Mahathir unwittingly admitted that Najib has finished off Muhyiddin and Mukhriz when he offered himself as Pakatan’s candidate for Prime Minister. Not only is this seen as scraping the bottom of the barrel but it became an even bigger disaster when no one from Pakatan responded to the ‘offer’, forcing Mukhriz to embark upon a very weak attempt at damage control that created more damage.
“I cannot ignore my friends in Pakatan Harapan. If they have such a suggestion and it is agreed upon, then I might be forced to consider. At this time, I don’t agree to be prime minister,” said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday.
Mahathir has said many silly things over the last 48 years since 1969 (starting with ‘I don’t need Chinese votes to win the election’) but this is probably the silliest thing ever. Mahathir may not realise it, but he has unwittingly admitted that he has failed and now has to go back to the drawing-board and start all over again. Talk about a faux pas of the highest degree. What in heaven’s name possessed Mahathir when he made that statement?
First of all, in politics there is no such thing as friends. So what “friends in Pakatan Harapan” is he talking about? In fact, Pakatan Harapan is not even a political party, it is a coalition. And you do not go into a coalition with friends. If you are friends you will all be in the same party. Coalitions are formed when ‘not friends’ find they have a mutual interest to serve or mutual enemy to fight.
Anyway, it appears they realise the mistake Mahathir made in making that declaration so they are now doing damage control. Mukhriz said he is confused and not sure whether his father really did say what he is reported to have said and if he did he could have just been joking. This is a typical ‘the press misquoted me’ U-turn that politicians are so fond of doing.
Nevertheless, the damage has already been done and no amount of U-turns can erase that. It is already on record that Mahathir is prepared to come back as Prime Minister if his ‘friends’ in Pakatan Harapan wish him to take back the post of Prime Minister after 14 years ‘leave’.
Mahathir’s argument is he has 22 years experience as the Prime Minister, so he can be an asset to Pakatan Harapan. Then, of course, he has had 14 years experience as the de facto Prime Minister (or at least he thinks he is the de facto Prime Minister of Malaysia). So that is a total of 36 years in all, or 37 years by the next general election. That is almost as long as Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe who has served as Prime Minister and then President for 37 years and 43 days.
Mahathir is now painfully aware that Mukhriz is not the brightest bulb in the chandelier
Mahathir thinks he is merely testing the waters like what Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah did back in 1986. In 1986, Tengku Razaleigh tested the waters by saying that if his ‘friends’ wanted him to challenge Mahathir for the party presidency then he would do so. Mahathir is doing the same. No one asked him to come back as Malaysia’s Prime Minister. So he made that statement to see whether anyone is now going ask him to come back as Prime Minister since he has already ‘offered’ himself.
It is actually a good political trick and something that has been done many times. But then in Mahathir’s case this is a blow-back in his face. If this is an out-of-the-blues thing that would be okay. But then when Mahathir first made his move on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in 2014 it was with a view to make Muhyiddin Yassin the new Prime Minister and his son, Mukhriz, the Deputy Prime Minister. Hence whatever Mahathir says and does must tie in with that or else it would be seen as a U-turn or change of plan.
Clearly Mahathir has dumped Muhyiddin, which is why he is offering himself and not Muhyiddin as the next Pakatan Harapan Prime Minister. And he cannot name Mukhriz as well because he knows that his son has blown it and there is no way he can now become Prime Minister, or even Deputy Prime Minister. So Mahathir needs to become Prime Minister whereby he can then appoint his son the Deputy Prime Minister. That would be only way Mukhriz can ever become Prime Minister.
Muhyiddin’s sex scandal with Nika Gee has ended his political career for good
Muhyiddin and Mukhriz are politically finished. Muhyiddin’s sex scandal is too hot to sweep under the carpet while Mukhriz is proving to be the village idiot.
Mukhriz was supposed to start his political career after Mahathir retired in 2003 by first rising through that ranks of the Umno Youth Movement and then become one of the three Umno Vice Presidents followed by the Umno Deputy President cum Deputy Prime Minister and finally the Umno President cum Malaysian Prime Minister.
In spite of all the planning and money that Mahathir spent, each and every time Mukhriz failed. Refusing to accept the fact that his son is plain incompetent, Mahathir blamed the then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and now Prime Minister Najib, for his son’s failures. In short, Mahathir blamed Abdullah and Najib for not helping his son win all the posts he contested, which would position him as the future Prime Minister.
