Who is afraid of Dr Mahathir Mohamad–Najib Razak, of course. Why? Read Mariam’s plea

January 22, 2018

Who is afraid of Dr Mahathir Mohamad–Najib Razak, of course. Why? Read Mariam’s plea

by Mariam Mokhtar


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He is turning to God for help, since most Malaysians turn against him

COMMENT | As Dr Mahathir Mohamad looks back on his successes and his achievements for the nation, his recollections are tinged with sadness.

The former Prime Minister is not blind. He sees a nation which is torn apart. The Malays are focused on life after death. The politicians whom he once mentored are greedy and put self above service to the nation.

Mahathir realizes that he has one last chance to make things right, for Malaysia. He needs to repair his tarnished reputation and he knows he cannot do it alone. The opposition parties cannot do it by themselves, nor can we act on our own; but together, we have a chance.

Mahathir’s resurgence/re-emergence into our lives and politics is one of many ironies. If most of the people he locked away under the ISA are prepared to work with him for a better Malaysia, why not you?

Many Malays live a hand-to-mouth existence, wondering how they will pay for their next meal.The rural Malays identify with Mahathir. They will listen to him, and the language he uses to weave his magic over them is simple and straightforward. 1MDB has very little traction with the Malays, but the GST has hit them hard.

Mahathir knows that they have no knowledge of money trails, offshore banks or money laundering. These are all alien concepts to them. Where the Opposition has been unable to enter the Malay rural heartlands, Mahathir can.

In Mahathir’s time, you rarely heard people in the entertainment world talking about the cost of living. Today, singers and actresses have been vocal about the many hardships of Malaysians.

When the current crop of ministers and senior politicians criticise these celebrities, they make matters worse and drive home the message that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is out of touch with the ordinary Malaysians.

When Mahathir and Anwar introduced changes to the local Malaysian Islamic scene, it was to counter the rising popularity of PAS at the time. PAS felt energized by the Islamic revolution that had taken over Iran. Three-and-a-half decades later, Iran is seeing pockets of resistance against the rising conservatism, which has taken hold in Iran, while Malaysia appears to be trapped in a time warp.

Malaysians swell with pride when they see the Petronas Twin Towers, but Mahathir is aware that the soul of the country is as cold as the steel and concrete in its foundations, and lacks moral fiber.

The national car project, Proton, mobilized the rural folk and gave them a form of independence, but Najib has sold it to the People’s Republic of China. Under Mahathir, the national airline, MAS, connected Malaysia to six continents, but today, London is its only European destination.

UMNO-Baru has always told its Malay support base that it is the only party which can protect the Malays and defend Islam, lest the DAP-led opposition, which will undermine the position of the Malays.

What can Najib say or do with Mahathir at the helm of the opposition? Mahathir is neither Chinese, nor a DAP stooge. In fact, it is Najib who appears to have “sold” Malaysia to the mainland Chinese.

In recent days, UMNO-Baru said that it was Abdul Razak Hussein, Najib’s father, who rescued Mahathir from the political wilderness, after he was banished from the party by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra. They failed to mention that Razak helped create FELDA, but that his son has destroyed FELDA.

Mahathir was involved in the constitutional crisis of 1987; he had his spat with the judiciary and subsequently created the new party, UMNO-Baru. He knows the party’s weaknesses and strengths. He is prepared to destroy UMNO-Baru because he can see that it has become a monster. He is the person who is best qualified to do the job.

Mahathir attracts record crowds in villages

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Image result for Mahathir at BersihCry Freedom for Malaysia


When Mahathir visits the villages, he attracts record crowds. He does not need much publicity, whereas when Najib goes on these village walkabouts, he has been known to have a bunting of his father, Razak, and leaflets, reminding people of his father’s greatness. How insecure is that?

