Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Mahathir:This Is "My Way"
I am not a member of UMNO or any political party, nor am I a supporter of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
I used to admire our former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad for some of the good things he had done to this country.A man who is truly an embodiment of 'the end justifies the means'.He would do what he feels strongly about even at the expense of personal liberty of others, so long as he gets his way.A man you either love or hate.A man who wouldn't give up a fight and will take it to the end, right or wrong.
His falling out with the present Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi over the shelving of some of his grandiose projects have now reached the end of the road and one that can culminate to a destructive political conflicts that will put UMNO to the test again, to stay united under Abdullah or split down the middle for the two men.The last time it happened was the power struggle between Tengku Razaleigh and him that ended up UMNO being declared an unlawful society by the court and the breaking up of the party and emergence of a breakaway party, Semangat 46 under Razaleigh and the reincarnation of UMNO under him.
At the time there were no other strong oppositions prevailing to challenge the ruling coalition.Now,the opportunistic Anwar and his Pakatan Rakyat are waiting in the wings to seize any opportunity to take over the government.
After a long period of frustrating campaign to remove Abdullah from office of prime minister, Mahathir has not gotten any where nearer his goal.Provoking Najib to stage a coup has not worked either.Calling Najib a coward to spur him to take on Abdullah has not brought him the desired result.The man is now at his wits end on what to do or deal with his burning desire to get rid of the man whom he personally chose as his successor and prime minister of this nation.
If his intention is to arouse senior party members to act against Abdullah and bring him down as prime minister and president of the party, it may disappoint him again as all those at the top would have a lot to lose, personally, if UMNO loses its grip on power.At this point of time the grassroots in the party is irrelevant, only the BN members of parliament can remove him as prime minister, or a mixture of BN and PR members if there were insufficient numbers from the BN that are prepared to be disloyal to him.To think a spontaneous revolt in the party would materialise is like clutching at the straws, it wouldn't happen.
Mahathir is not a man who would be prepared to eat the humble pie and accepts the fact that he is equally responsible and to blame for his poor judgement of Abdullah's character, or was it his selection of Abdullah was based on his assumption that Abdullah is of a complaint nature and will obey him, which fits well into his agenda for the continuation of all his pet projects, or did he expects Abdullah to be grateful for the appointment and would do every thing he says?
Being a prime minister for 22 years Mahathir should know the democratic process more than anyone else in this country.He should know that Abdullah was duly elected by the people and should be allowed to serve his time.He should only be removed by a democratic process in an election or a vote of no confidence against his leadership in parliament.
It appears that Mahathir has failed his gift of the gab and is now prepared to throw down the gauntlet even at the expense of destroying UMNO to get rid of Abdullah and put Najib at the helm.His clarion call for senior party leaders, ministers and deputy ministers to leave UMNO is execrable and undignified.
Although I don't subscribe to Abdullah's style of leadership, I still believe we should allow the democratic process to take its course.
Mahathir resignation from UMNO is a strategy to weaken Abdullah's already vulnerable position and starts a revolt in the party. Is he likely to succeed in his attempt to get UMNO senior leaders to follow him? Can Abdullah take the risk of calling a fresh election?
Mahathir is not short of controversies, this is the second time he is out of UMNO, the first was in 1969 when he was sacked from the party for going against the first Prime Minister Tengku Abdul Rahman.His tussle for the UMNO presidency against Tengku Razaleigh in 1987 divided the party.His conflict with his deputy Musa Hitam ended with Musa resignation as deputy prime minister.The sacking of another deputy, Anwar Ibrahim in 1998 culminated in massive street demonstrations in the capital city and the sending of Anwar to prison on charges of corruption and sodomy.
Most of the top leaders may not pay attention to the call of the clarion but at the middle and grassroots level the story may differ from the top.A fresh election is an option too risky to take at this moment.
The good question now is would Mukhriz follows in his father's footstep?If he does, that would be one less MP for UMNO and the BN.