Hung Parliament & Religious Extremist Govt – Stock Market & Ringgit Set To Crash Tomorrow

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Nov 20 2022
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Malaysia is plunged into unchartered water after the 15th General Election. For the first time in history, the country is facing a hung parliament. As expected, opposition Pakatan Harapan has emerged as the single biggest bloc, winning 82 of the total 222 parliamentary seats. Widely believed to be able to grab between 80 and 100 seats, it ended in the lower range instead.


Incumbent Barisan Nasional government, on the other hand, has suffered its worst defeat – worse than the previous 2018 General Election when it had won 79 seats. This round, it has only won 30 parliamentary seats – the lowest number of seats since the coalition was formed in 1973, a rebranded coalition of right-wing political parties after the May 13, 1969 bloody racial riots.


Perikatan Nasional, the third coalition thought to perform the worst among the three, has benefited the most from Barisan Nasional’s disastrous losses. The Malay-centric alliance of Bersatu conservative and PAS Islamist party, the most radical and extremist coalition ever created, has flipped dozens of rival Barisan Nasional traditional strongholds – winning 73 seats.

Malaysia Stock Market Crash

Without a clear winner, the local stock market is set to crash when open on Monday (Nov 21). The local currency – Ringgit – which has taken a beating before recovering slightly before the election will also plunge due to the political uncertainties. Perikatan Nasional, led by former backdoor PM Muhyiddin Yassin, has claimed to have enough support to return as prime minister again.


However, even if Mr Muhyiddin (Mahiaddin) returns, foreign investors will be spooked by his government. His party Malaysian United Indigenous Party (Bersatu) and ally Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), major components of Perikatan Nasional alliance, has campaigned under the divisive race and religion platform – bashing ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities as well as Christians and Jews.


While opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim could also become the 10th Prime Minister, his choice of alliance partners is quite limited. His Pakatan Harapan coalition has pledged to eliminate corruption and reform the country’s toxic system after more than 60 years under Barisan Nasional, the same coalition that it most likely has to work with to cross the 112 seats in order to form the next government.

Anwar Ibrahim Contests in Tambun Ipoh - Pakatan Harapan

And it is these reforms that make it quite impossible for multi-ethnic Pakatan Harapan to ally with Malay nationalist Barisan Nasional without triggering internal revolts within their respective coalition. Likewise, Sarawak-based GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) prefers Muhyiddin than Anwar largely because corrupt leaders from the Borneo state wanted to be left alone plundering the state resources.


Even if Anwar could strike a deal with GPS, he still needs to reach out to other parties in another Borneo state – Sabah. Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) had won 6 seats while Warisan, a former ally of Pakatan Harapan, has 3 seats along with Independent (2) and Parti Bangsa Malaysia (1). There are other permutations to form a unity government, such as following.

  1. Pakatan Harapan (82) + GPS (22) + GRS (6) + Warisan (3) = 113 seats
  2. Pakatan Harapan (82) + Barisan Nasional (30) = 112 seats
  3. Pakatan Harapan (82) + Barisan Nasional (30) + Warisan (3) = 115 seats
  4. Pakatan Harapan (82) + Barisan Nasional (30) + GPS (22) + GRS (6) = 140 seats
  5. Perikatan Nasional (73) + Barisan Nasional (30) + GPS (22) + GRS (6) = 131 seats


Like it or not, Barisan has become the real kingmaker after the general election, without which neither Pakatan nor Perikatan could form a new government. Despite Muhyiddin’s claim that his alliance has the numbers, UMNO president Zahid Hamidi has thrown a spanner in the works – dismissing claims that Barisan Nasional would join Perikatan Nasional.

UMNO General Assembly 2020 - President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

But the question remains whether Zahid, who had miscalculated voter sentiment and made the tactical mistakes of dropping some UMNO warlords from contesting, could hold the party together. Almost lost his own seat in Bagan Datuk, there are already calls from within his own party for him to resign. There are also some power-hungry warlords like Hishammuddin Hussein who support Muhyiddin.


Other UMNO leaders have suggested that Barisan Nasional should seriously consider reforming itself by staying as the opposition based on the results, something that it should have done after losing the 2018 General Election. It is now paying the price for throwing its support behind Muhyiddin in a political coup to snatch power in March 2020, forming the backdoor Perikatan Nasional government.


Without the anti-hopping law passed just before the election, power-crazy Muhyiddin would have bribed some UMNO MPs to defect. Assuming he has in his possession the entire Borneo bloc (Sabah and Sarawak), he now needs 5 more MPs to get the magic number to become prime minister again. However, any UMNO MP who wishes to jump would lose his seat and a by-election has to be held.

Barisan Nasional - Perikatan Nasional - Pakatan Harapan - Flags

MCA (Malaysian Chinese Association) and MIC (Malaysian Indian Congress) could quit Barisan Nasional and join Muhyiddin in exchange for ministership, but both corrupt and disgraced parties have only 3 MPs. Facing 47 corruption charges, Zahid also knew very well that he would go to prison if he resigns as president of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO).


