Two ministers, an MB, an A-G, and it was that easy?


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Two ministers, an MB, an A-G, and it was that easy?
By Zan Azlee

In the past seven or eight months, we have seen three top leaders in Umno who have been forcefully and dramatically removed from their positions unwillingly.

The most recent one that is still fresh in our minds is that of Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, who is now no longer the menteri besar of Kedah. He was forced to resign two days ago after losing majority support.

The other two might not be so fresh in our minds. I dare say that some of us might even have forgotten who they are. So let me remind everyone.

July of 2015 saw Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the deputy prime minister who also held the education portfolio, and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, then rural and regional development minister, being dropped from the Cabinet.

Oh, and then there was also the removal of Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail as the attorney-general in the same month, with Putrajaya citing his health as the reason.

And now, I am seriously wondering if in a few months, we would also start to forget about Mukhriz, just as how we are slowly starting to forget Muhyiddin, Shafie and Gani?

The reason I wonder is because it seems to me that the dropping of these three top leaders from Umno went ahead without much resistance or fight.

There was hardly a fight given by Muhyiddin and Shafie when they were dropped, while Gani had to accept his removal. And now, we can also see how easy it was for Mukhriz to go with just a simple resignation.

What I was really hoping for is that the three Umno bigwigs would have put up a strong fight to remain in their positions if they really felt that their removal was unjustified.

I can’t really say what I was expecting them to do to defend themselves, but I definitely wasn’t expecting them to go so easily as they did. Did any of you?

In Mukhriz’s case, does this set a precedent now? Anyone can be replaced without any strong reason? All it needs is a vote of no confidence? And even then, it doesn’t have to be in a real assembly sitting?

But then again, nothing illegal was done. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had full prerogative and authority to drop both Muhyiddin and Shafie from the Cabinet.

Gani resigned a few months short of his retirement and Mukhriz quit when he realised he did not have the support of a majority of the state assemblymen from his own party.

If that is the case, then I am very worried with how the governance of the country is going to be in the near future. It means that a few people at the top of the chain have the most power.

I realise that when we dish out criticism, it is always best if we also provide suggestions and potential solutions. But at this particular point in time and situation, I am scratching my head as to what to offer.

Hopefully, my lack of positivity will not last long and will not spin me into eternal scepticism and cynicism. And I hope the same for my fellow Malaysians too.

[This article originally appeared at The Malaysian Insider]

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