Sebentar tadi saya terbaca sebuah mesej dalam group WhatsApp yang dikirimkan oleh seorang bekas pegawai kerajaan. Katanya, hancurlah Barisan Nasional di Pasir Gudang kerana program Khaled Nordin tidak mendapat sambutan.
Beliau sertakan gambar berikut:
Kalau tengok, memang malang nasib Khaled. Kalau saya seorang zombie Pakatan yang tiada berotak (lazimnya memang begitu), saya akan kongsikan mesej tersebut dengan semua kenalan saya yang tersenarai dalam telefon.
Malang bagi mereka dan tidak seperti mereka, saya dilahirkan normal dan cukup sifat. Lantas saya dapatkan kepastian daripada mereka di pejabat Khaled. Dan berikut adalah gambar-gambar yang diambil di program tersebut beberapa minit kemudian:
Gambaran yang diberikan oleh bekas pegawai kerajaan yang menyokong Pakatan itu hanyalah 10 peratus daripada keadaan sebenar. Pakatan suka menjaja cerita dongeng. Mereka yang tidak berakal sahaja yang akan terima bulat-bulat pembohongan mereka ini.
Program ini dijalankan pada hari Selasa malam Rabu. Esoknya hari kerja, dan hari anak-anak bersekolah. Sudah tentu jumlah kehadiran tidak seramai pada malam-malam hujung minggu.
Pun begitu, hampir kesemua tempat duduk telah dipenuhkan.
Para pengundi di Pasir Gudang adalah dari kalangan mereka yang kuat bekerja, tidak seperti para penyokong Pakatan yang hanya menunggu duit BR1M daripada Najib Razak untuk hidup.
Second Finance Minister, Johari Ghani today revealed that both Jho Low and Riza Aziz have never paid taxes in Malaysia.
Replying to DAP’s Lim Lip Eng in Parliament, Johari said the duo has never declared their income in Malaysia and this the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) cannot tax them.
Opposition supporters jumped with joy upon hearing this, with some asking how can they not be taxed when they throw wild parties frequently. As usual, Opposition supporters know very little about anything else than to whine about everything.
If the duo have a business in Malaysia and earn their income in Malaysia, the IRB would definitely have jumped on them.
Unfortunately, this is not the case as the duo earn their income overseas.
If the Opposition supporters use the Internet to Google for the correct information rather than spending their life reading trash in portals like Sarawak Report, they would have come across this in the IRB’s website:
“Mulai tahun taksiran 2004, pendapatan yang diterima di Malaysia dari luar Malaysia adalah dikecualikan daripada cukai. Dengan itu, pembayar cukai sama ada yang bermastautin atau yang tidak bermastautin di Malaysia dikenakan cukai atas pendapatan yang diperoleh dari Malaysia sahaja.”
And Lim Sian See adds:
Why Jho Low and Riza Aziz do not pay tax in Malaysia?
They are not in the country 182 days or more per year and do not earn their income here.
Therefore, they are not considered as TAX RESIDENT in Malaysia and hence do not pay tax here.
Presumably, they will pay tax in the countries where their jobs are or spend most of the time in.
Tax accountants will understand this.
Please ask Lim Guan Eng if he understands the concept of tax residency or not.
Second Finance Minister has also issued a statement as follows:
1. I wish to clarify further to my reply to the Segambut MP, YB Lim Lip Eng and Batu MP, YB Tian Chua who recently asked me about the tax file(s) of a Mr. Reza Aziz and Mr. Jho Low and why these two individuals are not paying tax in Malaysia.
2. The tax collection system in Malaysia is based on the simple premise that if an individual or company derives income from Malaysia, that income received will be subjected to Malaysian income tax. While income derived from outside Malaysia and remitted to Malaysia will be exempted from tax. This applies to all individuals or companies without any exceptions. It is important for LHDNM to determine whether the income is derived from Malaysia before income of an individual or a company is subject to Malaysian tax.
