Is Muhyiddin the right-hand man of Najib or Mahathir in the Najib premiership?

Tun Abdullah tried to distance himself and tinker with the Mahathir legacy, without really daring to dismantle it when he was Prime Minister – but that was enough to ensure a swift and ignominious dismantling and end to Abdullah’s hapless premiership.

One great difference between the Najib and Abdullah premierships up to now is over their stance on the Mahathir legacy – in the Abdullah premiership, the Cabinet Ministers stand mute on the subject but in the Najib administration, the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has emerged as the custodian of the Mahathir legacy with a powerful following!

This is why Muhyiddin’s utterances and actions are not only important for one who is only half-a-heartbeat away from the premiership but as a surrogate of the Mahathir legacy – undoubtedly of the most powerful former Malaysian Prime Minister in the nation’s history.

Just look at some the media headlines on Muhyiddin in the past few months:

  • “Syariah caning is mild, says Muhyiddin” (Feb. 19); );
  • “Kit Siang doesn’t understand separation of powers, says DPM” (Feb. 19);
  • “Muhyiddin claims Penang not backing Muslim aims” (Feb. 12);
  • “Muhyddin says PERC report is nonsense” (Feb. 11);
  • “Muhyiddin wants Pakatan to drop conditions for co-operation in Perak” (Feb. 11);
  • “No need for interfaith commission, says DPM” (Jan 30);
  • “Muhyiddin refutes Human Rights Watch report” (Jan 22);
  • “Muhyiddin: ‘Allah’ issue not political” (Jan. 16);
  • “Muhyiddin: No more ‘Allah’ contention in the future” (Jan. 14);
  • “Muhyiddin says ‘extreme’ to call Dr M racist, maintains BTN good” (Dec. 8);
  • “DPM defends BTN courses against racist brainwashing charges” (Nov. 26);
  • “Muhyiddin warns of traitors to the Malay race” (Aug 10); and
  • “Muhyiddin – Chinese ungrateful to BN” (April 13).

But what are Muhyiddin’s true credentials on Najib’s 1Malaysia concept when the Deputy Prime Minister could attempt to mitigate the Nasir Safar outrage claming that it could have been “a slip of the tongue” when Najib’s senior political aide labelled Indians and Chinese in Malaysia as “pendatang”, alleging that the Chinese came as beggars and the Chinese women as “prostitutes”; or was conspicuously silent when the racialist rantings of Umno executive secretary Datuk Abdul Rauf Yusoh at an Umno club function in London earlier this month was exposed.

Signals were flashed when Muhyiddin was suddenly coy in declining to comment as to whether groups like Perkasa would be among NGOs to be admitted into the Barisan Nasional as part of the ruling coalition’s expansion plan to incorporate admission of NGOs and BN-friendly groups.

Perkasa, which stands for the very negation of Najib’s 1Malaysia and the former Prime Minister’s “Bangsa Malaysia” concept under Vision 2020, has nonetheless received the patronage of Mahathir. The former Prime Minister has given his stamp of approval to Perkasa, saying that it is increasingly popular within the Malay community because Umno is being seen as incapable of protecting their rights.

When Barisan Nasional component parties like MCA, Gerakan, MIC and parties from Sabah and Sarawak could agree in principle to the expansion of the coalition to include NGOs like Perkasa, it is understandable that statements of despair are being made their veteran leaders or “elders” like the recent one by former Gerakan President Tun Dr. Lim Keng Yaik that “Gerakan has lost Penang for good” as they only reflect the terminal marginalization and irrelevance of these Barisan Nasional component parties in the face of Umno’s unrepentant political hegemony in the coalition.

The time has come for Muhyiddin to declare whether he is the right-hand of Najib or Mahathir in the present administration.

When it comes to the crunch in any fundamental difference between Najib and Mahathir, where would the loyalty of Muhyiddin, as the custodian and surrogate of the Mahathir legacy in the Najib premiership, lie?

For instance, Mahathir has publicly declared that he does not know what Najib’s 1Malaysia is about. Mahathir withholds support for Najib’s 1Malaysia but has no hesitation in giving his blessings to Perkasa.

Is Muhyiddin with Najib’s 1Malaysia or Mahathir’s withholding of support or blessing for the 1Malaysia concept?

May be one good test of Muhyiddin’s true stand on Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan and concept is whether the Deputy Prime Minister is prepared to support the proposal for the establishment of an Opposition-headed Parliamentary Select Committee on 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 9:10 am

    Actually Mahathir is wary of Muhiyiddin also. Although ideologically similar, he suspect that Muhiyiddin administration will be more corrupt than his own. Mahathir, although he won’t admit it, knows that his own corruption, has cost the nation too much. A Muhiyiddin administration that is more corrupted than his would destroy everything. Remember that he is the one who said that Muhiyiddin ‘is the richest man in UMNO’. Johor under Muhiyiddin, not only did he get incredbily rich, many others got rich.

