Mokhzani follows Dad out of Umno: Mahathir’s multi-prong strategy


So Harakahdaily reports that Mokhzani is following his Dad out of Umno. He reportedly made the announcement this morning.

The shrewd politician that he is, Mahathir probably has a few tricks up his sleeve. Scheming and scheming all the time…

I believe he is opting for a multi-prong strategy in his battle to unseat Abdullah and put in place a crony who would protect his interests before Anwar and his Pakatan boys can take over. The strategy would work at various levels.

From outside: By leaving Umno, Mahathir will be freer to step up his attacks against the current Umno leadership.

From below: Through his son Mukhriz, Mahathir now has a Trojan Horse inside Umno. Mukhriz has already shown that he will step up the pressure from below.

From the top: Razaleigh has already thrown down the gauntlet in his bid to challenge Abdullah for the Umno presidency. Will Mahathir now openly throw his backing behind his one-time archfoe in a bid to unseat Abdullah?

From the flanks: By leaving Umno, he is also providing another option for BN members thinking of defecting. They could now become Independent MPs in Parliament, who will be “kingmakers” in the sense that their numbers could be crucial in deciding who is going to form a new government. They would then be in a position to demand key positions in a new administration, whether it is BN or Pakatan.

Play up racial sentiments: Gone is all his rhetoric about Bangsa Malaysia. Now he is actively courting Malay support by manipulating base, primordial communal sentiments as he did in Johor a few days ago. He openly talked about Ketuanan Melayu and about the Malays losing their rights – pointing to Singapore and Hindraf as bogeymen!

It is no contradiction. Mahathir will do or say anything as long as it serves his own personal interests, as Wong Kok Keong writes in Aliran.

But Mahathir underestimates the Malays these days, many of whom can see through such language. The “market” for those willing to “buy” such rhetoric is rapidly shrinking, but that is not stopping him from whipping up sentiment among the hardcore remnants.

Watch this guy’s next move…

He is clearly petrified that Anwar will take over and open the books on the Mahathir years. The “Lingam Tape” Royal Commission of Inquiry recommendations jolted him and convinced him that he had to take decisive action now to ward off future threats to his “legacy”.

For example, look what happened to Malaysia Airlines in the 1990s. I was just talking to a former senior finance officer in Malaysia Airlines. He told me that in the mid-1990s, just a couple of years after Tajudin Ramli had taken over the helm from Dato Kamaruddin, who was seen as incorruptible, Malaysia Airlines had RM1.3 billion in cash reserves and they had no problem securing billions in loans, if necessary.

But within a few years, Malaysia Airlines was struggling even to pay staff salaries.

Where did all that money go?

If that wasn’t bad enough, the government bought back MAS shares from Tajudin at RM8 when the market value was around RM3.60. Where is Tajudin today? And where has Daim gone? How did Mahathir allow this to happen under his administration?

In Mahathir’s case, parting is such sweet sorrow… and rather protracted too! Here are the different stages of his farewell after 22 years in power:

2002 – Announces shock decision to quit

2003 – Steps down as PM

2007 – Fails to get elected as a delegate to Umno general assembly

2008 – Quits Umno. Now what?

This is a piece I wrote for Asia Times:

Fake farewell for Malaysia’s Mahathir

By Anil Netto

PENANG – Former premier Mahathir Mohamad’s decision to quit the ruling United Malays Nasional Organization (UMNO) on Monday represents his strongest political protest yet against his hand-picked successor Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi – and perhaps his biggest gamble.

His high-stakes decision came after a royal commission of inquiry last week recommended that the former prime minister and a number of his associates face probes under various laws for suspected involvement in the fixing of appointments, promotions and removal of judges, including the sacking of six top judges in 1988, which critics claim permanently undermined the judiciary’s independence.