3. The initial finding of LHDNM has shown that the two individuals, who were the subject of enquiries by the Opposition MPs in Parliament, do not have income derived from Malaysia in the past recent years and there are no records that they have brought in taxable income derived from overseas into Malaysia. Even if they had brought their income which is derived from overseas into Malaysia, this will be exempt from income tax. However if it is later discovered that any of their income is indeed subject to Malaysian tax, LHDNM has the power to raise assessment against those individuals within 5 years or at any time if fraud, wilful default or negligence is proven.
4. Malaysia has adopted a self-assessment system, where an individual or a company is required to determine and compute their chargeable income and tax liability. The rate of tax applicable is provided under the Income Tax Act 1967 and changes to the rate may be made and announced during the Annual National Budget. Under the self-assessment system a taxpayer will be audited on any declaration of income made. In the case where a person fails to make any declaration, LHDNM has a dedicated team to continuously analyse and identify this and severe penalties will be imposed once LHDNM has ascertained that tax is payable. It is not the practice of LHDNM to tax any individuals or companies based on perceived wealth or rumours of income.
5. Please be assured that LHDNM is ever vigilant in carrying out its duties under the law without fear or favour.
“The government shall continue to look after the welfare of the Malaysian Armed Forces,” said Minister of Defence, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
He said this in a meet with Royal Malaysian Navy personnel, civilian staff of the Ministry of Defence in Sabah, as well as Armed Forces veterans at the Kota Kinabalu Naval Base here.
Announcing the agenda to build more quarters for the naval personnel, Hishammuddin said that they (the naval personnel) cannot be sent for operations if they worry about the safety and security of their families.
Prior to this, the state government of Sabah offered a piece of land to be developed into 1,700 houses by the Ministry of Defence. However, the location at Kampung Layang-Layang is not suitable as it is 30 kilometres away from the base.
“I shall announce the housing agenda within the next week or two,” he said.
The event was also attended by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of the Economic Planning Unit, Datuk Seri Panglima Abdul Rahman Dahlan and Chief of Defence Forces, General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor.
Earlier, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin launched a Petronas kiosk inside the base as part of the welfare initiatives. Prior to this, personnel working in the base had to travel 20 kilometres to the nearest petrol station.
When asked about a group of Armed Forces veterans who attack the government’s initiatives to help both serving and former members of the Malaysian Armed Forces, Hishammuddin said that this is just a small group of people whose agenda is to serve the seasonal politicking of others.
“This government will not be disheartened by this group. We have provided a lot more under this government and shall continue to strive for the best for the members of the Armed Forces and its veterans,” he commented.
Datuk Seri Hishammuddin also handed over keys of family quarters to 20 crew member of the patrol vessel KD Selangor. 16-year old Kasih Nuraisyah Ramaddy Ricky, the daughter of Corporal Ramaddy Ricky Ahmad, who scored 7As in her Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3 exam was among thirteen children of Armed Forces personnel who received academic excellence awards from the Minister.
A ‘Force Demonstration’ conducted by the three services of the Malaysian Armed Forces was held at Kem Paradise near Kita Belud today. 400 personnel were involved in the demonstration of firepower that also saw the involvement of two Boeing F/A-18 Hornet fighters, two Sukhoi Su-30MKM multirole combat aircraft, four BAe Hawk light multirole fighters and helicopters from all three services.
In his speech, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein assures the people of Sabah that the Barisan Nasional government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will continue to preserve the peace and security that is being enjoyed by the people of Sabah.
“The government will not compromise the security of Sabah. Today’s programme that involves all three branches of the Malaysian Armed Forces proves that we are sincere and serious about it,” he said.
Hishammuddin also urged the people of Sabah to not fall for the irresponsible sentiments of hatred that are being played by the Opposition.
“Their appearance is seasonal in nature and is filled with their agenda. They do not offer solutions like we do, especially in the security aspect of the people of Sabah,” he added.
The force demonstration was also attended by Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak; Secretary-General of the Ministry of Defence, Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Abd Rahim; Chief of Defence Forces, General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor; Chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, General Tan Sri Affendi Buang and Chief of Army, General Tan Sri Zulkiple Kassim.
