“Mahathir has never contented himself with his successors, three times turning on men he handpicked …”, wrote Oliver Holmes and David Munk in The Guardian yesterday. See, ‘Malaysia’s Mahathir: strongman turns activist to unseat former protege‘
The Grand Olde Man told Holmes and Munk who interviewed him in KL, “We don’t want that kind of behaviour [sodomy] to be connected with our prime minister”. That was Tun’s view on Anwar.
On the next fall guy, the Guardian writers commented, “Mahathir came out of retirement to say he had lost confidence in Abdullah”.
Then follows this observation on the next guy whom is targeted to be felled. The Guardian writers observe:
“… after Abdullah resigned. But now Najib too has fallen out of favour, Mahathir is considering whether any Malaysian can hold the office and the power he had in his grip for so long.”
It’s incisive of the Guardian writers to say so. Can “any Malaysian can hold the office” which Tun held and pass muster with the ex-premier of 22 years?
The error of Tun’s ways
MISTAKE #1 – Tun has admitted he made a big mistake in selecting Anwar as his successor.
MISTAKE #2 – He undoubtedly made a colossal mistake in passing the baton to Sleepy Dollah who gave us the Fourth Floor Boys who epitomized Umno as arrogant.
Under Tun Dol’s stewardship, the BN lost its 2/3 majority in GE12 for the first time since 1969. It was the FiL and his SiL who let the opposition genie out of the bottle.
MISTAKE #3 – Tun now feels he was wrong also in helping to ensure Najib’s ascendancy to the premiership. He alleges that Malaysia has become a “pariah state” under Tun Razak’s eldest son.
The above are three consecutive mistakes that Tun has admitted to.
KJ 10 Q … terima kasih Khairy
Sins of commission and omission
MISTAKE #4 – Tun erred in who he FAILED to pick inasmuch as the three men he did select, only to later find them wanting.
At anytime during the 22-year Mahathir tenure, Tun should and could have handed over the reins to Tengku Razaleigh. It was an error of judgment that he did not. KuLi is indeed PM material but unfortunately he will be 81 by the time the next general election rolls around.
MISTAKE #5 – Tun held Mukhriz back. Looking at this positively, Tun has preserved his own reputation from being sullied by the charge of political nepotism.
On the negative side, due to his late start, Mukhriz is lagging behind Hisham and even KJ, who by virtue of being Ketua Pemuda, is automatically a party vice president (as is the Ketua Wanita).
Lee Kuan Yew groomed his son Hsien Loong to take over. Political dynasties are a fact of life, even in the most developed Western countries. Canada’s newly elected PM is the son of Canada’s old PM (1968-1979, 1980-1984). Does Dr M have faith in Mukhriz or not?
If Tun made all the above mistakes, why should anyone believe that he’s not making more mistakes now?
NUMBER #6 – After Tun’s successive wrong calls on Anwar, Dollah and Najib, now he’s very reluctantly and half-heartedly endorsing Muhyiddin.
Let’s say the Sleepy Dollah saga repeats itself and Tun manages to force Najib to step down at some point in the future with Muhyiddin taking over.
Let’s say Muhyiddin becomes PM by default post-GE14 with the power transition taking place in 2019. (As a comparison, Dollah Badawi made way for Najib a little more than a year after GE12.) And then another two years after Muhyiddin assumes power, Tun decides that he had made yet another mistake.
By then Tun would be 96 years old. Would he initiate another revolt to remove Muhyiddin in 2021?
The Magnificent Seven
Tun is flanked by a host of “formers” in his press conference above:
- Muhyiddin is the former DPM
- Shafie Apdal is an ex-cabinet minister
- KuLi was the president of a defunct political party S46
- Sanusi is ex-Kedah MB
- Tee Keat and Liong Sik are MCA past presidents
In fact, the MCA former presidents aligning themselves with Tun begs the question of their party loyalty to the BN.
In his interview with Reuters two days ago, Tun conceded that chances of unseating Najib are slim.
According to the article ‘Malaysia’s Mahathir says little chance of ousting PM Najib’:
“They’re [Umno legislators] not looking after the party, the nation. It’s about themselves,” he told Reuters, speaking from his office at the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
“The way he’s going he might go full term. The way Umno has accepted him because they find he’s comfortable to be with, I think he can go full term.”
I could have told Tun that, and in fact it was what I blogged months ago, i.e. Najib can’t be unseated before GE14 is called.
Tun causing the most damage to Umno and BN
The assault by Tun on Najib is never ending. Just this week alone he vented in The Guardian and to Reuters. Tun mounted his relentless attacks pre-Budget and post-Budget.
He is unable to isolate the damage inflicted on Najib from the damage inflicted on Umno and the BN.
In the process of Tun toppling Sleepy Dollah for instance, BN lost 58 Parliament seats.
In 2004, BN had held a record of 198 seats in Parliament. After the losses in 2008, BN was left with 140 seats and a weak Badawi administration. The opposition gained 61 seats in GE12 and an additional four states.
When Dr Chua Soi Lek was attacked, the MCA was weakened too. These current attacks on the Umno president and BN chairman is weakening Umno and BN so much so that the opposition feel emboldened to launch an open season on Najib (see Hannah Yeoh’s sniper shot below).
What Tun is doing is bringing down the BN house
Tun is the most destructive single force knocking at the foundation of the BN.
After many months of aiming his cannon balls at Najib, Tun today admits that Najib can’t be ousted. So the upshot is that despite all the damage Tun has wrought, his objective is not achieved.
And there are no signs that the attacks by Tun will abate. In the months to come, he will still continue wrecking the BN.
The weaker Umno is, the stronger the DAP will become. See the inverse correlation between the relative strengths of DAP and MCA – table below.
Before MCA was reduced to being the 7-Eleven party, it was a direct rival of the DAP. The two parties contested head-on against each other in the Chinese-majority seats.
Note the reversal of fortune within a mere two election cycles:
- In 2004, MCA had 31 Parliament seats and DAP 12
- In 2013, DAP had 38 Parliament seats and MCA 7
Currently MCA is a dead man walking. It no longer poses any challenge to the DAP.
The DAP is the second strongest party in Parliament while Umno is the strongest. So now the fight is a clash between No.2 and No.1.
If the opposition wins the next election, it will most certainly be with DAP as the Pakatan Harapan anchor party even though they’re compelled to nominate a Malay as the figurehead.
BELOW: Nizar enthralled by Ngeh and Nga
Enemy of DAP’s enemy is the DAP’s friend
Every day Najib is under fire left, right and centre.
Don’t think that Najib is under attack in his personal capacity alone. If Muhyiddin or Zahid were Umno president, both would surely be subjected to the same intensity of attacks too because the DAP has tasted blood and see Putrajaya as within its grasp.
Although Tun is not an ally of the DAP, he has of late been aligning himself to the opposition’s causes such as Bersih 4.0, anti-Sosma, pro-The Edge/TMI etc.
Malays are split, Chinese are solid
Umno is split into the Najib faction and the Tun faction. PAS is split into the ulama faction and the breakaway professionals faction. PKR is split between the Wan Azizah and Azmin factions. PAN is split between the Ikram faction and the PAS renegade faction.
The Malay grassroots are being pulled in different directions – Perkasa, Isma, liberals/Firsters.
Chinese are consolidated 95 percent behind the DAP and the opposition.
Beijing cracked down on the China evangelistas. Singapore nailed the evangelista crooks in court. The Malays powers-that-be and the powers that wannabe are so busy infighting they’re not even aware of the enemy at the gate.