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At last it’s Anwar! Mahathir couldn’t prevent him!!

By P Ramakrishnan

If only Sabah and Sarawak had acted responsibly and supported Anwar from the beginning. Why Abang Jo? There will be repercussions. What were you thinking of Abang Jo? You were prepared to work with Hadi?

Abang Jo was prepared to align himself with Hadi Awang, of PAS and Mahiaddin Yassin of bersatu. Did Abang Jo have a senior moment?

It finally happened – deservedly so! It was a five-day nail-biting wait; five days of hoping, praying and praying again for this outcome.

If only Sabah and Sarawak had behaved sensibly and responsibly, the deputy premiership would not go to the party that this elections dumped and the very same party that was responsible for the mess we are in. Isn’t it ironical that the party that voters hated and roundly rejected in the elections should play a king-maker’s role in getting Anwar appointed as the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia?

Certain Umno men will be holding some important portfolios in Anwar’s cabinet. It is reprehensible! They and their party were responsible for the rampant corruption. To think that they are back in the saddle of power – that is reprehensible, repulsive and repugnant!

This need not be the case if only Sabah and Sarawak had acted responsibly and supported Anwar from the beginning. We have to pay this price because both states failed to act in the interest of Malaysia and the future of the nation. We will long remember these leaders for contributing to this less than satisfactory outcome.

It is incomprehensible that GPS was prepared to throw in their support for Hadi Awang of Pas. Hadi’s stance on religion and race were a sore point to the predominantly Christian Sarawakians. How could Abang Johari support Hadi and was ever ready to form a government with him?

Hadi was exclusive whereas Anwar was inclusive and yet, as it were, Abang Johari was prepared to sleep with the devil! How could he not support Anwar? I hope Sarawakians will remember him and what he did at the next state elections.

The appointment of Anwar as the 10th PM is a triple blow to Mahathir who for 25 years did his damnedest best to prevent this singular event. Blow 1: Mahathir lost in Langkawi; Blow 2: He lost his deposit along with more than a hundred of his candidates in what must be seen as the total rejection of Mahathir by Malaysians; Blow 3: Anwar emerged as PM despite all the vile and sustained machinations of Mahathir over the years.

Anything to do with Mahathir, including his son, was punished severely by the voters. Every single one of his party’s candidate – more than a hundred of them – was defeated in total rejection and all of them lost their deposits. What a deadly blow!

Mahathir was harping on helping the poor Malays for 22 years while living in palatial splendour. While his children became billionaires, the poor rural Malays remained miserably poor. Seeing so many working as food delivery riders for Grab, Food Panda, et. al., the Malays finally woke up and punished him without any mercy!

This is not a government of the people, by the people, for the people. It is a government foisted upon us. For that, we have to blame ourselves. For us, it should have been Pakatan Harapan vs The Rest but it did not work out that way.

The traitorous party, Perikatan Nasional, that toppled a duly elected government through the Sheraton Move on Feb. 23, 2020, in one move denying the mandate of the Malaysian electorate, surprisingly received a lot of support – though many of the traitors such as Azmin Ali were voted out – with Zuraidah even losing her deposit– two years nine months later. Imagine, NurulIzzah and Khalid Samad losing in urban areas! It is time to wake up to the long-term threat to nation-building efforts posed by Pas.

For me, the outcome was less than satisfactory, even though I rejoice that Anwar is the PM. He has been forced to work with those he would rather not. If he had secured a simple majority, today he would be in a strong position to carry out his promises and steer this nation to safer shores during this turbulent times.

I would long mourn the fact that the tragedy is the difference between what-is and what-could-have-been.

I conclude by thanking the Malaysian electorate for this collective wisdom, packed even in this form. We must maintain our vigilance, for as human rights advocate Thomas Jefferson famously said: “Eternal vigilance is the price of democracy.”

24 November 2022

(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)

P Ramakrishnan is the long-serving former president of Aliran who served three and a half decades on its executive committee, and has been with Aliran since its inception in 1977. Now an ordinary Aliran member, he continues to highlight issues of public interest to a larger audience.

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