Forgetful me, sharp Tun M: End the "Sicilian Thing" in Malaysian politics

A call for focus on real problems

23 Jan 2024 01:17pm
Anwar Ibrahim and Dr Mahathir - FILE PIX
Anwar Ibrahim and Dr Mahathir - FILE PIX

TUN Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s fourth and seventh prime minister, grabbed headlines with his latest press conference. He's on the mark, raising points that stir the pot:

  1. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, he said, became PM by chance, not choice.
  2. Dr Mahathir highlighted ignored inquiries: his own and associates' under the lens, but Azam Baki's (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Commissioner) dubious shareholdings? Not so much.
  3. Investigating him, he quipped, is a cakewalk for the government.
  4. He threw shade at the 'get-out-of-jail-free' card given to Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in the Yayasan Akalbudi case.

Dr Mahathir insisted his days as PM were cleaner, claiming he never twisted the law to his advantage.

Echoing his chat on Khairy Jamaluddin's Keluar Sekejap podcast, he suggested high-profile investigations happened on merit, not on his say-so.

Is Dr Mahathir hinting that Prime Ministers don't green-light probes into VIPs, and that our police and anti-corruption squad are autonomously cracking cases?

Towards the end, he stated, "I can't order arrests... PMs don't do that." But then, a journalist brought up Ops Lalang, to which Dr Mahathir challenged, "Show me the proof, then let Azam Baki probe me."

Back in March 2023, he defended himself over Ops Lalang, saying the police called the shots, not him.

Dr Mahathir's narrative paints our enforcement as world-class, almost FBI-esque.

Yet, reality bites: we still hear about petty bribes and corruption.

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If our forces can take on big names without PM orders, small-time corruption should be a no-go. But is that the case?

In 2023, Dr Mahathir also labelled Anwar as "oppressive," critiquing the cancellation of a pro-Malay event.

His comments drew flak, notably from former lawmaker Kasthuri Patto, who holds him accountable for Ops Lalang's impact on her family.

And, oh, the irony. I'm referencing Kasthuri Patto, right after our PMX's foot-in-mouth moment with the Indian community.

Seems like offending Malaysian Indians is a PM-exclusive sport!

Dr Mahathir's dig at Malaysian Indians for "disloyalty" only adds to this narrative.

Swerving back, this long-standing feud between Dr Mahathir and PMX, since 1998, feels endless.

It's like Kay Corleone's line in The Godfather 2, about an age-old Sicilian feud.

The public's fed up.

While Dr Mahathir and PMX bicker, real issues drown in the noise: Grab drivers on strike and suicides linked to poverty.

These are the stories that deserve our attention, not Dr Mahathir's self-serving press conferences.

Dr Mahathir even linked these issues to PMX's governance in his presser – a stretch, perhaps?

He claimed such grim news was unheard of during his tenure and hopes social media will amplify his words, knowing mainstream media's limitations. Sounds familiar?

As for me, I might be forgetful, but Dr Mahathir certainly isn't.

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