appears to me to be another attempt by the Mahathir camp to rewrite
history as if he was not at the heart of the machinations that brought
down his own Pakatan Harapan federal government.
Maybe that’s why
some people are still confused – because having been under one-party
rule for so long, we are not a country that understands the finer points
of political manoeuvres.
Mahathir wanted to bring down a Mahathir-led Harapan government under
which he was obligated to hand over power to Anwar Ibrahim and replace
it with a Mahathir-led unity government that would allow him a free hand
to serve a full five-year term without being tied to the promise of
reforms and transition.
That’s called an attempted self-coup.
self-coup is a move in which a nation's leader, having come to power
through legal means, dissolves or renders powerless the national
legislature and assumes extraordinary powers not granted under normal
In the words of political scientist Wong Chin Huat – Dr M was trying to give himself presidential powers until his dying day. He failed.
His daughter of course is singing a different song.
Poor chap had work-related
stress from oppressing the country, it seems. Tragic really – I can hear
the violins in the background.
Anyway, to me, and to many Malaysiakini readers, Mahathir was a dictator the first time around and a traitor the second time.
is no victim - he cultivated some PKR leaders and brushed aside
others, he invited Umno MPs to defect to his own Bersatu party and
bolster its numbers, he steadfastly refused to name a handover date, and
he ignored and eventually mocked Harapan’s election promises.
him, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) delayed naming Harapan senators
and thus giving that privilege to a post-Harapan government. He also
bypassed the coalition in selecting his own candidate for MACC chief and
ended the government’s tenure by unilaterally resigning.
than anything else, his smarmy face at the repulsive Malay Dignity
Congress reminded me how he unapologetically called us Indians 'keling' and had not changed one iota.
was still the man whose first 22-year term in power saw the mushrooming
of corruption, the curtailing of freedoms and the widening of the
It was no surprise to me when the Sheraton Move unfolded and I actually wrote that this was coming a full year before it did.
only thing that made it different was Mahathir disagreed at the last
minute with the conspirators and they had gone with plan B, cursing us
with a bungling Malay-Muslim-dominated government.
Suddenly on the
losing end, the new plan was to distance the former prime minister from
the abominable crime he had just committed.
Clearing the Mahathir name
false narrative is there for the benefit of selected sycophants, loyal
cronies, and those Harapan leaders and supporters who had some good
reasons to be suspicious of Anwar and then foolishly fell into the trap
laid by Mahathir.
in the latter group helped destroy the best chance we have had for real
reform and don’t want to admit to themselves that they were led by the
nose and helped the ketuanan brigade return to power.
and his friends have always been conscious of trying to control the
narrative – there was even this "M for Malaysia" movie made by the clan
which was so centred around his role in regime change that many
mistakenly called it M for Mahathir.
And not content with one book
on the shelves, there’s another round coming soon with a book called
'Capturing Hope: The Struggle Continues for a New Malaysia'.
title itself is the height of hypocrisy, considering the individual
concerned was most responsible for the failings of old Malaysia and
helped scupper the chances of a new one.
I would venture to
suggest that if his propagandist offspring was really such a great
activist, they should lobby for the unexplained wealth order (such as
that introduced in the UK) to investigate the super-rich and force them
to help the country’s poor recover from the ravages of Covid-19.
Some friends berated me over why Malaysiakini
is giving so much prominence to this drivel. Well, I clearly don’t like
it but I am a believer in free speech (as long as it’s not hate speech)
and I think it’s actually good that the same news website is giving you
Some others, personally sympathetic to
Mahathir’s family, think it’s too much to still be angry. Well, one of
the greatest ambitions of my life is to live in a Malaysia without
racial politics and corruption, a Malaysia I don’t have to encourage my
children to migrate away from.
Like many others, I can never
forgive the individual whose greed for power destroyed such a great