Is Kobita Going for the Top Post?

Is the wife of the Prime Minister of Mauritius Kobita Jugnauth grooming for a top post in government? In Mauritius, the signs come from the concerned people, and the increasing involvement of Kobita says it all.

There are undeniable signs the going is tougher for the MSM. There are also signs the party may be facing instability after the resignation of Mr Nando Bodha.

The formation of the Movement Patriotic by Minister Allan Ganoo is also said to be a sign of growing unease in the alliance. Ganoo may be responding to attacks that he is closing his eyes to accusations of corruption in the government.

He said in interviews he will quit if there were any corrupt practices in the regime he is helping to stay in power.

CHARM OFFENSIVE?

The increasing involvement of Kobita in the public arena and the charm offensive could have many meanings. The party and the government is worried about the rumours of an exodus. Or she might be attempting to portray a softer image of the regime?

The media and the rumour mill were churning stories of a possible departure of Nando Bodha from the party. He eventually quit as a minister and as a party member and has virtually joined the opposition camp.

The loss of Bodha is huge for the MSM. He has his following and was not too unpopular as a Minister. This may impact the voter base of the MSM just like the Alan Ganoo rift with the MMM did.

When Ganoo left the MMM, the party did not look into his power base in his constituency. This allowed him to deliver a resounding victory in the last elections. The same is expected of Bodha but the results will be negative for the MSM.

But what about Kobita? Again, according to the rumour mill, she is grooming for the top post in the government. But we think she might be just be playing the role of the wife who is supporting the husband Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.

If PM Pravind Jugnauth is forced out of the seat because of the numerous scandals hitting his government, there are other leaders in the party who might plug the gap.

There is no way to know if the parties in the coalition will accept a non-elected member as their leader.

BUDGET MOVE

The party is plotting a bold move, says the source with a possible Budget that will awe the nation. At least, they say, it will captivate more than 60% of the voter base.

In the works are plans to increase the old-age pension by 50% and increase the basic salary to RM15,000.

“While the first will definitely get the elderly generation mellowed towards the MSM, the second will attract the low paid employees,” says the source.


Malaysia: Who betrayed who during Budget 2021 vote?

The debate is still raging on who betrayed who during the fatal vote decision on the Budget 2021 in Malaysia. We believe it is a hidden agenda by Mahathir.

https://medium.com/the-week/malaysia-who-betrayed-who-during-budget-2020-vote-dda5e916b3ad?sk=c47261d19e32d89bc0520f4ac2357cea

Read the full story here.

Mahathir pulls 13 MPs to side with him in a budget decision at the Parliament and calls Anwar Ibrahim and the PH ‘betrayers of the people’.

Scoring a magnificent point on a vote in Parliament, Mahathir mauled PH and its MPs saying opposition MPs are supporting a government propped up by bribes and gratification to MPs.

Anwar, the PH leader, urged the opposition MPs not to initiate a divisional vote against the budget yesterday. But Mahathir broke ranks with the PH and started a divisional vote that failed to get the 15 MPs needed.

Mahathir gathered only 13 MPs with him in a stand-off against Anwar and Muhyiddin. Some netizens hail the move as a victory for the 93-year-old.

As a result of this stand-off, netizens are attacking Anwar and the PH saying the elderly politicians can stand up on his feet while younger ones were sitting, betraying the people.

A divisional vote allows for the counting and recording of each MP’s vote. This would have shown whether PM Muhyiddin Yassin has the majority in Parliament or not.

If the attempt to initiate the divisional vote was successful yesterday, the government would have failed to pass the budget through its policy stage. It would have shown that Muhyiddin does not have a majority in Parliament.

But Mahathir gathered only 13 MPs with him in a stand-off against Anwar and Muhyiddin. Some netizens hail the move as a victory for the 93-year-old.

BACKSTABBING PH?

However, among PH party’s, some people see Mahathir’s move to break ranks from Anwar and the PH as a backstabbing attempt against the opposition.

An observer told Independent that Mahathir is only trying to pull down the PH with him because the opposition grouping did not give him support to regain the post of Prime Minister.

A source in Keadilan told Independent Mahathir is not in PH and Maszlee Malick, as well as Syed Sadiq, has left Mahathir’s group.


Is the budget Anwar’s and PH political suicide?

Is the budget the political suicide of Anwar Ibrahim and of the Pakatan Harapan?

It appears to be the case after the backstabbing from Pejuang and Amanah.

On the other hand, it is now clear who are the MPs in the Pakatan who are close to Dr Mahathir Mohamad!

Their names are all over the social media now, and they cannot hide it anymore.

Nevertheless, for Anwar and his team, this is the worst nightmare. They miscalculated Mahathir’s move and the latter took advantage of the situation.

It was expected. One should never let Mahathir decide by himself. This is how much damage he can do to the 92 he criticised only a few days ago!

The MPs who stood up against Anwar’s command not to!

MAHATHIR WINS

Let’s face the reality of what happened yesterday at the Parliament. Mahathir won, PH, Anwar lost.

They were short-circuited by the elderly fox.

Mahathir did not waste any time to come out with a statement claiming the PH betrayed the wishes of the people.

On social media, it is now rampant. Most PH supporters are in hiding or in denial.

