The leader of the Malaysian opposition, Anwar Ibrahim, posted a video clip on Twitter driving his classic car, and attached it to a tweet in which he said that he was checking the car’s validity after a long period of not driving it, a day after he announced that he had obtained the parliamentary majority, enabling him to form a new government.
The veteran politician’s video carries a clear indication of his ambition to return to the helm of government, and the old car may symbolize his previous position in the government as Deputy Prime Minister, before his overthrow in 1998 by his then president Mahathir Mohamad.
Anwar Ibrahim’s announcement sparked a constitutional and political debate, which made observers assert that the claim of support for the parliamentary majority is not sufficient to bring down the Muhyiddin Yassin government, which was formed at the beginning of last March on the ruins of the Alliance of Hope government, and their argument in that is that changing the government will not come out. The country from its intractable political crisis.
Long time no drive. Yesterday I took the time to drive around the house to make sure the vehicle performance is in good condition. pic.twitter.com/TnSmdxyDS2
– Anwar Ibrahim (@anwaribrahim) September 25, 2020
It was interesting to see Anwar Ibrahim affirming that he had the support of the Malaysian majority, followed by statements by leaders of the United Malays National Organization “UMNO” party confirming their support for the formation of a new government; However, figures close to the leadership of AMNO confirmed to Al Jazeera Net that it is seeking to pull the rug from under the feet of the Muhyiddin Yassin government, which has the support of the King’s Foundation.
Political science professor Abdul Razzaq Ahmed believes that the early elections will improve the position of the Amno party in parliament and raise its popularity, the party that lost power in the 2018 elections for the first time in more than 60 years.
According to Ahmed, an expert on security affairs, the main security leaders, who are facing corruption trials, see the elections as escaping forward to avoid them entering prison, which explains why they pushed towards the overthrow of the Muhyiddin Yassin government, which did not protect it from the sword of the judiciary.
The head of the Malaysian Parliamentary Retired Association, Abdul Razzaq Abdul Rahman, a former leader in AMNO, believes that the Muhyiddin Yassin government suffers from a legitimacy crisis, as it came to power due to a change in the loyalties of parliament members, and not through a direct popular vote based on an electoral program.
Abd al-Rahman believes that Amnu can return with force through the ballot box, to avoid his leadership. Especially the former Prime Minister Najib Abdel Razzaq, who was already convicted in one of the 5 cases against him, and the current party leader Zahid Hamidi, who is awaiting a decision on one of the most prominent cases against him at any time.
Abdel-Rahman told Al-Jazeera Net that the infrastructure of the Security Party is strong and coherent, citing that the number of the party’s members exceeds 3 million members. But he suffers from a leadership crisis, and time is not in the interest of the current leadership, either because of the trials or the preparation for the party’s general conference, which will be held in the fourth week of next October, which may lead to the exclusion of accused in the courts from the leadership of the party.
A statement of the royal palace hinted at the inability of the king, “Abdullah Aida ‘al-Din al-Mustafa Billah Shah,” to receive politicians; Because of his illness, and due to the anxiety caused by the increasing number of people infected with the Coronavirus.
But observers of the Malaysian affairs believe that the king’s patience in welcoming Anwar Ibrahim is a bet on time. Given that the current government has lost the majority, and the old guard men are rejecting a government led by Anwar Ibrahim.
Abdul Razzaq Abd al-Rahman told Al-Jazeera Net that Anwar Ibrahim has two ways to prove that he has the support of the parliamentary majority, the first is for him to present a draft in Parliament to withhold confidence from the current government, and to prove his ability to do so, and this is impossible in light of the parliament’s approval that lasts until mid-November . And the second is to go to the king and inform him of the list of his supporters among the members of Parliament, and if he is able to convince the king, he can assign him to form a government.
As for the government, it cannot bet on time for long, and if it manages to miss the opportunity on the opposition by postponing the parliament in the past several times, it will find itself obliged to convene parliament in order to approve the annual budget, which was overdue. Therefore, he may resort to asking the king to dissolve parliament and call early elections.
Reflections of the Sabah elections
It is widely believed that the legislative elections, which were held in the state of last Saturday morning, reflect a general perception of any upcoming general elections. The Prime Minister considered the results of the elections as a referendum on his popularity and legitimacy. But on the other hand, it showed cracks in the ruling coalition, especially the dispute that arose over the nomination of the head of the local government in the state.
Political analyst, Azmi Hassan, says that the Sabah elections are a test of the strength and cohesion of the ruling coalition, and confirms in his speech to Al-Jazeera Net that the cooperation, which preceded the elections, was encouraged to be an example in the upcoming general elections that the parties in the coalition are pushing towards; However, the matter differed after the results, as contradictions emerged between the alliances that make up the central government, including the (National Front) coalition, which includes Amnu and its traditional partners, and the (National Contract) alliance, which security forces refused to join under its banner, and is led by the current Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
He adds that the opposition is not better off as a new competitor to Anwar Ibrahim emerged, who is the head of the outgoing local government, Shafi’i Afzal, who began to aspire to the position of prime minister with the clear support of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Perhaps the suggestion of driving a classic car is a good example of going back in and fixing it. But the Japanese Nikkei Asian Review’s report carried a title that says (Yesterday’s Mr. Malaysia is the wrong man for tomorrow), and Anwar demanded that he give way to a new generation of leadership, which applies to the old guard of Malaysian politicians.
The report referred to a headline in the American Times magazine, issued in October 1997, entitled “Anwar Ibrahim, the Future of Asia,” and elaborated on explaining the difference in reality today in Malaysia and Asia.