On May 15, just five days after the inauguration of Mahathir Mohamad as the world’s oldest prime minister, Daim Zainuddin fired a warning shot. He said it would be foolish for Anwar Ibrahim to be made prime minister immediately upon returning to parliament. The warning shot was aimed at Anwar, and not his boys, as Daim would like the public to believe.
Coming from the head of Mahathir’s influential “Council of Elders”, such statement was actually very disturbing. It simply means Anwar was absolutely impatient to be crowned as the next prime minister, so much so that he was prepared to break the agreement among the four component parties making up the Pakatan Harapan coalition.
Interestingly, Anwar revealed how the ousted former premier Najib Razak was “totally shattered” the night he lost the general election and called his jailed rival – Anwar Ibrahim – twice for advice on what he should do. Anwar claimed – “When he called on the night of the election, I advised him as a friend to concede and move on.”
Was Anwar the secret lover of Najib? Was Anwar the long lost biological brother of Najib? If not, does it make any sense that of all the people in the world, ex-PM Najib had chosen to call his enemy seeking advice or looking for a shoulder to cry on? You don’t need a rocket scientist to tell that Mr. Najib had called Mr. Anwar and offered him a deal to jump ship.
Mr. Anwar actually didn’t have to divulge the secret calls he received from the despicable Najib Razak. Nobody would know about the calls anyway. Since the revelation, Najib had neither acknowledged nor denied making such calls. So, those calls on May 9th must be genuine. But why did Anwar reveal the calls? Was he trying to brag about it?
There are two possibilities. First, PM-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim wanted to send a message to Mahathir Mohamad that his PKR (People’s Justice Party) could jump ship and form the federal government with Najib’s Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. Second, Anwar was worried that the secret calls could eventually leak hence it would be smarter to disclose it beforehand.
So, why didn’t BN (then 79 seats) and PKR (49 seats) joined forces on the night of May 9? Together, they have 128 parliamentary seats, more than enough to form the federal government. The problem was Najib could not allow Anwar to become the 7th prime minister for obvious reason. But if Anwar cannot be crowned, why should he join BN to begin with?
Clearly, Mahathir and Daim knew about the possibility that Anwar Ibrahim may throw tantrum if his desire to become prime minister soonest possible wasn’t entertained. That was why Mr. Daim warned that it would be foolish for Anwar Ibrahim to be made prime minister immediately. He told Mr. Anwar not to break the promise about the mid-term transition.
Daim also reportedly lectured Anwar – “You all tried how many elections and failed. Whether you like it or not, Mahathir succeeded.” However, armed with 49 parliamentary seats, Anwar has become arrogant and couldn’t accept that PM Mahathir, despite his party winning only 13 seats, continues to call the shot. Anwar told his boys to make “noises” about PKR being the biggest winner.
When PKR was at its weakest point, they cried, whined and bitched about equal partnership. So, they were given the Selangor state. Now that they have won the most number of seats, they demanded to be given the most ministries. Having ruled the country for 22 years, Mahathir, however, has decisively made the bold decision to reward all the 3 component parties with important ministries – except PKR.
Perhaps the 93-year-old prime minister could smell a rebellion and UMNO DNA in Anwar’s party miles away. He rewarded Mat Sabu of Amanah with Defence Minister. He appointed Muhyiddin of PPBM as Minister of Home Affairs. And he strategically pampered Lim Guan Eng of DAP with the Finance Ministry portfolio. That made Anwar Ibrahim fantastically furious.
It was an insult that a component party of Pakatan Harapan with the most number of parliamentary seats didn’t get any of the important portfolios. Besides requiring Lim Guan Eng’s track record, there was a political reason to appoint him for the prestigious finance minister post. Mahathir wanted to secure DAP’s loyalty in preparation for any eventuality.