It is just like the aftermath of an election in which the PH lost. It is time for jubilance for the winners, and time for sorrow for the losers.

But in this case, the loss is even bigger than losing a by-elections. It is bigger than Tanjung Piai and for Mahathir and his group; it is a massive win.

HOW WILL PH RECOVER?

The question is how will PH and Anwar recover from this massive defeat.

First, they must study what really happened yesterday. How did a government with such a weak majority in a shaky coalition in power win this battle?

The defeat for the PH is because of the actions of Mahathir. He used the situation against Anwar and his followers, including those from Amanah, stood up to give him support.

They become the heroes of the day, though some of them are saying it was not for that purpose that they stood up.

It was clear to show their support for Mahathir while they are now saying it was to defeat the budget.

The next point they must consider is whether they should continue to give tacit support to some Umno MPs?

Anwar gave an explanation that he was told the rebel Umno members will not go against the budget yesterday.

This shows how much he is counting on them, and the result is devastating.

From now on, Keadilan and the PH should dump these rebel Umno MPs. The 92 or less that they are now, should bulldoze through in Parliament and make life as difficult as possible for the regime.

Vote against the budget is another option.

Though voting against the budget will get them the tag of ‘penghianat’ as one Minister is saying, PH should now follow the wishes of the people, instead the wishes of the Umno rebel MPs.

Other than that, we can say the next elections are looming and PH is on the defensive. This means they should look into a new strategy on how to recapture the government they lost because of Mahathir’s tantrums!


Don’t expect a BN high noon on Budget day

The much anticipated high noon at the Parliament is here but don’t keep your hopes ‘high’.

The country is watching and most people are keen to know what will BN do on Budget day.

But a meeting on Sunday between the PM Muhyiddin Yassin and PN members says it all.

There is perhaps little chance of a show down against Muhyiddin at the Parliament.

The renewed friendship between the BN and the PN is a sign that Muhyiddin may have the upper hand in Parliament.

It will also not be surprising if some opposition MPs support the Budget 2021.

NAJIB IN THE FRONTLINE

Former premier Najib Razak will be in the front line for the BN. He is now the Barisan Nasional backbenchers’ chairman.

The Parliament sitting is on Monday (Nov 2) and the Pekan MP’s appointment in the Dewan Rakyat would enable him to coordinate matters between the BN backbenchers.

The Budget 2021 will be tabled on Nov 6 and Najib’s appointment does not mean he will get BN MPs not to support the Budget.

A source told The Star Najib will be in a position to play a role in resolving the tension between Umno and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

On the other hand, Pakatan Harapan has submitted six recommendations for Budget 2021

PH calls on the government to expand social protection, widen the safety net and increase welfare payments for the vulnerable and unemployed.

PH also recommends for the loan moratorium to be extended till March 31,2021.


Singapore Budget 2018 debate: Old wine in new bottle solutions will not work anymore

Four civil society players came together yesterday to discuss their beliefs on what Singapore’s economic direction should be for the next year, ahead of Budget 2018 which will be delivered by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat next week.

The forum, organised by The Independent and Maruah a human rights NGO in Singapore, saw a turnout of about thirty individuals keen to explore how this year’s budget should be structured.

The event, moderated by The Independent’s publisher Kumaran Pillai, saw Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chairman Dr Paul Tambyah, former presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian, and Maruah president Leong Sze Hian share their views on where the government should place economic emphasis this year.

In his opening remarks, Pillai recounted an interesting tidbit from history about the spinning wheel invented in India, around 500 BC. The Indians were so satisfied with the spinning wheel that they neglected to further innovate, preferring to simply use the same method for centuries, until the British arrived in India, bringing mechanisation and industrialisation with them.

Suddenly, the Indian spinning wheel became obsolete and the East India Company exploited and decimated the cotton yarn industry in India.

Pillai said that ultimately, it was too late, for innovation. When the British brought mechanisation and industrialisation to India, it suddenly did not matter how well the spinning wheel worked or how fast it spun yarn or cotton – the entire paradigm had shifted.

With the threats of globalisation and digitisation posing severe challenges for a nation like Singapore, Pillai questioned how the government plans to innovate to remain relevant. Opining that innovations like the Industry Transformation Map still follow a very linear progression, Pillai asserted that the usual solution of packaging old wine in a new bottle will not work anymore.

Instead, he said, that there needs to be a creative disruption and a paradigm shift in Singapore. Pillai called for a change in policies and for a fresh start, “not a refresh every April.”

Pointing to how innovation in Singapore is largely state-sponsored and not grounds-up, Pillai elucidated on the dangers of such a model and added: “Lapses are forgivable but we cannot take an inevitable decline in leadership and quality lying down.”

Dr Paul Tambyah echoed the need for a change in policy. Speaking in his personal capacity as an activist and politician, Dr Tambyah said that he has three wishes for this year’s Budget plan:

  1. That MediShield Life is expanded to cover evidence-based healthcare interventions;
  2. That the government will not use the “aging population” excuse to raise taxes; and
  3. That the government should do something to remove structural inequalities and help all Singaporeans to do their best.

Read the opposition politician’s full comments, along with the views of Tan Kin Lian and Leong Sze Hian, are here.