Turmoil

After having some time to take in all that has happened with Malaysia over the last weekend, here are some of the thoughts I have.

So unless you have been living under the rock, you would have at least heard about the political upheaval in Malaysia over last week. It started on 23 Feb with a supposed ploy, and ended on 1 March where Muhyiddin has been sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Some have even called it one of the most difficult and uncertain weeks in Malaysia’s recent history.

What happened over the week:
– Ploy to replace the Pakatan Harapan Government
– Mahathir quit as Prime Minister (possibly in a fit of retaliation, as he was accused of being willing to work with those whom he kicked out in the last election. this group was also alleged corruption).
– Agong appoints Mahathir as interim Prime Minister
– Agong meets to talk to all MPs
– Mahathir seeks to form unity government – but was rejected by UMNO, who wants an election again
– Mahathir apologises for the political turmoil, wants in on being PM again.
– Anwar opposes ‘backdoor government’.
– Mahathir met the Agong, and said that the decision was to call a special session of Parliament on 2 March to see who has majority support. If no majority support, snap elections will be called.
– Speaker rejects Mahathir’s request for a special session of Parliament
– After meeting all MPs, Agong says he does not think anyone has the majority support to form new Government. Agong says no special parliamentary seating. To continue engaging MPs.
– Mahathir’s Bersatu party nominates Muhyiddin to be its PM candidate
– Mahathir stands for PM on behalf of former Pakatan Harapan coalition. Mahathir and Anwar are allies again.
– Agong names Muhyiddin as PM, as he thinks Muhyiddin has majority support.
– Mahathir, Anwar says that Harapan had majority support in Parliament backing Mahathir as PM. Seeks audience with Agong.
– Mahathir says Agong will not see him anymore.
– Mahathir says Muhyiddin has plotted against him to take over PM for a long time, asked if Government with former ruling leaders will be ready to pursue graft cases against its politicians.
– Muhyiddin sworn in as PM.

TL;DR: Ploy to unhinge and replace the Pakatan Harapan Government. Mahathir rage quits, Malaysia falls into political uncertainty; Agong picks Muhyiddin; Muhyiddin becomes Malaysia’s new Prime Minister.


This is very shocking because it has been barely two years since Pakatan Harapan toppled the Barisan Nasional, which has been the ruling coalition for decades.

I recall Malaysians being ecstatic, calling Pakatan Harapan’s victory a win for democracy. While there were many factors that resulted in this PH-win, if i had to put it simply, I think they were sick of the state of corruption in Malaysia and wanted a change.

What happened over last weekend must have deeply disappointed these Malaysians.

However, I feel that this was something waiting to happen — though admittedly, not in such a dramatic manner.

Throughout this period, many people have been asking Mahathir repeatedly, when he would be stepping down as PM and passing the reins to Anwar. This has always been side-stepped by Mahathir. Not that people were wrong to ask Mahathir, he was afterall 94 years old already. But er, this Muhyiddin also quite old la, 72 years old.

Pakatan Harapan is a coalition Government. Which means that each party probably had its own sets of beliefs, what it prioritises, and whom they believed should be the next PM. While they managed to band together last election, the devil is always in the details

And because of this uncertainty on leadership succession, and possibly ideologies that cannot be resolved, meant that there were undercurrents of unhappiness and dissatisfaction that was boiling beneath the surface. (Sometimes you can even see it surface).

Pakatan Harapan was doing a balancing act this whole time, and this supposed ploy pushed it over the edge. And Pakatan Harapan was no more.

Of course there are a million other possible reasons why this happened, but what I wanted to say is that there are no winners in this political turmoil. (Except Muhyiddin)

Especially not the people. 

For one, it makes it seem like their votes were moot — they voted for Pakatan Harapan, and now Muhyiddin’s party Perikatan Nasional – a conservative alliance (Muhyiddin pulled out of Pakatan Harapan) – is holding the power.

To rub salt into wound, Pakatan Harapan no longer exists.

While the rest of the world tackles with the COVID-19 situation, the people in Malaysia had to deal with this political mess on top of the COVID-19 outbreak.

I think what they wanted, was a party and Government that will do right by them and will always have their interests at heart. Not this mess that has happened in Malaysia. I think this is similar to what Singaporeans want too — leaders who want to do right by them.

Here’s hoping for the best for Malaysia, though I think that all of these is just the beginning

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