CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
“I cannot ignore my friends in Pakatan Harapan. If they have such a suggestion and it is agreed upon, then I might be forced to consider. At this time, I don’t agree to be prime minister,” said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday.
Mahathir has said many silly things over the last 48 years since 1969 (starting with ‘I don’t need Chinese votes to win the election’) but this is probably the silliest thing ever. Mahathir may not realise it, but he has unwittingly admitted that he has failed and now has to go back to the drawing-board and start all over again. Talk about a faux pas of the highest degree. What in heaven’s name possessed Mahathir when he made that statement?
First of all, in politics there is no such thing as friends. So what “friends in Pakatan Harapan” is he talking about? In fact, Pakatan Harapan is not even a political party, it is a coalition. And you do not go into a coalition with friends. If you are friends you will all be in the same party. Coalitions are formed when ‘not friends’ find they have a mutual interest to serve or mutual enemy to fight.
Anyway, it appears they realise the mistake Mahathir made in making that declaration so they are now doing damage control. Mukhriz said he is confused and not sure whether his father really did say what he is reported to have said and if he did he could have just been joking. This is a typical ‘the press misquoted me’ U-turn that politicians are so fond of doing.
Nevertheless, the damage has already been done and no amount of U-turns can erase that. It is already on record that Mahathir is prepared to come back as Prime Minister if his ‘friends’ in Pakatan Harapan wish him to take back the post of Prime Minister after 14 years ‘leave’.
Mahathir’s argument is he has 22 years experience as the Prime Minister, so he can be an asset to Pakatan Harapan. Then, of course, he has had 14 years experience as the de facto Prime Minister (or at least he thinks he is the de facto Prime Minister of Malaysia). So that is a total of 36 years in all, or 37 years by the next general election. That is almost as long as Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe who has served as Prime Minister and then President for 37 years and 43 days.