Anwar Ibrahim clears his first test as PM as a self imposed vote of confidence on his government passes. This, despite insinuations by Hamzah Zainuddin, the leader of the PN opposition of homosexuality by way of mentioning a scurrilous headline in the Italian Nova News.
Dapatocracy: A form of government wherein politicians are out for what they can get (dapat) for themselves. It is notable that the parties in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, including the Democratic Action Party (DAP), have unconditionally backed their Prime Ministerial candidate, Anwar Ibrahim, in forming his Unity Government post GE15. When the cabinet line-up was announced, DAP only got 4 out of 28 positions. This is a sacrifice from the perspective of a party which won the largest quotient of Anwar’s 148 seat majority. They won a whopping 40 seats and, as such, can be said to be making a noble sacrifice. Indeed, it can be said that the DAP is not part of the Malaysian DAPatocracy. But what will become of this traditionally Chinese dominated multiethnic party, given the likely reactions of its base to the equally likely machinations of PH’s new fellows (UMNO, GPS, GRS) remains to be seen.
Mungkin kah Zahid jadi DPM? Carik-Carik Bulu Ayam, Lama-lama Bercantum Juga!
Anwar Ibrahim and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi began their close association as student activists at Universiti Malaya in the 1970s. This relationship reached its apotheosis at the Umno general assembly of 1998, during which Zahid spearheaded Anwar’s bid to oust Mahathir with allegations of cronyism and nepotism in the award of government contracts. As the coup collapsed and Anwar went to prison, Zahid survived by shifting his allegiance to Mahathir. Today, despite pending criminal breach of trust cases, he is poised to become Anwar’s deputy once again. Although a top UMNO leader is reported to have said this is not likely, Carik-Carik Bulu Ayam, Lama-lama Bercantum Juga!
A is for Anwar Ibrahim. He is now the 10th PM of Malaysia and his first job is to form the cabinet of the new unity government. Partiularly, he has to find a compromise that satisfies his old allies of choice and his new allies of convenience (or duty, to put it positively).. What will this mean for all the hopes of his base, particularly their ‘no compromise on corruption’ and ‘the Malaysia for all’ aspirations. Whatever the outcome, Anwar Ibrahim is now the leader of a larger coalition than he started with and this logically means a degree of detachment from the community that brought him to the Prime Minesterial role. The pertinent question is – how far he will rise above his base?
Update 17. 12.2022: Some quarters are now suggesting that Anwar Ibrahim’s Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)signed with his Unity Government supporters on the eve of the vote of confidence on his new government, is a prelude to a new Malaysian Autocracy! The MOA allegedly contains a condition that misconstrues Article 49A of the Federal constitution as it refers to it as the basis for a clause that requires government MPs to vacate their seat if they vote against the prime minister. On the other hand one cannot but sympathize with the new PM in his desperate need to restrain Malaysian parliaments inherently amphibious condition – its tendency towards Katakcracy!
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