On 3rd December, Kit Siang phoned Mahathir and begged him to attend DAP’s convention. Mahathir agreed on condition that Kit Siang agrees to Boboi as Pakatan’s candidate for Prime Minister. Kit Siang, on the other hand, inserted his own condition: that he be made the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister. Further to that the Monarchy would be abolished and Malaysia would be turned into a republic. And that was why on 5th December the Agong struck Mahathir off the protocol list.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
HRH the Sultan of Kelantan takes no shit from Mahathir
Yesterday, in the article titled ‘A royal snub: Mahathir courts the Agong’s displeasure’, we said that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was at first invited to the Agong’s Coronation and then, on 5th December 2016, he was uninvited again. Actually, the previous Agong invited him (which is automatic if you are on the protocol list) while the current Agong struck Mahathir off the protocol list and sent him an ‘un-invitation letter’ (READ MORE HERE).
There are some who are blaming Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for this slap on Mahathir’s face. Actually it was not Najib’s doing because the Prime Minister would not have been able to instruct the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal, Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, to strike Mahathir off the protocol list or un-invite him from the Coronation. This can only have come from higher up, from the man himself, His Majesty the Agong.
As we mentioned in yesterday’s article, Kelantanese in general and the Kelantan Palace in particular hate Mahathir and have hated him since the 1980s when he slandered the Monarchy and made them the laughing stock of the entire world. Even the international media was making fun of Malaysia’s monarchy because of Mahathir. In 1990, the Kelantanese, at the behest of the then Sultan of Kelantan, DYMM Sultan Ismail Petra, kicked Mahathir’s party (Umno Baru) out and voted PAS-Semangat 46 in as the new Kelantan State Government.
Umno Baru, which was formed two years earlier, was called ‘Parti Mahathir’ and anything that had any links to Mahathir was not welcome in Kelantan. Mahathir then punished the Kelantanese by cancelling the RM600 million grant that had earlier been approved to upgrade the water supply in the state.
Hundreds of Kelantanese were dying of cholera so they needed to improve the water supply in the state. Mahathir mocked the Kelantanese who voted for a government that could not even stop its people from dying from cholera and said if the Kelantanese wanted that RM600 million then they had better vote for Umno in the next general election. For the last five general elections the Kelantanese still voted for PAS.
Mahathir and Kit Siang: fortunes tied together and Anwar not part of that deal
This, plus all those issues we mentioned in the previous article (A royal snub: Mahathir courts the Agong’s displeasure), were enough to make Kelantanese and the Kelantan Palace hate Mahathir. After all, he not only declared war on the Sultan, he also had blood on his hands: blood of hundreds of Kelantanese who died of cholera over the last 26 years or so. But that was not yet the main reason why the Agong struck Mahathir off the protocol list and uninvited him from the Coronation. It was due to Mahathir’s treason that the Agong decided that this time Mahathir had gone too far.
On Saturday, Najib exposed DAP’s political agenda: which is to demolish Malay political dominance and install a Chinese Deputy Prime Minister as the first step to a Chinese Prime Minister later on. After that Lim Kit Siang panicked and phoned Mahathir and begged him to attend DAP’s convention to be held the following day. Kit Siang needed Mahathir’s attendance to give a ‘Malay face’ to the convention so that they could prove Najib wrong.
Earlier DAP had announced that Mahathir was not invited to the convention and this, of course, upset the old man. Now Kit Siang is begging Mahathir to attend after publicly humiliating him by announcing that he was not invited. Mahathir said he would agree to attend only on one condition: that Kit Siang agrees if the opposition wins the next general election his Boboi, Mukhriz, would be appointed Prime Minister.
This put Kit Siang, who had earlier agreed that if the opposition wins the next general election Anwar Ibrahim would be appointed Prime Minister, in a tight spot. To say yes means he would have to sell out Anwar. However, Kit Siang saw an opportunity here. While he was desperate for Mahathir to agree to attend DAP’s convention, Mahathir was even more desperate for Kit Siang to agree that Boboi would be made Prime Minister if the opposition wins the general election.
Boboi for PM and Kit Siang as DPM/FM
After thinking about it for awhile, Kit Siang agreed on condition that he would be appointed as Boboi’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister. Mahathir is only concerned about his son’s future as Malaysia’s Prime Minister and doesn’t care what else happens as long as that is achieved. So Mahathir agreed and a deal was made that night of 3rd December 2016.
