“Having Mahathir in Pakatan Harapan benefits Barisan Nasional tremendously because that is like throwing the cat amongst the pigeons. Mahathir is creating more damage on the other side that it is almost like he is working for Najib. Mahathir’s ‘offer’ to become Pakatan Harapan’s Prime Minister was a god-send for Najib. That gave Najib an extra few seats in parliament and Pakatan Harapan is even farther from marching into Putrajaya.”
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
That picture of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad fumbling with his smart phone camera while everyone else held up placards of ‘ANWAR PM KE7’ can probably win the picture of the year award for 2017. If a picture tells a thousand words then the picture above is telling us tens of thousands more.
Mahathir was caught with his pants down on that one. He was not aware that PKR was going to ambush him and shame him in public by holding a demonstration (and that is what it was, a demonstration) proclaiming Anwar Ibrahim as their nominated candidate for Prime Minister in the event Pakatan Harapan wins the next general election. And the shouts of ‘reformasi’ made it very clear that the ‘ANWAR PM KE7’ demonstration was an anti-Mahathir event.
‘Reformasi’ was the war-cry that Anwar invented in September 1998 as an anti-Mahathir war-cry. Since then, for almost 20 years now, that has been PKR’s war-cry to oppose Mahathir and his successors — Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib Tun Razak. And Mahathir knows that every time the PKR activists shout ‘reformasi’ in his presence that is as good as a slap on his face.
No doubt, as the picture shows, Mahathir acted calm and calculated while the placard-raising and reformasi-shouting was going on. His ‘excuse’ for not also raising the ‘ANWAR PM KE7’ placard and for not joining the shouting of ‘reformasi’ is that he was busy. He was trying to record the event on his smart phone and he is not a multi-tasking person and can do only one thing at a time.
Mahathir’s real feelings about this most embarrassing event, however, was revealed as soon as he got home. He was furious and he summoned Kadir Jasin, Syed Akbar Ali and Zainuddin Maidin a.k.a. Zam for an emergency meeting at his home in The Mines.
Mahathir was clearly very agitated because he not only complained about being ambushed and shamed by PKR, he also complained that Muhyiddin Yassin is not doing any work and is spending all his time going on holiday while his son, Mukhriz, is not taking things seriously and is leaving it to Mahathir to do all the work. Mahathir sighed that Muhyiddin and Mukhriz want power to be served to them on a silver platter.
Nothing was going the way Mahathir had planned. In 2014, when Mahathir launched the first attack on Najib with Khairuddin Abu Hassan’s police report against 1MDB, he was promised that within six months or so Najib would be dead and Muhyiddin would be Prime Minister with Mukhriz as his number two. That was 30 months ago and they are still nowhere near in ousting Najib.
Mahathir also vented his anger at Lim Kit Siang for closing down Pakatan Rakyat in June 2015, just a month before Najib was supposed to have been ousted. Because of that, said Mahathir, “We lost PAS.” Kit Siang’s stupidity and stubbornness cost Pakatan at least 30 parliament seats and without those seats they may end up with just 60 or so seats come the next general election.
Pakatan Harapan needs at least 115 parliament seats to form the next government. Currently, without PAS, they have only about half that number. They need another 55 seats and even with PAS they will still be short of 25 or so seats.
Mahathir appeared to be in despair and the fire was no longer in him. Kadir, Syed Akbar and Zam looked at each other. They feared Mahathir might decide to throw in the towel and call it quits that same night. He seemed depressed enough to do it. So they came out with a plan, hoping that this may raise Mahathir’s spirits a bit. And the plan was for Mahathir to announce that he himself would become the Prime Minister if his ‘friends’ in Pakatan Harapan want him to be Prime Minister.