Liew Chin Tong says Malaysia’s government will not last much longer because of the history of betrayals and shifting alliances.
The former deputy Minister of Defence says the complex alliances and internal party divisions are recipes for instability.
“Malaysia’s complex alliances, with their scars of past betrayals, internal party divisions and future electoral prospects are a recipe for instability. And these tensions appear destined to assert themselves in coming weeks,” he writes in South China Morning Post.
According to him, the Budget 2020 parliamentary session might be a harbinger for change.
“Failure to pass the budget would likely translate to the collapse of the Muhyiddin government,” he says.
That is unless the PM can find a way to strike some grand bargain with Umno or drive a wedge between its various factions.
“Or agree a ceasefire with the opposition. A snap election seems increasingly likely, even if no one can confidently predict its result.”
DOUBTS ABOUT ANWAR
The former Minister from the DAP also cast doubts on Anwar Ibrahim’s claims he has a majority in Parliament.
“It remains unclear how Anwar has obtained his proclaimed majority but the DAP, a key plank in his coalition, remains adamant it will not accept a partnership with Umno while it is led by Zahid Hamidi, the party’s president, and Najib, who remains influential,” he says.
He referred to a 2008 claim by Anwar that he had the majority to take over the federal government. But it did not materialise.
He says it is hard to foresee how Anwar’s coalition partners – particularly DAP but also Amanah – would be willing to cooperate with Umno.
“It is also unclear how the mainstream faction of Umno would be prepared to work with DAP, having demonised them for the past 12 years. Nonetheless, Anwar’s claims dial up the pressure on Muhyiddin.”
He suggests that Muhyiddin may still block Anwar from making it to Putrajaya.
Muhyiddin, he says, could make further concessions to Umno to them in the coalition in power.
“Perhaps by appointing a senior Umno leader as deputy prime minister. However this would also leave him vulnerable, effectively making him hostage to Umno.”