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Monday, May 10, 2021

Will it be twice bitten, thrice shy with Dr M?

 

From Clement Stanley

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in a series of interviews, has disclosed that he was not keen to stand at the next general election. His supporters, however, are not in favour of this, he says.

Apparently, Mahathir’s supporters are insisting that he offers himself as a candidate come GE15. He said he was uncertain how his supporters would react if he declined to participate in GE15.

I think Mahathir ought to realise that no one can be forced to do anything against one’s wishes. He should realise that no one is indispensable. He should remember that you can take a horse to the water but you cannot force it to drink.

Still, I see what our twice-in-service PM is laying the groundwork for. I believe that I am not the only one who will be reading between the lines what his statements are amounting to. Nonetheless, if Mahathir is testing public response to his hints, no one has so far begged him to continue openly.

No one has so far come out in full support of his plan to continue as an elected representative be it in the mass media or at any other political meetings or function. I use the word “openly” because there may have been expressions of support behind closed doors. I don’t know. But I am prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Perhaps his supporters have openly voiced their support but we don’t know in what numbers. But just as there are his supporters who are clamouring for him, I am quite certain that there are also thousands of others who are saying “Enough is enough”.

Large sections of people have expressed their disillusionment with the man who first served for 22 years in his first term of office and for 22 months in his second term as the 7th prime minister.

Looking at the expressions of disappointment and disdain targeted at Mahathir by netizens and people at large, you sense that there will be no third time around for his leadership.

Once bitten, twice shy seems to be the order of the day. In fact, some of his political contemporaries have stated that Mahathir could be more of a liability than an asset to their cause although Mahathir himself believes otherwise.

Funny thing is, even before he led the charge for Pakatan Harapan at the last general election, I distinctly remember that the daughter of the much-revered DAP leader, the late Karpal Singh voicing her concerns about Mahathir.

Sangeet Kaur Deo was not afraid to remind her fellow DAP leaders and members of the rebirth of Mahathirism if he became the leader of PH and the prime minister again. She said this on Jan 8, 2018.

It was uncanny but at the same time, it showed that Sangeet was alert to the danger of allowing Mahathir to take the leadership of PH. Not only was she astute in her judgment but her instincts were proven right.

History will show that not only were the people who voted PH let down but more importantly he chose to let down his associates and comrades at PKR, the DAP, Amanah and Warisan after winning GE14. Old habits die hard and Mahathir has this policy of either you go his way or the highway.

Would this be the person you would want to put your trust in again despite the clamouring of his supporters as claimed? I cannot speak for anyone else but myself. It would be a firm, resolute “no”.

Still, for those who think otherwise, the call will be yours come GE15. You need to vote with your head and not your heart. Our future and that of our country needs responsible leaders who can deliver. Leaders with credibility and principles. Leaders who will fight for what is right and correct the wrongs.

Most importantly, we need people who are men of honour. - FMT

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.

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