Dr M’s real message after what was to be a ‘night of long knives’

The national palace in Kuala Lumpur was among the focus of the media yesterday as the nation braced for the second change of government in two years.

PETALING JAYA: A political analyst believes the flurry of events which got Malaysians glued to their mobile phones yesterday was just designed to be a show of power.

It was another way of telling Anwar Ibrahim, the man named by Pakatan Harapan as Dr Mahahir Mohamad’s successor, that the majority in the Dewan Rakyat do not want him as prime minister, he said.

Kamarul Zaman Yusoff of Universiti Utara Malaysia said Anwar needs the majority support from the 222 MPs.

But he said events yesterday were the strongest indication he was nowhere near it.

“Last night was all about Mahathir showing that he has the numbers and that most of the MPs don’t want Anwar,” he told FMT.

One estimate says Mahathir has secured the support of at least 130 MPs.

They are represented by PPBM (26 MPs), Umno (38), PAS (18), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (18), Warisan (9), MCA (2), and one each from MIC, Upko and STAR.

At least 20 PKR MPs aligned to the party’s deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali are also for Mahathir, according to sources.

Despite the uncertainties yesterday, Kamarul is convinced Mahathir has the majority support.

A number of political leaders had audiences with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong yesterday, amid expectation of Pakatan Harapan crumbling.

What was supposed to be a day of long knives to purge Anwar and his supporters from PKR, DAP and Amanah yesterday, ended with no concrete announcement from Mahathir.

It started with separate meetings held by PPBM and PKR MPs from Azmin’s faction in Petaling Jaya, fuelling weeks of speculation about a break up in the ruling coalition which came to power two years ago.

Kamarul said Mahathir had no intention to announce a new coalition last night.

Still, he said PH’s days were numbered, and its break-up inevitable.

Anwar’s side has since said that the PKR leader would be going to Istana Negara for an audience with the Agong today.

While this showed the constitutional monarch was fair by ensuring he hears all sides, it would not count for much.

“At the end of the day, Tun (Mahathir) has the numbers and the only way this whole episode will play out is Anwar never becoming PM.”