MP and Bersih chief sneer at ‘reformist’ label for Muhyiddin

MP and Bersih chief sneer at ‘reformist’ label for Muhyiddin

MP and Bersih chief sneer at ‘reformist’ label for Muhyiddin
Charles Santiago and Thomas Fann scoff at Speaker Azhar Harun’s description of Muhyiddin Yassin as an ‘overlooked reformist’.

PETALING JAYA: An Opposition MP and the head of the Bersih electoral reform group have ridiculed the labelling of former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin as an “overlooked reformist”.

In disputing the description, raised by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun today, they cited the “Sheraton Move” of 2020 which led to the downfall of the Pakatan Harapan government and the formation of a new government led by Muhyiddin.

Klang MP Charles Santiago of DAP said that Muhyiddin was among the two “big architects” – the other being Azmin Ali – who had brought down a democratically elected government by engineering defections.

In the Sheraton Move, MPs of Barisan Nasional, Bersatu, PAS, and a faction led by Azmin, then PKR deputy president, joined forces to topple the Pakatan Harapan government.





“So how can people who spat on the people’s mandate be considered a reformer?” Santiago told FMT, referring to the 2018 general election.

Santiago also said that Muhyiddin never brought any substantial changes to the law when he was the home minister during PH’s brief reign.


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This included ones on citizenship and the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

Santiago said that “there isn’t much that he (Muhyiddin) can speak of” during his tenure as home minister, or even as prime minister for that matter.

He said Muhyiddin only proposed reforms on the eve of his removal as prime minister, when he made overtures for opposition support to keep the Perikatan Nasional-led government intact.





This included a framework for bipartisan political cooperation, including equal annual allocations for all MPs regardless of their political party.

“I’m not clear what does Azhar mean? What is he smoking,” Santiago said, referring to the term “overlooked reformist” that Azhar was quoted as having used of Muhyiddin at a book launch today.

Malaysiakini said Azhar hailed Muhyiddin achievements such as making a political comeback, after being removed as deputy prime minister under Najib Razak, and becoming Bersatu president as part of a coalition that ended Umno’s 61-year old reign.


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Azhar also cited Muhyiddin’s reform agenda as home minister and his efforts to steer the nation in the opening months of the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysiakini reported.





Bersih chairman Thomas Fann said while Muhyiddin certainly had the opportunity to be a reformist when he was part of PH he was ineffective, especially when it came to changing agencies like the police which came under the home ministry’s preview.

“Instead, he led his party out of PH and overthrew a democratically elected government” and Muhyiddin pushed for an emergency to suspend Parliament and elections in order to stay in power, Fann said.

Democracy in this country had never been more threatened than when it was under Muhyiddin, Fann added. “I am bewildered that he could even be labeled a reformist.”

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MP and Bersih chief sneer at ‘reformist’ label for Muhyiddin


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