Despite garnering support from his coalition partners, Umno, BN and PAS, Muhyiddin is on shaky ground.
There is tension in the Perikatan Nasional and the Umno is not settled in its quest to gain an upper hand in the government.
So there is the question: Can any one in the PN replace Muhyiddin and command the thin majority in Parliament? Or will any change of PM lead to a break-up of the ruling coalition?
Will the Umno accept another Bersatu leader to take over from Muhyiddin and to continue as if business is as usual?
The weekend was tense, with all the parties and the country waiting for the decision from the Istana Negara. It came down like a relief to the entire country but for the PN leaders, it was a disaster.
Amid tears and accusations thrown at two ministers close to Muhyiddin, Azmin Ali and Hamzah Zainuddin, Muhyiddin is said to have pondered resignation on Sunday.
The fact that he is still in power and is sitting tight on the PM’s seat is indication the PN may not have other options.
It is interesting to see what will happen if Muhyiddin resigns under the intense pressure that is building against him.
The rebuttal from the Palace has left him in limbo. He is the first ever Prime Minister in Malaysia’s history to have been denied a formal request to the King.
The King of Malaysia, since the Independence of the country, have never refused what the Prime Minister suggested. Not one emergency promulgation request were rejected in the past.
The country has never seen such a crisis since the King has always acceded to the demands from the former PM’s to dissolve Parliament for example.
But this time around, the Palace took things in hand and rejected Muhyiddin’s call for more powers to prorogue the Parliament and stop all political activities in the country.
And this is what caused the Palace to drop the bombshell. The country cannot stop its politicians from fighting for the betterment of the nation.
Muhyiddin is now a diminished PM facing the risk of being disobeyed after such a rebuke. His authority is thinning by the day and his situation may become untenable in the long run.
He runs the risk of facing another massive defeat in November if MPs from the ruling coalition were to break away from tradition and shoot down the budget 2021.
A PM FROM UMNO?
Muhyiddin has rejected demands from Umno to appoint its leader as the Deputy PM of Malaysia.
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was told by Muhyiddin recently that his demand could not be accepted but we don’t know the reason given.
Nevertheless, Umno was positioning itself to have a greater say in the affairs of the country. Rejected by Muhyiddin, the party tried to pull strings and it did not work because it is sorely divided between the pro-PN and anti-PN groups.
In the event Muhyiddin is pressed to quit given his feeble leadership after the recent flip-flops, will the Umno press to get his post?
If this happens, the Bersatu will be under fire though Umno might get the full support from the PAS.
It is not certain that Bersatu will swallow such a drastic change in the government, losing the top post to big-brother Umno.
That will make Umno a stronger partner in the government and all will be done according to the Umno leadership.
This is where the cracks will appear and the government’s eligibility to run the country will be sorely tested.
A BERSATU REPLACEMENT?
There is still the possibility that a Bersatu member would want to replace Muhyiddin. For now, it is Azmin Ali who holds the second top most post in the government.
He is, however, one of the newest members of the Bersatu having jumped from the Keadilan.
The whole ’emergency’ episode is blamed on him and an Umno member Hamza. This puts him in a difficult position. He will have to secure allegiance from the Bersatu, BN-PN-MN which does not seem plausible, though not impossible.
But there might still be some MPs from Umno who do not want to see another Bersatu PM who will in the end bully them and betray them!
It appears the PN is not a united front and it may fall any time. The big question is, when?
There is a consensus among the opposition politicians that there will be no snap polls and they will do all they can to prevent that with the COVID-19 third wave impacting Malaysia greatly.