The Political Hyena

Hyena-Main-1000x469
Hyenas are opportunistic killers as well as cadaver feeders

 

The Keralan Rise

In June 1969, a month after the 13 May tragedy, Mahathir wrote a letter to Tunku Abdul Rahman and began it with the following sentence:

“Patek berasa dukachita kerana tujuan patek membuat kenyataan kepada akhbar telah di-salah faham oleh Y.T.M. Tunku. Sa-benar-nya tujuan patek sama-lah juga dengan tujuan Tunku, ia-itu untok menyelamatkan negara ini daripada bahaya yang menganchamkan-nya.”

The Tunku’s popularity was at an all-time low.  He had lost control over the issues that were dogging the population and had allowed that to spiral into a nationwide communal violence.  Mahathir saw that as an opportunity to finally conclude a personal battle against the Tunku that had begun 27 years earlier, and end the latter’s political career.

That letter earned the Tunku’s wrath.  Mahathir was expelled from UMNO.  Seeing that the end is nigh, the Tunku chose to step down a day after his nephew, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, was sworn in as the Yang DiPertuan Agong.

Mahathir was brought back into UMNO’s folds by the Tunku’s successor, Tun Abdul Razak, with the recommendation by Selangor Menteri Besar, Harun Idris.  When Razak died in January 1976, his cousin Hussein moved up and Mahathir became his deputy.

In 1981, Hussein had had to go for a coronary bypass surgery at the Harley Street Clinic in London.  Mahathir saw this as an opportunity to have Hussein out of the way.  In a post taken from Tian Chua’s Malaysia Chronicles, it is said that the DAP mysteriously received documents alleging that Hussein’s wife, Suhaila, was running Petronas from their residence in Sri Taman (now Memorial Tun Razak).  There were also documents alleging that Exxon was stealing oil from Malaysian oilfields without Petronas’s knowledge.

In the same article, it was reported that it was Mahathir himself who started a rumour when Hussein was seeking treatment in London saying that the latter had a “terrible heart condition” and would be stepping down as Prime Minister upon his return from London “for health reasons”.

Purging of Cabinet Members and Interference in the Judiciary

After Hussein was gone, Mahathir had to remove other obstacles.  The biggest obstacle was in the form of Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.  The ‘Team A’ versus ‘Team B’ rivalry saw Mahathir being returned after beating Razaleigh 761 votes to 718, Mahathir took further steps to eradicate Razaleigh’s influence by purging all Team B members from his cabinet.

This led to 12 Team B members to bring the matter to the High Court alleging that 78 of the delegates had been selected by branches not registered with the Registrar of Societies, and as a result were not eligible to vote. They also claimed that certain documents related to the election had been “tampered with”. Although Razaleigh was not among the twelve plaintiffs, he was widely believed to be funding and co-ordinating the suit

As a result, Justice Harun Hashim declared UMNO “an unlawful society” in 1987, but it took Mahathir, who was also the Home Minister then, just two weeks to have UMNO (Baru) registered – a process that would have taken months, if not years.  The Registrar of Societies come under the Home Minister’s purview after all.

Mahathir did not take Harun Hashim’s judgment lightly.  In an attack on the judiciary, he had several judges, including Harun Hashim, reassigned to other divisions.  Salleh Abas, who was the Lord President of the Supreme Court, was pressured to convene a meeting with 20 Supreme Court and High Court judges where they agreed that the Lord President should write to the Yang DiPertuan Agong and the Malay Rulers expressing their grievances against Mahathir’s interference in the Judiciary.

Being the opportunist that he is, Mahathir knew that the then-Yang DiPertuan Agong was not in favour with Salleh Abas, over an issue about the noises that came from the construction of His Majesty’s private house which was in Salleh Abas’s neighbourhood, took advantage of the situation to agree with the Yang DiPertuan Agong that Salleh be removed.

A tribunal was set up. Five Supreme Court judges were removed – Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin, Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdoolcader, Tan Sri Wan Hamzah Mohamed Salleh, Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawanteh and Datuk George Seah.  With the Supreme Court suspended, the challenge toward the legality of the tribunal could not be heard.

