Yin asks, “If Not Mahathir, then who?”…
Forests have been sacrificed in the war of words between the ‘supporters’ of Mahathir Mohamad for prime minister and those against.
The fact that the argument rages on even after Mahathir has been officially anointed as prime minister-in-waiting (should Pakatan Harapan (PH) win)) is bad for the Coalition. That ‘supporters’ keep arguing the case shows that they are not confident that their decision is the right one. Indeed there are many in PH who will not accept the decision. They regard it as a betrayal of REFORMASI which Mahathir tried to put down.
How would you like to be shot?
The ‘supporters’ argument is: he at 92 cannot last long. Mahathir has apologised . . . it’s not sincere because he went on to say that it is “Malay Custom” to start with an apology for all bad things one has done in the past.
In other words it’s just form – a ritual without substance. Someone even came up with the question: Do you want the glamourous Rosmah with her sparkling diamonds and fancy handbags and who wears the trousers in the Razak household, or Siti Hasmah, the plain and simple, subservient and supportive wife.
Do we want the current alleged racist and crook or the old alleged racist and crook? It’s like asking if you prefer to be shot in the head or the balls . . . the arguments get sillier and sillier.
Old devil and new devil
Both the ‘dissenters’ and the ‘pro-Mahathir lobby’ want Najib Abdul Razak/BN out. Where they diverge is:
The pro lobby are prepared to sleep with the old devil to kick the present devil out. Principles, beliefs can wait, integrity can be pawned to achieve that. They think they can reclaim their integrity sometime in the future. They think idealism is a luxury the nation cannot afford at this point in time.
The ‘dissenters’ want to hold on to their conviction and will not pawn their integrity. They don’t believe Mahathir has changed and with the man’s record of U-turns who can blame them.
Mahathir is not kicking Najib out for the sake of the nation but for himself. After all Najib is doing what he did during his 22 year reign. The ‘dissenters’ want to see a shift in the direction the nation has been heading for decades. They want a united nation – not one divided by race and religion; something that Mahathir created. You may say it’s in the past, but the man has not changed, Mahathir has not renounced race politics.
Ultimately it is a judgement-call by the leaders of PH. If they call it wrong then they have only themselves to blame – not the ‘dissenters’. They cannot use moral blackmail to say that if PH loses GE14 it is because of the ‘dissenters’.
Then comes the billion dollar question by the ‘supporters’. If not Mahathir then who?
I have argued in previous postings that Wan Azizah should be interim PM.
Is she capable enough? Why not? Running a country is not rocket science. There are technocrats to advise you and your colleagues in the cabinet will help.
What she has which Mahathir has not is INTEGRITY. If a prime minister is clever but has no integrity, he is a liability because he can use the office to serve his own purpose and not to serve the people.
In fact it was earlier agreed that Wan Azizah should be interim PM by PKR and DAP; so why the change of heart? She will work tirelessly for Anwar Ibrahim to be pardoned, after which he will assume the position of prime minister.
Even then I argued Anwar should only be a one term PM after which he should make way for the new guard. In fact all the men of Anwar’s generation (Lim Kit Siang, Mahathir, Mat Sabu, Muhyiddin Yassin ) should make way for a younger set. So we should see the cabinet having a large number of younger politicians who will take over, if PH is given another five years after GE14.
In short, Wan Azizah to be interim PM for a very short time. Anwar to be PM for one term.The new pm to be picked from the new generation of politicians.
Malaysians should not be afraid to accept the younger politicians of which there are many capable people like Rafizi Ramli, Tony Pua, Nurul Izzah, Tian Chua, Gobind Deo. The old guards have failed us miserably, surely the younger ones can do no worse.
Mahathir can be adviser as suggested by many political commentators. He has a role to play but not as Prime Minister.
(The views expressed are those of the contributor)
Yin writes under the byline, “Letters from Ward 5, Tanjong Rambutan”
He is regular contributor to Rebuilding Malaysia.