Asia Malaysia How did Muhyiddin become the most amusing Umno opponent in Johor?

How did Muhyiddin become the most amusing Umno opponent in Johor?

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‘Podah’, is what ex-PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin says of Umno’s claims that Johor is it’s stronghold and that the party is going to win the polls.

Yesterday, Muhyiddin, who is also the president of Bersatu, criticised Umno President Zahid Hamidi, denying his assertions that Umno is dominant in Johor.

He goes on to say that his party’s alliance, the Perikatan Nasional, will instead win the election.

Muhyiddin went even farther, referring to Umno head Zahid Komedi as “Zahid Komedi,” a title he got following a corruption lawsuit against him in 2018.

Uno did poorly in the 2016 general election, obtaining just 15 state seats, and it was only able to establish the state government after Muhyiddin’s Bersatu left Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Pakatan Harapan coalition in 2020.

“If someone were to tell me that Johor is an Umno stronghold, I say ‘podah’ (get lost in Tamil),” Muhyiddin, who is also the Perikatan Nasional chairman, said at a rally in Johor.

He stated that the coalition must guarantee that Umno suffers a worse defeat in the March 12 elections.

Same government

The irony in all of this is that Muhyiddin and Zahid are both members of the Putrajaya government.

Even though they are not ministers, their parties are members of the ruling coalition led by Umno.

Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the Prime Minister, is a member of Umno.

Due to a schism within the ruling party, Muhyiddin is at ease to speak out against Umno leader and former Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Muhyiddin appears to be supporting the Prime Minister, claiming that the latter does not want elections held in Johor due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Muhyiddin is one of the most vehement critics of Najib, calling him a kleptocrat and that he would be ashamed to be linked with Umno, a party with a “leader” who has been convicted in the courts.

Nonetheless, after seizing power from Mahathir in 2020, he needed the backing of Najib and Zahid to maintain a slender majority in Parliament while forming the government.

As election fever sweeps Johor, the feud between former Malaysian Prime Ministers Muhyiddin Yassin and Najib Razak is heating up.

“There is a blessing when Bersatu does not work with Umno as Bersatu won’t become entangled in the moral problems plaguing Umno leaders.

“Personally, I’d be ashamed to be associated with a party that embraces someone who has been convicted by the courts of a serious crime, as a boss,” Muhyiddin said in a statement clear referring to Umno’s ex-president Najib.

Last month, Najib took aim at Muhyiddin, claiming that the emergency declaration, which lasted nearly eight months under Mr Muhyiddin’s tenure as Prime Minister, was ineffective in limiting Covid-19 and safeguarding the economy.

Muhyiddin a success

Muhyiddin highlighted his achievements as prime minister, including dealing with Covid-19 outbreaks, getting vaccinations, constructing a Covid hospital in a week at MAEPS Serdang, and personally paying off RM8.3 billion in Felda settlers’ loans.

Punitive taxes on Malaysian crude palm oil were lifted as a result of his diplomacy with India, he says, bringing the commodity’s prices to historic highs. Felda (planters) settlers were able to earn more money as a result of this, he claims.

Muhyiddin also state he will not run for re-election in the Johor state polls, but that if Perikatan Nasional wins, he will volunteer his services as state economic adviser.

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