Politics

Tun Mahathir and Najib reconciliation: Between hope and reality

Najib Answers Che Det

Nikita Nawawi
Written by Nikita Nawawi

KUALA LUMPUR – May 19, 2015: A segment of Umno supporters in the cyberspace has called for an amicable solution to the ongoing feud between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and elderly statesman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Facebook user Bukhari Rahim posted on his wall: “Diharapkan isu Dr Mahathir dan Najib dapat diselesaikan dengan cara baik bukannya secara terbuka sangat. Demi memastikan kesinambungan Umno dan BN, masing-masing perlu bertindak dengan lebih bijak. (I hope the issue between Dr Mahathir and Najib can be resolved amicably rather than being debated openly. To ensure the longevity of Umno and BN, everyone has to be wiser than this.)

Biswardi Hasbi wrote: “Apa yang saya nampak situasi sekarang ini orang Dr Mahathir nak togelkan Najib dan orang Najib pula nak togelkan Dr Mahathir. Come On! Wake Up! Apa gunanya kita togelkan sesama sendiri? Musuh kita dalam politik bukanlah diantara sesama kita. (What I am seeing right now is Dr Mahathir’s supporters are too caught up in taking down Najib and vice versa. Come on! Wake up! What is the point to this? We are not each other’s real political enemies.)

Akja Kj noted: “Saya amat menghormati Dr Mahathir sebagai negarawan tapi sudah-sudah la tu. Dua-dua sama orang Melayu Islam. Kalau rasa ada yang tak kena, dia jadilah jeneral kempen dalam pemilihan Umno akan datang. Kalau sayang parti, buatlah dengan cara yang baik. (I have an immense respect for Dr Mahathir as a statesman but enough is enough. Both are Malays and Muslims. If he feels that something is not right, he should be the campaign general in the next Umno election. If he loves the party, do it the right way.)

While the netizen’s hope for reconciliation continues to grow, political observers on the other hand are of the opinion that the chances are remote as both sides appeared to have reached the point of no return.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak senior lecturer Dr. Jeniri Amir said there would never be a ceasefire now that Najib himself has countered Dr Mahathir’s attacks.

“Dr  Mahathir is an opinionated man and he is not going to stay put and take a beating. Both sides will not back down.

“Nothing can be done at this point to mend the fences as everyone is already in the attack-mode. Claws are already out,” he said.

Though Dr Mahathir’s criticisms towards the then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi were said to be the major factor of Barisan Nasional (BN) losing almost 13 per cent of its parliamentary seats in the 12th General Election, Dr. Jeniri was certain that such event would not recur in the next general election.

“BN would continue its reign as long as voters in Sabah and Sarawak continue to support the coalition as most of the seats there are in rural areas and unlike those who are living in the urban zones, they are not affected by issues raised by Dr Mahathir to undermine the Prime Minister,” he added.

Another political analyst Prof Datuk Abdul Halim Sidek told The Mole that the only way to end the bickering is by ending the ‘double standard’ in the law prosecution.

“Dr Mahathir and the people behind him have been disrupting law and order in the country by spreading baseless allegations online. He even went on a tour around the country to get people to oust Najib.

“Under Article 149, it is an offense to excite disaffection against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or any Government in the Federation, which in this case had been clearly violated,” he said.

While admitting that the odds for Dr Mahathir to be probed are highly unlikely due to his past services for the country, Abdul Halim saw no reason for his ‘proxies’ to be exempted as well.

“He (Dr Mahathir) is holding Najib’s feet to the fire because his machineries are still operating and legal actions should be taken against them for inciting hatred towards the government,” he added.

The lost faith on getting Dr Mahathir and Najib on the same page was also shared by blogger, Annie.

On her blog, Life of Annie, she wrote: “As of now, I’m quite convinced that Najib will not try to appease Dr Mahathir as I had hoped he would.

“It is almost certainly going to be war till the bitter end between those two and their respective supporters.

“Najib and his people at the moment looked intent on destroying the legacy of Dr Mahathir in their effort to beat back the attacks by the elderly statesman,” she posted today.

The bad blood between Dr Mahathir and Najib had actually started since last year but only in early April this year, Dr Mahathir had taken his tirade to a new level after he took his ‘unanswered’ questions to his blog.

He among others demanded for Najib’s explanation over the 2006 murder of a Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu and the alleged mismanagement of investment fund 1MDB.

Najib had since tried to clear the air several times including giving an interview on a special edition of TV3’s  ‘Soal Jawab’ (Question & Answer) programme and had later addressed the raised issues on his official website.

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About the author

Nikita Nawawi

Nikita Nawawi

Nikita Nawawi is an up-and-coming writer who started his involvement in the media industry serving established local English daily, before joining The Mole in October 2014 as journalist.