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Azmin's late night meeting and 'Save Mahathir' operation

  • With PPBM now losing more than 15k votes in Tanjung Piai, a call to get Mahathir to step down has come more than justifiable.

By TAY TIAN YAN
Sin Chew Daily

The late night meeting between Azmin Ali and about a score of Umno MPs was meant to firm up the foundation of Tun Mahathir, whose status has become shaky after the Tanjung Piai defeat, in hope of stabilising PH's post-tremor slanting structure.

This reminds me of what took place some years ago.

The 1989 winter marked the gloomiest winter for the late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher after she came to power.

She was publicly censured for her unpopular and deemed obsolete anti-EU stance which would hamper the further development of the country's economy.

Thatcher was unmoved and in the end, her Conservative Party lost to the opposition Labour Party in the European Parliament elections.

The community charge which she strongly advocated and stubbornly imposed met with powerful resistance from the Britons, culminating in a massive protest by some 200,000 people at London's Trafalgar Square.

Into 1990, Conservative Party's approval rating sank to a low, faring a full 20 percentage points behind Labour.

Pessimism ruled within Conservative but no one was able to change the mind of the Iron Lady who insisted she was right and who had faith only in herself.

Senior Conservative leaders, including her ministers, would be replaced if they dared to challenge her decisions. Geoffrey Howe, a veteran party leader, quit as deputy prime minister and foreign secretary in protest.

Many Conservative lawmakers were aware of the fact that the party would lose the next general elections three years afterwards if Thatcher were to remain in power.

So they plotted an operation to throw her out and supported Michael Heseltine's bid to challenge her for top party post, which if she lost, she would have to relinquish her PM post.

Thatcher won by a thin majority in the first round of voting, and she knew very well that she might not make it in the second round. So she pulled out of the race and turned to support her confidant John Major, who later became Britain's least experienced prime minister in history.

Back to Malaysia, the ruling PH coalition only managed to get 26.7% of all the votes cast in the Tanjung Piai by-election. The humiliating defeat has shaken the morale of the coalition.

It is next to impossible for a ruling coalition that has under-30% approval rating to ever win the next general elections!

It will be too late now to change the governance direction or fulfil election pledges. Moreover, is Mahathir ready to do that in the first place? And will Lim Guan Eng -- who claimed UEC and UTAR were not reasons for the defeat -- ever change?

Like the Conservative leaders in UK, many PH top guns are well aware that their future is bleak, unless the commander-in-chief steps down.

Anwar's team predicted a 7,000-vote loss for PPBM, good enough to get Mahathir to step down.

With PPBM now defeated by more than 15k votes, such a call has come more than justifiable.

PKR veteran leader Syed Husin Ali wanted to hold Mahathir responsible for the defeat, and the operation to unseat the PM is well under way at this moment.

And then suddenly Azmin Ali had a secretive late night meeting with Umno and PKR MPs, offering attractive perks to get them to support Mahathir to complete his full term of five years.

Azmin's one and only motive is to ensure Mahathir is safely in power.

The late night meeting was held at Azmin's official residence, and he intentionally leaked out the news to the media with the hope of conveying an important message to Anwar's camp that they should not attempt to do anything funny.

The thing is, the meeting did not produce any result or substantial plan; nor did it imply that all the attendants would lean towards Tun M.

Only 19 Umno/BN and five PKR MPs were at the meeting, and this shows how far Azmin's influence has reached.

What is of interest is that both Thatcher and Heseltine lost in their rivalry to a John Major popping out of the blue.

Will there be another John Major in the Mahathir-Anwar fight?

Possible, but I seriously don't think it is Azmin.

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