Current Political Situations
In terms of numbers, Muhyiddin is lacking support due to UMNO’s withdrawal from the government. Nevertheless, UMNO Member of Parliaments (MPs) in the cabinet have yet to resign from their positions and even congratulate Ismail Sabri for his appointment as the Deputy Prime Minister. UMNO Secretary-General, Ahmad Maslan in his statement on 8 July 2021 had given the mandate to UMNO MPs to use their conscience when voting in parliament takes place during the next sitting but they need to follow the guidelines set up by UMNO. Due to the weak statement by UMNO’s party leadership, it cannot be proven that the Prime Minister has lost his power thus denying the collapse of the government
This current situation in Malaysian politics will create confusion among the masses regarding the government’s representation and strength in the parliament. In addition, the disunity among the opposition parties especially with the likes of Anwar and Mahathir has led the blocs’ support to reduce in numbers. UMNO on the other hand has given a term that they will never support Anwar as the Prime Minister and will not back the DAP-PH-led government. With PKR and Mahathir’s PEJUANG unlikely to unite, the approval of PEJUANG by Hamzah’s ministry had led to many speculations about the future of Perikatan Nasional.
Current Parliament Scenario
The current state of Malaysian politics has led us to many predictions of possible scenarios that will happen in the next few days or weeks. Muhyiddin is now still in power but the question is: for how long? Will UMNO succeed in its bid to topple the government and allow their choice of PM to succeed Muhyiddin thus triggering the General Election after COVID-19?
Scenario 1 – Muhyiddin stays in power.
Muhyiddin will not resign, despite UMNO’s choice to stay with or withdraw from Perikatan Nasional. He is confident that, in the long run, BERSATU-friendly members within UMNO may defeat Zahid’s camp in the next party election. This situation will allow him to stay longer as the Prime Minister and lead the Perikatan Nasional + UMNO in the next General Election. It is still unknown how many UMNO MPs would lend him the support, taking into consideration that 16 UMNO MPs inside the cabinet will support him. Thus, urging him to find another 19 MPs to state their confidence in him as the Prime Minister.
However, he may face betrayal within his ranks from Azmin and his camp in the future. With Najib and Zahid no longer in Perikatan Nasional, Mahathir’s PEJUANG and Shafie’s WARISAN will most likely join and support Muhyiddin in order to weaken Zahid’s UMNO. Muhyiddin still needs to find 5 MPs to support him, which is still highly possible to be done.
Scenario 2 – UMNO Prime Minister
UMNO may seem to be disunited but when it comes to terms of benefiting their party, UMNO members can surely be united. Putting an UMNO man as the Prime Minister seems to be the solution for all the current internal polemics. However, UMNO still needs to get support from BERSATU. The only possible way for this to happen is to get Azmin and his ex-PKR MPs + Hamzah and ex-UMNO MPs to form a government with the original BERSATU MPs and Muhyiddin. Ismail Sabri or Hishamuddin Hussein will be the most likely to fill in for the post.
Scenario 3 – Tun M’s proxy as Prime Minister or Tun himself (again)
Another betrayal from Azmin and Hamzah can lead to forming a government with Tun M. Azmin, Hamzah and Shafie could pull some of UMNO MPs to support them. This is the original plan of Langkah Sheraton 1.0, without Najib and Zahid’s UMNO. However, 11 MPs still need to be lured to defect from their original parties, with those from Original BERSATU, UMNO, and PH pro-Tun possibly joining the coup.
Scenario 4 – Anwar as PM (finally… after so many PM-in-waiting)
Least likely to happen. Who knows, if Azmin wanted another lifeline, Anwar could be one. Anwar is also known to be very forgiving. But if this happens, it will be the strongest government in terms of numbers but weak in terms of viability due to historical records held by Azmin and UMNO. However, with Tun still around, it is highly impossible.
Kamal Rafza merupakan graduan Hubungan Antarabangsa dan Diplomasi di sebuah Universiti Awam di Malaysia. Beliau juga seorang penganalisis politik Malaysia dan antarabangsa.