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A rooster trying to cross the road

  • Any attempt to exert the slightest pressure on Mahathir will most positively backfire.

By TAY TIAN YAN
Sin Chew Daily

Anwar Ibrahim claims that he will become the country's next prime minister in 2020, probably around the month of May.

He told Bloomberg TV's Haslinda Amin that it was a Pakatan Harapan consensus. Moreover, “There’s no sign of any party introducing or promoting or lobbying for other names.”

Which means, there will not be another person to be the next PM besides him.

After watching the interview, I felt that Ms Haslinda's questions were not straight to the point enough, and Anwar's answers only told half the truth.

If I were Haslinda, I could have asked, “Will Mahathir retire in 2020? Will he accept you as the next prime minister?”

What I'm trying to say is that consensus is not the main thing here. It also doesn't matter whether another name has been proposed. Everything is in the hands of Tun Mahathir!

As the main thing is not the PH consensus, who would bother about the so-called PH consensus?

Mahathir, in particular, has not been known for his conformity to any realistic consensus. Just look at the PH election manifesto and you should have some idea.

Mahathir is a staunch follower of Machiavellianism. Niccolò Machiavelli wrote in The Prince: “A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.”

Machiavelli was not a tyrant. He was only an Italian political theorist 500 years ago, sharing a more or less same role as China's Confucius. To him, a prince (leader) must have superior power tactics if he were to enjoy superior status.

As for “no other names”, that was purely Anwar's own perception. Mahathir never considered an heir when he sacked Musa Hitam; nor did he have a succession plan for Abdullah Badawi and Najib Razak when he took them down.

Moreover, has Anwar ever become Mahathir's favored heir in the first place?

His sacking of Anwar in 1998 was way more drastic than what he did to Musa, Ku Li, Abdullah and Najib.

If Mahathir has really changed, then his recent “cabinet adjustments” should have set aside a place for Anwar in the cabinet, not just to show his sincerity but also for smoother power transition in future, which is a good thing for the stability of both PH and the nation.

Unfortunately all the signals from the prime minister have pointed to the denial of an opportunity for Anwar in the cabinet.

Is the 2020 date for Anwar's ascension really that optimistic?

Or he was just trying to appease his supporters and get people on his side, or he was just trying to send a signal to the PM?

However, it is not easy to get a stone-hearted Mahathir to bend. Any attempt to exert the slightest pressure on him will most positively backfire.

Anwar's predicament now is like a rooster trying to cross the road.

The rooster wants to cross the road, believing that is the right direction for it, and a goal it should not give up.

But to cross the road, it could very likely be crushed by the passing vehicles.

The rooster keeps looking around desperately, afraid of missing the opportunity but having no guts to charge forward.

Or will it pick up its courage, flap its wings, and make the decisive flight across?

May 2020. Only eights from now!

 

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