Malaysians mark a year of Muhyiddin’s rule with ‘traitor’s day’ tweets

Muhyiddin Yassin together with members of his National Alliance administration and a screenshot of the trending ‘#SetahunPengkhianatan’ hashtag. Photo: Coconuts
Muhyiddin Yassin together with members of his National Alliance administration and a screenshot of the trending ‘#SetahunPengkhianatan’ hashtag. Photo: Coconuts

Malaysians today marked the anniversary of the Sheraton hotel meeting that set the stage for the current Muhyiddin Yassin’s government with the hashtag #SetahunPengkhianatan, or a year of betrayal in Malay. 

Five thousand tweets with that hashtag have gone up on Twitter today, exactly a year after Muhyiddin Yassin, Azmin Ali, and several others met at the Sheraton just days before a political realignment was made public, leading to Mahathir Mohamad’s resignation as prime minister. 

“Please be reminded that Malaysia is now run by a backdoor government.

#SetahunPengkhianatan,” Twitter user @Dearjieunssi said. 

The secretary to political opposition figure Lim Kit Siang also joined in, saying: “23 February 2020. A group of elite politicians gathered at a luxury hotel to topple the government voted in by the people.”

The National Alliance, or PN, last year replaced the Pakatan Harapan government led by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, two years after the latter led an election victory against the ruling Barisan Nasional government headed by disgraced leader Najib Razak. Muhyiddin and Azmin used to be part of Mahathir’s political alliance. 

The power struggle was dubbed the “Sheraton Move,” citing the Kuala Lumpur hotel meeting that seems to have started it all. Mahathir resigned the following day while 26 MPs from his Bersatu party and 11 from the People’s Justice Party pulled out of his Pakatan Harapan coalition, leaving behind 37 seats short of the 112 seats for it to remain as government. 

The king then appointed Muhyiddin as prime minister to lead the National Alliance government, comprising whatever was left of Mahathir’s previous administration and majority seat-holder Bersatu. 

Another who jumped on the Twitter trend today was Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi, who simply wrote: “Happy Traitor’s Day.”

Batu Kawan MP Kasthuriraani Patto lashed out at Kota Baru MP Takiyuddin Hassan, who is in Muhyiddin’s camp, for calling Mahathir’s government “opportunists” and “out of touch.”

“YB you just described your own PN Government in your own words,” the Kasthuriraani said. “Opportunistic, out of touch with the people. Everyone has been left behind except Ministers, Deputies, and everyone else who supports them. So please. Save it. #SetahunPengkhianatan.”

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