We hear allegations that, in the past, Mahathir admonished, and threatened to sack, heads of departments who refused to kowtow to him. Today, Najib and his ministers openly threaten to sack teachers or civil servants who vote for, or support the opposition. Things must be desperate in today’s UMNO-Baru.

We are all a product of Mahathir’s policies. What is done, is done. We cannot cry over spilled milk, but we can at least ensure that we take precautions, to prevent a recurrence.

Today, we are on the cusp of a new beginning, but we have the moaners, complaining about Mahathir and the past, rather than focusing on the future.

What is there to lose, if we work together with Mahathir to rebuild Malaysia? He is not going to live forever. The opposition politicians are not so stupid that they will allow him to build a new Mahathir empire.

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Their future depends on Malaysians to do the right thing, says Mariam Mokhtar

Lessons have been learned, but you need to have a modicum of trust. Would you prefer to live in the past and continue moaning, or spoil your votes, or boycott GE-14? Or are you ready to take this leap forward and change? It is not about you, or me, or Mahathir. It is about rebuilding Malaysia!

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO). Blog, Twitter.

Read more at https://www.malaysiakini.com/columns/409495#g1Tl4CXPrAb5XL2k.99


The Undoing of Pakatan

January 15, 2018

The Undoing of Pakatan

Simon Sinek

SIMON Sinek’s earlier book tells us to always start by asking why. The “why” of something is what drives people into throwing their passion into their work and their actions. He uses this to describe how Apple manages to entice customers.

Similarly, if you read Naomi Klein’s book on corporations, she tells us that products such as Apple’s devices are not just marketing an electronic device, it is about selling a brand.

With these two concepts, enter Pakatan Harapan. So why should one vote for Pakatan Harapan? Well, because they wish to reduce corruption, end kleptocracy, save the nation, ensure equality somewhat for everyone, and even look towards correcting whatever else is wrong in this country – like how the Premier League isn’t shown on television.

Personally, I didn’t even know that was a wrong thing since I don’t watch football. Either I’ve been blind to that fact, or the enticement of free football is pure escapism, but let’s get back to the topic at hand.

 Pakatan’s brand has always been to right the multiple injustices in the country, or to use Star Wars pop-culture, to bring balance to The Force. Unfortunately, their narrative has been complicated by asking Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to become their candidate for Prime Minister.

And this is why in the last week, Pakatan Harapan supporters and politicians have gone out of their way barraging the press with letters voicing their support for Mahathir and how there is no better candidate to win the Malay votes.

Let us be frank – Pakatan needs Mahathir “only” to win the Malay votes. And for that, they have sacrificed their “why” – reducing corruption, end kleptocracy, ensure equality and correcting the wrongs in this country – for the chance to win over enough Malays to get into the seat of power.

And this is why I often joke that whenever Mahathir talks about all these topics, even at the anti-kleptocracy rally – does anyone bother carrying a mirror to give the messenger some hint of the very audacity of the whole situation?

Image result for Mariam Mokhtar and Mahathir


Subsequently, you will notice that Pakatan supporters – the ones who chided Mahathir as “Mahafiraun” or even “Mahazalim”, have now had to come out to undo this narrative of an evil old dictator rivalling Mugabe which they have been selling for a decade.

And it isn’t working. Instead, Malaysians who were hardcore Pakatan Rakyat supporters now look at the pro-opposition activists in confusion.

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Hishamuddin Rais wants to get rid of UMNO, not Mahathir: UMNO-Baru was created by Mahathir after 1987  Party Crisis

One example of this is Hishamuddin Rais, who for so long condemned Mahathir as the major cause of the problems in Malaysia. And yet, at a forum last week, he was open enough to admit all that can be put aside because he wants to get rid of UMNO, not Mahathir.

And yet, here is the self professed non-government individual, in his own words in 2006, published in Central Market’s The Rice Cooker Shop. The title? Mahathir dan Labu-Labinya. In it Hisham admits that he would rather “trust Ibrahim Ali than Mahathir”, and how he revels in the fact that Mahathir had been abandoned by his own supporters.

