Mahathir’s u-turn

 |Jan 22, 2017
Mahathir - Lim Kit Siang.
Mahathir – Lim Kit Siang.

When it was revealed that on Dec 3, 2016 Mahathir Mohamad and Lim Kit Siang had entered into a secret deal (which is Mukhriz would be made the prime minister (PM) while Kit Siang would be the deputy prime minister (DPM) and finance minister) Kit Siang asked those who are making this allegation to state the time, date and place of that meeting or else he is going to sue.

Actually no one said they had met face-to-face so it is silly to ask those making this allegation to state the time, date and place of that meeting.

What was actually said was that after the Umno assembly on Dec 3, 2016, Kit Siang panicked (because Prime Minister Najib Razak had said the next general election is going to be fought between an Umno-Malay-led Barisan Barisan and a DAP-Chinese-led Pakatan Harapan) and he phoned Mahathir to ask Mahathir to attend DAP’s convention the following day.

But then a week before that DAP had announced that Mahathir was not invited to DAP’s convention.

This is because Kit Siang knew that the DAP supporters were not too happy about DAP’s collaboration with Mahathir and there was a danger that many Chinese would abandon DAP because of this.

So Kit Siang wanted to distance DAP from Mahathir but then Najib’s speech that same day changed everything.

DAP now needed Mahathir to attend their convention to give it a Malay face.

Or else Najib would be proven right if the DAP convention was seen as a purely Chinese affair.

Mahathir, however, felt slighted about the earlier announcement that he was not invited to the DAP convention so he was not going to just say yes as if he is too hard-up for an invitation.

So Mahathir said he would agree to attend only if Kit Siang agreed to Mukhriz as PM in the event Umno and Barisan Nasional were kicked out in the next general election (GE14).

Kit Siang was expecting this so he replied he would agree to that if Mahathir can agree to him as Mukhriz’s DPM and finance minister.

That would effectively make Kit Siang more powerful than Mukhriz.

But all Mahathir wanted was for Mukhriz to become PM so he agreed to Kit Siang’s proposal, which he confirmed in this video below:

Mahathir actually confirmed that DAP wanted the DPM’s post after all.

So why does he now say he was mistaken and that it was not DAP but MCA that wanted the DPM’s post?

Well, it is quite simple, really.

It is because if it was known that Kit Siang was going to be made the DPM and finance minister then the Malays would get angry and would not want to vote Pakatan Harapan.

As Rafizi Ramli said, Pakatan Harapan needs 90% of the Chinese votes and 38% of the PAS supporters’ votes to win GE14.

This was why Kit Siang initially wanted to distance DAP from Mahathir (or else the Chinese will get upset and the opposition would not be able to get 90% of the Chinese votes).

Rafizi had already explained that Pakatan Harapan depended on the Chinese to win GE14.

That means they must be very careful to not anger the Chinese: such as DAP collaborating with Mahathir.

But then, as Rafizi explained, they also needed 38% of the Malay voters from PAS.

If not then Pakatan Harapan cannot win.

So DAP cannot be seen as a Chinese party either.

If not this would jeopardise the Malay votes.

Hence while the secret deal that Kit Siang made with Mahathir was going to jeopardise the Malay votes, it was not going to help the Chinese votes as well.

The Chinese know that the Malays would get upset if Kit Siang were to be made the DPM and finance minister and this was not healthy for race relations.

As it is now the various races were able to tolerate each other although racism and religious differences do occur.

But these differences can still be contained and not be allowed to spill over.

But once the Malays were seen as losing their political dominance to the Chinese (who already control the economy and boast that they pay 90% of the personal income tax) the relative peace may end.

So even the Chinese know that this secret deal was a recipe for disaster like what happened once in May 1969, which was why even they do not want Kit Siang to become the DPM and finance minister.

Liew Chin Tong.
Liew Chin Tong.

DAP’s Liew Chin Tong said he was with Kit Siang during the meeting with Mahathir and that no secret deal was made between the two parties as alleged.

This contradicts what Kit Siang said: which is there was no meeting.

Chin Tong denies the secret deal but confirms a meeting did take place.

Kit Siang has challenged anyone who says that a meeting took place to state the time, date and place or else he will sue.

At first glance it appears like Chin Tong was covering Kit Siang’s back by denying the secret deal.

But then Chin Tong also contradicted Kit Siang by confirming the meeting when Kit Siang denies a meeting took place.

So was Chin Tong really trying to cover Kit Siang’s back or was he actually doing the opposite: which was to make Kit Siang look like a liar.

We all know that Chin Tong and Kit Siang were not really the best of buddies.

The problem is Mahathir had a tendency to talk too much.

Malays call this mulut lazer or what some would call diarrhoea of the mouth.

The fact is Mahathir tersalah cakap and had let the cat out of the bag and Kit Siang is very upset.

So Mahathir had to do a u-turn and say he was mistaken and it was not DAP but MCA that wanted the post of DPM.

If Mahathir does not do a u-turn Kit Siang might, again, distance himself from the old man and Mahathir knows his new party needed Chinese votes to make it because he cannot be assured of the Malay votes.

That is what this whole thing was really about. – Malaysia Today

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Raja Petra Kamarudin or RPK, cousin to the Selangor Sultan, is one of Malaysia's earliest online 'citizen journalists'. He started his website in 1995 before the internet 'explosion' triggered by the Reformasi movement in September 1998. Malaysia Today was launched as a blog in August 2004 and is one of the few pioneer blogs still active and posting articles on a daily basis 24-7. RPK, 66 years old, has been writing since 1990.