KUALA LUMPUR – Sept 5, 2016: Shocking and unbelievable best describes the appearance of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at a high court here today to meet up and express his support for the man he sacked as his deputy in government in 1998.
Photos of Mahathir warmly facing up to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim went viral in cyberspace, creating an avalanche of reactions, ranging from support to outright anger. Most were simply dismayed that after almost two decades of spewing venom at Anwar for his indiscretions then, Mahathir should now see fit to “embrace” the politician who’s serving jail time for sodomy.
Mahathir said he was present at Anwar’s application for an interim injunction against the National Security Council (NSC) Act because he supports the latter’s bid but at the same time denied that he was finally making peace with Anwar after 18 years of bad blood.
It was the first time the two had met face-to-face since Anwar’s removal from government and Umno.
Said Mahathir: “I am interested in this case. This is about NSC and you know why. I have written about it in my blog and he is doing the same (in opposing it).
“He is going to stop (the NSC Act), so I came to meet him. I had a long chat with him about what he is doing,” Mahathir told reporters.
At Facebook, Sean Kan commented: “Once upon a time, one accused the other as a ‘homosexual’; the other recently wrote a letter to his party members warning them that ‘the serpent that did sting thy father’s life now wears his crown’. Today, the ‘homosexual’ and the ‘serpent’ shook hands because “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Amazing.”
For D’Cruuz BW it’s simple: “This just shows that there are no permanent friends or foes in politics.”
Lareine Ahmed however supports Mahathir. “Tun M is trying his best to fight for all. This might be the reason why he came and showed his support to Anwar. They are just fighting against the bill and combating corruption done by no one but the current leader. Let’s just show our support to him (Dr Mahathir).
This was what Jusmine Ali had to say: “Focus on the NSC act issue, please. Not on this meeting. That’s (NSC) the bigger problem we are going to have soon.”
Prominent journalist/blogger Datuk Ahirudin Attan also reacted with surprise.
“I thought I’d never seen the two of them photographed together, like this, ever again. I also thought I’d never see Dr Mahathir Mohamad looking this small.
“A fellow journalist said there’s no other way to describe this, except that it’s the pits of Dr Mahathir’s turnaround.
“First, he was hoping to lobby the Rulers to meet him; second, blaming the late Tan Sri Megat Junid Megat Ayub for the ISA (Internal Security Act) arrests during his premiership; and latest, to apologise to the Rulers for the amendment on royal assent.
“God knows what’s next!” the blogger wrote, quoting his fellow journalist.
“You thought you have seen it all! Not until Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad appeared at the court to support former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
“It is the greatest travesty of mainstream politics this nation has seen, as exactly eighteen years ago Tun Dr. Mahathir had Anwar sacked from the Cabinet and a day later, from Umno.
“He has proven there is nothing he would not do to topple Prime Minister Datuk Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak. A year ago, he crossed his own lines by attending and speaking at Bersih 4.0, two days in a row,” the blogger wrote.
“Mahathir’s move to meet Anwar has certainly shaken the country, but he is doing so because he thought that the embezzlement of RM 2.6bil is a greater sin compared to Anwar’s moral issues,” he wrote in a reference to allegations of corruption against Najib, who Mahathir is campaigning to remove.