All seekers after power must have an audience with the people

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BY PHLIP RODRIGUES РUMNO saw a window of opportunity to get inside the corridors of power through the backdoor when Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad briefly resigned. UMNO vultures began to circle the wounded Pakatan Harapan as they await for the coalition to breathe its last in the political turmoil that suddenly engulfed the nation.

UMNO saw its hope of a comeback soaring when its president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was called to the palace for an audience with the king. Zahid must be salivating at the prospect of taking over the helm and seeing his corruption trial quashed.

With Zahid enthroned, his former boss Najib Abdul Razak would also be dancing because his bigger corruption trial would also be thrown out of the window. Perhaps he would stand a good chance of eventually returning to the fold of government.

Although Zahid is the UMNO chief, it is Najib who would be pulling the strings behind the scene. As long as Najib is a free man he would not let go at any opportunity to influence UMNO his way, the crooked way.

Then there is PAS which would also share in the spoils of a ruined Pakatan Harapan since the party of God has a pact with UMNO to run the country based on the concept of national unity but totally yoked to the stringent demands of political Islam.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang is determined to impose his exclusive brand of government if he gets the slightest chance of capturing Putrajaya without relying on the help of the non-Muslim votes. He sees in the Sheraton gambit as one sure route of realising his vision through the backdoor.

All the players in the Sheraton conspiracy have only one goal in mind: to grab power and making sure they would never ever lose their hold on the levers of power. In their avaricious pursuit of self-aggrandizement, they would be willing to undermine democracy.

The voters in Malaysia are watching the political developments avidly. What they saw is not something that would gladden the heart. Here are these players trying to destroy a government legitimately elected to look after the welfare of the people. They do not care if the country is utterly wrecked as long as they can line their pockets with more filthy lucre.

It is unlikely that these traitors of democracy would have their way because the voters today would not tolerate such political shenanigans. They had had enough of the previous regime’s corrupted ways and overthrew it on a surge of a powerful awakening in 2018. They would not have second thoughts of repeating the triumph of people power.

UMNO and PAS and all their allies do not want to see Pakatan Harapan succeed in rebuilding the country for the simple reason that such a success story would adversely affect their political fortune. They would do everthing they could to create havoc without giving nary a thought to the grave consequences of such dangerous actions.

So the manoeuvring and the jockeying for power continues, with Mahathir holding all the cards. It is disturbing that the interim prime minister is attempting to cobble together a new coalition that would probably see the return of political crooks and villains.

Mahathir’s troubles would not be over even if he manages to stitch a government of national unity with its erstwhile foes sitting next to him. It would be a hard sell for him to promote this patchwork model to the people over the next three years.

But why wait for three years? Clearly, the Sheraton intrigue is a blatant push to topple a government of the people, by the people, for the people. It is only right and proper that Mahathir seek a fresh mandate instead of casting and sharing the lots among the perfidious actors.

Ultimately every government is formed by the will of the people. PAS and UMNO cannot override the wishes of the citizens expressed through the ballot box. In any confrontation with the people, the losers are always those who do not play by the rules.

At the end of five years, all those aspiring for public office must have an audience with the sovereign power – the people.

PHLIP RODRIGUES is a retired journalist.

*The opinions expressed above are those of the writer or publication and do not necessarily represent the opinions of New Malaysia Times.