, as Minister of Rural and Regional Development, was recruited by the UMNO shadow movement to penetrate Najib’s innermost circle and infiltrate his media team. Shafie went on to announce his resignation from UMNO days after Muhyiddin was sacked from the party. He then established Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan), yet another surrogate concern that housed anyone who hated Najib and believed in an autonomous Sabah.

Thus, by the 17th of October 2016, the opposition political landscape was dominated by a team of regionalists and nonconformists who were determined to destroy the ruling Barisan Nasional. All that mattered to them was money and the opportunity to assume leadership roles in a Mahathir led dictatorship. But to defeat the ruling coalition, they knew that they needed a huge war chest to keep their machineries adequately supplied.

Warisan is believed to have benefitted from one such project. The DAP, on the other hand, is said to have gained from the millions that Lim Guan Eng’s men secured through proxy companies and dummy corporations associated with the RM6.3 billion Penang Undersea Tunnel project. And let’s not forget the case of Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali and the RM1.18 billion Ijok land-scam deal, a deal that may have afforded the Selangor Menteri Besar RM600 million in kickbacks that went into kitchen-door pacts with a top notch lawyer.

Put together, we’re talking some RM3 billion or so in accumulated funds that may well end up financing Warisan’s pact with the DAP and PKR in Sabah. Even if we were to take a third of the sum, that’s a hell of lot of money at Shafie’s disposal just to be spent in one state. And we haven’t even begun to discuss the kind of money that the DAP and PKR are going to be spending in the peninsula.

With a former premier worth some USD40 billion or so on their side, there is no telling the kind of money that will flow into Pakatan Harapan’s war chest. As it is, by greasing the palms of foreign media representatives with some of those billions, Mahathir has already built a selective outrage machine that he’s now going to use to flood the internet with fake news.

And yet, they say Barisan Nasional spends billions to win general elections.

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