New political era in Malaysia

 |Dec 15, 2016
Mahathir campaigned and ousted Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (left) as prime minister.
Mahathir campaigned and ousted Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (left) as prime minister.

On March 8, 2008, a loose opposition coalition, which was later named Pakatan Rakyat, won five states and 82 Parliament seats in Malaysia’s 12th General Election (GE12).

Some political analysts say that the internet was partly responsible for this and the irony of this whole thing is that it was Mahathir Mohamad who wanted Malaysia to become the leading internet nation in Asia.

Anyway, whether Mahathir can be indirectly blamed for what happened in the March 2008 general election or not, he was certainly directly responsible.

Mahathir was upset with his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi because the Abdullah’s son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin was an obstacle to Mahathir’s son Mukhriz political future.

Khairy had to die before Mukhriz can more forward and for Khairy to die Abdullah must die first.

So Mahathir engineered the fall of Penang to the opposition by asking the MCA Chinese to give their support to DAP.

Kelantan was for sure going to PAS and what happened was that not only did Penang and Kelantan fall but so did Kedah, Perak and Selangor as well.

It looked like the next general election in 2013 (GE13) was going to be in favour of the opposition coalition.

After grabbing Penang, Kedah, Perak, Selangor and Kelantan, plus 82 Parliament seats, the opposition would next grab Perlis, Terengganu, Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak plus another 35 Parliament seats, giving them a simple majority in Parliament – 117 seats versus Barisan Nasional’s 105.

Yes, back in March 2008 very few Malaysians would disagree that the 2013 general election was when Umno and Barisan Nasional were going to be history.

Then something unexpected happened.

Anwar’s blunders

Three months later, Anwar Ibrahim was implicated in his second sodomy scandal and suddenly the butterfly had flapped its wings.

At that time no one saw the butterfly effect but as I said nothing happens in isolation.

Because of ‘Sodomy 2’, Anwar was no longer cool and started making panic decisions.

One panic decision was his ‘Sept 16’ fiasco, the move that was supposed to keep him out of jail.

On Sept 16, 2008, around 30 Barisan Nasional MPs were supposed to cross over to Pakatan Rakyat triggering the downfall of the federal government.

That did not happen.

The second bad decision was Anwar’s interference in Perak.

Anwar tried to remove Menteri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin and replace him with an Umno candidate and Perak fell into the hands of Barisan Nasional.

Anyway, from June 2008 to February 2009, it was a disaster for the opposition after starting out quite well in March 2008.

Even the late Karpal Singh was pissed with Anwar, as you can see in the video below.

Karpal Singh was very disgusted with Anwar’s lack of ethics, morals and principles

On April 3, 2009, Najib Razak took over as prime minister and the ballgame changed.

The opposition were no longer dealing with a weak and lethargic Abdullah Badawi.

They were now going to have to deal with Najib and the rules of the game were going to change.

But the opposition did not know this.

They thought that with Najib as prime minister it would be easier to topple the government than with Abdullah.

How wrong they were and they were in time going to find out.

Anwar’s sodomy trial proceeded and Mukhriz tried to win the Umno national youth leadership but failed in a three-corner contest with Khairy and Khir Toyo.

GE13

Things moved on till May 2013 when another general election was held.

That was the general election that was supposed to see Pakatan replace Barisan Nasional as the government but it did not happen as many had expected.

There was just too much infighting in the opposition while Anwar was too distracted in trying to stay out of jail.

Many also predicted that if Pakatan wants to take over then it has to be in May 2013.

If it does not happen in May 2013 then it is never going to happen.

It did not happen so that most likely means it is never going to happen.

Nevertheless, how unlikely it may be, the opposition still has to try again in 2018 or so and in the meantime they need to strengthen themselves to prepare for the next battle in 2018.

Instead, the opposition did the opposite.

Instead of strengthening themselves, they became weaker.

Because of this they panicked and made a deal with the very devil that is the reason the opposition is weak in the first place.

In their desperation, the opposition clung to Mahathir and tried to seek salvation through Mahathir.

That was the single biggest mistake the opposition ever made and is the reason the opposition in Malaysia is more or less finished for at least the next decade or so.

GE13

Kajang Move

Soon after the 2013 general election, out of sheer panic that he was facing conviction on ‘Sodomy 2’, Anwar plotted the ouster of Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim.

The plan was Anwar would take over as Menteri Besar so that the government would not dare put him in jail for sodomy.

Only God knows how Anwar came to this most stupid conclusion.

Even Selangor Menteri Besar Harun Idris, a person more powerful than Anwar, was sent to jail.

Just before the ‘Kajang Move’ could see fruition, Anwar was convicted of sodomy.

So that plan fell flat and his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had to contest the Kajang by-election instead.

But she was not able to take over as the Selangor menteri besar and the job went to Azmin Ali instead.

That caused a split in PKR, which, until today, cannot be solved.

Even worse was that PAS supported Azmin while DAP wanted Wan Azizah (and PKR was split).

DAP destroyed Pakatan Rakyat

DAP was so angry they sponsored a ‘Team B’ in PAS to oust its president Abdul Hadi Awang.

The coup failed and ‘Team B’ left the party to form a new party called Amanah that was sponsored and funded by DAP.

DAP then unilaterally closed down Pakatan Rakyat and set up Pakatan Harapan with Amanah as their new Islamic partner.

That effectively turned PAS into a ‘third force’, belonging to neither Barisan Nasional nor Pakatan, and it was DAP that did that.

With Anwar in jail and PAS no longer a member of the opposition coalition, Pakatan panicked.

They realise they had made a mistake and were going to pay for it dearly by getting wiped out in the next general election.

Two years ago on Friday, Dec 12, 2014, Khairuddin Abu Hassan made a police report against 1MDB at the behest of Mahathir.

That was basically the official declaration of war against Najib.

For six months Mahathir and his team of conspirators continued their attacks on Najib and in July 2015 Najib struck back and finished them off.

The attacks continued until year end and each and every time Najib deflected the attacks.

On Feb 3, 2016, Mukhriz was removed as the Kedah menteri besar and, as expected, on Feb 29, 2016, Mahathir resigned from Umno.

That was what Najib wanted and Mahathir did what he wanted.

That would now make Mahathir a ‘free man’ and the opposition would for certain exploit the situation and work with Mahathir.

The opposition, which was also in dire straits, cozied up to Mahathir while Mahathir, who also needed a fighting force, played footsie.

This is a recipe for disaster because they all have different doctrines and motivations although they share the same objective: which is to topple the government.

Today, a new equation has been added to that formula.

Anwar Ibrahim

End of Anwar

Today, Anwar just lost his application for a judicial review so he needs to stay in jail until 2018, which will be until after the next general election for sure.

Anyway, Anwar will not be able to contest the general election until after five years from 2018: which means after 2023.

The general election would most likely be held around 2027-2028 when Anwar will be around 80 years old or so.

So that is the end of Anwar.

That means Pakatan Harapan needs a new leader.

That is when the fun will begin because there are many who can fit that bill.

One thing to note, though, is that Pakatan Harapan was a DAP-led coalition so whoever becomes the new opposition leader must be with DAP’s approval.

Currently, Lim Kit Siang is the de facto opposition leader.

Who Kit Siang says is the head honcho will be the head honcho.

But then where is PAS in this whole thing?

Can Kit Siang continue to ignore PAS and get away with it?

That is what we will need to wait for 2017 to discover.

Trust me on this one: some unexpected surprises are looming over the horizon which can only be good for Barisan Nasional and bad for Pakatan Rakyat.

Mahathir and his new party are playing with the losers, not with the winners. – 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.