Similarly, you have Mariam Mokhtar writing in asking who if not Mahathir. Her readers are just as confused, because this is contrary to everything she has stood for as highlighted in her Malaysiakini column in 2013 entitled “Apa lagi Mahathir mahu?”.

Image result for Mariam Mokhtar and Mahathir

In her own words: “Until we get a change in government, only one man can stop Mahathir’s deleterious effects on the nation – Najib Abdul Razak – but he either won’t or can’t bring himself to perform this saintly task. Such is the hold that Mahathir has over Najib.”

And yet, now she is backing Mahathir to the hilt because she wants that change in government, even if it is with the man who “cares for nothing but the continuation of his legacy, through his son, Mukhriz”.

This is Pakatan Harapan’s problem and why they will lose voters more than they gain. Primarily, it is because the Malays don’t vote for persona, they vote for brands – we have seen this with Semangat 46 even with the support of Tun Hussein Onn and Tunku Abdul Rahman, we have seen this with Onn Jaafar and his Parti Negara. Pakatan’s bet is that this will be proven untrue.

Second, their problem is that they have tainted their own brand, their own “why” by admitting the very person they accused of causing various problems. They used Mahathir as their scapegoat and now it seems they are using him as their idol.

French philosopher Jacques Ellul wrote that once propaganda has crystallized, confusion will ensue when you try and change the narrative. This sums up the problem Pakatan is facing. After 10 years of selling the same message, they now have to market something that has turned 180 degrees in less than two months.

And that confusion, that hypocrisy by their supporters, that double standard worthy of the very people they are trying to oust, will lose them the election.

Hafidz Baharom is a public relations practitioner.


Mahathir Changes Malaysia’s Political Equation

January 10, 2018

Mahathir Changes Malaysia’s Political Equation

by Mariam Mokhtar


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The battle lines for Malaysia’s 14th General Election have been laid, with the 92-year-old former Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, teaming up with Malaysian opposition parties in a bid to oust the current premier, Najib Abdul Razak, and wrest power away from the United Malays National Organization, which has led the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition since independence in 1963.

According to UMNO insiders, Najib is extremely confident. He believes the Barisan, which also includes the Malaysian Chinese Association and the Malaysian Indian Congress, could – with the help of almost-brutal gerrymandering – win as 140 seats in the 222-member parliament and, if things break their way, even take back 148-vote two-thirds majority that the coalition had held for decades

Mahathir’s selection as potential premier, opposition leaders say, could dramatically change that equation and bring down a party and coalition rife with corruption and cronyism. Individuals close to Najib have been charged in the biggest kleptocracy case ever brought by the United States Justice Department, which has confiscated a vast array of Malaysian-owned assets in the United States.

At the center of Malaysia’s politics is a racial calculus in which Malays fear that the Chinese, who dominate the country’s business world, would come to dominate the political one as well.

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Prime Minister Najib Razak needs PAS and the moronic Hadi Awang to secure rural Malay voters who have been conditioned to think that Islam is under threat.

With Mahathir at the helm, analysts say, Najib – picked as a protégé decades ago by Mahathir – can’t blame the Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party for being the driving force for the opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition. During his years as Prime Minister, Mahathir was a Malay supremacist even though he is only half-Malay. His father came from the Indian subcontinent (Kerala).

Nor could Najib use the argument that the Chinese will take over the nation, which has been a hobgoblin to frighten the rural Malay electorate for decades. Mahathir, who dominated UMNO and Malaysian politics as head of UMNO for 23 years from 1981 to 2003, is legally a Malay Muslim.

Mahathir is the undisputed come-back kid. The party he founded, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), has managed to unite the leaders of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), the Democratic Action Party (DAP), and Aminah, a splinter that split away from the rural-based, fundamentalist Parti Islam se-Malaysia, or PAS.