Meanwhile, Hishammuddin said that the Malaysian Armed Forces shall continue to cooperate and conduct trilateral cooperation with Indonesia and Philippines to face the threat of terrorism.
“For now, we have joint air and sea patrols with our neighbours while joint land patrols will be conducted soon,” he said.
The demonstration today also saw a field hospital being set up where the people of Kota Belud were given free medical and dental treatment.
When Israeli diplomat David Roet attended a United Nations conference in Kuala Lumpur recently, the Opposition went into full swing trying to discredit the government saying that it wants to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.
In a statement, the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) explicitly states that the invitations to the Israeli delegates was issued by the UN as per Article III of the Host Country Agreement signed by the organisation and Malaysia so that the UN is able to conduct its conferences away from any of its established headquarters.
The Article states, in part, that the Forum shall be opened to all UN member states and its Specialised Agencies. This was confirmed by Israel’s Hadashot TV which reported that Malaysia was compelled to host the Israelis, since it was required to grant visas to all delegations in order to hold the international conference. Therefore, it is immaterial whether or not Malaysia has diplomatic relations with Israel. It is for the same reason that Fidel Castro was able to attend the UN summit in New York in 1976, 1995 and 2000.
If you walk along Jalan Zainal Abidin in Pulau Pinang which is just off Burmah Road near the Tune Hotel, you will come across an old cemetery. That is a Jewish Cemetery. Jalan Zainal Abidin was once called Jalan Yahudi or Jew Street, the only evidence that a Jewish enclave once existed on the island.
Israel first established contact with our pre-independence government in 1956 when Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett visited Malaya to propose the appointment of an Israeli consul in Malaya. Israel also voted in favour of the Malayan bid to become a UN member in 1957. Trade between the two countries was in place. This was banned in 1974, after the Yom Kippur war, but indirect trade (through third countries) was in place.
An Opposition supporter was quick to point out that according to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, between 2008 and 2011 trade between the two countries fluctuated considerably. Israel’s exports to Malaysia peaked at USD798 million in 2010 while imports from Malaysia peaked in 2011 at USD93.6 million.
Although the preriod shown above shows the statistics was for the period between the end of Abdullah Badawi’s administration and the commencement of the Najib Razak administration, the flourish in trade could be traced back to the Mahathir administration. In December 1993, as a consequence of the Oslo I Accord, Mahathir wrote a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
The photo of the letter may be a bit difficult to read but I shall provide the transcript here:
PRIME MINISTER, MALAYSIA
21 December 1993
His Excellency Mr Yitzhak Rabin Prime Minister of Israel, JERUSALEM
I would like to thank you for your letter of 17 October informing me about the Agreement of Principles and Mutual Recognition between Israel and the PLO.
My government supports this positive development and views it as a first step towards the realization of a comprehensive solution to the Middle East problem. As a demonstration of Malaysia’s support to this development my country was represented at the Donor’s Conference to support The Middle East Peace held in Washington and subsequently pledged a modest financial contribution to the Palestinians to assist in their new tasks. My government has also offered the Palestinians technical assistance under the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme.
Malaysia as a matter of general principle is prepared to develop relations with Israel at the appropriate time. In the meantime, we would like to see tangible progress in the implementation of the peace agreement.
The Middle East problem particularly the Palestinian issue has been a cause of instability to the region and I hope the recent agreement between Israel and PLO would contribute to lasting peace to the area.
I look forward to normal relations with Israel.
DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD
I intentionally made bold the last line because, while the rest of the content which, obviously was drafted by someone else, Mahathir wrote that bold part saying he looked forward to normal relations with Israel himself. Yes, it was handwritten.
In the most recent diplomatic history, Obama wished to have normal relations with Cuba. Diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba was subsequently restored. The following year, PKR’s Chua Jui Meng, who was the then-Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, suggested that Israel could eventually become a destination for Malaysia’s investments (Shanti Nair, Routledge, 1997 p.252).
