Hadi vs Mahathir: Hadi 1, Mahathir KO

“Hadi is not the sort of person to subvert an electoral process by declaring who he supports as Prime Minister. But he knew that if he didn’t, Mahathir would tell voters that PAS “wasn’t as Islamic as it portrayed itself to be as its president was helping UMNO split Pakatan votes.” He was aware that the Machiavellian would find some way or the other to portray him as “an apostate” whose sole mission was to mislead the ummah”

THE THIRD FORCE

Barisan Nasional’s victory in the upcoming general election is a done deal. It became one the minute Lim Kit Siang proclaimed Pakatan Rakyat dead on the 6th of June 2015. The proclamation effectively meant the DAP and PKR were no longer on board the PAS express in seeking middle ground for Islamic rule in Malaysia. On the 19th of June 2015, Lim Guan Eng made it clear that the DAP wanted nothing to do with PAS by reiterating that Pakatan Rakyat was dead, “for real.”.

These proclamations and others like them caused voter confidence in the DAP to suffer. Everyone who was anyone knew that the party would never survive a Malay onslaught come the 14th general election (GE14) should Dato’ Seri Abdul Hadi Awang lean favourably towards UMNO. To them, if Pakatan could not even win the 2013 general election (GE13) with close to 100 percent Chinse support and PAS by its side, it stood a cat in hells chance of winning GE14 given the warmth in relations between Hadi and the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak.

So it was Kit Siang and son who shooed Hadi from Pakatan?

Yes, though being a spiritual leader, Hadi had more or less decided to leave the coalition long before they declared it dead. The PAS president knew that Pakatan lacked the capacity, will and means at its disposal to formulate policies consonant with the teachings of Islam. As far back as 2014, he had already seen how the DAP disregarded a decree by the ruler of Selangor that forbade the use of ‘Allah’ by certain Christian publications.

Later that year, Hadi witnessed how PKR persisted with attempts to commit democratic thievery against Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim despite it being the Holy month of Ramadan. These incidences, along with the DAP’s stinging opposition towards the Syariah Amendment Bill (RUU 355), told the PAS president that tagging along with Kit Siang and gang was quite the un-Islamic thing to do.

It dawned upon him that the Pakatan-led Government of Selangor was drifting away from the core tenets of Islam owing to its associations with the DAP. He realised that PKR, despite being Muslim majority, failed to protect the interests of the ummah by working with PAS to subdue the Chinese chauvinist concern. Seeing no alternative, he decided it best for PAS to align itself with a party that comprised 100 percent Muslims instead of one that was Muslim majority.

So he leaned towards Najib?

Yes.

Hadi’s decision quickly became the cornerstone to warmer ties between PAS and UMNO. For the first time in decades, the two parties were able to see eye to eye on many issues, the principal among them being the DAP’s threat towards Islam. Both Hadi and Najib saw no reason why UMNO and PAS could not set aside their differences for the sake of unity and the wellbeing of the ummah. The minute Kit Siang sensed this, he decided to enter a deal with his decades old nemesis, Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

As far as he was concerned, Mahathir still commanded the respect of Malay elders, enough to turn them against Najib and UMNO. It is with this conviction that he stepped aside and allowed the former premier to take control of Pakatan Harapan. But the minute Mahathir was named coalition chairman, UMNO quickly demanded to know if he would be made Prime Minister in the event Pakatan won the 14th general election.

Was it a trap?

You bet.

UMNO knew Mahathir couldn’t afford to keep mum. For the past three years or so, he’d been harping on the idea that Najib needed to resign from government on counts of corruption and misfeasance. Back when the former premier was still a member of UMNO, he had the pleasure of naming Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi or even Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Hussein as replacement if asked “who was better suited to run government.” But now that he wasn’t in the party, that option was no longer on the cards.

The reason being, he could not afford Pakatan leaders to think that he was a Trojan horse planted by UMNO to sabotage the coalition. But he knew he had to tell UMNO something, even if it were for the Prime Minister to get knotted.

Is that why he offered himself as Prime Minister?

No.

Mahathir had planned since March 2016 to be the next Prime Minister of Malaysia. Getting Pakatan to float his name suddenly seemed a very good idea as it augured well with a secret plan to have PPBM merge with PKR before March 2019. For the plan to work, the former premier knew he needed to weaken Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s grip of PKR before the dissolution of parliament was announced.

In line with the mission, Mahathir convinced Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to settle for the post of Deputy Prime Minister. He knew that her supporters would feel cheated seeing that she was willing to be second in command to the very person she once demanded be removed from the post of Prime Minister. More than that, he knew that she would never be able to bring the matter to a referendum and would be forced to agree unilaterally.

But that left Mahathir with the problem of Malay support.

To anticipate an erosion, he plotted together with Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali and Dato’ Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali to divide the Muslims by asking Hadi to name his choice Prime Minister. Mahathir figured that should Hadi name Najib – which, to him, was more the likelihood than a possibility – it would present him with the much-needed ammunition to declare PAS “an apostate” for openly backing a scandal tainted ‘kleptocrat’.

But he miscalculated, yes?

Yes.

Mahathir forgot, that unlike him, Hadi did not spend the past three years or so demanding that Najib be retired from government. On the contrary, he made it clear that it was un-Islamic for anyone to topple the Prime Minister through undemocratic means. As a matter of fact, he even went on record to declare that the Prime Minister was “a victim of an international conspiracy to character-assassinate him.”

So you see, Hadi is not the sort of person to subvert an electoral process by declaring who he supports as Prime Minister. But he knew that if he didn’t, Mahathir would tell voters that PAS “wasn’t as Islamic as it portrayed itself to be as its president was helping UMNO split Pakatan votes.” Hadi was aware that the Machiavellian would find some way or the other to portray him as “an apostate” whose sole mission was to mislead the ummah.

So what did the PAS president do?

Well, he did what any true spiritual leader in his position would have done. Last Sunday, he declared that only Allah could decide who becomes Prime Minister before hinting that Mahathir was attempting to play the role of God. That immediately sent a signal to all Muslims that Pakatan under the former premier was un-Islamic as it refused to submit to the will of Allah. Now, did Mahathir see that coming?

No.

Do you now see why nobody should mess with a man who devotes his entire life to the calling of Allah, which, according to the Holy Quran and the Sunnah, manifests itself through trials and tribulations? Did Hadi not do Islam justice by responding to His calling in His name and glory instead of submitting to the whims of a crooked Machiavellian?

And to think Mahathir is going to save Malaysia…

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