Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin, an elderly political figure, and MP for the Pagoh constituency in Johor – the birthplace of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) – was cozily gyrating within the party’s corridor, fighting a lost battle. Or was he up to something?
His attempts to address the woes affecting a party deep that was in crisis from within was futile, but what was behind his agenda?
Was it for purely political reasons, or simply for personal ones, that he decided not to join Tun Mahathir Mohamad, former Prime Minister and leave Umno before he gets fired from the party?
Some would say he was working from within the party to undermine its leadership, but then, it did not work and the party apparently did the right thing in sending him off.
His case is as strange as that of Mukhriz Mahathir, who remained within the party despite his father’s departure and his firing as Menteri Besar of Kedah.
It was clear from the beginning of the Muhyiddin’s fall that he had no chance in fighting for his return as deputy PM or get his leader Prime Minister Najib Razak to be removed as party leader.
But since no one can remove a sitting UMNO President, who by right, is also the country’s PM, Muhyiddin and his gang were fighting another losing battle, given the fact that Najib is today the most powerful UMNO President in the history of the party.
Several political observers said Muhyiddin does not have the charisma and the strength of people like former deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim.
Muhyiddin’s political career shows a formal lack of leadership, said observers in interviews that appeared on regional channels.
On Channel News Asia last year, Muhyiddin’s lack of interest to become PM was highlighted by local analysts.
They said he showed no signs or interest of holding the top post, and this was crucial in understanding the man’s political future.
And there are many questions raised by Muhyiddin’s move to reject calls for him to leave the party.
Was he fighting for the people or for the party, or for himself?
The biggest questions about Muhyiddin is why he did not reveal his conversation with Najib over the 1MDB issue before he was kicked out as Minister? This would have added credence to his claims.
He made some sizzling revelations only after he was taken down as party deputy, which says a lot about his strategy.
Stuck at the number two post, Muhyiddin was comfortable, until Mahathir launched his lacerating campaign against Najib.
Nevertheless, riding high on his campaign trail, Muhyiddin may find the roads of Johor as rocky as any chance of a return to the deputy PM post under Najib.
Since he was on a strict personal agenda, it was certain he was not going to shake Najib off his perch.
At this moment, it is clear the former deputy PM is not the type of person who can take on Najib from outside the party altogether.
Is it the fears of isolation, the same that Anwar suffered from within the party on the eve of his downfall, that is keeping Muhyiddin from leaving UMNO?
Anwar battled the isolation and made a fiery comeback, which was only cut short by the sodomy 2 jail sentence.
Or are there other reasons for him to reject the loose group formed by Mahathir, one that would not put him in the PM’s seat?.
Muhyiddin is not cut for a tough and long drawn fight on the even rockier roads to uncertainties, and his firing from the party will probably mean the end of his illustrious career.
Or is it?