As a result, in 1999 Israeli exports to Malaysia totalled USD107 million. In 2000, it was USD732 million, and USD615.5 million the following year. In 2002, the Israel Ministry of Industry report on trade relations with Indonesia and Malaysia advised Israelis interested in conducting business with Malaysian companies that “there is no opposition to trade and commerce relations as long as a low profile is kept“.
Discretion is essential for these companies, not just in Malaysia but also in Indonesia. Reputation and financial damage are the risks for companies in these two countries if they are known to be doing trade with Israel. According to Emanuel Shahaf, the vice chairman of the Israel-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce, “There are two contradictory trends. The pro trend is that Indonesia demands more high-tech things… The negative trend is the political situation is not getting better (when it comes to Israel), in fact it’s getting worse.”
Mukhriz tweeted “Upon request from large foreign investors here, in 1996 the Cabinet instructed MITI to approve import from and export to Israel.” The relevation came as a surprise, especially as the trade ties were established during the Mahathir administration. Mahathir has been a vocal opponent of Israel and continues to project this false stand via his Perdana Leadership Foundation which openly opposes Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Najib took over from Abdullah only in 2009.
So, thank you Mahathir for his eagerness to start a diplomatic relationship with Israel in 1993.
Congratulations also to the Opposition states as they received a lot of FDI from Israeli companies. Don’t forget to thank Mukhriz for that information and confirmation.
Kerajaan Persekutuan berhasrat untuk membina sejuta rumah mampu milik di semua negeri di Malaysia, termasuk di negeri-negeri yang ditadbir oleh Pakatan Harapan. Namun, nilai hartanah yang tinggi, terutamanya di negeri-negeri di bawah pentadbiran Pakatan Harapan, menjadi batu penghalang hasrat tersebut.
Masalah Di Selangor
Semasa di bawah pentadbiran Barisan Nasional, rumah mampu milik merupakan tanggungjawab badan-badan kerajaan negeri seperti Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS). Namun, sejak pentadbiran diambil alih oleh Pakatan Rakyat pada tahun 2008, PKNS bertukar menjadi sebuah agensi yang mengejar keuntungan.
Pebangunan hartanah merupakan sumber hasil bagi kerajaan negeri dan pihak berkuasa tempatan melalui yuran tukar penggunaan tanah, pembahagian-pembahagian kecil dan lain-lain hal berkenaan dengan tanah. Kesemua kos-kos ini telah meningkat sejak pengambil alihan pentadbiran oleh Pakatan.
Penjualan tanah di bawah harga pasaran adalah salah satu cara untuk mengadakan rumah kos murah. Namun, kebiasaan tersebut telah dihapuskan. Malah, PKNS sendiri kini terpaksa membida untuk tanah pada harga pasaran?
Kita perlu meneliti prosedur-prosedur yang dikenakan terhadap para pemaju oleh pelbagai jabatan kerajaan negeri dan pihak-pihak berkuasa tempatan.
Birokrasi dan sikap berdolak-dalik merupakan sebab-sebab lazim yang melambatkan proses dan ini menambahkan lagi kos. Perbelanjaan dan faedah pinjaman bank perlu dibayar walaupun projek belum dapat dimulakan. Kita belum lagi berbincang mengenai rasuah dan ini boleh memberi kesan besar terhadap kos kerana kadar yang diminta oleh ‘orang-orang tengah’ untuk ‘melicinkan proses’ boleh menjadi besar dan untuk setiap tandatangan yang diperlukan.
Tidak meghairankanlah jika sebahagian besar pemaju berpendapat bahawa pihak kerajaan negeri dan pihak berkuasa tempatan merupakan batu halangan terhadap rumah mampu milik kerana tanah merupakan hak dan kuasa kerajaan negeri dan bukan kerajaan persekutuan. Maka, kerajaan persekutuan tiada hak untuk memperbetulkan keadaan ini.
