Having wrested a distinctly suspicious victory that countered the projections of the exit polls in the Sabah election on Saturday, the fractious coalition headed by ‘PM8′ now commands yet another slim majority over a state parliament – this time of 3.
Sabah can now look forward to being represented by a fellow who makes the president of the Philippines appear polished and mild mannered and whose pickled features perfectly match his crude and clownish act.
The dodgy Musa Aman, whose deal with ‘PM8′ saw him let off his 46 charges for corruption, is now in prospect for the role of Governor.
Jubilant at this escape from justice, Musa has immediately ditched the ‘pious look’ he had notably adopted after facing charges. He has lobbed off his recent beard and locks, tossed his sober gowns and prayer-hat back into some distant cupboard, returning to his formerly favoured Hawaiian shirt look. Another magnificent example to the nation.
Except, as the parties surveyed the slender victory by the so-called ‘GRS’ coalition the tenuous nature of the situation has become increasingly clear. GRS does not even officially exist and its several parties have been arguing publicly throughout the election period, even over who is their actual leadership candidate for chief minister!
If the PN contingent have their way then Sabah would be spared the foul-mouthed Bung and their local chairman Hajiji Noor would instead be the man invited by the Governor’s palace to attempt prove a working majority. However, that would mightily annoy mighty UMNO who have backed Bung.
As the night wore on the point was starting to be made that Warisan was the largest single party with double the nearest rival UMNO in terms of its 28 seats. Shafie is the agreed leader of the Warisan Plus coalition, so legally (given GRS is not registered) there is already an argument he ought to be called to the Governor’s palace first with horse-trading once again on the cards given the fractious and disputatious nature of the GRS/PN/BN alliance.
Muhyiddin has responded to this fragile triumph by commanding his political followers to ‘get back to work’, by which one is sadly forced to assume he means that Sabah should return to graft as before, with a renewal of the looting, plunder and eco-destruction that marked the past decades of BN rule.
There is a lot to play for. Apart from timber and plantations, Sabah’s gas and oil has for years sustained the prosperity of West Malaysia, whilst the pathetically deprived local native people (the poorest in Malaysia) are grateful to accept the cans of beer and cheap ringgit notes that have been distributed in the usual way in this election by the mobsters who have secured control of all their wealth and kept basic services beyond their reach.
Weak coalition governments, dependent on tiny majorities formed from deeply unstable alliances among fair weather friends, therefore continues to be the name of the day throughout Malaysia. All thanks to the upturning of a once solid elected government through Muhyiddin’s royally backed defection, orchestrated by Azmin Ali in league with Najib’s men.
Onlookers are left to wonder how much longer the agony can continue before the mutual hatred and suspicion between the rival camps of looters within PN demand their issues be settled nationally as well. Will it be sooner rather than later?
Meanwhile, sure as night follows day, should they get to agree a leader and form a government the PN/BN money-politicians will be down to work as instructed by ‘PM8′: dividing out what lucrative opportunities they can find in the way of jobs for doing nothing, awarding inflated ‘contracts for state projects’ that rarely get completed to their cronies, and of course grabbing timber concessions in any forest reserves there might be left to de-gazette.
That’s what they mean by “Back to Work”!
*The featured image relates to the New Naratif cartoon explanation of the issues around the restoration of the Malaysia Agreement 1963.