It gets increasingly harder to figure out what former DPM Muhyiddin Yassin is all about. Does he want to be one of the leading figures of the Save Malaysia movement or does he not?
Before he was suspended from Umno, dissidents in the party as well as many who were outside the party held the hope that he would be at the forefront of the movement to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak and take over from him. After all, he was the Deputy President of Umno and could become the interim president and thus the interim prime minister until fresh elections are held. But he hemmed and hawed while getting increasingly vocal as a dissenter until the Umno Supreme Council took action against him.
And now he says he will support DPM Zahid Hamidi as Prime Minister if Najib steps down, as if he, a seasoned politician, isn’t aware of Zahid’s unpopularity with reform-minded Malaysians.
This is understandably frustrating to those supporting the Save Malaysia movement. Indeed, one of the reasons many people are not completely sold on the Save Malaysia idea is that the movement has among its members Muhyiddin and a few others with the old Umno mindset.
Now, this is not to say that people have been waiting for Muhyiddin, specifically, to rise up as the political voice of the movement. In fact, one suspects Mat Sabu may carry enough political capital to begin transitioning to such a role, although one must admit that it would be hard to imagine Mahathir Mohamad championing Amanah’s dynamo.
Beyond the question of Save Malaysia’s failure to capture the imagination and confidence of the silent majority, Muhyiddin himself is a curious study. We noted in an earlier article that he is not a particularly ambitious politician. He seems the kind who would be happy if the Prime Minister’s post dropped into his lap, but would not care too much if it didn’t. To some, however, he seems to be a man dead set on evading the crown Mahathir desperately wants to put on his head.
Every time he was put against a corner, his supporters called upon him to pick up the ball and lead the charge, and each time his reaction would be the same. He would moan about the injustice done to him, talk about Najib’s alleged crimes and remain tight lipped when asked if he would take on the Prime Minister. To his credit, he does seem to be gearing up for a run at the Umno presidency, but that effort will be nipped in the bud by the Supreme Council long before 2018.
The average citizen may have sympathised with Muhyiddin when he first took the fall for the sake of the truth, but sympathy is quickly spent if you do nothing about it. In truth, nobody now wants to see Muhyiddin as Prime Minister except his most ardent supporters. The time to pull the trigger has long since passed.