It’s Karma – How Sabah Political Frogs Outplay & Outsmart Power-Crazy Muhyiddin

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Dec 18 2022
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When Mahiaddin Yassin snatched power through the backdoor in Feb 2020, the democratically-elected Pakatan Harapan government collapsed. Except Selangor, Penang and Negeri Sembilan, the coalition eventually lost power in several states in Peninsular such as Perak, Johor, Kedah and Melaka due to defections. However, backdoor Prime Minister Mahiaddin was still not satisfied.


There was a state in Borneo that power-crazy Muhyiddin (Mahiaddin) wanted to add to his list of trophy – Sabah. He ordered his political appointee, Attorney General Idrus Harun, to drop all 46 corruptions and money-laundering charges against Musa Aman on June 9, 2020, allowing the former Sabah chief minister walked away a free man. The acquittal came with a condition.


Muhyiddin deliberately released Sabah’s biggest crook to help him overthrow the Sabah state government. However, cash-rich Musa Aman’s evil plan to topple Chief Minister Shafie Apdal failed spectacularly. Thanks to decisive Shafie, the state did not collapse like how the Pakatan Harapan government had fallen. If Muhyiddin wants Sabah, he had to fight for it – in the 16th Sabah State Election.

Musa Aman – Former Sabah Chief Minister - Corruption

The bribes – RM20 million for each head – offered by Musa saw 13 state assemblymen switched sides. Unfortunately, Governor Juhar Mahiruddin was disgusted and disapproved the power-snatching plot. He consented to Shafie’s request to the dissolution of the state assembly, paving the way for a snap election instead of entertaining Musa’s demand to be crowned as the new Chief Minister of Sabah.


Shafie Apdal was no match to the powerful machineries of the federal government. As admitted by UMNO warlord Annuar Musa, PM Muhyiddin had given spare cash to the tune of tens of millions of Ringgit stashed in his bedroom to buy votes. The backdoor Perikatan Nasional regime ultimately won the Sabah state election. But it came with a heavy price for Muhyiddin.


From the moment Mr. Shafie foiled Mr. Muhyiddin’s second coup attempt by decisively dissolved the Sabah Legislative Assembly before former Chief Minister Musa Aman could topple his government, the writing was already on the wall that not only both Bersatu and UMNO cannot work together, but they would slaughter each other despite both were governing partners in the federal government.

Shafie Apdal - Parti Warisan Sabah

After the Sabah state election on Sept 26, 2020, the greedy Bersatu forced its way for the Chief Minister post, despite winning only 11 seats as compared to UMNO’s 14. The United Malays National Organization (UMNO) was already furious after their demand for deputy prime minister and other strategic ministries had been ignored by the power-hungry PM Muhyiddin.


The Sabah state election also saw how Bersatu quietly sponsored Independent candidates to sabotage UMNO candidates – even though both were supposed to be on the same side. Worse, after bullied UMNO Sabah, Bersatu warlord cum Perak Chief Minister Ahmad Faizal Azumu “stole” UMNO assemblyperson Aznel Ibrahim by appointing him as his political secretary without consulting UMNO leadership.


Muhyiddin’s game of betrayal and treachery – first with friends in Pakatan Harapan, later with allies in UMNO – finally backfired when his own deputy, Azumu, was backstabbed and betrayed by his own ally UMNO in Perak on Dec 4, 2020. The Perak Chief Minister lost spectacularly in a motion of confidence vote – 48 assemblymen voted against him, while only 10 supported and 1 spoiled vote.

Perak Menteri Besar Chief Minister Ahmad Faizal Azumu

All the 24 assemblymen of Pakatan Harapan had supported rival UMNO in voting against Azumu. It was a sweet revenge for both parties. More importantly, the Perak drama was a “test bed” to experiment the possibility of a new political alignment where UMNO works together with Pakatan Harapan on a bigger scale, which materialises after last month’s 15th General Election.


Mr Muhyiddin’s political coup in Sabah also saw clusters of new Covid-19 cases spread like wildfire nationwide thanks to hypocrisy and double standard. The Ministry of Health did not mandate 14-day quarantine for Sabah arrivals in the Peninsular. There was absolutely no action taken against politicians who breached the health SOP (standard operating procedure).


It was the bad blood between Bersatu and UMNO that sowed distrust between both Malay political parties, which eventually saw UMNO-led Barisan Nasional chose Pakatan Harapan leader Anwar Ibrahim over Muhyiddin-led Perikatan Nasional in forming today’s unity government. Barisan’s 30 MPs and Pakatan’s 82 MPs essentially sealed Muhyiddin’s desperate attempt to return as prime minister again.

Anwar Ibrahim and Zahid Hamidi

And it was the new clusters of Covid-19 triggered by Sabah state election that exposed Muhyiddin’s inability and incompetence in handling the pandemic, which led to multiple nationwide lockdowns and economic hardship, resulting in the toppling of his government after just 17 months. He did not only lose power in August 2021, but also lost loyalty from his own Sabah comrades.


It was not a coincidence that the idea to register and formalize Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) as a coalition under Societies Act 1966 in Registrar of Societies (ROS) was hatched only in November 2021 – some 3 months “after” Muhyiddin lost power. Exactly why wasn’t GRS immediately legalized in November 2020 when it was first founded?


