Let’s not fall into the trap now being set to send PKR, the DAP and Amanah to the wilderness of Malaysian politics, says Kassim SA.
Just after the 2018 general election victory celebration quietened down, the question of succession for the prime minister’s post, as agreed upon among the leaders of the Pakatan Harapan coalition, surfaced.
Initially, Malaysians were asked to give Dr Mahathir Mohamad the time and space he needed to fix the problems inherited from Barisan Nasional.
Then there were those who, like Rafidah Aziz, urged Malaysians to stop talking about the transition of power and instead focus on socioeconomic development.
While most politicians and bloggers initially referred to it as the succession plan, the circumstances made it obvious that it was really a transition plan from Mahathir to Anwar Ibrahim. And when the calls to fix a transition date grew louder, these politicians and bloggers began a campaign to portray Anwar a selfish leader obsessed with becoming PM.
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Mahathir responded to this in his typical ISA (Ikut Suka Aku – I do as I like) style by declaring that he would make way for Anwar as and when he pleased.
Lately, a flurry of accusations has been directed at the DAP, blaming it for the downfall of PH. We also hear, without fail, that PH broke up due to the obsession of a selfish leader who craved the post of PM.
At first glance, it would appear these politicians and bloggers and their followers are attributing the downfall of PH entirely to the DAP and Anwar. Strangely, hardly any of them questioned Mahathir’s reluctance to honour the agreement he had made with PKR, DAP and Amanah. Hardly any said an agreement was an agreement and ought therefore to be honoured. One blogger even urged Mahathir to renege on the agreement. Their fear and disdain for Anwar superseded morality and integrity.
Thus, it was not surprising – and to be expected, as has been the case for years – that for every negative event that happened in or to the country, fingers would invariably point to Anwar.
So, why is the DAP being roped in this time by these politicians and bloggers and their followers to share the blame?
The answer lies in the link between these two blames which leads to the fear that manifested itself in 1998. It boils back to the fear of Anwar becoming PM. The politicians thought that once Anwar was consigned to Sungai Buloh Prison in 1999, that would be the end of his political career.
But then, along came Abdullah Badawi who left it to the judiciary alone to judge the case on its merits. That led to Anwar being acquitted of “sodomee”, and so he was set free.
From events following the acquittal, it became clear to the politicians that Anwar could make a return to politics – and even assume the post of PM. I had shared my thoughts on some events prior to September 1998 that led to this fear of Anwar becoming PM.
It is therefore easy to see why it makes sense for these politicians to conjure up blame for the downfall of PH on the DAP. The goal is to reach out to those who voted for PH – especially the Malays – during the 2018 general election and urge them not to vote for PH again in the next general election.
Malaysians showed their maturity when they voted in the 2018 general election for a country that is just, fair and free from corruption. The feeling of disappointment now among Malaysians who voted for the reform agenda since 1998 is sadly beginning to tell.
Let’s not fall into the trap now being set to send PKR, the DAP and Amanah to the wilderness of Malaysian politics. Malaysians need to be aware of the power of their votes and use them wisely in the next general election.
Kassim SA, a long-time reader of Aliran, is a crusader of the truth based on facts