    But Mahathir if he has to make a choice between ideology and corruption, will side with ideology. He has said that Najib ‘did not shine’ and continues NOT to shine. While publicly saying he is happy with Najib’s leadership, he sponsor Perkasa and take position that make it even harder for Najib for example in the ‘Allah’ issue. He also must not be happy with Najib for removing Hassan Merican at Petronas.

    Mahathir is not ready to oppose Najib yet but Muhiyiddin is his ace in the hole if he has to move against Najib. Najib honestly must wish the old man would just keel over..

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 9:28 am

    One thing to note. If BN lets in direct membership, you can bet your money Liow Tiong Lai and Wee Ka Siong will form another party and MCA is finished…THAT has got to be a source of friction between Najib and Muhiyiddin

  3. #3 by sheriff singh on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 10:01 am

    Muhyiddin, Muhyiddin, Muhyiddin.

    See how he takes the limelight and shine away from the Tainted One?

    One (especially those in UMNO and the right-wingers) might think he is the Numero Uno already. Perception soon becomes reality.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 10:22 am

    I think it is trite that in the brealm of political affairs, one can be right hand to one and left hand to the other, depending on which hand, when it reaches out at the opportune time, is nearer to grab the prize.

    How did Pak lah on coming to office seek to distinguish his administration from failings of his predecessor’s? He talked about 1st world mentality infarstructure (hardware) and 3rd world mentality (software). Thats the legacy to which we are all now shackled by, and whose intangible harm inflicted on the fabric of the nation and its peoples in terms of divisiveness and regressive mindsets stretch far into the distant horizons, with no visible prsopects of reprieve and undoing.

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 10:23 am

    “ the realm of political affairs..”

  6. #6 by undertaker888 on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 10:46 am

    this guy muyiddin, loves listening to himself talking…he will go on and on, in between a devilish smirk to show audience how smart he is. he is just using his dpm title to demand respect from you whether you give it or not.

    mamak is pulling all the string behind the curtain. he needs an ultra malay dictator as corrupt as him in power to cover his tracks until the day he bowls over. najib is too fragile at this moment.

    with PERKOSA and others chanting race and religion lately, these are to check and balance the non-malays. mamak wants the non-malays to be subservient and tow the line as a reminder or he will unleash hell.

    but this is no 1960s anymore. mamak’s plan is outdated as the rest of the world has moved on to 21st century. he is still basking in his old glories.

    muyiddin is riding on mamak’s chariot to oblivion.

  7. #7 by yhsiew on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 10:56 am

    Daring political observers are predicting that Najib’s premiership would not last even one term because of Muhyiddin.

  8. #8 by Godfather on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 10:59 am

    I beg to differ. Muhyiddin is no Brutus. Both of these guys got rich – one through his tenure as CM of Johor and the other as Defence Minister. Both have to stick together to maintain their spoils. It’s a case of good cop-bad cop routine. You can’t get rid of one without the other.

  9. #9 by hibou on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 11:26 am

    PM Najib should take a leaf from his mentor, Dr Mahathir’ book of tricks, by cooking up sodomy charges against his DPM Muhyiddin.

    With the PM’s control over all government machinery, PDRM, MACC, etc, this shouldn’t be difficult.

    The PM’s main problems are afterall within his UMNO. This action should jolt his detractors in
    UMNO to toeing the 1Malaysia line

  10. #10 by johnnypok on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 1:07 pm

    When m.v. UMNO sinks, the captain will perish together with his crew.
    Hopefully m.v. PRM is better equipped to withstand any attack by the enemies.
    I wish Sabah and Sarawak will become independent.

  11. #11 by king cobra on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 1:42 pm

    Johnnypok ,

    if Sabah ever becomes independent , The Philippines may try to lay claim on “land below the wind” again.

  12. #12 by boh-liao on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 1:50 pm

    Not 2 worry! D wannabe first lady said: “I always tell others NOT to underestimate Datuk Najib. He is not easily angered but do not provoke him. If he is angry, there is NO forgiveness for you.”
    Wow, well said. NR n his cousin will slaughter/kau tim MY
    If MY is not careful, he might be d main black-eyed actor in Sodomee 3 yang akan datang (history loves 2 repeat itself); got or no got stiff rod

  13. #13 by Dap man on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 2:33 pm

    Muhyiddin has never seconded any of Najib’s pronouncements for quite some time – not a single issue. In fact he is diametrically opposing Najib without any pretenses – whether on BTN, Allah issue, 1 Malaysia, Perkasa, Nasir racism or Ibrahim Ali histrionics.

