Muhyiddin Yassin

By Kurniawati Kamarudin

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has to brace himself for the huge challenges that stand in his way now that he is at the helm of the government.

The newly appointed eighth prime minister of Malaysia not only has to convince the people to support his leadership but also has to mend the rift in his own party Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).

The Bersatu president’s appointment as prime minister has seemingly resolved the week-long political crisis but the situation is still dicey and problems may erupt again if Muhyiddin is not able to keep things under control.  

Malaysian Academic Association Congress president Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Idrus Mohd Masri said the biggest challenge facing the new prime minister is to get the rakyat to support his administration’s national development agenda.

He said the MP for Pagoh is known for his moderate approach in all his actions and his maturity was evident in the way he handled the recent political crisis.

“Thankfully, we braved the uncertainties posed by the changes in the nation’s leadership landscape in a sensible manner.

“Now our task is to unite under the leadership of the eighth prime minister as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong consented to appoint him as prime minister based on the support of other MPs and also his experience and leadership qualities,” Mohd Idrus told Bernama. 

He said for Muhyiddin to firmly establish his leadership, it is important that he gets the unanimous support of the political leaders who are backing him so that he can lead the nation smoothly and without any internal saboteurs plotting against him behind his back.

“There’s not much time left for the 15th general election. This is why he has to appoint Cabinet members who are stable, resilient and have a vision, as well as can work together as a team to fulfil their respective responsibilities,” he said, adding that Malaysians are now more mature and are keeping a watchful eye on the direction taken by the nation’s leadership.

Universiti Putra Malaysia Faculty of Communications senior lecturer Dr Syed Agil Syed Alsagoff said among the challenges that await Muhyiddin are facing off the opposition bloc and choosing a Cabinet line-up that has the capacity to deliver what the people want.

He said the rakyat is hoping to see the establishment of an administration that is transparent and trustworthy and where the ruling coalition partners are firmly committed to eradicating all sorts of abuses as per the aspirations of the people when they elected Pakatan Harapan in the 14th general election.

Syed Agil said the new prime minister should now give priority to firming up consensus among the parties in the coalition that will form the new government, as well as seeking holistic approaches to resolve conflicts and address political challenges that will likely arise in the near future. 

“They have to earn the confidence of the people that the government has the credibility to steer the nation forward.

“I feel Muhyiddin must also find a way to ensure that all parties in the (ruling) coalition reach an understanding that their mission is to set up a good government for the people although the parties concerned may not be able to meet their individual aspirations and dreams,” he added.

The new government must also strengthen its ties with Sabah and Sarawak but before this can be done, it would have to overcome many challenges and obstacles, said Syed Agil.  

“The prime minister has to pay attention to the two states’ economic development and standard of living,” he added. – Bernama