Salleh Abas was removed as the Lord President.  Soon after, two other Supreme Court judges were also removed.  They were Tan Sri Wan Sulaiman and Datuk George Seah.

Removal of Dissent via Ops Lalang

In 1987, tensions between the Malays and Chinese were high, partly as a result of Anwar Ibrahim’s education policies in particular the replacing of Chinese-educated assistant headmasters of Chinese schools with those unversed in Chinese language (Mandarin)  On 5 September 1987, Lim Kit Siang had to send a wire to Anwar Ibrahim asking him to stop all transfers until the issue had been resolved.  What did Mahathir do? Absolutely nothing to appease both sides.

Within a month, the tensions turned ugly and the threat of another 13 May loomed.  The police had to take drastic action by executing Ops Lalang.  A list of troublemakers and potential trouble makers were drawn up in a meeting between senior police officers in Fraser’s Hills, away from the eyes of the public, and when the danger of a racial clash was imminent, the police arrested those shortlisted.

The police did not have to seek the blessing from the Home Minister (who was Mahathir then) to conduct the arrests.  However, the police would have to brief the Home Minister on the person(s) arrested.  According to the now defunct Internal Security Act, 1960, only the Home Minister could sign a detention order to put a person behind bars without trial for a period not exceeding two years, IF THE HOME MINISTER IS SATISFIED WITH THE REASONS FOR ARREST. If not, they should be released.

And only the Home Minister was given the power to review the detention of a person, and extend the detention period for a period not exceeding two years each time. Not the police.

Turning the Brits into Suckers

The UK economy was in a bad shape back in the 1980s.  Mahathir took the opportunity to strike at the UK by starting the ‘Buy British Last’ campaign in order to launch the infamous “Dawn Raid”.  It was a time when Thatcher was trying to tackle high inflation. She tightened up her fiscal policy and aimed at reducing inflation by increasing taxes and interest rates, and cut spendings.  As a result, the British government decided to increase foreign students’ fees by threefolds, from around £300 to £900.  That was one of the reasons for the “Dawn Raid”.

In the end, it was an excuse to get the already weakened British government to provide financial aid to Malaysia in what is now known as the ‘Pergau Dam Affair‘.  According to UK’s The Independent, Thatcher’s determination ‘to bat for Britain’ led her to agree to a huge development aid package as part of an arms deal which she negotiated during a visit to Kuala Lumpur in September 1988. The deal, at that time involving the sale of Tornado jet fighters, artillery, radar, submarines and Rapier missiles, was so sensitive that civil servants were banished from the room during the final stages of the negotiation.

The original Tornado jets deal, worth more than £1 billion, was cancelled when Mahathir decided to buy instead 18 MiG-29N fighters from Russia and eight F/A-18 Hornet fighters from the US.  The deal with Britain was reduced to a mere £400 million sale of 28 BAe Hawk 108s and 208s.

More Treacheries In The 1990s

In 1986, Mahathir persuaded the docile Ghafar Baba to become his deputy.  This move was to appease those who were against him in UMNO, and was made of want to be seen to welcome some form of neutrality.  But really Anwar was his choice for a deputy.  But Anwar was still “too young” then in political terms.  Furthermore, Ghafar pledged his loyalty to Mahathir – a weakness that Mahathir exploited very well.

In 1993, Anwar was ready to take on the seasoned Ghafar Baba. When asked why did he not fight back, Ghafar had this to say:

“I had no means to fight, no money. Also, I did not want to attack Anwar then. How could I? We were in the same party. It would have only benefited the Opposition. My mistake was I did not see that politics had changed. In the past, they supported you based on your track record. Now it’s something else –this money politics.”

What did Mahathir do to stop Anwar from attacking Ghafar?  As usual, nothing.

Anwar Ibrahim’s meteoric rise to the No.2 spot made him a very popular man especially with the youth.  Many were already disenfranchised with Mahathir who not only by then had been in power for 12 years, but had two deputies removed before Anwar.

