The ex-Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir Mohammad appears to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. He is now a fifth columnist within is own party.He behaves more like the opposition but insisted his heart is still in UMNO.He accuses his successor of economic mismanagement, nepotism, cronyism and corruption. His determination to force out his embattled successor, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi whose popularity has nosedived due to failure to keep his pre-2004 election promises to eradicate corruptions and bring about some semblance of decency to the administration, may help the opposition deny the BN a two-third majority at the forthcoming polls.
The insidious roots of corruption took form and grew to detestable height during Mahathir's tenure as prime minister. Although Mahathir himself may not be directly involved in corruption, little was done during his time to control it and stop the abuses by ministers, senior civil servants and party officials. Due to highly stimulated economy with credits due to his efforts that speadheaded the nation into becoming one of the largest trading nations and help elevated the per capita income of the people and taking the nation nearer to its goal of a developed nation. With massive public sector spending on development projects , corruption and political patronage became the order of the day.
Mahathir, revered by some and feared by some, must have synthesized Niccoloi Machiavelli's principle of 'it is more secured to be feared than to be loved' into his management philosophy.A Machiavellian philosophical view that any evil action can be justified if it is done for a good purpose.
During his time, ministers, top civil servants and those within his political circle feared him.The more sins they have, the more fearful they were of him.He kept his eyes closed but kept his nose and ears closer to the ground on their corrupt practices and would use it as a weapon as and when needed. Anwar Ibrahim was a casualty of the wrath of Mahathir's resentful dislike for disloyalty.
Mahathir is down but he is not out yet.He has one last mission. To get rid of Badawi as Prime Minister, even at the expense of UMNO losing more seats to the opposition. He really doesn't care as long as Badawi is out of the picture.His disdain for Abdullah has made him acrimonious, irrational and full of contradictions.He probably forgot that he ran this country for 22 years with nothing less than an iron-fist.
He said it was wrong for Abdullah to put the Hindraf's activists under ISA. Didn't he throw more people in prison under ISA during his time? His Operation Lalang in October 1987 arrested 106 opposition leaders and social activists and revoked the publishing licenses of two dailies, the Star and Sin Chew Jit Poh.He had thrown more political opponents in prison using the ISA than all previous prime ministers.Although two wrongs don't make a right, Mahathir should be the last person to make such condemnation against his successor.It's a case of the pot calling the kettle black. He also made it clear that he only intended for Abdullah to stay one term and suggested he should stand down.He contended that the ever popular Najib was to take over from Abdullah. Najib denied of having any knowledge of such arrangement and Abdullah has come out and said there was no such gentlemen agreement.
The ex-PM seemed to have a short memory and forgot that Najib almost lost his seat in the 1999 general election. He won by a slim majority of 240 votes against PAS candidate Ramli Mohamed.The poor showing by BN in that election was due much to Mahathir's unpopularity at that time.There was high probability that Najib could lose his seat if Mahathir have stayed on for the 2004 general election. PAS would have re-captured Trengganu and made inroads into Pahang, Kedah and Perlis.
His falling out with Abdullah was not so much due to Abdullah's incompetence but was more due to the dumping of his pet projects by Abdullah. He was sore and angry as Abdullah had probably promised to continue the projects but reneged on the promises.
The straw that broke the camel's back was the stoppage of the crooked bridge and Abdullah's friendly relations with Singapore, which had testy relations with him during his time.
Following his recent heart operation, Mahathir is again rejuvenated and back on his feet and continue with his demolition expedition against Abdullah.
Abdullah may not be the best man for the job, seemingly weak, indecisive and out of touch with the masses. What Malaysians inherited in the form of Abdullah's poor leadership was due to bad judgement on the part of Mahathir. He overrestimated the capability and loyalty of Abdullah. If Abdullah had carried out all those he promised him, Mahathir will have no problem with him.
It's time for Mahathir to leave the political stage and leave Abdullah to his own devices.Let the people decide whether they want him or not.
You have had your time, Tun. Please,buzz off !