Having Mahathir hijacking his role is simply out of the question
KUALA LUMPUR – May 24, 2016: Political pundits are in agreement that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is now being upfront against Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s influence in the opposition camp because he needs to safeguard his political survival.
According to the analysts, Anwar, who is currently in jail for a sodomy conviction, resorted to pen a letter to caution PKR leaders on their alliance with Mahathir, as the former prime minister is seen as a threat to Anwar’s years of sole influence onto the party.
In the letter, Anwar wrote that Mahathir, now referred to by some as the new opposition leader, was merely using the opposition’s influence in his persistent campaign against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He went on to say that Mahathir’s Save Malaysia movement, which comprises some leaders within Pakatan Harapan, Barisan Nasional (BN) veterans and activists to oust Najib from office, should not be supported.
Geo-strategist Dr Azmi Hassan of Perdana School and Geospatial Institute told The Mole that Anwar sees Mahathir as taking over his position in the opposition camp.
According to Azmi, Anwar’s political survival is at stake if the former prime minister succeeded in pressuring Najib to step down.
This can happen as opposition supporters are starting to see Mahathir as the one who should lead the pact.
“It is quite peculiar that Anwar is worried about Mahathir’s involvement in removing Najib because at a glance this process will benefit the opposition since it will create turmoil or uneasiness in BN.
“However, it is obvious that Anwar is not in favour of the statesman’s involvement. It is the fear of losing influence that forced Anwar to pen such a peculiar request.”
Associate Professor Dr. Mohd. Azizudin Mohd. Sani of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) corroborated, and added that Mahathir has indeed being seen to be superseding Anwar.
“We can understand that Anwar is worried of Mahathir ‘hijacking’ his position. Mahathir is his (Anwar’s) nemesis. Of course he doesn’t want that to happen.”
UUM’s International and Political Studies senior lecturer Md. Shukri Shuib believes that Anwar is anxious over the diminishing reform agenda which has centred on him for nearly 18 years.
Shukri sees that the de-facto PKR leader was clearly disturbed by some party leaders’ decision to go along with Mahathir as this contradicts the party’s earlier motivation.
“The reform movement began in 1998, after his sacking by Mahathir who was then the prime minister.
“The legacy of Anwar’s reform agenda originated from his resentment against Mahathir, thus what the PKR leaders are doing right would be unacceptable to him,” he added.