The Dr M Way Of Ensuring Legacy

Azman Hamid

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad moves in mysterious ways, too.

After leaving UMNO, he established PPBM then joined Pakatan Harapan (PH) and led them to victory in the 14th general election.

Previously, many questioned his energy and motivation to carry out his duties if returned to power but so far he has done it well.

So well that not even PH leaders seems to grasp the motives behind the establishment of the Council of Elders though nothing in the Constitution mentioned it, and the failure to form a Cabinet.

In fact, it must also be a surprise to PH that Lim Guan Eng was asked to clear his corruption case before he can be allowed to be Finance Minister.

PH leaders are so consumed with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's alleged wrongdoing that they should realise that Dr Mahathir's record is not spotless either and this also needs to be re-examined.

And in one or two press conferences they were warned that the old man may be old in the tooth but he is still sharp when it comes to the political game with Dr Mahathir uttering and acknowledging himself as a dictator.

UMNO members and leaders are well versed in Mahathirism as does the former opposition now government bloc but PH leaders and supporters seem to take for granted that their new friend will do their bidding unquestioningly.

At least that's the perceived opinion. That things are not so aligned to their way of thinking proves Dr Mahathir has planned ahead, way more than anybody realises, once again.

That's why a seasoned journalist, P Gunasegaran, lamented the re-emergence of Mahathirism while Suaram advisor, Kua Kia Soong, stressed that previous scandals also be assigned responsibility while PKR man, Rafizi Ramli, complained about Dr M bulldozing the decision-making process.

Nevertheless, what do PH leaders expect? That they can just waltz into Putrajaya without having to pass some sort of qualification test first?

I suspect Dr Mahathir wants to ensure all things must be kosher as that's per the PH standard!

Everybody must not only be clean but be seen to be clean, thus the condition Guan Eng must pass the court verdict first. Isn't that what PH has been campaigning for?

Dr Mahathir also knows that as a bloc that is new to administering a country, those who aspire to be ministers and senior officials must not only have the right qualification but also the right mindset, as a ruler must serve everybody, not just a certain segment of the rakyat.

Witness the new Johor  Menteri Besar saying 'no allocation to opposition representatives' before being advised to not do such a thing.

Does he not realise that government supporters also exist in opposition supported areas?

And so with this backdrop, Dr Mahathir is probably thinking of how he can guide PH to be a better administration and to all Malaysians.

He probably has all bases covered but for the small matter of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who seems to still have issues with a member of the Council of Elders, Tun Daim Zainuddin.

It is in dealing with his former political rivals that Dr Mahathir has the most problems though so far he's not doing too badly compared to Tengku Razaleigh, Tun Abdullah Badawi or Najib.

Dr Mahathir will be remembered for putting Malaysia on the map but he will not like people to continually bring up things like the Forex scandal and other controversies including Perwaja, BMF and Anwar too.

So, on to 2018 in his second stint as Prime Minister, he might want to do things differently, forcing UMNO to change, getting Anwar to be a free man but insisting all and sundry to really do it by the rules, no exception.

But does it mean he is exempted from excesses in his first 22 years of rule that's the question.

Ensuring his legacy will be uppermost in his mind but will Anwar and other PH leaders do things differently once power change hands is another question only time will tell.

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