The latest gyrations of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the succession saga make abundantly clear that Anwar Ibrahim will not be the 8th PM of Malaysia.
Because Mahathir has shifted the goalposts – to Anwar’s self-induced disadvantage.
Prior to the latest twist in this long-running saga, the transition of power to Anwar, according to Mahathir, was to take place after the Apec meeting in Kuala Lumpur in November.
Mahathir, since taking office as Malaysia’s 7th premier in May 2018, has been saying ad infinitum ad nauseum that he will handover to Anwar.
When was a question that was hedged with ambiguity.
No Malaysian politician is so much the master of ambiguity as Dr M, purportedly a man of honour with whom it is wise to read the fine print.
There was no fine print to the verbal concordat that in January 2018 solidified the coming together of the newfangled Bersatu with the already solid DAP, the fractious but still formidable PKR, and the fledgling Amanah.
Barring a few sceptics, most of the then opposition-supporting voters believed that it was a coup for Pakatan Harapan to have Mahathir as supremo and Anwar as leader-in-waiting.
If Harapan won GE14, the understanding was Mahathir would be interim PM until Anwar was free of the legal trammels, via a royal pardon, that impeded his becoming the 8th PM of the country.
Now, after what the PM has disclosed to Malaya Post, Dr M says that Anwar must command majority support from Parliament to take over.
That was not in the unwritten concordat between Mahathir and the rest of what, in January 2018, was the Anwar-rooting rump of Pakatan Harapan, composed of DAP, Amanah and PKR.
But nobody can quarrel with the codicil that Dr M has just attached to the unwritten compact.
Sure, no one should be allowed to be prime minister of Malaysia without being able to command majority support in Parliament.
Presently, not only Anwar is unable to command majority support in Parliament, he has not the support of all 47 PKR MPs, the largest bloc of legislators in the Lower House.
Azmin Ali, deputy president of PKR, is said to lead a cabal of 15 MPs who when push comes to shove will not vote for Anwar for premier.
Instead, they would prefer their man for the post.
Anwar has long had difficulty retaining the support of lieutenants.
One by one they have left him over the years, either embittered by things he has done that were harmful to them or the party, or that he has allowed to be done to his (former) stalwarts and party by more recent and time-serving surrogates.
Azmin Ali is only the latest example in this procession of the embittered and frustrated.
Anwar cares little who attaches or leaves him: his solipsism betrays the veteran public figure’s inability to perceive realities outside his own ego.
As a consequence, only the mediocre, the servile and the time-serving stay with him; they can’t survive on their own.
All politicians have their share of ambition and ego; they cannot subsist without it.
The public only requires that however vaulting their ambition or teeming their ego, they develop a workable ethic that can rise above personal expediency and is based on the public interest.
PAS has announced that it will move in next month’s sitting of Parliament a motion of support for Dr M to complete a full term as premier.
It is in PAS’s interest – indeed it assures their temporary safety – to move the motion and watch it carry the floor.
It is certain to carry the House because no member of the ruling government will be courageous enough to baulk it, on the grounds for which it should be resisted, which is that the unwritten concordat of January 2018 envisaged that Mahathir’s premiership was to be an interim, not full-term, one.
But PAS was not a party to the concordat; Dr M was. The master ambiguist will say that if Parliament says I stay, who am I to gainsay.
Source : Malaysia Today