Saturday, July 14, 2018

Mahathir cunning, conniving calculating; DAP greedy, gullible, grody

Malaysiakini - Mahathir’s patently unfair cabinet:

by Gunasegaram

If fairness becomes secondary to your desire to hold the reins of power and to exercise any prerogative you may or may not have in your own favour, how much better are you than your predecessors?

how much better are you than your predecessor?

One can argue till the cows come home and one can muster all kinds of distorted reasoning to support one’s beloved leader and current hero, but there is only one fair way to allocate cabinet positions - it must reflect at least roughly the proportion of parliamentary seats the respective parties won.

Otherwise, it is simply not a reflection of the desire of the people as shown in the polls and one can draw a clear and unwanted parallel to the gerrymandering that has been prevalent in our polls for a long time whereby some constituencies are several times the size of others. Certainly not something that Pakatan Harapan, or the majority of Malaysians, want.

When we look at the composition of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s cabinet, it is patently unfair and ridiculous. It represents a barely disguised attempt to usurp power in favour of his own Bersatu, which won only 13 of 52 seats it contested in Peninsular Malaysia, by far the worst showing of any of the component parties at a 25% win rate.

To illustrate how ridiculous the situation is, consider this: Bersatu has 13 MPs and all but two of them have become either ministers (6), deputy ministers (4) or menteri besar (Mahathir’s son Mukhriz who is Kedah menteri besar). Probably all MPs but Mahathir, Muhyiddin Yassin and Mukhriz are first-time MPs. So, up to eight first-time MPs have become either ministers or deputy ministers.

What a travesty of justice when long-time parties such as PKR and DAP who have many multiple-term MPs have been simply left out in the cold. PKR had many Malay MPs who could have easily filled positions much better than the raw, untested material that Bersatu had to offer besides Mahathir and Muhyiddin.

Let’s look at the proportion of parliamentary seats of each party relative to the proportion of members in the cabinet and deputies. The numbers for cabinet positions and deputies are taken from this article in Malaysiakini, which also highlights the severe under-representation of PKR and DAP in the cabinet.

The figures speak for themselves. While PKR has 39% of seats in the coalition, they have only 26% of cabinet positions. In contrast, Bersatu with 11% of seats has 22% of cabinet positions, double what they are entitled to. In terms of numbers, if the proportionate principle is applied, PKR should have 10 to 11 cabinet positions instead of seven, while Bersatu should have two to three instead of six.

PM’s prerogative
The sequence of events indicates a devious, orchestrated and managed attempt to shore up Mahathir’s power and give him much more control of the country and how it is run by using so-called prime ministerial prerogative to choose his cabinet, and using an organised campaign to push such views across.

The talk about such prime ministerial prerogative - which comes up over and over in online comments - is specious and holds no sway in a completely different context where Mahathir’s party is a minority partner in the coalition where the big boys are clearly PKR and DAP.

By using so-called public opinion, which sometimes is manipulated by planted opinions, and the myth that Mahathir alone won the elections for all Malaysians, he has chosen to ignore the basic rules in any coalition - consultation and consensus as far as that is possible.

He inveigled himself into the hearts of DAP by offering its supremo Lim Guan Eng the coveted finance minister’s position, apparently without prior consultation with PKR which had the highest number of seats in the coalition with 48. Anwar Ibrahim’s wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was named deputy prime minister.

After that, Mahathir could do no wrong in the eyes of the DAP and the DAP sang Mahathir’s praises and his so-called vision and foresight. When PKR’s Rafizi Ramli questioned why Mahathir was being non-consultative, he was roundly chastised - and rather rudely - by a storm of cybertroopers.

At the same time of the announcement of Lim as finance minister, other announcements of the core team were Muhyiddin as the home minister, which should have been offered to PKR considering that Mahathir was only going to be transitional prime minister until Anwar took over. Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu took on the Defence Ministry.

