KUALA LUMPUR – Sept 6, 2016: Political analysts who spoke to The Mole today unanimously agree that two long time foes who spewed venomous remarks at each other for years are willing to set aside their animosity if only this will help topple the Barisan Nasional (BN).
They further see the appearance of former prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in court yesterday here to support Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the deputy he removed from office in 1998, as a pretext to a peace offering.
They also see this “get-together” as the beginning of a firmer collaboration between Mahathir and the opposition.
Mahathir said he was in court to support Anwar’s application for an interim injunction against the National Security Council (NSC) Act.
However, their meeting brought dismay to many, as the feud between them had affected many Malaysians in different ways.
Their animosity was evident again last May when Anwar wrote a letter from prison to caution PKR leaders on their cooperation with Mahathir, who has been trying to unseat Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Anwar is currently serving a five-year jail term for sodomy, his second since his dismissal.
Associate Professor Dr. Jeniri Amir of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak sees the meeting as a starting point for both men to consolidate the alliance between Mahathir’s new party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, and the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
To him, both are trying to convey to Malaysians that they are willing to bury the hatchet with the sole purpose of toppling the ruling government.
“Whatever it is, it all depends on their willingness to sit down and really work together. They are definitely consolidating the alliance among the opposition parties.”
Jeniri however cautions that it is too early to predict Mahathir’s next move.
“We shouldn’t read too much into this meeting. Probably he (Mahathir) was merely showing his support against the NSC.”
Associate Professor Mohd. Azizudin Mohd. Sani of Universiti Utara Malaysia concurred, adding that the former prime minister was probably only leveraging on Anwar’s influence in the opposition camp.
“I think Mahathir has offered an olive branch to Anwar, now that they are on the same boat regarding the NSC. But Mahathir knows that Anwar still has influence in PH. So, in order to collaborate with the opposition, Mahathir needs to first resolve their differences.
“This meeting also indicates to all PH leaders and grassroots members that they can collaborate to topple Najib. Based on the responses from some, like PKR president Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, I believe they have decided to just collaborate.”
Geo-strategist Dr Azmi Hassan of Perdana School and Geospatial Institute thinks that Mahathir and Anwar are testing the public’s reaction towards their alliance through the meeting.
“Using the NSC as a pretext to a peace offering sounds clichéd. It is quite obvious that both are testing the ground and I believed the NSC factor will be taken over by a full-fledged cooperation.”
The move by these politicians indicate that they would do anything to strengthen their mission to oust Najib.
“When Tun M was on the same platform with DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang during the Citizens Declaration few months back, it showed that Tun M will do anything to topple Najib.
“If any differences between Tun M and Kit Siang can be conveniently ignored by both, I foresee the colourful history between Tun M and Anwar can be ignored too as long the pressure on Najib is kept alive,” Azmi commented.