Speaking as an academic and using nothing but cold, hard facts minus all emotions aside, it is my opinion that only Dr. Mahathir wears the mantle of fire that can win back the country for Malaysian. This article is NOT about will he, Dr. Mahathir, make a good Prime Minister for all of Malaysians, but it is about who can be the Commander-in-Chief who can control the theater of war in a general election. Hear me out first, please.
When a political scientist in a public university said recently that Mahathir poses no longer a threat to Perikatan Nasional because he has no more power, I had to smile thinking how simplistic such so called analysis coming from a professor. This professor simply use the idea that once you are no longer in power, you are basically ‘history’. This may be true for the likes of Najib, Abdullah Badawi, Zahid and many other Umno leaders, but not so for one Mahathir Mohamad. The professor has simplistically ignored several aspects of Mahathir’s history that we have all come to know, and history is the main argument for him to be the most influential figure in Malaysia’s political history of the past four decades.
When Utusan Malaysia published a big headline ‘Bersatu tidak terjejas, Muhyiddin stabil’, I smiled because the first rule of Malaysia’s Malay media in politics is, the bigger the headline, the bigger the lie. The headline, which was followed by an article from the senior editor who also echoed that PN and Muhyiddin are strong, shows without a doubt that the little ‘nyamuk’ party of Mahathir has rattled the corridors of power. Well, why not? The little nyamuk Aedes can cause death from Dengue fever. Don’t play play! Then, I heard that hardly was the party a day old when defections started to happen from Bersatu. The latest news is that a whole division has defected in Johor and this has sent none other than the Prime Minister himself to that state. Usually, the Boss would just send his second in command, but wait a minute…there is no second in command! It should be another Bersatu man like Redzuan but Muhyiddin has anointed Azmin as his second although Azmin and his 10 defectors are party-less and in truth..neither here nor anywhere. Why should the President, Chairman and Prime Minister himself have to handle Johor? Because…Mahathir is still…The Man!
Most concerned Malaysians know that Mahathir was the architect of the destruction of all the institutions like MACC, Police, the AG Office and Judiciary. These four institutions, once held in the highest esteem, are now a joke to many Malaysians. There seem to be no credibility left in any of them from the hand of Mahathir. He has his hands deep into the tangled web and can pull strings here and there. Anwar may make a good Malaysian leader but he is not made for open warfare. One sodomy charge and he is gone. If Anwar leads the battle, either the Rawther accusation will check him or his pardon could be reversed. Anwar also lack the talent of dealing with his enemies inside the party like Azmin and Zuraida. Ever since Anwar came to power in PKR, there have been so many defections and lost of faith in him. The ink on Mahathir’s new party registration form is not even dry but defections in Bersatu has caused even the top Bersatu man wielding total power of the nation is worried enough to handle himself the situation.
Mahathir is also a pragmatic man. He has shown that he can propose Shafie Apdal to fire the imagination of East Malaysians for the top post while Anwar adamantly insist he was the man to be the PM. Anwar is fighting clearly for his own ego and not to the best interest of his coalition. In the Slim by-election DAP and Amanah are ready to be with Mahathir but not Anwar. He sits sulking in Port Dickson soon to be alone only with his few loyal friends and family. That is not the way to win a fight.
Before this, PN thought that the Slim by-election would be a walkover like the previous by-election where PH lamely gave up. There are many ways for Mahathir to win and there are many ways also for Bersatu and PN to lose. Just by putting up a candidate, Mahathir has already scored points as a Pejuang or Warrior. Now, he gets a legitimate platform to convince the Malays who is the real perosak and perompak Melayu. The non-Malays, who are frightened of PN wielding power over the spirit and procedures of parliament, will probably back Mahathir. Malaysians are worried about the one day silent parliamentary seating. Malaysians are shocked at the removal of the Speaker. Malaysians are frightened that the 14 day period to choose and elect a speaker was not followed. The most shocking thing of all was the dropping of charges on Musa Aman. In 2018, the same Musa Aman can be seen on wheel chairs, lying in a hospital bed begging for his passport to be treated overseas. Now that his charges were dropped he seems to be a completely healthy man running around gathering SDs and suing the royal palace for improper procedures of dissolving the State Assembly. People will support Mahathir because they saw PN, in just a few months, have done worse things that BN had done in decades.
Even if Mahathir’s man lost the Slim election, but the votes garnered for a new party that is willing to stand against the full might of the Prime Minister himself speaks of the days of Hang Jebat daring and ridiculing the mighty Raja Melayu. The Slim by-election promises a saga not to be missed as it heralds the coming back of the Old Man who only a few months ago was beaten off his pedestal by his ‘friends’ in Bersatu and defectors of PKR.
We saw in 2018 how Mahathir led the coalition to beat a ‘Raja Melayu’ in the person of Najib. I predict that Mahathir will be back in top form to destroy another ‘Raja Melayu’ that was once his hulubalang. Hmmm…come to think of it, Najib was also once Mahathir’s hulubalang.
Before Mahathir and his rag tag men of few hulubalangs set up Parti Pejuang Tanah Air, I could not see any fight against the mighty Muafakat Nasional who is solidly backed by the Malay middle class and the so called ‘Malay educated’ class. East Malaysians and these Malays will never follow Anwar’s call but the Sabahans and Sarawakians as well as a significant Merdeka generations will come to the call of the Old Warrior.
This is going to be an interesting by-election and a trailer for the general election to come. Mahathir is back!
By : Prof Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi – SIN CHEW DAILY