Masalah di Pulau Pinang
Kalau gambarajah di atas menunjukkan bayaran premium tanah yang meningkat di Selangor, kita lihat gambarajah seterusnya yang menunjukkan lonjakan caj cukai hartanah di Selangor dan Pulau Pinang sejak 2008:
Kerajaan negeri dan pihak berkuasa tempatan perlu serius dalam mengotakan janji mereka untuk mengadakan rumah-rumah kos rendah dan rumah mampu milik. Di penghujung penggal kedua berkuasa di Pulau Pinang, DAP masih belum menyerahkan rumah mampu miliknya yang pertama, malah menyalahkan kerajaan persekutuan di atas kegagalannya sendiri.
Kampung-kampung tradisi, terutamanya penempatan tradisi orang-orang Melayu, dirobohkan untuk memberi laluan kepada para pemaju membangunkan kondominium mampu tengok dan lain-lain pembangunan komersil. Kerajaan negeri Pulau Pinang juga bersikap tidak bertanggung jawab menjual tanah-tanah milik kerajaan negeri kepada para pemaju hinggakan hanya tinggal baki tujuh peratus sahaja tanah kerajaan negeri di Pulau Pinang. Ini bermakna peuang untuk mendirikan rumah-rumah mampu milik di Pulau Pinang semakin halus.
Para pemaju kecil juga tidak berpeluang untuk mengambil bahagian dalam pembangunan di Pulau Pinang akibat caj-caj yang dikenakan terhadap para pemaju begitu tinggi. Kita lihat gambarajah seterusnya:
Dari gambarajah di atas kita dapat lihat kerakusan kerajaan negeri Pulau Pinang di bawah pentadbiran DAP hanya mementingkan keuntungan dan membelakangkan keperluan rakyat.
Di bawah kerajaan DAP, sumbangan perumahan kos rendah dikenakan sebanyak RM150,000 bagi setiap unit. Di bawah BN tiada caj dikenakan. Setiap gerai penjaja dikenakan RM58,000 – kenaikan sebanyak RM55,000 berbanding dengan semasa di bawah pentadbiran BN. Untuk penyediaan kemudahan komuniti seperti padang, dewan serbaguna, masjid dan surau dan sebagainya, kerajaan DAP mengenakan caj sebanyak RM500 sekaki persegi berbanding RM25 sekaki persegi di bawah BN. Untuk infrastruktur seperti jalan dan saliran, kerajaan DAP mengenakan RM15 sekaki persegi berbanding tiada caj di bawah BN untuk jalan, dan RM50,000 seekar untuk saliran berbanding RM10,000 di bawah BN.
Satu lagi bukti kerajaan DAP tidak menghiraukan keperluan rakyat ialah mengenakan caj sebanyak RM500 sekaki persegi untuk setiap tadika yang disediakan. Tiada caj dikenakan oleh pentadbiran BN Pulau Pinang sebelum ini.
Berapa pula premium tanah yang dikenakan oleh kerajaan DAP Pulau Pinang? Kita telah melihat lonjakan dahsyat di negeri Selangor sejak 2008, kita lihat pula keadaannya di Pulau Pinang:
Nampak gayanya premium tanah yang dikenakan oleh kerajaan DAP Pulau Pinang melonjak dengan begitu banyak sekali berbanding semasa di bawah pentadbiran BN pada tahun 2007. Pengurangan hanya berlaku dua kali iaitu pada tahun 2008 semasa mula-mula memegang pentadbiran negeri. Mungkin ketika ini mereka hendakkan maklumbalas positif mengenai cara DAP mentadbir negeri. Kemudian kenaikan dikenakan sedikit demi sedikit dan melonjak besar selepas memegang tampuk pentadbiran kerajaan negeri selepas 2013, kemudian turun sedikit pada tahun 2016 selepas Lim Guan Eng dihadapkan ke mahkamah di atas satu perbuatan rasuah – salahguna kuasa dan jawatan untuk kepentingan dirinya.