Soon, Anwar’s popularity became a threat to Mahathir.  When the Asian Economic Crisis caused a financial meltdown, Mahathir allowed it to go on.  On 3 December 1997, a cabinet meeting was held in Langkawi.  Mahathir got a shock when, upon arrival, seeing that the meeting had been chaired by Anwar and had already been concluded. The cabinet members had decided to adopt an austerity plan similar to those imposed on neighbouring Thailand and Indonesia by the International Monetary Fund. The plan would cut public spending and halt infrastructure projects championed by Mahathir.

Mahathir agreed to go along with the cabinet’s decision.  However, the very next day he announced that he would proceed with a controversial USD2.7 billion rail and pipeline project, effectively shooting down the cabinet decision.  That sent alarms to investors and caused the Malaysian Ringgit to tumble to a new low.

As Prime Minister, Mahathir did nothing to arrest the fall of the Ringgit. At one point in January 1988, the Ringgit was traded at RM4.88 to the USD.  Anwar being the impatient Anwar, launched a veiled attack on Mahathir with his “cronyism, nepotism” war-cry.  Mahathir was then handed on a silver platter two reasons to get rid of Anwar.

The Opportunistic Hyena Now

Observers commented that Mahathir now spits at the sky.  When his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi made errors of political judgment and received salvoes of fire from the Opposition, Mahathir saw that his successor may not win the 12th general elections – an event that would not augur well with Mahathir.  Furthermore, Abdullah refused to interfere in the Federal Court’s decision to quash the sodomy conviction against Anwar.  Anwar would then be released and was free to launch attacks on his former boss.

When Najib Razak was being attacked over the 1MDB issue, Mahathir thought that there was no way that the former would be able to explain himself.  Naturally, the Barisan Nasional could even lose the next general elections.  In the run up to the 13th General Elections, the Opposition promised that they would bring Mahathir to trial for his sins as the 4th Prime Minister.  If BN loses, Mahathir would be sitting duck.

Being the opportunistic political hyena, Mahathir launched an all-out attack on Najib.  At one point, political observers were very sure that Najib was going to crumble.  However, when Najib fought back and started to gain grounds, Mahathir was left with no choice but to align himself with the very people he sent to prison without trial.

Mahathir’s fear has always been of being prosecuted in a court of law for corrupt practices during his tenure as the Prime Minister. He needs a strong Prime Minister who could protect him.  By getting on the wrong side of Najib, he had lost all the protection he could get from the BN government. His solution was to form an alliance with his enemies, form a political party and join the Pakatan coalition.  At least if Pakatan wins the next elections, he would be protected.

But at the back of his mind he knew that someone in Pakatan might turn his or her back on him and decide that he should stand trial for corruption – and that the billions his family owns would be frozen and confiscated.  Therefore, he made his other move – be Pakatan’s Prime Minister-designate.  All he needs is about two years if he lives that long, to escape the law.

As for now, Mahathir would say just about anything to show his relevancy, and to plead to the voters to accept him as their Prime Minister again – just as how his long-time friend Robert Mugabe has decided to form his own political party.  It does not matter how damaging his words may be to the country, as long as he gets to fullfil his personal mission.

This brings me to remember the time when the Tunku launched attacks on Mahathir.  Anwar Ibrahim was interviewed on the matter by foreign journalists.  Anwar said the Tunku is a voice of the past, speaking for a style of politics that no longer exists. ”A grand old man who has done his bit,” he said to the journalists ”But I don’t know if he’s even conscious of what he is saying.”

We don’t know what Mahathir the Hyena is saying either.

madeytersasul

Faulty Diversion

The heat is certainly on Lim Guan Eng on the #NoSwimmingPool issue. The silly #BadFengShui excuse given by Teresa Kok makes the whole circus even sillier. Who in the right mind would want to buy a property that has bad Feng Shui? To make matters worse, a Melaka DAP officeholder has quit the party to become an independent. Johor-born Lim Guan Eng was a Melaka DAP person until he found it difficult to get support there that he had to contest in Penang, making the Penang DAP folks look like they are incompetent to run the affairs of their own state.

Anyway, you can lookup the hastags above on Twitter and see what has been discussed.