The much-awaited GE-14 is expected to be a viciously contested general election. It will also be Najib’s toughest. On January 8, Pakatan Harapan announced that Mahathir would be their interim Prime Minister until Anwar Ibrahim, the charismatic opposition figure who has been imprisoned on what many consider to be spurious charges since 2015, would be freed. This was not the news that Najib wanted.

Social media has been abuzz with views about Mahathir’s nomination, including a report that Najib’s adviser, Habibur Rahman, had approached both DAP leader Lim Guan Eng and Anwar’s daughter Nurul separately to offer them “attractive incentives” to try and broker a deal. His request was simple. He did not want DAP or PKR to withdraw from the election, or to support BN in GE-14. He merely wanted them to reject the nomination of Mahathir as the interim candidate for the opposition coalition. The request was reportedly rejected outright.

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The Malay Dilemma–Mahathir’s Malay Supremacy (Ketuanan Melayu)

Anti-Mahathir critics have issued stark warnings amid signs that they are ganging-up on the former premier, an authoritarian figure who ruled the country with an iron fist, at one point triggering a roundup called Operation Lalang (1987) that swept up journalists, civil libertarians and the opposition figures with whom he is now making common cause without habeas corpus and jailing them for months under the country’s colonial-era Internal Security Act.

It is unknown if Mahathir has belatedly discovered, now that he is on the other side, the value of a free press and an independent parliament and judiciary and the other institutions that he neutered as the country’s leader.

One Perak based-political observer called Mahathir “damaged goods. His gambles and ego projects, such as attempting to corner the tin market, huge forex losses, (the Proton national car project) and the Petronas Twin Tower, have cost the nation too much.

“He caused irreparable damage to our judiciary; entrenched institutional racism in the country and started the slide in our educational standards. He cannot be trusted to run the country again – even for a day.”

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Dr Kua  Kia Soong and Dr Anne Munro-Kua–Civil Society’s Intellectual Couple.

Kua Kia Soong, the Director of Suaram, a Human Rights NGO, who was jailed Operation Lalang, has continued to demand that Mahathir enumerate the sins he has committed and apologize for each of them.

Kua has been slammed for his intransigence and his refusal to see the bigger picture, which is to get rid of Najib and win GE-14. One person said, “Can he not see that Mahathir can win over more Malay voters? Does he think that the opposition will allow themselves to be under Mahathir’s yoke, if they win GE-14?”

Another political observer from Singapore said, “Dr M can shift 5 percent of Malay votes, which no other leader could. That can be critical.”

Last December, when it was first mooted that Mahathir would become the interim PM, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Abdul Rahman Dahlan, described it as a “sad day” for the opposition, and said, “…they have been in the political arena for so long, but they couldn’t find a younger candidate or fresh blood to become the leader of Malaysia. It’s sad and actually surprising, and I do not think it will go down well with the people.”

Khairy Jamaluddin, the Sports and Youth Minister, has waded into the debate about Mahathir’s nomination and said that the country will be plunged into chaos and political instability.

When Mahathir wrote his controversial book “The Malay Dilemma,” he was not afraid to list the Malays’ shortcomings, but he gave them a new sense of identity. The Ketuanan (Malays first) myth.

One political analyst said, “Although Ketuanan Melayu was detrimental to the young democracy, it provided the desired momentum to drive the Malays from their feudal mentality. With Mahathir’s affirmative action policies, the Malay middle class grew, but so did their ego and greed. They cast aside their moral values. For many, there was no going back.”

The upcoming general election will undisputedly be one of many firsts and ironies.

Image result for The greedy and Corrupt Rosmah MansorPower hungry, corrupt, greedy,  and ambitious Rosmah Mansor is believed to be the driving force behind the hen-pecked Prime Minister Najib Razak.

