The Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, said today that Sabah and Sarawak, as the backbone of Barisan Nasional, must be consulted before the Prime Minister is changed.
Nothing exceptional in such a statement, although it had not earlier occurred to the newly-minted Barisan Nasional Director of Strategic Communications who hails from Sabah, or he would have demanded that before Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister and removed as the next-in-line to be Prime Minister if Datuk Seri Najib Razak has to step down or before Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi appointed as new Deputy Prime Minister, Sabah and Sarawak should be consulted first.
But Abdul Rahman would have been the first to dismiss any such suggestion at the time to consult Sabah or Sarawak before the Cabinet reshuffle on July 28 whether for the sacking of Muhyiddin as DPM or the appointment of Zahid as the new DPM, considering his “strategic” role in Najib’s “1MDB war cabinet”.
Why now, then, for the surfacing of the question of consulting Sabah and Sarawak on the appointment of Prime Minister of Malaysia?
Why is the newly-minted Director of Strategic Communications breathing panic and fear – as if he is afraid that the Najib government where he had swiftly ascended in power and influence because of the twin scandals of 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion in Najib’s personal bank accounts may suddenly collapse like a house of cards?
Abdul Rahman must thank former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir who rightly pointed out yesterday that Zahid is not necessarily the successor to be Prime Minister if for some reason, Najib does not complete his term as Prime Minister.
As Mahathir said, Muhyiddn, as UMNO deputy president, could take on the job.
I agree with Mahathir that until the Umno/BN coalition government is removed from office, if there is a vacancy of the premier’s post, it is for UMNO to decide and Muhyiddin would enjoy preference and priority as the elected UMNO deputy President.
Will this belated realisation by the Najib 1MDB “war cabinet” that Zahid may not be the person to take over the premiership if Najib steps down set in motion a new train of party and political manoeuvres, such as attempts to expel Muhyiddin from UMNO?
Only time will tell.