Muhyiddin’s unethical politics and resulting quagmire

The common good of the nation requires less of power politics and more substantive consensus to confront an existential threat, Ronald Benjamin writes.

It is unfortunate that Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya have to go through a conditional movement control order from 14 October 2020.

While many countries have failed to contain the coronavirus – due to a failure to detect it early, a failure to comply with procedures or early opening up of the country after an initial lockdown, without understanding the impact and exponential characteristics of the virus – Malaysia had done all the right things in containing the coronavirus at the beginning, but ultimately succumbed to the weakness of power politics, resulting in the resurgence of Covid-19.

The act of trying to create a backdoor government in Sabah and, in doing so, triggering an election should have been avoided if the common good was the principle of the Muhyiddin Yassin government.

How could one honestly plot a power grab in Sabah when Covid-19 was spreading fast in that state? What was important for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Sabah Barisan Nasional politicians was to consolidate power at the expense of the rakyat. Merely ranting after the event and pinpointing certain officials for not following procedures is lame.

Unfortunately, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who has a great ambition to become the prime minister, was also indulging in power politics when what was needed was a consensus to reign in the pandemic, which has created much damage to the economy.

What has made things worse is the failure of the elite within the Muhyiddin government to adhere to Covid-19 prevention procedures while demanding such adherence from the people. This has dented the credibility of the Perikatan Nasional government.

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It is time for Prime Minister Muhyiddin to initiate a political ceasefire and reduce his unethical quest for the politics of power and start a dialogue with the opposition on how to work together to rein in the spread of the coronavirus.

The common good of the nation requires less of power politics and more of substantive consensus to confront an existential threat. Service for the common good should be the core principle that inspires political behaviour among politicians.

It is unfortunate that unethical power politics seems to have contributed to the resurgence of the coronavirus in Malaysia.


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13 Nov 2020 11.30pm

Muhyiddin is a dangerous politician. He will go to any extent to remain in power. The fact that he approached the king to declare emergency is prove of what he can do. A leader like him should be removed from power not supported. Just see his budget proposals. Is that a budget befitting the covid crisis the country is facing? This is not to mention his undermining of the Warisan government in Sabah which subsequently resulted in present covid wave the country is facing. Is this the leader the country needs? I would utterly disagree.

Phua Kai Lit
Phua Kai Lit
13 Nov 2020 10.01pm

Will the People of Malaysia get to see this scenario : MPs reject the dishonest Budget, the regime falls, … DSAI (the MP with the most support in Parliament) [becomes] the new PM, and a new and genuine Government of National Unity is formed (at minimum, it should explicitly exclude certain individuals already handed multiple convictions, or facing multiple charges for corruption ), and this GNU undertakes effective action against economic problems and Covid-19 revival ?

loyal malaysian
loyal malaysian
12 Nov 2020 3.52pm

“It is time for Prime Minister Muhyiddin to initiate a political ceasefire and reduce his unethical quest for the politics of power,,” – he did not do so from day One of his backdoor govt.
This shenanigan will not do it now – he is such a hypocrite, he can only mouth niceties while [some] go about robbing this nation of its wealth and dignity.
Budget 2021 is a case in point – all non partisan analysts point to it being not a rakyat-centric one.
I hope all the opposition parties will keep their word – they will only support Budget 2021 if it is rakyat-centric!!

12 Nov 2020 2.15pm

Having elections in Sabah is one thing but the most unforgivable is the PM allowing those returning from Sabah to not adhering to strict quaranteen of 14 days as we ordinary people have to. This again indicates that the Tan Sri’s and Datuk Sri’s are privileged people need not follow the law as the rest of us. Not penalizing these people of breaking the law like us ordinary people begs the notion that some people are above the law. When is Malaysia going to rise up to change?