The story of Sharuddin Md Salleh keeps politics interesting

I read a Facebook post by Moo Hoong that talked about a little known deputy minister called Sharuddin Md Salleh. He is a two-term Johor assemblyman and currently the parliamentarian of Sri Gading.

In the post, he said Sharuddin’s visit (seen here at 3:50 mark) to Mahathir’s chairman office after the latter was “sacked” by Muhyiddin from BERSATU was monumental.

I quote (translated):

This visit has shaken Muhyiddin’s camp who will find it increasingly hard to unite against Mahathir, especially in its Johor division.

Sharuddin’s political career is built by and from Muhyiddin. He was Muhyiddin’s political secretary in UMNO until Muhyiddin was sacked as deputy prime minister. When Muhyiddin formed BERSATU, Sharuddin had the option to stay on at UMNO, but he chose to reunite with Muhyiddin in the opposition.

In GE14, both of them won parliamentary seats in Johor and became government – Muhyiddin as Home Minister and Sharuddin as Deputy Minister of Federal Territories. When Sheraton Move shook the nation, Sharuddin once again followed his master and became part of the Perikatan Nasional government.

Now he is seen with Mahathir at this crucial hour. In the recording, Sharuddin is seen walking into Mahathir’s office, exchanging Raya greetings with “Maaf Zahir dan Batin.”

Sharuddin entering Mahathir’s chairman office (image from Moo Hong’s Facebook)

The question on everyone’s mind is: Did Sharuddin indicate that he is now switching to Mahathir’s camp with his visit or is this just courtesy?

If Sharuddin is indicating his switch of heart, this would be frustrating for Muhyiddin who would imagine he has all appointment ministers and deputy ministers in his pocket. Let alone a long-time loyalist like Sharuddin. Does this mean Muhyiddin’s hand is weakening?

A week later, Sharuddin sung praises for Mahathir, calling him a ‘fighter, father, statesman.’

Make no mistake. This is still the weakest position Mahathir has ever been put in: No government resources, no party resources, no party loyalists, no coalition backing.

I am still pessimistic of Mahathir’s chances – there is too much working against him. But if he can turn this around, and convince not only Perikatan Nasional’s government members to back him but also Muhyiddin’s loyalist to turn his way, then that would be one last impressive feat.

Then again, if anyone could pull off something like that – it would be Mahathir.

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