In fact, the new Pakatan Harapan leadership lineup is adding insult to injury and is going to cause DAP to lose Chinese votes rather than win Malay votes. Najib knew this but Kit Siang, somehow, did not see this coming. So either Kit Siang is losing his touch or he is just no match for Najib. Either way it is Najib one goal and Kit Siang zero. And, to make matters worse, Mahathir’s statement yesterday, “In the hierarchy, I am the top dog there”, and “We can’t have a country ruled by three prime ministers” is a disaster that Kit Siang and DAP are never going to recover from.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Last Friday’s press conference by Pakatan Harapan to finally announce its leadership lineup after dilly-dallying for some time has attracted different reactions from different people. Some have reported the matter as follows:
Deal delivers boost to Malaysia’s opposition, but it’s still “not going to win” (Southeast Asia Globe)
Malaysia: Politics will be politics… always dirty, no matter the side (Asian Correspondent)
The local publications, however, in particular those that are pro-opposition, have reported this so-called historical ‘alliance’, after the even more historical break-up between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim 18 years ago, as a boost for Pakatan Harapan. The impression they are trying to create is that this has caught Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak off-guard and that he never expected this to happen and he is in now in a state of panic, etc.
In short, the score is now 1:0 for the DAP-led Pakatan Harapan versus the Umno-led Barisan Nasional. And this is why, the pundits say, Najib is undecided about when to hold the next general election. Najib is not sure if Barisan Nasional can still win now that Pakatan Harapan has been ‘formalised’ with its leadership line-up confirmed.
These people are living in denial and are either wishful thinking or delusional if they think they have caught Najib with his pants down. The truth is Najib not only had his eyes on the ball the entire time but was also in control of the ball. He was in charge of determining not only the rules of the game but the tempo and rhythm as well.
What happened last Friday was precisely how Najib had planned it and what he wanted to happen. There was no sneak-attack here if that is what the opposition is trying to suggest. It was more like a trap that Najib had laid and which Pakatan Harapan walked right into.
Najib wanted Pakatan Harapan to prove to the Malays that it was an Ali Baba setup with DAP the real power behind the throne. And that is precisely what they did. Lim Kit Siang thought he was very clever in hiding behind the scenes and allowed the ex-Umno Malay leaders to stand on the frontline. But what happened instead is it reinforced the belief that Pakatan Harapan is Pakatan Ali Baba. It was an ‘out of the frying pan into the fire’ situation. In trying to avoid being called a DAP-led Pakatan Harapan — meaning, therefore, Chinese-led — they inadvertently fell into the trap of now being called Pakatan Ali Baba.
That was what Najib wanted. But then Najib ended up getting more than he expected. Lim Kit Siang not only delivered the Pakatan Ali Baba that Najib wanted, he, in fact, delivered a Pakatan tiga-Ali-satu-Baba. Now they have three Prime Ministers-in-waiting and all three are fighting to be the first amongst equals. How can you get Mahathir and Anwar, who have never forgiven and forgotten what happened 20 years ago, to agree to sit at the same table as equals? That is a recipe for disaster and even before anything can happen Mahathir already announces he is top dog and there can never be three Prime Ministers.
Kantoi Kit Siang!
Last Friday’s announcement of the Pakatan Harapan leadership line-up was the result of the meeting in London between Nurul Izzah Anwar and Mahathir. It was agreed that Mahathir would be made the Prime Minister if Pakatan Harapan wins the general election and his first act as Prime Minister will be to get a royal pardon for Anwar. Kit Siang knows that any alliance between Mahathir and Anwar is safe because both are never going to get to become Prime Minister anyway. Anwar is in jail while Mahathir is too old so both will never become Members of Parliament and only a MP can become the Prime Minister.
It was Kit Siang who asked Nurul to meet Mahathir because he needed the issue of the Pakatan Harapan leadership to be resolved. And for this to happen Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim have to kiss and make up. If those two enemies cannot be made to agree to an alliance then the Pakatan Harapan leadership lineup is never going to happen and in the same process Pakatan Harapan will be doomed.
A Mahathir-Anwar alliance will benefit Kit Siang because then Anwar will never testify and sell out Mahathir at the RCI that is investigating the US$10 billion forex scandal. And if Anwar does testify against Mahathir then Pakatan Harapan, which has tied itself to Mahathir, will be dragged down as well.
However, to get Anwar to agree to not testify at the RCI certain concessions need to be made. And currently Mahathir is not in any position to say no. So all it needs is for Kit Siang to play the role of bridge and get the two onto the same page and announce to the world the Pakatan Harapan leadership lineup.
Kit Siang thought he had made brilliant moves to end the impasse and resolve the issue of Pakatan Harapan’s leadership. Now Najib can no longer hammer them on this issue. And Najib also cannot keep saying that Pakatan Harapan is DAP-led or Chinese-led. But that is what Najib wants. He keeps hammering them on these issues to provoke them to react. And Kit Siang reacted, and reacted precisely the way Najib wanted him to. In the end Najib proved a better chess player than Kit Siang.
Just like in a game of chess, you do not look at just the last move or the final checkmate. You need to start monitoring from the opening move and all those other moves along the way that brought on that eventual checkmate. And this chess game is between Najib Tun Razak and Lim Kit Siang and no one else. All those others such as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Anwar Ibrahim, Muhyiddin Yassin, etc., are mere chess-pieces on the chessboard. They are Kit Siang’s chess-pieces for him to use in an effort to block and hinder Najib’s moves…or so he thought.