Anything But Reform?
The madness continues, but there is method behind it without a doubt.
The election in Sarawak has been postponed using emergency powers to sideline the Constitution yet again. Yet again, this has been on the grounds of Covid.
Meanwhile, it is known that the Limpet of Putrajaya has been floating a proposed general election in the middle of this same pandemic in the hope he can remain in power rather than stepping down. By contrast again, he has frozen Parliament for another month (again on grounds of Covid) as he tries to buy yet more time to buy back MPs.
Yet over in Johor the Sultan, also brother in law of the Agong who has tolerated weeks of these appalling antics by the minority PM he himself appointed, has today announced he has no compunction in dissolving his own state parliament if it doesn’t do as he wants – or ‘plays politics’ as he describes it. In this case, as with the proposed general election idea, the pandemic doesn’t seem to matter.
What is one to make of this inconsistency and seeming madness by the limpet prime minister and his royal patrons? The simple answer is that it is all consistently self-serving.
The Sultan of Johor met with his former long-standing Menteri Besar Mahiaddin just days before the so-called Sheraton Move that resulted in Mahiaddin’s traitorous defection from his own party and back-door coup (thanks to the ‘surprise’ appointment of himself by the Agong).
The same Sultan expressed no concern when the Johor state government was then switched to a new leadership to suit the post-Sheraton power arrangement set up by Mahiaddin.
Indeed, he happily embraced the change and continued with his various activities, including reviving projects that had been suspended during the period when the elected PH state government had held control – such as the acquisition of state land for
‘agricultural purposes’ for which he has now obtained gold minding permits, according to announcements by his business partner Southern Alliance Mining Ltd.
Indeed, the Sultan met again with his protege PM today and signalled a ‘sweet’ sign following the announcement that Mahiaddin has insisted on postponing a vote on his legitimacy for yet another month, despite his documented loss of support of the majority of MPs.
By contrast, he thunderously intervened today after state MPs again realigned, but this time against the failed and unpopular Mahiaddin with whom he is so closely associated. If these parliamentarians didn’t stop ‘playing politics’ he complained he would abuse his authority and dissolve the state parliament and force elections.
So the pattern for Malaysia’s present leaders is to avoid elections if it suits, threaten elections if it suits and go ahead and call elections if it suits – for which Covid can always be deployed as a handy excuse in one direction or another. The plain consistency within the inconsistency has no discernible link with genuine public health concerns, only the interests of the establishment.
Compromise With Clean Ku Li?
This is, of course, how leading figures behaved for years in Malaysia under UMNO’s entrenched and increasingly corrupted management of the country. It ended up with scandals such as 1MDB and an exasperated electorate who turfed the party out of office. The backdoor coup was about elites regaining control they lost through an election, using the power of bribery, blackmail, popular fear-mongering and extremist propaganda.
The coup has failed because the incompetence that comes with corruption has resulted in desperate mismanagement of the Covid crisis as all can see. The selfish inconsistencies have disgusted everyone, so it seems even the Agong has realised that the puppet must go.
Yet it seems the elites still fear a replacement who brings the reform promised at the last election which was then prevented. Rather than call on PH, the largest block to try to form a government it seems once again they will turn to UMNO and the front runner as a ‘compromise candidate’ is now the elderly Ku Li who basks in a promoted image of being a rare ‘clean’ member of the party.
One wonders how one enters organisations such as the mafia or the political equivalent (which is UMNO) and then rises high whilst remaining clean? One wonders how a ‘clean’ fragile compromise candidate for leader in such an organisation without a position and without a base is placed to ensure everyone else starts to ‘act clean’ as they rush back to business as usual?
The answer seems to have come from Ku Li himself boasting in recent days about the role he played for UMNO over the years, by helping the party machine to steal the oil royalties from the subjugated (but ‘equal’) Borneo states in order to fund UMNO’s heavy expenses, salaries, perks and extensive political bribery for several decades.
The money to run this well oiled machine came from Petronas from its inception explained Ku Li not so very long ago. He should know as the first appointed Chairman of Petronas.
He has confirmed and explained how it was this vast income stream from Sabah and Sarawak that enabled UMNO to keep the entire country under its thumb. pouring money into extravagant and unprofitable projects that in turn, as everyone knows, enriched the party and its bigwigs and tossed sufficient scraps to the thousands of grassroots workers. who toiled to ensure that party control reached into every town and every institution. The people of Sarawak, Sabah and other resource regions remain impoverished.
So much for the ‘clean compromise candidate’ on his own admission:
“He said today Petronas was on par with oil majors and was ranked as one of Fortune 500’s largest and profitable oil and gas companies.
“But sadly, it is being abused and treated as the piggy bank whenever the government needed cash in a hurry,” he said.
Ku Li said while subsidising of consumer goods was not the most efficient of ways in managing the high cost of living, it was fairly understandable if the government extended a helping hand to the small man.
“What is sinful and cannot be forgiven is the ease with which the powers that be had been dishing out subsidies to such entities like the national power supplier, the independent power producers and some other non-power outfits,” ….
“This amount could have been used more productively to fund a national pension programme for Malaysians, as has been done by a certain Scandinavian country,” he said in his speech at the launch of the book “Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians” at the Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kuala Lumpur last night.he said.
Ku Li may have said he regrets this abuse and the channelling of East Malaysia’s wealth into wasteful projects. However, for years he presided over it and has remained a stalwart member of the political party that perpetrated the fraud and stole vast sums of public money.
Those in power who want the system to continue to benefit them over and above the democratic majority of the people therefore plainly feel safer replacing the coup mongering Mahiaddin with this elderly man from the past rather than those who led the reform agenda to victory at the last election.
However, for the Malaysian public who want change Ku Li will bring more of the same. He will be leading an UMNO government made up of practitioners of ‘Money Politics’ who have demonstrated through their support of PN over many months that the Covid crisis and the economic needs of the people still come second place.
Even if he wanted to he is in no position to change his party.