The embattled Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib has won another victory with the toppling of Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir as Kedah Mentri Besar and his replacement by Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah.
With a State Assembly of 36 State Assembly representatives, 21 from Barisan Nasional and 15 from the Opposition comprising PAS 8, PKR 4, DAP 2 and Amanah 1, Mukhriz’s position as Kedah Mentri Besar would be untouchable if he could secure the support of at least four UMNO/BN Assembly representatives (including himself).
This is because with 17 out of 36 State Assembly votes, the Bashah faction would not be able to muster the necessary majority to force a change of the Mentri Besar without convening a State Assembly meeting for a vote-of-confidence vote.
The UMNO/BN machination to get rid of Mukhriz as Kedah Mentri Besar must ensure that it collectively commands 18 votes, as in a 18-18 tie, the un-elected Speaker would be able to cast his vote on the side of the Bashah group to topple Mukhriz.
Any other scenario would be unthinkable, as it would mean that Mukhriz had been forced to step down as Mentri Besar by a minority of UMNO/BN Assembly representatives.
It is indeed a great paradox in Malaysian politics, that Najib seems to be getting stronger and stronger despite “scandal after scandal”.
Najib’s victory in forcing the resignation of Mukhriz as Kedah Mentri Besar probably amounts to “10 versus 0” score for Najib against his foes in the past six months, as his other “victories” would include:
1. Sacking of Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Senior Minister for Rural and Regional Development.
2. Sacking of Tan Sri Gani Patail as Attorney-General.
3. Scuttling of the Special Task Force on 1MDB.
4. Arrest, immediate transfer or intimidation of key officials in Attorney-General’s Chambers, Bank Negara, Police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission who want to pursue investigations into Najib’s twin mega scandals without fear or favour.
5. Sabotage of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee investigations into 1MDB.
6. Sidestepping of the Malay Rulers’ Statement of Oct. 6, 2015 urging the government to complete the 1MDB investigations “as soon as possible” and to take “appropriate stern action” against all found to be implicated.
7. Failure of an UMNO move to topple Najib as Prime Minister by way of statutory declarations by Members of Parliament.
8. Breach of the promise by the Prime Minister that his twin mega scandals would be resolved by the end of last year, when in fact, both these scandals have become even bigger and more international in 2016.
9. The Attorney-General’s exoneration of Najib of any wrongdoing or crime and that no charges would be brought against him in both the RM2.6 billion donation and RM42 million SRC International scandals.
Is Najib getting stronger and stronger with scandal after scandal?