  
To take the heat of Lim Guan Eng, the DAP has been giving all sorts of silly excuses to defend his purchase of the property at No.25 Jalan Pinhorn:

  
Enter Liew Chin Tong. Liew tries to divert the whole attention to this recently-revealed document, saying that Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was part of the plot to topple Najib Razak, a claim underscored by an enraged Mahathir who had to even confess that he was a dictator!

   
   
Nice try, Ah Tong. I can come up with such an unsigned draft and claim that it was godsent. But all I have seen so far is this:

  
That Ku Li signed the declaration to support Najib Razak. And unlike the unsigned document above, he actually signed the declaration of support.

We won’t forget Section 165 of the Penal Code and how similar Guan Eng’s case is to that of Khir Toyo’s. The question now is when, since the MACC is trying best to protect Guan Eng by delaying taking his statement.

Historia De Los Cojones

  
Wishful thinking.

My take on yesterday morning’s press conference where the group of 6 spoke against SOSMA being used on Mahathir’s running dogs.

1) Mahathir now publicly admits that Dato Sri Najib has telor (balls).
  
Not only has Najib dismissed the two unlucky persons sitting on the right of him from cabinet, Mahathir also admits that Najib is brave enough to throw two of his idiots in jail – Mr Botox and Mr Fast-Until-Death-For-Eight-Days-Only.

The two were hit by SOSMA and charged under Section 124(L) of the Penal Code for passing unverified OSA documents to foreign agencies in their round-the-world trip to no less than half a dozen countries – and in the process, have hurt our country’s economic sentiments and our Ringgit.
  
Roti Telor Satu!

They were not held for speaking out against the government as Mahathir alleges. If this was indeed the case, Anina, Tony Pua and even Mahathir himself would already be held under SOSMA. Perhaps, Mahathir was trying to equate the arrest of the two to the hundreds of detentions without trial he prescribed during his 22-year dictatorship. Those were the years when, as Mahathir aptly describes, no one was arrested under the ISA for making a police report – because no one dared to make any police report against him for fear of being incarcerated.
2) Mahathir also brought Ku Li – who has stated that this is his last term as MP – just to tell the world that a vote of no confidence against Najib will not succeed. Ku Li also subtly took a swipe at Mahathir for introducing the self-serving system that is now protecting Najib.
3) Mahathir is also telling the world that he has failed to protect the people who trusted him – either they are in jail or they lost their job and is now in political wilderness. 
Mahathir is essentially sending out the message that he has failed those who trusted him. Who else would want to listen to the old fart now?
Mahathir also appears to be saying he is now afraid of Najib. And that Najib may even be brave enough to act against him. Much like how Mahathir acted against his seniors in the past such as Tunku Abdul Rahman and Hussein Onn.
4) Mahathir brought Sanusi Junid and Ong Tee Keat to send a message that the only persons willing to support him now are those frustrated politicians of the past. 
Sanusi Junid left UMNO in 2008 and consequently lost his prestigious post of UIAM president. He also did not get a chance to defend his seat in the 2013 General Elections. He remains in the political wilderness.
Ong Tee Keat became the shortest lived MCA president (he lasted just 17 months) when he lost to Chua Soi Lek despite Chua having a sex-scandal on him. He was also dropped unceremoniously in the 2013 elections. Later in the year, he was crushed in his bid for MCA presidency and came a distant last out of three candidates.
He, however remains as the chairman of Yayasan Bakti Nusa Malaysia, a NGO he founded whose head office is above the local 7-11 in Pandan Jaya.
Ong too remains in the political wilderness and unable to garner any support.
5) The smartest person here who did not attend appears to be long-time Mahathir supporter Tun Daim who refuses to appear in public with this bunch of frustrated leaders since he knows that Tun M can no longer defend him from harm. 
Tun Daim is smart enough to stay away and not put his rumoured billions of ringgit wealth in jeopardy.
And that is my understanding of what Mahathir was actually trying to say yesterday morning.
  
Jom balik! Chek tak mau dah tengok muka Najib. Apa hat Chek dok buat kat dia semua dok kena tang hidung mamak chek!