As Malaysia inch closer to general elections the various political parties are meticulously charting their respective strategies. Many politicians have already started hitting the campaign trail, some beginning last year in a bid to drum up support. This is set to be one of the fiercest elections the country has ever seen. There is great enthusiasm if not an obsession among average Malaysians and the local media over the coming polls. In fact at this juncture any small announcements will certainly pique the public’s interests.
So naturally when it was revealed that the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) recently held a two-day retreat in Putrajaya both the local media and the public took notice. The group comprising of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) and the Democratic Action Party (DAP) is front and center when it comes to generating media attention. This is expected particularly since the coalition’s appointed frontman is none other than former premier Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed. Having helmed the country for 22-years this maverick has weathered Malaysian’s political scene. And it is precisely because of this that the elderly statesman was recently proposed as an interim prime minister in the event PH comes to power. Meanwhile Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah was relegated to the lesser post of deputy prime minister. Of course this proposal is still awaiting the blessing of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. The notable opposition figure could throw a wrench into PH’s plans particularly since word has it there are those within PKR’s ranks that are not too happy with Tun Dr. Mahathir name being proposed.
Despite his age and health, Tun Dr. Mahathir has never shied away from the opportunity to lead the alliance. There are those who accuse him of charting the way for his less politically savvy son Dato’ Seri Mukhriz bin Mahathir and others who feel that the old man simply just refuses to relinquish his power. This notwithstanding PH’s decision to propose Tun Dr. Mahathir as interim prime minister is rather disconcerting. It is increasingly evident that he remains firmly in the driver’s seat. It seems the other coalition partners are following along with whatever Tun Dr. Mahathir has planned. Hence, this begs the question, “Is he willing to step aside if PH wins the general elections?” Besides has Tun Dr. Mahathir proven himself to being a reformist? He has not shown any remorse over his pass transgressions. If one did not know any better one could surmise that Tun Dr. Mahathir is merely using the opposition coalition to serve his own political interests