This is from Malaysian Insider.
There is a Tamil proverb, “Saathu Mirandal Kaadu Kollathu”. Saathu is one who does not get angry. If he does then even the jungle cannot contain him.
Mahathir is in top form using the race card to get rid of Badawi. For him the country can go to the dogs and he is prepared to go to any extend to bring down Badawi even if that brings racial turmoil. He is blind to the consequences of his utterances, but let not forget that it was Mahathir who brought Badawi to the fore front. In fact the people should gun for Mahathir, for giving us a weak leader. Did not Badawi win the earlier elections, have not 4 years have gone by and still Badawi holds the mantle. The people are not satisfied with the way Badawi governs the country, and the same happened during the iron rule of Mahathir for 22 years. The only difference is that now the people can voice their opinion freely. Assuming during Mahathir’s time, there was dissent, and somebody wanted Mahathir to step down, what would happen to that person. Anwar is a leading example of how Mahathir treats his enemies.
Mahathir is voluminous in his assertion, this fellow is useless, he is weak, I made a mistake, and so forth. The fact that he is free outside and not locked up somewhere, is perhaps of the gracious conduct of Badawi who still has some feelings for his former boss. Mahathir should not forget this and go beyond normal conventions i.e. let the normal process be followed to bring down Badawi.
Badawi is like the “saathu” I mentioned in the proverb, once angered he may be even worst than what Mahathir did to Anwar. What Anwar suffered would be child’s play compared to what Mahathir may suffer if the “saathu” retaliates. Mahathir should be made aware of this, and don’t forget Badawi rules while Mahathir is just a by-stander.
KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — Many years ago, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, then prime minister, told a newspaper writer that it was necessary to have laws like the Internal Security Act because “in a multi-racial, multi-religious society like ours, it is easy to whip up racial and religious sentiments”.
Dr Mahathir has been reasonably consistent throughout his political career. Until now.
A week ago, the former premier shared the stage with some other personalities, mostly from Umno. The speaker just before him told the audience that, among other things, the March 8 election result was the price the Malays were now paying for having given citizenship to the other races because “they can now hold us to ransom”.
Dr Mahathir then took the stage but made no effort to debunk the previous speaker. Instead, he took the baton passed to him and ran with it, saying, among other things, that the Malays, their special position under the Constitution, even Islam, could now be challenged because “the government now is weak”.
How would Dr Mahathir, if he still wore his prime ministerial hat, have characterised speeches like that?
His motive is clear. Weak leadership to the former premier equals Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and he wants to topple him because in his eyes, Abdullah is unqualified to rule. But he was the good doctor’s choice and he did win the last election, albeit unspectacularly. So the lengths Dr Mahathir would go to to achieve Abdullah’s ouster is mind-boggling, even dangerous, to say the least.
Now the former premier has quit Umno at a time of great political uncertainty for Malaysia. To ratchet things up further, he has called on Barisan Nasional component party members to quit en masse, to presumably hasten the departure of Abdullah. So far, thankfully, they have all declined his generous offer.
“His resignation from Umno in a fit of pique has left the nation in a state of uncertainty at a time when we could all do without the kind of crisis that the former prime minister is exceptionally good at inventing,” wrote Tunku Abdul Aziz, the former special adviser to the United Nations secretary-general on ethics, in his Sunday column yesterday. Quite.
Nor does Dr Mahathir have any recipe or prescription for Umno’s reform, and the party has to do so if it wants to remain politically relevant. His only solution is for Abdullah to step down to be replaced by deputy premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who would then be advised by a Council of Presidential Elders, the eldest of whom would, presumably, be Dr Mahathir, 83. The council is a suggestion put forward by Dr Mahathir himself.
Abdullah won big in 2004 after he took over from Dr Mahathir not just because the people were tired of the former premier’s high-handed ways but because Abdullah’s promises of reform struck a chord among Malaysians. But that massive victory put Umno’s plans to reform itself on hold and it was back to the ways of arrogance, braggadocio and Malay dominance.
It showed in the March 8 election. Now Abdullah has made the first few steps towards real reform. Let him complete his task. Dr Mahathir did the nation a great service by stepping down when he did not have to. Now he can repeat the favour by allowing Abdullah some slack to get on with the business of governance.
In doing so, he might also do himself a favour. A closed mouth, after all, gathers no foot. — Singapore BT