    Without doubt he is telling Najib to go fly kite as he waits to take his seat.
    I hope Rosmah will know what to do with Muhyidin. ..
    Muhyiddin may fool around with Najib but never try Rosmah.

  14. #14 by vsp on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 2:39 pm

    Mahathir will support Muhiyiddin but his motive is ulterior. When Moo becomes the PM, Mukhriz will be his deputy. Judging by the stupidity of the man as revealed by his utterances (masok kandang kambing m?ng?mbek, masok kandang k?rbau m?nguak), the cunning Mamak fox will then turn 180° and trapped the Moo cow in his own decrepit kandang and installed Mukhriz as the new emperor. So the Mamak Kerala dynasty will rule unimpeded in Bolehland.

  15. #15 by vsp on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 2:42 pm

    (masok kandang kambing m?ng?mbek, masok kandang k?rbau m?nguak) = (masok kandang kambing mengembek, masok kandang kerbau menguak) which means “Baa when in a sheepfold but in buffalo pens you moo”

  16. #16 by vsp on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 2:53 pm


    Remember my comments on 19/02/2010 regarding the subject on “PhD student in USM who does not understand English or Malay!”?


  17. #17 by Thor on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 3:41 pm

    In Umno, there’s no “right hand man” or “left hand man”.
    In Umno there’s no true friends.
    I do remembered when Anwar Ibrahim was Deputy PM then, it was Zaid Hamidi (present Defence Minister) who was his best aide at that time.
    Now, he’s “attacking” Anwar with the rest.
    Unmo plays dirty not only to the opposition but also to their very own kind.
    They’re hungry for money and power and they’ll do anything to protect their position while the others will try every means to grab power when the time is ripe.
    It’s either you “kill” or get “killed”.
    This is the game in Umno politics.

  18. #18 by Bigjoe on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 5:19 pm

    There is obvious difference between Muhiyiddin and Najib. BUT both of them are not stupid enough not to know that a fight between them has a high chance of destroying UMNO/BN..

    Its going to take a lot to get Muhiyiddin to come out and declare his position openly. Even calling him ‘tidak cukup laki’ is not good enough. Better to have Muhiyiddin declare he is willing to give up all ambitions to be Prime Minister of Malaysia to support 1Malaysia and Najib. He should if he supports Najib who will need it for many terms to get 1Malaysia done which by the time he is done, Muhiyiddin is too old and should give way to younger man..

  19. #19 by monsterball on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 5:50 pm

    DPM is fighting for his own survival.
    He knows Najib is weak.
    None are united like before…the original UMNO.
    UMNO BARU love to divide and rule….and so UMNO BARU is divided to rule….to each his own…personal benefits and selfishness.
    That itself…should kill UMNO BARU…in 13th GE….but Najib is using all his powers to bring down Anwar…and create fear and tensions….from time to that when 13th GE draws nearer to the day of election..he can have the option to delay it…and declare Emergency Rule…if UMNO BARU cannot win.
    It is all about corruptions and avoiding jail sentence.
    DPM…distance himself…to try other ways.
    Such are how much UMNO BARU love Malaysians….which they actually love themselves more than anybody.
    Corrupted and greedy people with power…are totally insincere and have no morals or ethics in life..nor true love for others. It depends on their moods ….likes and dislikes.
    All are acting to fish votes.
    UMNO BARU was exposed….in 12th GE!!
    Malaysians are ready to vote them out in a very large majority against them.
    Najib and DPM know that too well.
    Mahathir the architect of all evil deeds….praised Najib…art and to fool Malaysians…applying dirty politics…to his heart contents.
    Insult Mahathir…he will bring UMNO BARU down.
    Right now…you can see…this old devil….is happy…because in politics….he is the best when chips are down…but those good old days are over.
    What choices does Najib have? NONE.
    So bliffing…acting…slogans…on and on…and a touch of creating tensions and fear…till 13th all what these UMNO BARU ministers are good at.
    Managing a country??
    Show me one….including Mahathir…without selfish ulterior motives.
    He built mega projects…to make lawful mega commissions.
    He is he smartest crook to kill two birds with one stone…making young Malaysians happy..while he pocket hundreds of millions.. with no complaints…until now…all exposed.
    Mahathir family and relations will be the riches Malays in Malaysia….jump started with billions stolen from Malaysians with no fear…….because he was smart enough to make sure…all an steal like him too.
    These UMNO BARU low class ministers have very little time to succeed fooling Malaysians.
    All hero worship Mahathir’s smartness to fool Malaysians..and trying so hard to be like him.
    None can do it..because Malaysians are not easily fooled….right now.
    Malaysians are awakened long long ago.
    12th GE was the last straw…and noting all crooks are as free as birds…choosing few ikan bilis.. to be convicted….no matter how hard Najib nd DPM try to fool Malaysians…the real test will be the 13th GE.
    Najib’s begging for Chinese votes..sums up how desperate he is….YET…daily…we read in strong UMNO BARU is and how happy Malaysians are.
    If that is so…how come Najib begged for Chinese votes?
    So you see…it never dallies when you come for logic and sensible….conclusions.
    It is all acting with no sincerity at all.