Sabah politicians are infamous for switching sides to whichever party that could offer the best deal. But that doesn’t mean the political frogs are dumb. On the contrary, due to their nature of hopping around, it makes them more cunning. They had switched sides in 2018 when Pakatan Harapan was in power, in 2020 when Perikatan Nasional snatched power, and again now when Pakatan returns to power.

PM Anwar Ibrahim and Sabah Chief Minister Hajiji

On the same day Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as 10th Prime Minister on Nov 24, GRS swiftly pledged its support for the new unity government, allowing Pakatan Harapan to enjoy two-thirds majority in the Parliament. On Dec 10, GRS chairman who is also Sabah Chief Minister – Hajiji Noor – announced that leaders of Sabah Bersatu had quit the party en masse.


The mass defections have raised the question over the possibility that the Sabah frogs could have breached the anti-hopping law, therefore they must vacate their seats for by-elections. The next day (Dec 11), former law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, the so-called architect of the anti-hopping law, said the four Sabah Bersatu MPs who quit the party must vacate their seat.


A day later, Junaidi made a stunning U-turn, saying the MPs do not need to vacate their seats after all. The four MPs apparently have left their Sabah Bersatu party in early October before contesting the 15th General Election on November 19, which means they are not affected by the anti-hopping law. The best part is they had contested under the GRS – not Bersatu or Perikatan Nasional – ticket.

Gabungan Rakyat Sabah GRS - Flag

Article 49A states that a member of a political party who was elected to Parliament shall cease to be a member of the House of Representatives and that member’s seat shall become vacant immediately if such a member resigns his or her party membership or ceases to be a member. But the MPs were not only members of Bersatu, but also GRS.


Gabungan Rakyat Sabah, legalised on 11 March 2022, consists of four Sabah parties and one party associated with Muhyiddin’s party – the Homeland Solidarity Party (STAR), United United Sabah Party (PBS), Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), United Sabah National Organisation (USNO Baru) and the Sabah branch of the Malaysian United Indigenous Party of Sabah (Bersatu Sabah).


Amazingly, unlike other coalitions in Peninsular, GRS actually permits individual membership of more than one party. For example, STAR had been both a member of GRS as well as the Perikatan Nasional coalition. In total, Sabah has six MPs who contested and won under the GRS banner in the Nov 19 national election. In layman term, it is like a person with dual citizenship.

Sabah State Election – Muhyiddin Launches Gabungan Rakyat Sabah GRS

Dual citizenship means being a citizen of two countries simultaneously. Therefore, the Sabah Bersatu MPs can safely quit Bersatu without losing their legitimacy as Members of Parliament because they were using “GRS passport” to travel while the anti-hopping law says they have to vacate their seats if they had travelled using “Bersatu passport”.


In fact, it was the moron Muhyiddin who announced on Oct 12 that the party’s Sabah candidates would use the GRS logo when contesting the 15th General Election. Again, on Nov 2 (before the general election), Chief Ministers Hajiji announced that GRS will be represented by 6 candidates from Bersatu, Parti Bersatu Sabah (4), STAR (2), and Sabah Progressive Party (1).


Only Bersatu vice president Ronald Kiandee had contested under Perikatan Nasional banner, thus preventing him from quitting. Even then, the UMNO defector was dropped from the GRS list of candidates after the coalition made way for Barisan Nasional candidate. GRS and Barisan had agreed to cooperate in the 15th General Election, but Muhyiddin, as usual, backstabbed GRS by fielding Kiandee anyway.

PM Muhyiddin - Sad Face Expression

Some have claimed that the Sabah Bersatu MPs have deceived Sabah voters because they did not publicly announce their resignations in October. The burning question should be why didn’t Muhyiddin announce it? The fact that the Bersatu president has not denied or challenged the claims of the resignations suggests that he too knew about it, but did not announce it either.


There could only be one reason – Muhyiddin was losing his grip in Sabah so much so he did not expect to win the election. Of course, he also did not expect Hajiji would lead the entire Bersatu Sabah to close shop and quit so quickly. It means the Sabah politicians were merely sucking political funding from Muhyiddin, who has suspectedly stolen billions from RM530 billion in Covid-19 stimulus packages.


True, there’s no honour among thieves, let alone traitors and frogs. It was only on Nov 21 that Hajiji expressed his support for Muhyiddin to become the 10th Prime Minister, only for the GRS chief to change the tune and support Anwar on Nov 24 after it was clear that Muhyiddin had lost the race. Muhyiddin has no one to blame but himself for allowing Bersatu Sabah to contest under GRS ticket.

Stacks Of RM50 Ringgit Bill Notes - Money

In the same breath, it also proves that from the beginning, the GRS Constitution was deliberately designed to provide a loophole for Hajiji and his boys to readily quit Bersatu when things go south. Muhyiddin should stop being a hypocrite by calling Sabahan leaders ungrateful and condemning their disloyalty. After all, they were former UMNO members who previously jumped to Bersatu.


Muhyiddin and his minions can mock and insult Sabah politicians’ lack of integrity and reputation. But it was the same Muhyiddin who taught everyone the new skills of power grabbing, backstabbing, betrayal, treachery and whatnot. The Sabahans were merely learning and perfecting their skills from him. In case traitor Muhyiddin still hasn’t figured it out, it’s called karma.


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