Najib should ponder a wild idea to strike a compromise with Pakatan Rakyat to clean up the mess surrounding the general election, writes John Inbaraj.
The tussle between big gun politicians and their internal party’s politicking is among the issues of the day for ordinary Malaysians to talk about as they speculate about the future of Umno politics. At the moment, there are more questions than answers.
It is the end of Round 11 of the heavyweight championship fight. In the red corner, Mahathir is heavily bruised and unable to stand any longer. His entourage (cronies) urges him on. They tell him no one can step in to save him. He has to save himself.
In the blue corner, Najib, worn out and exhausted too, awaits the bell. Being younger, he has a little bit more in the tank. A good left-right combination will put Mahathir down for good.
Question: Will Najib do it this time?
Mahathir Mohamad has manipulated the country for about 37 years. He was expelled from Umno after an ‘offensive’ letter he wrote to the Tunku was publicly circulated. Najib’s father Tun Razak gave him a reprieve and brought him into the cabinet. It was a quick rise to deputy Prime Minister. I remember reading that Mahathir had allegedly cornered Tun Hussein into naming him.
Five years as DPM, 22 years as PM, and for 10 years after that, he has been busy orchestrating moves that have undermined the country. During his 22-year premiership, he “killed” off those who dared to challenge him: Musa Hitam (directly or indirectly), Tengku Razaleigh, Anwar Ibrahim (at this point, his biggest regret), Salleh Abas and the judiciary, the institution of the Auditor General… he threw 106 people under the ISA (Ops Lallang) and so much more!
After Mahathir stepped down from the post, look at the vengeance with which he pressured Abdullah Badawi out, the man he hand-picked to inherit the position and manoeuvred Najib’s elevation. I was saddened when Abdullah gave up without a fight.
Now, rumours have been circulating that he wishes to oust Najib and bring in Muhyiddin and Mukhriz as PM and DPM respectively. If Najib is “ousted”, Muhyiddin could be next on the cards.
Can Najib serve as crown witness? Even though Najib holds the fort thus far, he inherited a country thrashed up by Mahathir’s misdeeds. Add to that Najib’s own follies, and he is most likely to be held ‘ransom’ to Mahathir’s ‘plan’. As a consequence, gutter and power politics continue to fester. This is not the political culture Malaysians deserve.
If Najib and Malaysians are to survive such politicking, then we must have a clean and fair election and uphold genuine democratic principles. Najib should ponder a wild idea to strike a compromise with Pakatan Rakyat to clean up the mess surrounding the general election. Make this election as clean and fair as possible and declare by way of a public statement to concede power peacefully if Barisan loses.
In sum, we should not allow one man to lead this country to the grave. Malaysians deserve a clean and fair election as well as political system that defends democracy, human rights, and the people’s welfare.
John Inbaraj is an Aliran member based in Penang.