The opposition campaign – “A vote for UMNO is a vote for Zahid to become PM” – had worked brilliantly against Barisan Nasional. In fact, it worked so well that UMNO-Malay supporters had created a tsunami, so strong that it backfired as they blindly voted Perikatan Nasional instead of splitting it among Barisan, Perikatan and Pakatan.


Even Perikatan Nasional was visibly surprised with their massive win. A day before the polling day, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said he was confident that Barisan Nasional will be open to working with Perikatan Nasional to form the next government. His party president said PAS was ready to play the role as opposition again. So, how did the unexpected happen?

Muhyiddin Yassin and Hadi Awang - Extremist and Racist

The gimmick of offering a caring, clean and stable government worked like a charm for Perikatan Nasional. Disgusted with Zahid leadership and corruption, the majority ethnic Malay were looking desperately for an alternative Malay nationalist party. It didn’t cross their mind that Perikatan could be more corrupt than Barisan based on the lavish spending during their election campaign.


PAS Islamist party cleverly hides behind Perikatan Nasional banner to attract Malay voters, who have been indoctrinated with “ketuanan Melayu”, the ideology of Malay supremacy espoused by UMNO under the Mahathir leadership during his 22 years iron-fist rule from 1981 to 2003. The same race and religion weapon used by UMNO to stay in power has been used by Muhyiddin and Hadi to snatch UMNO strongholds.


Spooked by multiracial Pakatan Harapan, the Malay voters had conveniently forgotten how Muhyiddin regime mishandled Covid-19 pandemic and mismanaged the economy during his previous 17-month rule. That’s because they enjoy the best of both worlds – making a living in states administered efficiently by Pakatan like Selangor and Penang, but travelled back to hometowns to vote for Perikatan.

KLCC View - Night

Even Nurul Izzah, the “Reformation Princess” of Anwar, stunningly lost her family traditional stronghold in Permatang Pauh. Now, PAS becomes the biggest winner after it captured all parliamentary seats in Kelantan, Terengganu, Perlis and Kedah (except 1). Armed with 49 parliamentary seats, the radical and extremist Islamist party is now the biggest party in the country.


Essentially, this has set a very dangerous political landscape in Malaysia. Not only Muhyiddin (his party Bersatu has won only 24 seats) will be at the mercy of PAS, he would have to accommodate any request by Hadi Awang to bulldoze radical religious policies. And you can bet Hadi will definitely do so because that’s the only way to control the Malay-Muslims.


Even during Muhyiddin’s first stint, foreign investors had fled the country like a plague. As Malaysia is set to become more radical and extremist so that Muhyiddin can cling to power, as proven when he had gone to the extent of locking the Parliament to prevent a motion of no confidence from being tabled previously, it’s not rocket science that investors will certainly avoid the country at all cost.

Muhyiddin Yassin - I Lover PM - Najib Razak

Bersatu itself is a splinter party of UMNO. As the former deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin has all the UMNO DNA and his party is cut from the same cloth. The perception that Perikatan Nasional is relatively clean if because it is still a young 2-year-old coalition. But it’s old wine in new bottle, as can be seen with its ability in awarding billions of dollars projects directly to cronies.


Pakatan Harapan, especially its partner Democratic Action Party (DAP), is now in a Catch-22 situation. It has to choose between a fallen corrupted coalition (Barisan Nasional) and an emerging extremist coalition (Perikatan Nasional). If it does not work with Zahid, it might be too late when the country is being terrorized by power-crazy Muhyiddin and extremist Hadi.


No matter how inspiring PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli has influenced some urban Malay youths, the election results showed that millions of young Malays actually care about race and religion more than bread and butter issues. Pakatan Harapan could try to work with Barisan Nasional to run the country for 5 years (assuming no more Sheraton Move 2.0) to prove that Malay interests will not be affected at all.

Pakatan Harapan - DAP, PKR, Amanah Symbols

However, Anwar and his partners will have to present compelling reasons to their supporters why they have to work with the same people they have been fighting for decades. Alternatively, they could choose to remain as opposition and wait for Malays to wake up from slumber, which might take another 60 years, or when the country becomes like Iran or Afghanistan, whichever comes first.


In the same breath, Zahid could extend Barisan Nasional support for Anwar without joining the government as part of the exercise to rejuvenate UMNO – an uphill task that might not interest remaining corrupt and power-hungry warlords. UMNO should understand that even if it joins Muhyiddin, they can only play third fiddle, asking how high when Muhyiddin and Hadi tell it to jump.


Besides, UMNO’s real enemy is Bersatu and PAS, not Pakatan Harapan, because it lost all its seats to Perikatan Nasional. Exactly how does UMNO plan to rise again if they cooperate with the same enemies who had stolen its MPs in 2018, and again uprooted its strongholds now? In the long term, UMNO also has to consider whether it wants a moderate Muslim government, or taking orders from extremists Muslim government.

Hadi Awang - Taliban Terrorist


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