In GE-14, the PM and his former mentor will face one another from opposite sides of the political divide. Mahathir didn’t figure the “self-styled First Lady of Malaysia” (FLOM) into the mentoring equation. The equally power hungry, corrupt, greedy,  and ambitious Rosmah Mansor is believed to be the driving force behind Najib, who redrew the political script.

The other irony is that Mahathir was rescued from the political wilderness by Razak Hussein, Najib’s father, when he was banned from UMNO in 1969 for insubordination towards Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s first Prime Minister. Today, Mahathir seeks to destroy the political future of his savior’s son.

The problems such as cronyism and Malay nationalism that plague Malaysia today had their roots during Mahathir’s tenure. The controls that the nation’s founding fathers formulated, such as the independence of the judiciary, were dismantled by Mahathir.

Mahathir clipped the wings of the country’s nine sultans, whom he felt were abusing their power, especially when it was alleged that he had to rescue at least one sultan from gambling debts and placate an angry public when another sultan was accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm on a subject.

If he were to win GE-14, would he continue to follow this path? Some members of the rakyat would like to think that he would.Today, despite criticizing Mahathir for his past policies, Najib has honed them.

Najib has until August 2018 to call the elections, but he is aware that timing is everything. The indications are that he will call GE-14 after the Chinese New Year, which falls on 16 February. He will not wait till after June, because that is when Anwar Ibrahim is due to be released. With his release, a newly energized rakyat would demand that Anwar be pardoned and be made the PM. Najib cannot afford to have this happen.

Najib cannot hold GE-14 now, because the Selangor state’s redistricting exercise will not be complete until March. Selangor is the jewel in the economic crown. If he could wrest Selangor from the opposition, it would be a political coup.

Najib had hoped to put Pakatan Harapan on the spot, and to capitalize on the fact that the opposition coalition is currently leaderless. But the announcement of Mahathir’s opposition leadership put paid to that. Mahathir as interim PM does not auger well for Najib.

In the past, Najib and his political machinery focused their attacks on Anwar, then shifted the focus onto the DAP. Observers will have noticed the drip-drip effect of perceived “manufactured” threats against Islam, such as a baseless claim by a pro-UMNO lecturer that Selangor State Assembly speaker Hannah Yeoh, in her book, “Becoming Hannah” was advocating converting Malays to Christianity.

In recent months, the party apparatchiks have increased their attacks against Mahathir, tell-tale signs that they see him as a serious threat. That will explain the increasing criticisms of Mahathir, his past policies and his closest aides.

The internal revenue department has scrutinized both his business friends’ and sons’ income tax returns. Even family members have not been spared. Mukhriz, Mahathir’s son, was horrified to discover that his daughter’s jet-set lifestyle was exposed.

Mahathir as the interim PM is disastrous for Najib. This will stymie UMNO’s attempt to denounce a PH PM such as Lim Kit Siang or Lim Guan Eng, because he is Chinese. Najib cannot then say that the DAP or the Chinese are dictating the charge of the Opposition.

With Mahathir at the helm, the Malays, both urban and rural, are more confident to support the Opposition. Indoctrination is strongest amongst the Malays, unlike the non-Malay community. Malays are still fearful and wary of being dominated by the Chinese. Issues like 1MDB have little traction amongst them, but the rising cost of living, and the scandals surrounding FELDA, have hurt them most.

GE-14 means different things, to different people. The rakyat sees GE-14 as a means to remove an oppressive government and put Malaysia on the right track.

Najib and UMNO see GE-14 as a struggle for political survival and physical freedom. And while a few may see the election as a clash between a mentor and his pupil, or a clash between two warlords Mahathir himself sees it as a means to restore his tarnished reputation after the decline in the moral values of the Malays, that his policies have created.

Mariam Mokhtar is a regular correspondent for Asia Sentinel

Malaysian Politics: Is the opposition at odds with civil society?