As the first Malaysian Chinese in 44 years to hold the powerful position of finance minister, the ethnic Chinese community was exhilarating and extremely grateful. DAP’s strong 42 parliamentary seats suddenly became Mahathir’s fixed-deposit. Together with Amanah’s 11 seats, Mahathir has in his pocket 66 seats against Anwar’s PKR 49 seats.
We had written why Mahathir couldn’t care less about campaigning in Sabah and Sarawak. Sabah-based Warisan party, an ally of Pakatan Harapan, was part of Mahathir’s chess piece which ultimately contributed 8 seats. Sarawak’s former chief minister Taib Mahmud, popularly known as “Pek Moh (白毛 or white-haired uncle)”, was also part of Mahathir’s men.
Taib Mahmud was supposed to switch side in the event Pakatan Harapan couldn’t win substantial seats. But that is water under the bridge now. Why do you think Taib Mahmud met with Mahathir and Daim on May 11? Sorry folks, the 82-year-old Governor of Sarawak was more useful a free man than a prisoner as far as Mahathir’s political manoeuvre is concerned.
Now that the Taib Mahmud’s PBB party had architected the death of BN Sarawak and together with other parties have pledged its support for Mahathir administration, the prime minister’s strength has grown. Sabah (8 seats) and Sarawak (19 seats) are now Mahathir’s fixed-deposit. Altogether, Mahathir commands a strong force of 93 parliamentary seats.
Even if Anwar Ibrahim declares his PKR will quit Pakatan Harapan, not all the 49 MPs will blindly follow him. Only 27 of the 49 PKR MPs are Malays. Now that UMNO is reduced to 54 MPs and assuming Anwar agrees to form a PKR-UMNO-PAS alliance under the pretext of protecting Malays and Islam, their numbers are only 99, still short of 13 seats to form a simple majority.
But even then, not all Malay-Muslims within UMNO or PKR have a death wish of transforming the country into a full-blown Afghanistan. At least UMNO warlord Nazri Aziz has declared that UMNO would rather work with Chinese-DAP than PAS (Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party). Therefore, it’s a wishful thinking that Anwar could become a prime minister in the PKR-UMNO-PAS alliance.
Anwar wanted the powerful finance minister, on top of prime minister, exclusively for himself. This prime minister-in-waiting could be another Najib Razak, if he has it his way. He needs to be controlled and guided. This is another reason why Daim Zainuddin warned that it would be foolish for Anwar Ibrahim to be made prime minister immediately.
It appears that Anwar Ibrahim is another narcissist like Najib Razak. Mahathir’s popularity has hit the roof, and Anwar isn’t impressed. He is trying everything to stay relevant, and get noticed. When Mahathir was trying to get the Agong (King) to accept Tommy Thomas without delay as Attorney General, Anwar rushed to the palace to get the credit.
When the Perak state government tried to get rid of BN appointees from GLCs (government linked companies), Anwar interfered and told the chief minister and excos not to be hasty in taking action on GLCs. Not satisfied with stealing thunder domestically, Anwar flew to London and announced Malaysia will investigate the Battersea Power Station deal.
Still bloody mad after losing the finance ministry post to Lim Guan Eng, Anwar decided to lecture the minister, telling him to be cautious when issuing statements so that foreign rating agencies such as Moody’s will not get offended. Acting like a real prime minister, Anwar said Lim should leave the exposes of misconducts of the previous government to other ministries.
Amusingly Lim Guan Eng told Anwar that his actions of revealing the previous regime’s financial scandals were done on the instruction of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Mr. Lim also lectured Anwar that as the person in charge of the Finance Ministry, he was not in a position to instruct other ministers to reveal scandals which happened in his own ministry.
Anwar is trying too hard to boost his popularity that he didn’t realise he looks quite idiotic. You can bet your last penny that when he takes over from Mahathir in 2 years time, Lim Guan Eng would be booted from the finance ministry. Anwar Ibrahim believes he’s the best man for the job. And this is why Daim said it would be foolish for Anwar Ibrahim to be made PM immediately.
Source : Finance Twitter