Mahathir-Anwar axis – Part II

 |Sep 20, 2016
Will Mahathir and Anwar revive their old political ties to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak's government in GE14?
Will Mahathir and Anwar revive their old political ties to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government in GE14?

Continued from Part I

Sixth, due to the absence of a strong institutional and ideological integrity, the opposition front is strongest when it is in the streets, with or without the legitimacy of an electoral campaign.

Once again, a partnership of Dr Mahathir and Anwar cannot overcome the intrinsic gaps in the opposition, which makes them vulnerable to the temptation to invite foreign governments to do the heavy-lifting.

Dr Mahathir, for example, has been urging Australia to expose the underbelly of the Malaysian government.

Suppose Australia, which has in the past seen itself as the ‘deputy sheriff’ of the U.S. in Asia Pacific, adopts the script provided by Dr Mahathir and Anwar, wouldn’t China step in to prevent Canberra and Washington DC from having undue influence over the Straits of Malacca and South China Sea? Then what?

Malaysia would then be in the cockpit of great power rivalry again, not unlike what Southeast Asia once witnessed prior to the formation of Asean in 1967.

Forth, be that as it may, that Dr Mahathir has crossed the Rubicon by reconciling his past differences with Anwar Ibrahim, the litmus test now is in their prospective election strategy.

This is where they are weakest: they can’t agree on two cornered (electoral) fights throughout the country.

When they cannot agree, the opposition front would be pulverized.

The opposition front cannot even be a sound political alternative to the government, invariably, killing the idea of a two party government to begin with.

Seventh, given the gnawing impatience of both individuals, invariably as former premier and deputy premier respectively who want a taste of more power again, their approach would be nothing less than a no-holds-barred, even diabolical, attempt to attack the Prime Minister and the government un-relentlessly.

Some of these attitudes have cascaded to their rank and file members.

If one were to read the Malaysian section of the New Mandala, there is an open and unvarnished account of how Malaysian opposition MPs have made a beeline to Australia.

Their aim?

To persuade Australia to put a check on Malaysia.

This includes Mahathir giving interviews to Australian academics, urging Canberra to intervene in Malaysian affairs.

The impatience of Anwar and Mahathir, known or unbeknown to them, is toying with this specter.

Eight, the focus of Malaysia, should be on redeeming the lives of rural constituencies; neither of which Anwar and Dr Mahathir can deliver.

The rural constituencies may or may not know the detrimental effect of corruption, in numerous interviews Dr Mahathir averred that they don’t, but they deserved all the help they can get; be it electrical goods, rice, fertiliser subsidies and the likes, without which their lives will sink to an even lower depth.

These are families living and surviving on shoestring budgets whose priorities certainly must hinge on their villages being built and developed first; not unlike the manner by which the 1400km Pan Borneo Highway will enhance the economic welfare of Sarawak and Sabah.

Any attempt to use the rural constituencies, as nothing but sheer political chess pieces, can only be an abject practice in power politics; when what Malaysia requires is a developmental approach through and through.

Notwithstanding the malpractices of 1MDB, which are indeed huge, the reform should be micro-economic.

In other words, the firm should be left to its own device to change, based on good corporate governance. Lunging at the government, just because of the anomalies of 1MDB, is akin to throwing the baby and the bath-water out of the proverbial window … to be continued in final Part III

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