Caj-caj dan bayaran premium yang dikenakan terhadap para pemaju di Pulau Pinang menyebabkan rumah mampu milik di Pulau Pinang yang berkeluasan 1,000 kaki persegi menjadi RM120,000 seunit berbanding RM42,000 seunit semasa di bawah pentadbiran BN. Apabila dikenakan kadar faedah sebanyak 5 peratus setahun untuk tempoh pinjaman 30 tahun, bayaran faedah akan menjadi RM116,569.73 atau RM671.03 setiap bulan. Kos keseluruhan akan menjadi RM236,569.73 setiap unit. Adakah kadar bulanan ini mampu dibayar oleh mereka yang dari golongan berpendapatan rendah?
Keengganan kerajaan negeri Selangor di bawah PKR memberi kerjasama dengan agensi perumahan kerajaan pusat seperti PR1MA dan PPR mendatangkan masalah untuk kerajaan pusat membantu kerajaan negeri membina rumah-rumah kos rendah dan mampu milik. Setakat ini hanya 11,000 unit rumah sahaja yang daat didirikan berbanding sasaran 70,000.
Ini berbeza sekali dengan kerajaan negeri Kelantan di bawah PAS yang menerima bantuan kerajaan pusat dengan tangan terbuka. Setakat Ogos 2017, 418 unit PPR telah dibina di Machang manakala 1,000 unit telah dibina di Kota Bharu. Ini menunjukkan walaupun berlainan fahaman politik, kerajaan PAS sanggup mengenepikan perjuangan demi kesejahteraan rakyat, tidak seperti Pakatan Harapan yang tidak langsung memberi harapan kepada para pengundi.
Pandai-pandailah anda menilaikan sendiri siapa yang mendahulukan kepentingan rakyat dan siapa yang mendahulukan kepentingan keuntungan.
Mahathir’s return to politics in 1973 was watched closely by other races, in particular the Chinese and Indians. His meteoric rise to the Deputy Prime Minister’s post in 1976 was of grave concern by many. His imminent Premiership caused a large number of migration by Malaysian Chinese. Despite the economic growth in the late 1980s through 1997, some 42,000 Malaysian Chinese opted to work elsewhere. This number includes some 14,000 Malaysian Chinese who were working illegally in Japan in 1993 (Shimada, 1994).
”If citizenship is conferred on races other than the Malays, it is because the Malays consent to this,” wrote Mahathir in his book ‘The Malay Dilemma‘.
“The Chinese and Indians coming from countries with vast populations are less concerned about good behavior and manners. In their lives, nobility, which is always associated with breeding, was totally absent. Age and riches are the only things they defer to,” he added.
Calling for reforms such as the mandatory use of tamper-proof scales, Mahathir wrote of scales that can be used to shortchange customers and said, ”The small-time Chinese retailer is adept at this practice and unscrupulous enough to use it as a weapon in competition.”
Mahathir was the ultra-Malay to many including the Malays themselves. Fears of race clashes haunted the voters during the run-up to the 1982 General Elections. I remember being sent to Mimaland in Gombak with Datuk Latt Shariman (President, E-Sports Malaysia) on polling day in case something bad happens. It was the first General Elections under Mahathir and it was called more than a year before the then-mandate ended. Public rallies were banned citing ‘security’ reasons and only indoor gatherings and house-to-house canvassing were allowed (Lim Kit Siang, 22 March 1982).
Even though Malaysia’s economic growth peaked at 8 percent in the mid 1990s, it was mired in scandals involving the practice of cronyism and nepotism. Lim Kit Siang wrote that Mirzan, Mokhzani and Mukhriz Mahathir – acted as companies’ directors, and that according to searches the DAP had made at the Registry of Companies at the end of 1994, Mirzan had interests in 98 companies, Mokhzani in 48 companies and Mukhriz in 67 companies (Lim Kit Siang, 16 June 1998). Compared to the 213 companies his sons were directors in back in 1994, 488 is the number of companies Mahathir, daughter and sons are directors in as at end of 2016 (Wakeup Malaya, 6 January 2017).
