If Mahathir was to pass the baton to Anwar now, it could ignite a new wave of badly needed reformation for the country, writes JD Lovrenciear.
The country is abuzz with speculation over when Anwar Ibrahim will take over the mantle of leadership from Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Mahathir has repeatedly assured the people that Anwar will succeed him. We have also heard repeatedly that the PM has some “unfinished business”, and upon accomplishing his work-in-progress, Anwar will take over.
Anwar, meanwhile, has been modest about the elusive handover date. He is known as a resilient fighter against the most powerful political forces. Someone who has survived the worst political persecution is no ordinary man. He has leadership qualities, the very trait that past leaders seemed to lack.
Here is something that Pakatan Harapan should speedily consider if it is to survive the purported “deep state” that seems to be fuelling a revival of the fallen Barisan Nasional, in particular Umno, and the kleptocracy it propped up.
Mahathir need not be the prime minister to complete his “unfinished business”, the nature of which is anyone’s guess. He can hand over the reins after having successfully steered PH to surprise victory in the last general election [never mind the latest Tanjung Piai debacle].
From what we know of Anwar, he is not a vindictive man. His philosophical orientation reveals his true nature, which was shut away from the outside world by dark forces.
Anwar will certainly not deep-freeze Mahathir for as long as the latter’s unfinished business is consistent with the former’s democratic and non-racist agenda. In fact, Mahathir could be a great asset as a source of guidance, when needed.
If Mahathir was to pass the baton to Anwar now, it could ignite a new wave of badly needed reformation for the country.
And if Anwar does not deliver, he will face the consequences in the next general election.
The Anwar-Mahathir combination could be a powerful bulwark against the “deep state”, if there is one.
On the other hand, to keep everyone guessing if Anwar will ever take over the reins will only weaken the leadership.
People are already saying publicly that if Mahathir needs to do anything more, it is time he stepped back and assumed a guiding role while Anwar takes over the helm. Such an outcome to welcome 2020 would revitalise the business environment and boost economic impetus.
If Anwar is not given the chance to take over, we may end up with a copy of BN (or worse) back in the Malaysian political landscape.