Kit Siang was smart. He knew that the post of Deputy Prime Minister combined with the post of Finance Minister would make him more powerful than the Prime Minister. Mahathir, however, felt that he needed to secure the post of Prime Minister first and then he can deal with Kit Siang later. Who will makan whom can be sorted out later: whether Kit Siang makan Boboi or Boboi makan Kit Siang. Get in first and work on that later.
To ensure that Mukhriz will win the election, Kit Siang agreed that he would be given the PJ Utara seat to contest, a seat which DAP owns. And Anwar, the other candidate for Prime Minister, would have to be killed off. And that would be done the following day during DAP’s convention when Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would be placed far from the centre, beside Mat Sabu, while Mahathir would be given centre-stage.
Now we can see who calls the shots and who plays second-fiddle
Yes, the sitting positions was not ad hoc but was carefully planned to send the right signal to all those observing the DAP convention. Mahathir and Kit Siang now call the shots while Anwar and PKR are just sideshows. That is why sitting positions are always very carefully planned in all official functions because this sends out a message. Who sits where and next to whom is no trivial matter and, if you get it wrong, wars can start. And the message on Sunday is that Anwar is no longer relevant in Malaysian politics.
Mahathir did not discuss this ‘agreement’ with Muhyiddin Yassin first but around midnight he was told about it. And this made Muhyiddin, who was supposed to be the Prime Minister if the opposition wins the general election, so upset that he refused to attend DAP’s convention the next day. So now we have three Prime Minister candidates from the opposition: Anwar Ibrahim, Muhyiddin Yassin and Mukhriz Mahathir. And if DAP wins the most number of parliament seats in the next general election (which will happen) and if their Malay candidates win seats (which may happen) will there be a fourth candidate for Prime Minister?
So, the following day, Mahathir attended DAP’s convention and he and Kit Siang discussed not only how to grab power but also how to maintain that power. One very crucial element is that Umno is synonymous with Raja-Raja Melayu or the Monarchy. Therefore, if you want to finish off Umno for good, you must also abolish the Monarchy and turn Malaysia into a Republic. If not Umno will always be a threat to the DAP-led Pakatan Harapan.
Kit Siang — who like most DAP people is anti-Monarchy anyway — agreed with Mahathir’s idea. The Monarchy has to go and Malaysia must become a republic. In the same process Islam, which has always been a huge problem for DAP, will no longer be Malaysia’s official religion since there is no longer any Monarchy that is head of Islam. (READ:Allah didn’t create the world for Muslims alone, Dr M says).
Does Kit Siang not share Mahathir’s glee?
That same day, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, previous Agong, and current Agong, were all told about this new pact between Mahathir and Kit Siang. Technically Mahathir had committed treason against the Agong. All they had to do was to order Mahathir’s arrest and he can even be denied bail. But that would just turn Mahathir into a hero. Instead, the Agong instructed Syed Danial to send Mahathir an ‘un-invitation’ letter with the most flimsy of excuse: there are not enough chairs.
Anyone who has been to palace functions or to Istana Negara (I used to run around Istana Negara as a ten-year old child in 1960) will know that adding just one extra chair is not a problem at all. After all, Mahathir is an ex-Prime Minister and a Tun so even if there is no room for any more chairs they can always drop someone else of a far lower status in favour of Mahathir. The reason they used ‘not enough chairs’ as the excuse is to add insult to injury. It is an excuse no one would believe, which means it can only be because Mahathir is not welcome in the palace.
It was only a matter of time for this to happen. As a Tun, Mahathir is expected to maintain a certain decorum and uphold some dignity and observe the required code of conduct. It is okay for Kit Siang to act like a pariah because he does not carry any status. But for Mahathir to act just like Kit Siang and to bring himself down to Kit Siang’s level is very shameful. Even if the events over last weekend did not happen, Mahathir would still have eventually been ostracised anyway (in Malay pulau or declared an untouchable).
If Mahathir wants to behave like Kit Siang then he should forgo his Tun-ship. A Tun must act like a statesman as he is considered a Lord of the Realm. He cannot act like a political pariah and at the same time expect to be called Tun. And over the last 24 months Mahathir has shown he is not worthy of the title of Tun.