The calls for Mahathir to resign in 1998 for practising nepotism and cronyism culminated in the sacking of Anwar Ibrahim as his deputy in September of the same year, accusing the latter not only of being a tool for George Soros’s attacks on the country’s financial system but also for leading a morally-corrupted life. Lim Kit Siang and other Opposition leaders were quick to embrace Anwar, acccepting him into their fold when it was just a year earlier that the late Karpal Singh had made mention of allegations of sexual misconducts against Anwar in a Parliamentary sitting – a scene not much different to Lim Kit Siang’s immediate acceptance of Mahathir after decades of mudslinging the latter.
Anti-Mahathir demonstrations were held almost daily and then held every Friday afternoon at the National Mosque. These demonstrations were quelled using brute force. The ‘Reformasi’ movement was born, and the likes of theatre-practitioners such as Jo Kukathas were seen on the streets and interviewed by Maria Ressa saying “Enough is Enough” to Mahathir. Anwar and several other pro-Reformasi and UMNO leaders critical of Mahathir were arrested without trial under the ISA including current DPM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat, then known by its acronym ADIL, was born out of hatred towards Mahathir, with the aim of toppling him and installing Anwar Ibrahim. The 1999 General Elections saw how Mahathir suffered a pyrrhic victory, losing grounds in Kelantan and his homestate of Kedah, while losing Terengganu to PAS. Mahathir-loyalists such as Ramli Ngah Talib, Megat Junid Megat Ayub and Sanusi Junid lost their seats. That was the beginning of the sounding of the death knell for Mahathir’s virtually unchallenged reign. During the UMNO General Assembly of 2002, he announced his resignation from party posts as well as Malaysia’s Prime Minister.
Ever since then, with the more open administrations of Pak Lah and Najib Razak, Mahathir became one of the targets of the Opposition in their blog posts, press statements as well as ceramahs.
In June 2012, Mahathir’s newly-made best friend even suggested that Mahathir is tried for his part in the BNM Forex scandal, hinting Egyptian Hosni Mubarak’s imprisonment as a comparison (Lim Kit Siang, 3 June 2012).
But all is forgotten and forgiven now, even when Mahathir admitted that his apology was only customary and not sincere. Despite veiled objections from Anwar and Azmin Ali’s camp, Mahathir was named at a Pakatan convention as their Prime Minister of choice albeit interim. This underscores the fact that the leadership of Pakatans parties do not trust the younger generation to lead the coalition as the position of the elders and powers that come with the position, may be undermined by the younger ones.
The signal of dissent is clear. Azmin only attended the convention for a while, not waiting for the announcement to be made while Karpal Singh’s daughter, Sangeet Kaur Deo, has hit out at Pakatan which probably is suffering from a dearth of capable young leaders. Even Mahathir once quipped that Anwar, who is 22 years his junior, may be too old to become a Prime Minister.
On Facebook, we are seeing people in their 40s and 50s voicing out their concern over Pakatan’s choice of Prime Minister, alarmed that the monster they have put behind them, could very well jump out from underneath the bed and into their lives again.
But it does not stop Mahathir from wanting to become the Prime Minister. He once hinted that he may have to consider becoming the PM again, underscoring the fact that he does not trust anyone else.
Wan Azizah may be blind to the fact that Mahathir had once denied the Premiership to her husband and went as far as making sure Anwar went to jail to keep him out of the way, while Lim Kit Siang is only friends with Mahathir because he needs the Malay votes to ensure Pakatan’s seats are sustained after the departure of PAS from the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat.
Will Mahathir be willing to step aside for Anwar Ibrahim or whoever else younger who would be more acceptable to the younger and middle-aged generation aware of his antics? I doubt. But as Sangeet mentioned above, it will be a return to Mahathirism, an era of abuse of power, cronyism and nepotism that the Reformasi movement was totally against.
Somehow, it seems that the Reformasi movement has become a tool for what it was totally against – ushering Mahathir into the premiership and welcoming again abuse of pwer, nepotism and cronyism.