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Unity top priority

While the public are battling Covid-19, politicians are fighting one another

28 Oct 2020 / 11:26 H.

PETALING JAYA: The people remain united and are focused on the battle against Covid-19 while the politicians are at each other’s throat.

In fact, to the people’s credit, there has not been any incident of racial tension in the country despite the prevailing political instability, according to political commentator Prof Dr Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi.

He believes the ongoing political strife within the country “will not make a dent” in the tabling of Budget 2021 next week.

“As it is, we have a very big government machinery and it can continue to administer the country,” he said.

Tajuddin is of the view that the instability is in political power play rather than in the governing of the country.

A flurry of events over the past week has led to speculation that there would be a change of government.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was, however, advised against declaring an emergency during an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on Sunday.

Reports emerged later that he was contemplating stepping down as prime minister.

However, early yesterday morning, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced at the end of a party supreme council meeting that Umno would continue to support the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

Nonetheless, Tajuddin said, nothing is guaranteed yet for the PN government.

He said the U-turn by Ahmad Zahid was just to set the “political perception” that he still wields power even with several corruption charges hanging over his head.

“In a political war, you do not want others to predict your next move. There is a lot of horse-trading behind the scene even as we speak. Politicians will continue to pursue their personal ambitions to be in power,” he added.

Tajuddin said the latest developments also showed that support for PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, if there was any, was not from Ahmad Zahid.

He also dismissed the possibility of a unity government taking form since politicians are “working for themselves and not in the interest of the people”.

“A unity government will not be possible if politicians put their personal interests above that of the rakyat. After all, Malaysia is still governed by a feudal democratic structure,” he added.

World Bank representative and country manager in Malaysia Dr Firas Raad had previously commented that the political instability signified the lack of certainty, which is crucial in determining investor confidence in the country.

Political analyst Khoo Kay Peng is of the view that even with PAS voicing support for PN, the current “ceasefire” is just temporary and will last only until “more demands are made of the Bersatu leader”.

He also believes that while the Opposition would be making the wrong move if they vote down the budget, especially with the country going through an economic and health crisis, Muhyiddin is unlikely to reach out to them.

“PN is not stable. A good number of Umno leaders are against Muhyddin. With those who have instigated for an emergency still in his Cabinet, these leaders are going to be unhappy,” he told theSun.

“It would be great for him if he could entice some opposition members to join him but I don’t think he would succeed,” Khoo added.

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