近日的事态显示,丹斯里慕尤丁辞去首相职位时,其在马来西亚政治舞台上被击败了。然而,最新的发展表明,他可能只是技术性被击倒(TKO)。

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新内阁在9月1日的会议上同意委任慕尤丁为国家复苏委员会(MPN)主席,具有部长级地位。根据官方声明:“这一任命是基于政府对慕尤丁领导国家复苏战略的能力有信心,以实现最佳经济效应,并恢复受新冠疫情严重影响的人民生活。”

非马来人社交媒体对这一消息的反应普遍是负面的。如预料般,反对党站出来谴责这项重要的任命——没有获得主流印刷媒体的报导——斗士党主席慕克里兹在推特评论:“这又是一个违背逻辑的决策。他们基于慕尤丁任首相时处理疫情的失败,而踢走他,如今又任命他担任国家复苏委员会主席。这种蠢事什么时候结束?”

亲巫统的观察员指出,慕尤丁的新任命令前首相纳吉的阵营感到失望,因为国家复苏委员会可能是政府中最有权力的机构。这也意味著新首相依斯迈沙比里实际上可能在前首相的掌控下。

对于独立和没有政治倾向的民众,可从这些最近的政治发展中得到什么启示?

越多变则越不变

法国作家阿尔冯斯卡尔(Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Kar)的名言“plus ca change, plus c’est la meme selected”,翻译过来就是:“事物变化越多,它就越保持不变”。这可能适用于当前的政治发展。虽然我们有了新首相,但权力中心仍然是国盟/巫统/土团/伊党的阵营。马来人支配论述依然主导著马来西亚的政治体系。尽管,之前倒慕尤丁的动作不断,但马来人支配地位从未受到怀疑或挑战。

更关键的问题是,这次倒慕行动中,马来人支配的统治地位,是否进一步的加强了。在政治舞台上看,目前──大多数公开看到的──胜利者展现了亲切,令人欣慰的一面。

如依斯迈沙比里于2021年8月22日上位后的首次演说:“我们知道在多元种族和宗教通婚的家庭里,存在著强大的家庭纽带。因此,‘大马一家’的概念类似于一个联系起国民的价值观。”

“让我们敞开心扉,忘记我们的分歧,找出共同点。我们需要朝著为我们的家庭,‘大马一家’的安全和保障建立起共识。”“我们就像身体里的不同部分,需要彼此。”

“大马一家”承诺能否兑现?

然而,观察大马政治的民众都知道,与所有政治演讲一样,这些承诺很快就会在马来语翻译中消失,没有了后续的行动或被扔进了垃圾桶。

马来西亚人也知道新首相过去在一些事件中的关键角色。在巫统崛起中,一些尖锐的分析就指出了,沙比里是如何利用手段攻击对手上位。许多人仍然记得,新首相如何在“大马一家”的场合,如刘蝶广场事件中,以煽动族群情绪获取支持,以及他“努力”将消费者行为种族化的举动。

人们也知道沙比里所属的政党之素质。许多人预测,沙比里的支持者无疑也会想分享其荣耀,尤其是随其上位后而来的财富资源。
  
至于前首相慕尤丁,认为他的下台意味已出局,是为时过早。但即使他无法在政治舞台上生存,或者可能出于健康原因决定退出政治舞台,他也应该考虑其为这国家留下的遗产。此前,慕尤丁曾因“马来人优先论”而受到批评,如果他现在能够证明其内心,以及在制定政策和行动上展现真正的马来西亚人精神,那么历史会对他有更好的评价。

林德宜《慕尤丁下台但未出局》原文:PM Muhyiddin: Down But Is He Out 

Recent events may have indicated that Tan Sri Muhyiddin was knocked out of Malaysia’s political fight ring when he resigned as the Prime Minister. However the latest development shows that he only suffered a TKO. 

Members of the Cabinet, in its meeting on Sept 1, agreed to appoint Muhyiddin as the National Recovery Council (MPN) chairman with ministerial status. According to the official statement:

“This appointment is made based on the government’s confidence in Muhyiddin’s ability to lead the country’s recovery strategy, in order to achieve the best economic impact and restore the livelihood of the people severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic”

Public response to this news in the non-Malay social media has been mainly negative. And predictably the opposition has jumped in to denounce the appointment with the most prominent – not reported in the mainstream printed media – being that of Mukhriz Mahathir, President of Pejuang, who came out with this Twitter comment : 

“Yet another logic defying decision. The failed PM Muhyiddin they butted out because #kerajaangagal in handling Covid they now appoint to chair National Recovery Council. When will this stupidity end?”

UMNO allied observers have pointed out that Muhyiddin’s new position has led to frustrations in ex-PM Najib’s camp as the MPN may be the most powerful entity within the current government. This implies that the new PM Ismail Sabri may in fact be under the thumb of the ex PM. 

What can the independent and non-politically aligned public take away from these recent political developments?

The More Things Change The More They Remain The Same 

There is a famous phrase coined by French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Kar –  “plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose” translated as “the more things change, the more they remain the same”.

This may be applied to current political developments. Although we have a new Prime Minister, the center of power is still in the PN/UMNO/Bersatu/PAS camp. Malay dominance of Malaysia’s political system continues. Despite all the hype in trying to oust Muhyiddin from the Prime Ministership, this dominance was never in doubt or challenged. 

The big question is whether Malay dominance has been further reinforced by this encounter. In the lawan arena. For now – as with most publicized spectacles – the victor has been gracious and provided soothing reassurances on the fight outcome. 

Does Malaysian Family Apply to All

In the new champion’s words: 

“We realise the existence of inter-marriage families with various races and religions which possess strong family bonds.”

“As such the concept of the Malaysian Family is akin to the strength of a nation bound together by such values”. 

“Let us open our minds and hearts to forget our differences and find common grounds. We need to move towards building consensus for the security and safety of our family, The Malaysian Family.

“We are like parts of a single body which need one another.”

(quotable quotes from Prime Minister Dato Seri Ismail Sabri’s maiden speech to nation, 22 August 2021) 

Fight spectators in Malaysia are aware though that, as with all fight speeches, promises made are quickly lost in Malay translation and forgotten in follow up or thrown away in the garbage bin. 

Malaysians also know how game changing the new Prime Minister has been in the past. In arising from UMNO’s ranks, critical analysts point to his tendency in hitting below the belt. Many continue to remember his prowess in winning lower rung ‘game changing’ bouts in the neighbourhood of Malaysian family friendly venues such as Low Yat and in his efforts to racialize consumer behavior. They also know the ‘satu keluarga’ ‘ and ‘ketuanan’ quality of his handlers who have trained him. And many predict that his entourage will undoubtedly want to share the glory and especially the treasure that comes with victory.  

What is Muhyiddin’s Legacy

As for ex PM Muhyiddin, it is too early to count him as down and out. But even if he does not survive in the political arena or perhaps decides to leave politics for health reasons, he should be thinking about the legacy that he is leaving the country. 

Previously criticized for his statement that “I am a Malay first”, history will judge him more kindly if he can now prove that he is both truly a Malaysian at heart as well as in policy and action.  

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