UPDATE: I figure DAP members of parliament are monolithic and will vote en bloc, toeing the party whip.
DAP grassroots are not so much in favour of Pribumi vis-a-vis PKR, and speaking up for them are party MPs like Ramkarpal Singh, Gobind and Charles Santiago. Kudos to the three. Other media-prominent MPs though are, unfortunately, more chameleon-like.
Our Dewan Rakyat has 222 seats; a simple majority in parliament is therefore 112.
It’s been roughly seven months (+ one week) since GE14.
In that time, the number of BN members of parliament has halved – viciously scythed from their 79 MPs in the immediate aftermath of the election to only 39 MPs today, and the number still dropping.
NOTE: Pribumi had only 12 seats initially!
ABOVE: Party standing in parliament immediately following GE14
Over the same period on the other side, Harapan parliamentarians increased from 113 MPs to its current 119 MPs and counting.
Maintaining the same number of parliament seats are DAP and PAN. Likewise the status of PAS remains stable.
Gaining two seats is PKR, with one of them being the Batu constituency which failed to be contested by the party’s incumbent MP Tian Chua and was instead won by a novice independent candidate.
BELOW: Party standing in parliament at the present moment
King of the frog pond
It is only Mahathir’s party that has gained four additional MPs through crossovers, i.e. taking Pribumi Bersatu’s total of 12 seats up to 16, according to the Malaysiakini chart above.
However, if we go by the reckoning of Pribumi spokesman Rais Hussin, his party today has 19 MPs – an unofficial figure, no doubt – which is a whopping addition of SEVEN (!) MPs from their initial haul of twelve recorded on May 9 polling day. It’s clear that the party most actively embracing “frogs” is Pribumi.
And while Mahathir has strengthened his hand considerably since May 9, his Harapan allies DAP and PKR have relatively suffered some lost ground. Post election, DAP and PKR combined had together 90 seats compared to Pribumi’s mere 12. Yet it has been Mahathir expertly calling all the shots from Day One.
BELOW: The Yellow Emperor – Mahathir’s reverse takeover of the ‘Free & Fair’ (konon) Bersih wave
How the two titans stack up
Mahathir is 93 years old; Anwar is 71.
Mahathir’s son Mukhriz is an MP; Anwar’s daughter Nurul Izzah is an MP. But here it’s one up for Anwar as his wife Wan Azizah is also an MP — so Mahathir (1) : Anwar (2).
Mahathir’s party has a score (some 19 to 20+) of MPs who are all Malays; Anwar’s party’s 50 MPs are multiracial. Mahathir has the solid backing of his Pribumi bloc whereas Anwar’s support among his PKR reps is fractured/divided. Questions: Which way is Azmin Ali inclined if it comes down to the wire? How big is Azmin’s gang?
BELOW: Is DAP’s Sabah MP Noorita Sual a non-Malay bumiputera?
MPs from the Sabah and Sarawak BN components, including Umno Sabah, have swayed rather too easily. What’s to say these Borneo MPs cannot just as easily be persuaded to swing in a different direction in the near future? After all, you know the old adage “Easy come, easy go”.
But anyway, salute to Bung Moktar for being the odd man out to loyally stick with Umno.
What about Umno’s remaining 37 MPs?
One thing we’ve been told is that the party grassroots vehemently reject cooperation with DAP. Perhaps we can conjecture that if DAP is pro Mahathir then Umno will be pro Anwar, and vice versa. In any case, Zahid Hamidi appears to be pro Anwar and Mahathir seems to be anti KJ, it’s safe to say.
BELOW: The Umno leaders in this photo look like forlorn captives in a hostage video
Will the 11 PAN members of parliament support Mahathir or Anwar? Presumably they will take their cue from DAP. Nonetheless, we need to bear in mind that PAN has been favoured most generously by Mahathir in the allocation of cabinet and Menteri Besar positions.
The DAP leadership in Dewan is homogeneous. The party has 40-41 non-Malay MPs.
Several of these DAP Yang Berhormats have been given a fullsome advantage over their their older compatriots (i.e. those not in Mahathir’s good books such as Nga Kor Ming and Chong Chieng Jen who surely deserves a full ministership – contrast Chong’s vast political experience with Pribumi greenhorn Syed Saddiq).
BELOW: Mahathir on 10 Sept 2017 (eight months before GE14), flanked by future DAP cabinet ministers Yeo Bee Yin and Hannah Yeoh
Politicians are the most distrusted profession the world over. They will promise the moon and stars; say one thing to one group and the opposite thing to another. Expect them to pledge loyalty to one warlord one day, and swear fealty to his rival the next day, unblinkingly.
In fact, never in Malaysian political history has there been greater sycophants of a PM than certain DAP evangelical leaders and their cybertroopers assiduously mouthing “our beloved Tun, our beloved Tun”.
So which Dear Leader is going to be more slavishly slobbered over in the ultimate face-off? Is it the forever PM-in-waiting or is it the man who has left a trail of discarded deputies (Musa Hitam, Ghafar Baba, Anwar) that never made it to the number one job?
BELOW: DAP’s Segambut MP worth one vote too in the final countdown