And that is how Anwar very cleverly and very beautifully outmanoeuvred Mahathir. The ball is now at Mahathir’s feet. Mahathir cannot say nothing. He also cannot say he still wants to become the Prime Minister. And with only one seat he has no business to even offer himself to become the Prime Minister. The decision as to who becomes the Prime Minister rests with DAP. And if Mahathir says he, too, just like Anwar, does not want to offer himself as Pakatan Harapan’s Prime Minister, both he and his party, which includes his son Mukhriz, are history.
PAKATAN’S GAME OF THRONES
Raja Petra Kamarudin
“In order to call for a focus on the general elections, I am choosing not to offer myself as the candidate for prime minister,” said Anwar Ibrahim yesterday, the only prisoner out of thousands who keeps issuing press statements from behind the prison walls.
“In hopes of amassing all strengths in a team to go against UMNO-BN, it is fair to ensure the participation of all leaders effectively. This includes benefiting from the position and role of Mahathir,” added Anwar.
Now, that statement is vintage Anwar. Even if he did not put his name to it everyone would know it came from Anwar. That is the way Anwar loves to talk. What brought him to great heights and what almost made him Malaysia’s fifth Prime Minister is his skill of talking a lot but saying nothing.
Take his opening statement as an example. “In order to call for a focus on the general elections, I am choosing not to offer myself as the candidate for prime minister.”
What does that sentence really mean in plain and simple English? Does it mean if Anwar offers himself as Pakatan Harapan’s Prime Minister nobody can focus on the coming general election? Why is that? Will everyone spend so much time arguing and quarrelling about whether Anwar should or should not be the Prime Minister that no one will be spending any time campaigning in the general election?
That first sentence means nothing and does not explain what the issue really is.
The second sentence is even more nonsensical. “In hopes of amassing all strengths in a team to go against UMNO-BN, it is fair to ensure the participation of all leaders effectively. This includes benefiting from the position and role of Mahathir.”
What in heaven’s name does that mean? Can that be translated into Bahasa Malaysia for Malays to understand? Anwar is so fond of doing this. He will make long and complicated statements and then send everyone home confused and too embarrassed to ask what he means lest people might think they are stupid for not understanding what Anwar said.
But then that is what Anwar intended all along — to make a long and complicated statement that is cryptic and which people cannot really decipher. Then no one can whack him for what he says. And if they quote what he says and it triggers a controversy, he can say they misunderstood or misquoted him and he did not say what they allege he said.
The truth is, the ‘reason’ Anwar gave on why ‘he is choosing not to offer himself as the candidate for prime minister’ is just a red herring. That is not really the reason and that is why he makes the ‘reason’ confusing and complicated.
What Anwar is really ‘saying’ (in other words): if he does not offer himself as Pakatan Harapan’s Prime Minister, in spite of the 30 seats PKR won in the 2013 general election and the 35 seats they hope to win in the coming general election, how can Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad offer himself to be Pakatan Harapan’s Prime Minister with currently only one seat and most likely less than five seats in the coming general election?
Anwar’s announcement is not meant for the Malaysian voters. It is meant for Mahathir. Anwar is saying to focus on winning the next general election he is not offering himself to be Pakatan Harapan’s Prime Minister and hence Mahathir should also do the same for the same reason.
Can you see how Anwar very cleverly and very beautifully outmanoeuvred Mahathir? Now Mahathir, or his people in PPBM a.k.a. Pribumi, cannot insist that he be appointed Pakatan Harapan’s Prime Minister-in-waiting. Mahathir will have to do the gracious thing of also withdrawing as the candidate for Pakatan Harapan’s Prime Minister-in-waiting so that everyone can focus on winning the general election. And if Mahathir does not withdraw, and they lose the next general election, then he and not Anwar must take the blame for that.