So all this talk about Abdullah is corrupt and hence needed to be removed (and, now, Najib is corrupt and needs to be removed) is pure hogwash. If that is true then Mahathir would not propose Muhyiddin as the next Prime Minister because Muhyiddin has loads of corruption cases in his file, which Mahathir would not allow the Anti-Corruption Agency (now called MACC) to take action on. Muhyiddin’s corrupt acts are so well-known that every man and his dog in Johor can relate horror stories regarding the matter.
Mahathir made his move on Najib in 2014 thinking that by July 2015 Mukhriz would be the new Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia but Najib proved far better at this game and now Mahathir is licking his wounds
Mahathir knows that he needs to start from scratch if Mukhriz is ever going to become Prime Minister. And he knows he can no longer depend on Muhyiddin for this. Muhyiddin is never going to become Prime Minister, which means Mukhriz is also never going to become Deputy Prime Minister. The only way Mukhriz can become Deputy Prime Minister would be if Mahathir himself becomes Prime Minister. Hence the reason he offered himself as Pakatan Harapan’s Prime Minister in the event they win the next general election.
However, since Mahathir made that offer yesterday, no one from Pakatan Harapan has opened his or her mouth. There has been a deafening silence from all quarters other than Mukhriz saying he is not sure whether his father really said this or whether he has been misquoted or whether he was just joking. Why are DAP, PKR and PAN not responding to Mahathir’s ‘offer’? And why is only Mukhriz from PPBM a.k.a. Pribumi opening his mouth — and even then in damage control mode?
No one wants to respond because they know whatever response they give is going to hurt Pakatan Harapan. If they agree that Mahathir becomes Pakatan Harapan’s Prime Minister it is going to hurt them. If they disagree it is also going to hurt them. So better they just keep quiet and say nothing. And if they really need to say something they just say maybe the press misheard what Mahathir said or maybe Mahathir was joking — like what Mukhriz said.
DAP and not Mahathir will decide who becomes the Prime Minister if Pakatan Harapan wins the next general election
Whoever becomes Pakatan Harapan’s Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister will be up to the party that wins the largest number of seats in Parliament to decide. And with 55 or so seats that would be DAP. Mahathir’s party with just one or two seats has no say in the matter. Not even PKR, which will be struggling to win 30 seats, or PAN, which will be lucky if they can win even ten seats.
Anyway, to start off, Pakatan Harapan must first win 115 or so seats before they can talk about who should be the Prime Minister. And, to win 115 seats, DAP must not only win 55 seats but PKR, PAN and Pribumi must win the balance 60 seats combined. And, to win the balance 60 seats combined, PKR must win not less than 30 seats while PAN and Pribumi must win another 30 seats combined.
That is an extremely tall order. As it stands now, Pakatan Harapan is struggling to win even 80 seats. If they do not get their act together Pakatan Harapan will come in with just 65-70 seats. That is the reality of the situation as of today. And the longer Najib drags the election the more damage Pakatan Harapan is going to inflict on itself. Time is Najib’s best friend. And Najib still has a year before he needs to hold the general election. And within the next one year Pakatan Harapan is going to slide down the hill even farther.
Some may question Mahathir’s sanity in offering himself as the Prime Minister in the event Pakatan Harapan wins the next general election. Mahathir may appear like a complex animal but actually he is not. The answer to why Mahathir did this harakiri act is actually quite simple. At the recent PKR party convention they insulted him so this is the old man’s way of returning fire.
PKR proposed Anwar Ibrahim as the next Prime Minister amidst shouts of ‘reformasi’. That was meant as an insult to Mahathir and Mahathir took it as an insult. The ‘reformasi’ battlecry is basically an anti-Mahathir battlecry. In no uncertain terms Mahathir received a tight slap during the recent PKR convention and there was no higher insult than the one PKR gave Mahathir last month.
The fact that Mahathir said he will not want to contest the next general election and yet he offers himself as the next Prime Minister is weird. You need to be a Member of Parliament to become the Prime Minister. So, if you are not going to contest the next general election, how do you get appointed the Prime Minister? Has Mahathir taken leave of his senses?
The replacement to the bride
If all Pakatan Harapan can come up with is Mahathir as the next Prime Minister then that is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. This is like the bride meeting with an accident on the way to the wedding and the grandmother of the bride offering herself as a replacement bride thinking that the groom would consider this offer. It makes one wonder whether Mahathir is playing with a full deck of cards or only a three-quarter deck (what the Malays would call tiga suku).
By: Raja Petra Kamarudin.