Mahathir delayed the announcement of the full cabinet until July 4, an unprecedented almost two months after the elections. Instead he, simultaneously with the core ministers group, announced a Jedi-like council of elders or Council of Eminent Persons as it was formally known. This was headed by his close friend and controversial former finance minister Daim Zainuddin who many are uncomfortable with to this day.

This council seemed to be taking care of important matters instead of a properly constituted cabinet. Other members were former Bank Negara governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Petronas CEO Hassan Marican, Hong Kong-based Malaysian tycoon 94-year-old Robert Kuok, and economics professor Jomo Kwame Sundaram.

Meantime, Mahathir’s tone became more vague about when he will step down as prime minister. Before he joined Harapan and Anwar’s campaign to oust Najib Razak, he said that he was not interested in becoming prime minister - he only wanted to help remove Najib. That changed to he does not mind that if the people wanted it but it will only be for a transition period of perhaps two years.

And then he said that he may have to stay on longer if it was needed and left open the date when Anwar would replace him. That has raised much concern within PKR, although many did not voice it the way Rafizi did, there is definite uneasiness within PKR about Mahathir’s intentions.

Cosy ties

But this did not seem to be the case with DAP, which struck a cosy relationship with Mahathir post Lim becoming finance minister, with both echoing each other about how bad the debt situation in the country was but providing little substance to their argument, as this article explains.

In fact, insiders say DAP played a big role in convincing Harapan to accept Mahathir as interim prime minister in favour of the straight and honest Wan Azizah who was considered not to be savvy enough when it comes to politics.

In fact, when the king asked Wan Azizah to form the new cabinet as the leader of the party with the highest seats (remember, they all, except for Warisan, contested under the PKR symbol), she politely turned him down and said the coalition has chosen Mahathir as the prime minister. Wan Azizah then went on to ask the king to pardon her husband, which he readily agreed to.

But Mahathir is not one to necessarily honour the spirit of agreements, which in the case of his position in Harapan meant that he needs to consult Harapan leaders even if he is prime minister. This is, after all, the new Malaysia. The prime minister’s party can no longer rule by itself. He needs the support of the others. His prerogative can be removed by his coalition partners by removing him as coalition leader. That is the way it should be. No more dictatorship through the exercise of prerogative.

DAP’s cosy relationship ended when Mahathir did not make adjustments in his final cabinet list. Rumblings of discontent over the final cabinet list spread through the DAP and Mahathir was criticised for not selecting members from the list submitted by the component parties.

Harapan’s mistake was not to agree on cabinet composition criteria before agreeing to Mahathir as prime minister and now the PM was exercising his prerogative. But it is a prerogative that must be exercised judiciously, repeat, judiciously.

In fact, one name which reports say he chose was PKR’s Azmin Ali (below) for the powerful economy ministry although this was not proposed by PKR because Azmin was already sworn in as Selangor menteri besar. That may have been done to further dilute Anwar’s influence by raising the alternative scenario of Azmin becoming prime minister in the future.

Prerogative does not mean a licence to appoint whoever and appoint political novices who have no proven expertise in any area into the cabinet. Two examples will suffice - Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman and Rina Harun.

There is no record I could find of Syed Saddiq ever having held a job. This 26-year old goes from a student straight into the cabinet as youth and sports minister when they are so many other more capable leaders within Harapan. Rina is rural and regional development minister and was a former Umno politician.
On the other hand, her deputy is prominent PKR lawyer and social activist R Sivarasa, one of those who has tirelessly been campaigning for decades against BN. How unfair is that?

Surely, this kind of blatant unfairness is not what Harapan wants. Mahathir’s excesses - and he does not have the power in terms of parliamentary seats to do this - can only be checked if the two main long-standing partners in Harapan stand together as one and do not let themselves be divided by anyone, and most of all the ever-wily Mahathir.

The lesson PKR and DAP should learn is to stick together and be united and remember why they wanted to overthrow BN in the first place. Otherwise, Mahathir is going to prove to be a menace in future insistent on doing it his way without due consultation.

