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6:58pm 24/11/2023
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If not Anwar, who then should be PM?
By:Professor Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi

Judging by opinion pieces penned by good-intentioned civil society members on Anwar and the Unity Government, there seems to be a free-for-all Anwar bashing fun fair.

A centre that puts out opinion survey recently concluded that Anwar is losing the faith of most Malaysians, whether Malays or non-Malays.

I have written many articles asking for Malaysians to be patient and also try to understand the problems phrased in a so-called “Islamic” construct by the PN, but Malaysians still want to see change done immediately, rapidly and if possible, yesterday.

Well, let me then ask these critics of Anwar Ibrahim and the Unity Government, who they would like to see “immediately” as Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Now, before we go down the list of potential; candidates, let us try to agree on some important criteria that would make a good PM.

First of all, can we agree that the PM must be a Malay or a Muslim? Or should we try Anthony Loke as the new PM of Malaysia? I think all the mosques would resound with ceramahs calling for God to rain fire and brimstone on Malaysia for allowing a kafir to be PM. So, it must be a Melayu.

Secondly, as of the present situation, can we agree that the candidate be a man?

I do not mean to be sexist, but who at the moment has the aura and power to lead political parties comprising mostly of men and also who immediately can we recall to be a suitable candidate?

Rafidah would make a good choice but dia sudah pencen. I seriously do not think that Wan Azizah would hold the realm as she once was asked, and she gave it to Tun M.

Third, are we seriously going to consider Najib and Tun M…again. Really? Is that even up for discussion?

Fourth, can we agree that the candidate must be one who can command the respect and has linkages with the international community?

Fifth, can we agree that the candidate must have experience dealing with the royals as well as muftis in the country?

Sixth, can we agree that the candidate possesses what I call “political credit”? What I mean is that the candidate has given favours and is owed favours by various important parties throughout his career as a politician.

Finally, can we agree that the candidate must be seasoned enough to deal with the monstrous civil service that is a power unto itself. This includes the clandestine security forces at the disposal of the police and army.

If not Anwar for PM, who? Let’s call the bluff and put out the candidates, but remember, be realistic and think carefully of the requirements to lead Malaysia in a democratic system.

So, let’s go down the list, shall we?

First, let us consider a PKR candidate. Can a man like Rafizi Ramli, who has just now one year into the government service, has the political credits and seasoned experience to deal with the civil service and the royals?

Perhaps in five years, maybe, but I do not seriously think that he is capable now.

Next, we go to Zahid Hamidi as the Deputy PM. Would Malaysians like to trust him? Ok-lah, maybe Mat Hassan can be PM if Zahid is gracious enough, but would Mat Hassan make a good PM internationally and can he be trusted by Malaysians? My money is not with him.

Next, let us look at Sarawak candidates. Would it be good to allow either Fadilah or Abang Jo as PM of Malaysia? Will these two survive the intricacies of peninsular politics?

Both have no experience that can give confidence to me, although both are excellent leaders for Sarawak.

But the real question is, are Malaysians ready for a non-Semenanjung appointment?

We Malaysians are of course never going to give the reign of the country to people like Hamzah, Mahiaddin or Hadi. Are we? That would be a safe no.

Now, let us look at civil society members who are outspoken and aggressive in all issues mercilessly attacking Anwar left, right, up and down.

Can any one of them assume the mantle of PM-ship?

In GE15, good-intentioned and vocal civil society members were wiped out completely simply because they thumbed their nose down on party politics and thought that the rakyat would elect them.

The rakyat knew that these candidates would never be able to face up to the challenges of Malay and Malaysian politics.

What about other loud civil society candidates? Well, the last time I checked, these people are only keyboard warriors like me who do not have any courage to put their names on the ballot papers.

They do not even want to form a political party to fight these “incompetent” PKR, useless Amanah, and turncoat DAP members.

So, I ask again, if not Anwar for PM, who? Let’s call the bluff and put out the candidates, but remember, be realistic and think carefully of the requirements to lead Malaysia in a democratic system.

Not so easy, right?

(Prof Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is Professor of Architecture at a local university and his writing reflects his own personal opinion entirely.)

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Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi
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