January 9, 2018

Malaysian Politics: Is the opposition at odds with civil society?

by S Thayaparan@www.malaysiakini.com

It does not take a majority to prevail … but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”
― Samuel Adams

COMMENT | A young reader ended his opening salvo of a lengthy email exchange with – “Sir, you were part of the problem.” I began the first of my responses, with – “Son, I am still part of the problem.” I get that young people are frustrated. They look around and they see old men with their old poisoned dreams leading the charge for a supposedly better future.

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Dynastic Politics in Malaysia

Amongst other issues, this young man wanted to know if I was familiar with the writings of Hafidz Baharom and his piece – “Don’t vote if they don’t change” – and what I thought about young people not voting, and why it is that the opposition seems to be at war with activists and civil society groups.

Well, as to the first part, I read everything that Hafidz writes. I already made my case as to why I think not voting is not an option. Mind you, I am not saying that Hafidz is wrong; just that I really want to see what happens if Pakatan Harapan takes control of the federal government. Does this sound flippant?


Here is the thing. In all my writings, I have made it clear that I do not think that corruption is the existential threat facing Malaysia. I think extremist Islam is. I want to see if a Harapan-led government with a strong non-Malay/Muslim voice stems the tide of what I believe will eventually destroy this country. That is why I am voting. Others, of course, have different reasons.

As for the opposition seeming to be at war with activists, many people who are involved in “civil society” (honestly, I am not familiar with the current nomenclature) have written to me describing a hostile environment when it comes to activism and oppositional politics. Things have become worse, with the ascension of the former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the bête noire of many activists – for good reason – as the captain leading the charge to oust current UMNO grand poohbah, Najib Razak.

Many long-time activists infused with fresh talent, who assumed that Harapan state governments would be more conducive to change, tell me that most times getting the “meeting” is easier than it is with the BN regime, but actually getting things done, is more or less the same. Often, they are admonished to not “bite the hand that feeds them,” which seems like a common rejoinder these days.

The corrupt Blue Rogues play the race and religion card to create fear for Malay support

There was a time when activism and oppositional politics were not mutually exclusive. There was a time when “civil society” and oppositional personalities worked closely to highlight issues that former minister Zaid Ibrahim termed the “real stuff.” I suppose that is the double-edged sword of civil society making “tremendous progress since 2008” as articulated in the “birds of feather” declaration.

I do not think civil society made tremendous progress. I think the opposition political elite made tremendous progress buttressed by civil society groups, who did not really understand the nature of the beast. There is this assumption that just because the politics of civil society groups and oppositional political parties aligned, there was some sort of understanding. Politicians say a whole lot of horse manure to get elected and count on activists to pass their message, but once elected rely on their bases (partisanship) to stay elected.


The rise of a credible opposition and contender to the throne of Putrajaya meant not that issues or principles were taking centre stage but rather the rise of a new cabal of political elites who were just as interested in maintaining power as their political opponents. What made it even more tenuous for civil society types and activists was that the alternative press and social media which was “issue driven” become partisan echo chambers, where party affiliation trumped anything else. In other words, if you are not with us, you are against us.

Many activists are in support of the “birds of feather” declaration. Actually, I know many people who belong to diverse “civil society” groups who support this initiative. Indeed, there is nothing in that declaration that any rational person would disagree with. Yet many opposition supporters write to me asking me to tell these “selfish” people not to rock the boat and destroy Harapan’s chance of removing the corrupt Najib and his cronies from power.

Civil Society activists

I know a few people on that list. I do not say this to name drop, but only that “selfish” is not a term I would use to describe them, ever. Furthermore, many of those groups in that list do far more constructive and productive work than some state administrations and definitely the federal government. To dismiss, mock or vilify what they say, especially if you (like me) have a different view, I would argue is, well – and I really dislike using this word – unpatriotic.

That is the only word I can think of especially when what these folks are reaffirming are democratic and egalitarian principles that would actually save Malaysia. If only political parties, like Hafidz writes, were not “too chickenshit to actually stand for something contrary to public opinion, and would rather coast along for fear of losing their vote base, while trying to convince the conservatives to vote for them.”