  20. #20 by Voter get Voters campaign for PR on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 5:53 pm

    Dear Malaysian.
    Please dun just vote BN out. Just by casting your votes for PR is NEVER enough. We have to canvass more new votes for PR by initiating our own ” Voter get Voters” campaign as espoused by RPK. Do a “Voter get Voters” campaign by chain emails, words of mouths, during social gatherings. PR need to win by a massive majority so that evil BN cannot cheat by FRAUD & FROGGIES. Long Live DSAI, Long Live PR. Down with BN..evil BN

  21. #21 by boh-liao on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 6:06 pm

    A lot of barter trading is going round
    Meanwhile d one-man-band TRH rubbished Umno B 4 wasting public $$$, publishing adverts n leaflets with contents that r an insult to d intelligence of M’sians
    What he meant was that UmnoBputras r totally unintelligent

  22. #22 by kcb on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 6:59 pm

    “Just look at some the media headlines on Muhyiddin in the past few months:

    Aren’t all these headlines sounded very similar to those from Syed Hamid, the most “brilliant” Minister Malaysian has ever produced?

  23. #23 by ekans on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 8:55 pm

    May be the present DPM is his own right hand man.

  24. #24 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Monday, 22 February 2010 - 11:17 pm

    Najib, Najib….oh, Muhyiddin, Muhyiddin…..”U MUst Not Open” (UMNO) your big mouth Becos it’s always been “Garbage In, Garbage Out”.

  25. #25 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 - 7:47 am

    Honestly there is only a few ways you can attack Muhiyiddin. Baiting him is not going to be that effective.

    The answer lies in going for his core power base – he assumes he has the support of the ultras and the religious right. But if the ultras and religious right think its hard to sell his credentials, they would be the first to abandon him. Hence the answer is to look for something to chip away at his base of support for e.g. corruption including his MB of Johor days – make him account for why Mahathir called him ‘the richest man in UMNO’.

    The other way is to attack his Islamic credential. He actually took on Nik Aziz and PAS ulamas on religious issues – he has no strong training in it and yet has the audacity to take them on. This is someone full of himself and there is something wrong. It always is that way with these presumptious types. Check his women, children, his money, his indulgences. There is always something..

    Chip away at his core and he will lose patient and resort to the only thing left, – go for power and money to spread around i.e., resort back to feudalistic instinct and he and Najib will fight.

  26. #26 by dagen on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 - 10:46 am

    At the moment, mamak is the real mess-things-up pm and muhideen is sitting dpm. Jib is clearly the pm of slogans and wayangs. Good job jib. So just carry on will ya. But muhideen can draw little comfort from his alliance with mamak. Why? Because mamak is highly suspicious of everyone. He killed off musa, gafar, anwar, badawi and the hairy youth monkey. He is now working on jib. I dont think jib realise this yet. Maybe he does. So the way forward for muhideen is not exactly seeing all clear. Mamak is potentially one gigantic block in his way. In fact mamak is one gigantic block in umno’s way – in everyone’s way. Let the mess deepen. Let the umno orgy begin. Let them stroke each other’s ketuanan. Yeah!

  27. #27 by Loh on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 - 3:33 pm

    ///Perkasa, which stands for the very negation of Najib’s 1Malaysia and the former Prime Minister’s “Bangsa Malaysia” concept under Vision 2020, has nonetheless received the patronage of Mahathir. The former Prime Minister has given his stamp of approval to Perkasa, saying that it is increasingly popular within the Malay community because Umno is being seen as incapable of protecting their rights.///

    The solution lies in tightening the definition on Malays in article 160. It is because people of the like of Mamakthir being included as Malays that the real Malays have their privilege diluted. Mamak certainly knows how to mislead Malays.

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