Anwar and Dr M – The best of enemies - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, May 11, 2020
Malaysiakini :"Two years ago, the people of all religions and races
helped us through donations and contributions, their voices and
suggestions, hope and spirit, to see change for the better in our
beloved country. " – Anwar Ibrahim
a big chance that Bersatu will suffer a devastating loss and the hopes
of the Malays to replace Umno with another Malay party will be dashed."– former prime minister (twice) Dr Mahathir Mohamad
COMMENT | Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said something condescending when disputing an article
claiming that his position as opposition leader "… was a signal to Dr
Mahathir that he was welcomed in Pakatan (Harapan) but not as its
leader.” Anwar said: "It was intended to incite animosity between
Mahathir and me by making it appear that my appointment as the
opposition leader was to sabotage the effort by others."
point, I have no idea who Harapan thinks they are taking for a ride. At
the nadir of the Azmin Ali/Anwar Ibrahim schism, we had political
operatives making public statements that all was copacetic in PKR. This
despite the fact that both sides were making public statements - Azmin’s
insubordination and Anwar’s ineffectual leadership were tearing the
When it was apparent to everyone that the Anwar/Azmin
feud was causing incredible damage to Harapan, PKR communications
director Fahmi Fadzil said this when he dismissed the idea that there
were two camps in PKR. "That is something portrayed by the media. I
understand that there could be a perception of such, but the reality
is, there are no camps. What we have now is PKR that is strong and
The animosity between these two leaders is public
knowledge because Mahathir from public statements has made it very clear
what he thinks of Anwar, what he thought of Harapan’s manifesto, what
he thought of cronyism, and what he thought of reforming the system. Meanwhile,
Anwar is taking all these insults, skulduggery and political
malfeasance thrown his way in his stride, while his proxies wage a
political war on his behest, which tore down a legitimately elected –
sans popular vote – government.
If Mahathir was sincere in
vanquishing Umno and reforming the system, he would publicly throw
whatever support he has behind Anwar. He would publicly and
unequivocally acknowledge Anwar as Harapan’s choice for prime minister
and he would use his mastery of the political black arts to help Anwar
and Harapan achieve its goals, whatever it is.
backroom deals Anwar makes with Mahathir and his cohorts should play
out in the public arena only after Harapan has achieved its goals and
should not be used as leverage by Malay establishment potentates during
the process of removing Perikatan Nasional (PN).
Keep in mind
that removing PN in itself could be a public relations nightmare during
this pandemic and sentiment could easily shift since the government has
at this moment a better control of the political and social narrative.
Voter apathy and safety is also another major stumbling block for
It is laughable that Anwar is the so-called opposition
leader but it is Mahathir who is making plays that would destabilise the
PN government. The fact that neither men seem to want to acknowledge
the other as potential prime ministers if PN falls, should give people
pause that this would be a replay if Harapan comes into power again.
question everyone should be contemplating: isn't it time to move beyond
Mahathir and Anwar when it comes to the leadership of this country? It
is almost impossible now because both men have stamped their imprimatur
on various acolytes, but there is always the hope that recent political
upheavals would result in a cadre of leaders not beholden to the current
toxic political duo who are still scheming to lead this country when
their time is clearly up.
In their joint statement, Anwar and
Mahathir claimed "May 9, 2018, was not about Mahathir and Anwar coming
together. It was about the people's fate and future in the fight against
injustices", which now seems laughable because both men were the
undoing of the people who voted for Harapan.
Both said that
Harapan wanted to restore the rule of law and democracy by empowering
Parliament and reforming government institutions when it was in power
but this did not happen in any way, shape or form under their watch. Instead
the machinations of both men, meant that the Harapan base was caught up
in personality politics instead of carrying out the reform agenda which
daily has become an irrelevant talking point. I would take any of
the young leaders within Harapan to lead the country, no matter which
camp they belonged to, instead of these two old politicians whose
shenanigans are holding this country hostage.
On Bersatu, Mahathir
said there is a big chance that the party will go down in flames and
that “the hopes of the Malays to replace Umno with another Malay party
will be dashed.” Who says that the Malays want another Malay party to
replace Umno? If anything the reality that Bersatu is a small
toxic party relying on taxpayers money to consolidate support should
tell you what most Malays think of Bersatu.
Of course, nobody
thinks of courting young Malay voters – the recent change of voting age
eligibility was one of the bright moments of Harapan. There is a reason
why Harapan and Umno do not want to actively court young Malay voters
and instead choose to rely on their bases instead of expanding the base.
after survey has demonstrated that young people believe that their
votes do not matter. Both coalitions have made it their agendas to prove
young people right. Young people have so much political power in this
country but as long as their apathy is enforced, the longer this
kakistocracy remains in place. As long as these best of enemies remain in play, there is nothing to inspire a revolt against the system.