Sheraton coup two years later: UMNO as the source of instability

Speech by DAP Johor Chairman Liew Chin Tong on 23 February 2022 at the launch of Pekan Nanas Pakatan Harapan Election Centre

Two years ago today, a renegade faction in PKR led by Datuk Seri Azmin Ali collaborated with Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to stage a parliamentary coup at Sheraton Hotel with UMNO, PAS, and GPS.

Thus, the Pakatan Harapan government was toppled after only 22 months. While it was not perfect, the government was legitimately elected by Malaysians on 9 May 2018.

To those who scrutinise the 22 months under Pakatan, the last 24 months from February 2020 should be examined with equal level of attention. For two tumultuous years, Malaysians have been suffering from the incompetent, unjust and failed government.

Nevertheless, we must move forward. Johoreans are concerned about the future of the next 24 months or even 60 months (i.e., 5 years) and beyond.

For the nation to move forward, we must be clear about this: since May 2018, UMNO is behind the nation’s instability.

When UMNO and Barisan Nasional were defeated in the 14th General Election, they should have rejuvenated the leadership to prepare for the next general election.

Instead, UMNO refuses to reform. It keeps discredited leaders such as Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and convicted former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak. It wants to return to power through undemocratic means.

UMNO formed Muafakat Nasional with mortal enemy PAS in October 2018, and formalised the coalition a year later.

To put tremendous pressure of Pakatan Harapan government, UMNO pursued a “scorched earth” strategy to burn the house down. The party heightened fear among Malays towards non-Malays, and through its allies MCA and MIC, intensified anxiety among non-Malays towards the Malays.

Eventually, on this fateful day two years ago, Sheraton Coup happened, with the promise of a Malay unity government that would bring stability. Instead, Malaysians including Malays suffer pain and misery.

In the past 24 months, it is now clear as daylight that UMNO is the source of instability.

UMNO had toppled the Pakatan Harapan government. UMNO had also toppled the Muhyiddin government. Now UMNO is putting pressure on its own Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. And UMNO even forced its own state government in Johor to call for this snap election!

In short, UMNO doesn’t want to understand democracy and refuses to play the role of a His Majesty’s loyal opposition. It just wants to be the big brother.

UMNO only wants to be in the driver’s seat.
In its lexicon, there is no power sharing with other parties. Hence, it threw away the opportunity to reform.

The Johor state election can be a turning point for Malaysia. Rejecting UMNO in the Johor state election means a fresh start for Malaysia. Defeating UMNO means the greatest source of instability is removed.

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