Note: This article is the first in a series about Malaysia post-GE14. The next article deals with the question: Did Mahathir win the elections for Malaysians?


  1. What we need is Ministers to get down to work to serve the People.

    Fuck those who meow-meow over the spoils of war.

    1. defending you idol for dedak?

      The distribution of the "spoils of war" indicate conniving sinister power grab that does not tally with a man who claimed he just wants to get rid of Najib to save Malaysia. It looks like he wants to entrench himself and his coterie in perpetual power

  2. Government represent the people and government of the people represent all people not only those who support the winning parties.

    If you are not too dumb you will understand that Madey had make the right decision.

    1. OK, please explain the part about Azmin Ali and the CEP

  3. While you guys fight over the spoils of war there will be another fight taking place tomorrow. I’m so happy Gobind read my comment and granted my wish. Wanna bet Syed Saddiq shows up and cleans the stands after the fight?

    Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) will be airing the highly-anticipated "Fight of Champions" welterweight boxing showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse live this Sunday.

    This announcement is set to please many boxing fans, who have been calling on the national broadcaster to air the fight taking place in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow.

    The fight between eight-time world champion Pacquiao from Philippines, also known as “the Pac-Man” to fans, and reigning WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse from Argentina, will take place at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.

    GO GO GOBIND !!!
    Make RTM #1 and merge with Bernama.

  4. i am fine with mahathir decision if the opponent is pas n umno.

  5. Just consider this for a moment.

    If Leaders of PH like DAP (LKS) and PKR (AI) already came out with statements supporting TDM in his selection of the Cabinet, Ministers and Deputy Ministers and allowing him a free hand and were even supportive of the CEP etc, who is this Gunasegaran to vex his dissatisfaction over what all these matters?

    Leaders like LKS, AI, Mat Sabu are all not pushovers of their respective parties and definitely have their party's and supporters interest at heart. That's why they are the Generals of their parties.

    Leaders/Generals have wisdom and vision which journalists and bloggers do not have.

    So, if still unclear then it can be only assumed such articles are paid to be written to create animosity and division among the PH parties for a specific agenda.

    Just declare how much was paid to write an article instead of trying so hard to convince readers with a lot of mumbo jumbo, statistics, charts, graphs and emotional instincts and readers who are sober and level headed will be more forgiving.

    Just remember those parties's supporters did not vote for journalists, writers, columnists, editors etc to be their Leaders but believe in their own Leaders and Generals wisdom and vision.

    1. Ktemoc is a paid agent provocateur.

    2. Ktemoc is still adamant he is a devoted DAP supporter, it's just that he is disgusted with LKS and to a great extent, with the son LGE now he hated them to the core of his being. But still, he is a devoted and staunch DAP supporter.

      But here's the conundrum - his paymaster Lokman Noor Adam just came out to declare the King has his voice silenced and not able to protect the rights of the Malays...that DAP-controlled PH will soon have Christianity as the official religion and Mandarin be made the official language. And DAP is actually controlling Dr M. Macam mana ni ?

      On one hand...his undying love for DAP, on the other hand, his undying love for dedak, wakakkaka. So which hand will win ? $$$$$


  6. Frankly, its a tiny price to pay to boot UMNO out. And how long would Mahathir be around anyway? HE will definitely expire long before UMNO does. When Anwar takes over then PKR can arrange it to their hearts content.

  7. Agreed with Monsterball and Nostradamus. Me think that despicable Ktemoc harbours a very bad ill intent toward our beloved country.

    1. Running dogs semua macam tu lah...hehe. That turncoat Raja Pandai Kelentong in Manchester doesn't give a hoot if his inflaming writes cause blood to run down the streets, as long as he gets his millions and live cozily in his white mat salleh county driving around in his latest BMW model. Our long as his champagne keeps on flowing, his bed filled with women with power-thighs ( hehe), he doesn't give a hoot if his writes cause great disruption and bring disunity.

      Run doggie much is the doggie in the window, woof woof. Wakakakkaka.