Anwar not bound to rush GE16 at Tun M's urging - Analyst

Analyst foresees political game if Anwar accepts Tun Mahathir's call

26 Jan 2024 06:20pm
Analyst highlights disapproval of Tun Mahathir's pressure on Anwar - FILE PIX
Analyst highlights disapproval of Tun Mahathir's pressure on Anwar - FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is under no obligation to expedite the 16th General Election (GE16) at the urging of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, political analyst said.

According to Universiti Malaya's Political Science, Public Administration, and Development Studies lecturer Dr Mohammad Tawfik Yaakub, Dr Mahathir's suggestion to hold GE16 earlier would incur unnecessary expenses, estimated to reach billions of ringgit, which would burden the taxpayers.

He questioned the rationale behind yielding to the pressure and demands of a few leaders, expressing public weariness with the political maneuvering of a leader who has harboured a personal feud with PMX (Anwar) for over 25 years.

"So, why do we have to accept the pressure and insistence of a few leaders to the point of wasting the people's money?"

"The people are getting tired of the political scheming of a leader who has had a personal feud with PMX for more than 25 years," he said when contacted by Sinar.

Responding to Dr Mahathir's challenge for Anwar to demonstrate strong public support through GE16, Tawfik asserted his belief that Anwar would not succumb to the pace and insistence of Dr Mahathir, characterising the former prime minister's influence as outdated, as evidenced by his rejection in Langkawi during the last GE15.

"This is not an era to follow Dr Mahathir's lead.

"His time is over, even the people of Langkawi rejected him until he lost his deposit in the last GE15.

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"Malaysia practices elections based on the First Past the Post system, instead of the General Election in the form of direct voting to choose the head of government like Indonesia, the Philippines and the United States," he said.

He stressed that Anwar's potential rejection by an individual or opposing party would not signify a loss of support for the core party and its components, as the country has the flexibility to choose a new Prime Minister.

"So in the current situation, I see more of a conflict between leaders and leaders only.

"If PMX accepts Dr Mahathir's call, then Anwar will be caught in the political game that the former Umno president started," he added.

Meanwhile, Ilham Centre's Executive Director Hisommudin Bakar concurred that Anwar need not dissolve Parliament, highlighting the absence of clear indications that the people have withdrawn support for the government.

He argued that Dr Mahathir's insistence carries adverse implications for the current government, especially given the limited time for the newly appointed Cabinet members to showcase their performance and the evaluation of planned policies.

"From the government's perspective, this insistence will not be entertained because it will enter the opponent's trap.

"Looking at the voting trends, especially the Malay voter segment, the government is still struggling to attract support after the indicators in the state elections were not in favour of the ruling party.

"The youth segment, the Malay civil servants most clearly do not support the government.

"Of course the government needs time to mobilise support in the upcoming General Election for the next administration term," he said.