Saturday, July 31, 2021

The four faces of Muhyiddin Yassin

The four faces of Muhyiddin Yassin

by Mariam Mokhtar

COMMENT | Saviour, gambler, Machiavelli or coward? Which one represents the real Muhyiddin Yassin?

Does the prime minister stand for anything? Apart from his very strong pro-Malay stance, what are his real political beliefs? Does anyone know? Does he?

Trying to figure out Muhyiddin is like prising open a durian from an unknown source. You wonder if you will discover the creamy golden flesh of a good pedigree, or find pale, insipid looking fruit that is crawling with maggots.

We know now. Eighteen months after seizing power, Muhyiddin's tenure is riddled with confusion, contradiction and incompetence. He is a poor judge of character and surrounds himself with deadwood, has-beens and incompetents.

How does one trust a person who cannot bring himself to use the name that he was born with, which is Mahiaddin Md Yasin? We have only known him by his alias, during his five decades in politics. So why did he use the variant, Muhyiddin?

When an observant and clever lawyer, acting for a Sabahan who was alleged to have trafficked drugs, found the technical flaw, the High Court had no alternative but to free the man. Muhyiddin, who was then the home minister, had signed the Sabahan's detention order, for two years, using his alias.

Many Malaysians are very accepting and complacent. Their reaction was probably a "So what? Just revert to the original name-bah."

Do they not realise the serious consequences of using an alias on official documents? More shocking to me is that lawyers and politicians failed to seize on this alias scandal and make more capital of it.

Are the contracts, policies or laws, which Muhyiddin signed off using his alias, legitimate? If he had approved hundreds of millions of ringgits for a project, what will happen when, years later, the project fails and the rakyat demands accountability.

Can he turn round and say, "Nothing to do with me. It's not my signature and name on the official piece of paper." Wasn't Muhyiddin the agriculture minister who approved the scandalous National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) theft of public funds? There has been no traction with that scandal.

To make the rakyat understand the gravity of the situation, imagine what will happen if wills or marriage certificates are signed with an alias. A man who leaves his wife and decides not to pay her and their children maintenance may claim that the person named on the marriage certificate is not him. An aggrieved person may contest a will if an alias had been used.

Is Muhyidddin a saviour? In March 2020, when he faced the public as the head of the coalition Perikatan Nasional (PN), he claimed that he seized power to "save" Malaysia.

A year-and-a-half later, Malaysians are demanding his resignation, because he has left the country in a mess. Politically. Socially. Economically. Environmentally. His inept handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his rudderless government have affected the mental health of many Malaysians and caused many suicides and many orphans. He has left a trail of destruction. Muhyiddin is no saviour.

He surrounds himself with sycophants and yes-men, all of whom are busy plotting their political futures. Muhyiddin ignores our suffering.

The coronavirus is an invisible enemy, but we know that with the vaccine, social distancing and good hygiene practices, the spread of the disease can be controlled.

PN is the enemy that we can see. We thought that Umno-Baru was finally emasculated at GE-14. Few were aware that PN, the Delta variant of Umno-Baru, could prove to be more lethal than the original Umno-Baru and coronavirus.

Muhyiddin's Machiavellian tactics are not about saving Malaysia. They are to save himself by deceit, unscrupulous methods, lies and a lack of moral values to stay in power.

A month earlier, he had already tried to buy more time, to plot his future moves, especially as the rakyat's anger was spilling over and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had been forced to rein in Muhyiddin.

In a highly publicised media stunt, Muhyiddin claimed that he was ill. No one who is that ill has cameras rolling and photos showing how dedicated to duty he is, such as by chairing a National Security Council (NSC) meeting from his hospital bed.

On the day of the first sitting of Parliament after the Emergency, Muhyiddin slid away like a fat slug and left the inept finance minister in charge. Only a coward would leave a junior aide to face the wrath of the MPs in Parliament.

There were doubts about the vaccines being administered when photos and questions over empty syringes emerged on social media. There is anger over the slow vaccination programme.

The people are powerless when told that there is a lack of medical help and facilities. There is fury over the treatment of doctors. There is outrage at the double standards used to punish ministers and celebrities who break the coronavirus SOP. People who criticise Muhyiddin and his administration face arrest and are charged in court.

We, the people, feel betrayed. Malaysia needs a strong leader to take charge and there should be no dithering and dilly-dallying between the Palace and Parliament. The key figures simply react to stimuli. They are not proactive.

Now is the time for the Opposition to shine and make its presence felt. We need a leader who is not afraid of making the hard decisions for the rakyat and country. One who has not proven himself to have been a failure, a prima-donna or corrupt.

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO). Blog, Twitter.

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