Someone asked if I was a “crypto-Mahathirista” since I had penned two pieces, essentially arguing that Harapan should commit to the game they want to play. I write too plainly to be a crypto anything. You can disagree with what I write. You can accuse me of many things but waffling or obscurantism is not on the list. So while I disagree with Suaram adviser Kua Kia Soong, it is not because I think he is wrong but it is because for this election, I am committing to the game that I keep telling Harapan to commit to.

Lastly to answer the question in the title of this piece. It is not that the opposition is at odds with civil society. It is the opposition has become part of the establishment.The establishment is always at odds with civil society.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy.

Read more at https://www.malaysiakini.com/columns/407723#1JRAw0XpVfA0WeQ7.99

Malaysian Opposition: If you are serious, tell us who is your Prime Minister after GE-14?

June 6, 2017

Malaysian Opposition: If you  are serious, tell us who is your Prime Minister after GE-14?

By Azmi Sharom


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Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Wannabes for Political Opposition

Sometimes I wonder: does the opposition want to lose the next general election (GE14)?

Apart from the usual racist fear-mongering that UMNO loves to indulge in, the latest example being the distasteful and utterly low class competition asking for essays on why Lim Kit Siang is racist; their favourite weapon to use against the opposition is to say that they are divided and not able to rule.

Obviously this is not accurate. Penang, Selangor and Kelantan are all in opposition hands and they have not collapsed. In fact, Penang and Selangor are doing quite well, despite the recent shenanigans of PAS.In other words, the opposition has shown that they can rule. At least at the state level.

But recently, the claims of division appear to be accurate. Until today the opposition has not come up with a clear choice for Prime Minister. This is an important issue because when it comes to general elections, Malaysians like to be able to picture who their PM will be.

One thing is for sure, DAP and Amanah will not be putting forward a potential PM. DAP knows that most Malay voters are still paralyzed with insecurity, so much so that even if DAP was to put forward a Malay potential PM, most Malays will run screaming in terror.

The Malays will believe that anyone from DAP is really Chinese and they can’t accept a Chinese prime minister. Sad, but true. Amanah won’t do it because they are small and humble.

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Zaid Ibrahim (DAP) and Anwar Ibrahim (PKR)?

So, that leaves PKR and PPBM. There are sounds that some want Dr Mahathir Mohamad to stand for elections and be the possible next PM. PKR seems adamant that they can make Anwar Ibrahim PM if they win, even though he is in jail and there are a host of legal obstacles in their way.

And there have been very public spats about this. Namely between PKR Vice-President Rafizi Ramli and DAP’s Zaid Ibrahim.

I want to tell these politicians one thing. Don’t think you are so big and important and popular. Don’t think for one second that your public quarrels are simply each of you standing up for your principles.

Let me tell you: this kind of thing sickens the voters. Even those who would vote opposition and those who are young. While you publicly spat about who should be PM you are alienating an electorate who are hungry for change. You are in actuality hijacking the chance of victory despite having the advantage of opposing a deeply unpopular PM and government.

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The likely Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak–Inheriting  Massive Problems of his own making

Why? Because you want to play your own egotistical political games.I mean, seriously, the only choices that the opposition can come up with is an old man who laid the foundations for all the trouble we are in and another old man who is (fairly or unfairly) in jail?

There is no one else that you can all agree on? That really is pathetic and makes Barisan Nasional’s criticisms of you seem utterly valid. There is not much time left before GE14, who knows if they can get their act together.

Azmi Sharom is a law lecturer at Universiti Malaya.

This commentary was first published in Sin Chew Daily.


Fareed Zakaria GPS–Trump’s First Overseas Trip as 45th POTUS

May 30, 2017

Fareed Zakaria GPS–Trump’s First Overseas Trip as 45th POTUS