Dear Paprika: 7 Roller Coaster Days and PM #8

Dear Paprika,

Last week was such an exciting roller coaster. It was mind boggling how quickly a new prime minister took over the reigns of power – just 7 days – in our country.

All the promises made by Bersatu and Azmin Ali’s gang to the voters were just lies. If you look at those who betrayed Pakatan, it looks as though politicians are only self-serving. Even Saifuddin Abdullah whom I considered an honest politician became a turncoat and joined his old UMNO comrades whom he condemned in the last elections.


I cannot understand how politicians can have so little principles to say one thing but do the complete opposite. Muhyiddin criticised UMNO and PAS as crooks and incompetent, bungling fools yet he has now formed a government with them. And in his inaugural speech as PM, he has the cheek to say he is not a traitor and was only trying to save the country. How can he save the country from the crooks who stole so much from the country by joining up with people like Najib Razak who is charged with 42 counts of corruption and money laundering, and Zahid Hamidi who is charged with 54 counts of corruption? Isn’t this rich coming from Malaysia’s new 8th prime minister?

I am very disillusioned by the events that took place last week leading to the fall of the Pakatan government. Worse, no one knows the actual story of what happened, what caused it nor how it took place so quickly. The takeover feels like a coup d’etat that often happens in tin pot countries.

People have forgotten how the rakyat did the impossible to vote out a seemingly immovable Barisan government at the last general elections. I am reminded of a Malaysian standing in an airport in the USA trying to send home her postal vote so it meets the deadline. A stranger helped her hand deliver it to KL. That was the extent voters went to to put Bersatu and Azmin’s faction in power. Sadly, these politicians have forgotten all that.

Dear Paprika, it looks as if our country is always taking one step forward just to fall two steps backwards. This is the state of our country today – dulu, kini dan selamanya. What hope do we have when we can’t even change the government for even half a term?

On Sunday (23 Feb 2020), news reports that the Opposition was meeting Azmin Ali started to circulate on social media. I immediately went to Twitter to read the latest updates. Twitter is my favourite place for political news and comments.

It seems Azmin Ali had broken away from PKR and taken 11 MPs out and together with Bersatu were trying to broker a deal (we didn’t know what deal at that time) with the opposition along with a PH friendly party to effectively end Pakatan’s rule while still naming  Dr Mahathir as prime minister. If you think that last sentence is confusing, it really is as crazy as it sounds.

Wait, isn’t Dr M the PM already? Yes, he is but the story floating around was that Dr M was trying to be PM for the full term instead of handing the post to Anwar as promised. It looked like Dr M was planning to join Barisan.

We all panicked. Many stories were thrown around including one that Azmin wanted to be Deputy PM and eventually be PM. Photos of smiling Opposition MPs at Sheraton Hotel circulated on the Internet. People called it the #SheratonMove.

How many MPs were jumping over to the other side? How many were staying put? I would not be surprised if a lot of horse-trading took place because Pakatan and the Opposition claimed to have the numbers to form the new government. Meanwhile, Dr M resigned as the PM; leaving the country in even deeper crisis. The stock market plunged to a record low.

On Tuesday (25 Feb), the agong met with all the MPs in the country (except two who were overseas) to ask whom they supported as PM. Barisan called for fresh polls and comments on Twitter exploded with conspiracy theories. The agong then named Dr M as interim PM while the crisis was sorted out.

Wednesday (26 Feb) – both sides named Dr M as their PM of choice! It looked as if he could choose either side to stay in power. Online, people were condemning him as a schemer and a fox. He proposed a unity government which was rejected by Pakatan and many of the rakyat who had voted out Barisan. We thought the very idea of putting back in the alleged crooks from Barisan was ridiculous!

Then Pakatan named Anwar as their choice for PM while Azmin and Muhyiddin tried to explain their sides of the story. Who was telling the truth? No one knows because all the stories were incomplete.

The next day, Thursday (27 Feb), even more drama as Dr M resigns as Bersatu’s chairman. There was a problem in Bersatu but we didn’t know what. Nevertheless, if Bersatu fell, then Pakatan would not have enough MPs to form the government. There were conflicting reports saying Bersatu rejected his resignation. In the meantime, Bersatu announced that it has teamed up with Barisan! What a blow it was to the voters who voted for a change.

By now, some states like Johor changed hands to the opposition or were in danger of falling to the opposition.

On Friday (28 Feb), the agong announced that no one had a clear majority. It looked very much like more horse-trading would need to be done or even fresh polls would be called. If anyone wanted to be PM, that was the time to do it. I thought Azmin would take up the challenge but I was surprised when Muhyiddin’s name was thrown into the ring!

Saturday morning (29 Feb) – Pakatan said they backed Dr M to lead them again. This time they claimed they had the support of 114 MPs. Some who had crossed over now crossed back. It looked as if Dr M would continue to lead the government. The Internet discussed who would be in his new cabinet because Bersatu had announced that they were out of Pakatan.

Then, in a surprise announcement, the agong named Muhyiddin as the new prime minister! Just like that!

On Sunday (1 Mar), it was all over. Muhyiddin was sworn in as Malaysia’s 8th PM.

Your loving father,


PS. You can read Aunty Tricia’s blog for the chronology of the events: The rise of Perikatan Nasional and Muhyiddin Yassin as 8th PM?: Events in the political turmoil of Malaysia from Wednesday 26 February 4pm to Saturday 29 February midnight

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