Full article

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william wong
william wong
25 Aug 2008 2.59pm

this is the only chances to overthrow BN so vote for ANWAR n remember Mukriz was said at paliment b4 that ANWAR had the bad habit of …., but he doesnt show any proof but spoke so loud n Khaily also … right, remember what he did at election …. so here i would like to advies pls be carefull n watchout that this tactic is going to use again overthere, so WATCHFULL, ALERT, AND WIN

21 May 2008 3.39pm

Sorry for this which is not relevant to this blog. But, I think you should do an expose on the Hunza project in Georgetown (highlighted in today’s newspapers), which I’m sure when subjected to close scrutiny, will show it has fallen foul of many State planning requirements, by-laws and other mandatory legal requirements. Not to mention land price per sq ft, which is always not maximised when the State is too friendly with any Developer. Watch out for cliched phrases such as ‘Win Win’ and ‘Paradign Shift’ (which usually means paradigm shafting of the taxpayer). One aspect to concentrate on… Read more »

21 May 2008 3.16pm

A friend & blogger Walski mentioned about his Model Lama of playing the race card as a way to shore up Malay support but we look upon it with disgust and deemed it as a desperate act to oust a system which could ‘harm’ him. It stinks like 1988 all over again.

Kudos to your sharp insight on Tun M’s ‘sudden’ moves.
As for the ‘kids’, they should stay away from politics IF THEY’RE NOT THERE TO SERVE THE PEOPLE.

21 May 2008 12.46pm

Dr Mahathir said as a doctor if there is a part of the body which is gangrenous which could cause the whole body to become diseased, he would amputate that part of the body.

We also know , from the little baby who lost her foream in Klang GH sometime ago ,that if a gangrenous part is left alone to rot it would automatically fall off after some time which is known as auto-amputation.

Dr Mahathir has realised that he is gangrenous to UMNO and has decided to auto amputate himself.

Thank You Doc !!

21 May 2008 12.25pm

It is indeed a very very smart strategy by the Mahathir family. Judging from the other blogs, some are buying that Mukhriz really is “betraying his father”. Heck no, smart people like you and me can easily identify the real story in this case.

21 May 2008 11.43am

Well written, Anil. Regardless of what other people say, I reckon Badawi has been the best PM so far. He promised us change back in 2004. It’s here, slowly but surely.

22 May 2008 11.48am

Although I have to agree at Pak Lah for standing up to all these attacks toward him, he’s still staying on. It takes a lot of courage to do so especially so when you have no idea who is friend or foe, even in umno itself. It is the only way to keep our country at peace, at least for now.

True, slowly, but surely maybe. To me it is better than a drastic change that would bring even more damage as a whole.

22 May 2008 10.10am

The old fox has plans. Otherwise Mukriz would have resigned from UMNO too. His staying on in UMNO, his intended quest for the Youth Presidency are all out to keep the old man relevant to Malaysians. Even if he did not get the support of the UMNO MPs, he made headlines in all the MSMs. That speaks volume for him, and he probably has a plan to keep his secrets intact. Malaysians as usual seems to have forgotten how much of our monies were squandered by (those close to him). Yes there was development; but at the expense of promoting… Read more »

22 May 2008 6.04am

It truely saddens me that an old man of under 80 years is still actively seeking mischief. What can be achieved by such obvious bitterness ? Mahatir has been the most damaging influence for Malaysia and the single most retrograssive force that stymied the progress of Malaysia; as a consequence of his mismanagement Malaysia has remained static for 50 years, nay I am inclined to say Malaysia regressed over the last 50 years. Read Dato Sri Anwar’s address to the public forum in Singapore given by him last night that analyses the progression & performance of Malaysia over the last… Read more »

22 May 2008 2.15am

Good points Anil! I hope the Malays who ask AAB to wake up they should wake up first. Most of the mess AAB dealing since 2004 was actually a leftover from previous PM!

21 May 2008 10.10pm

Disgusting old ***** ****. Playing the racial cards again to save himself and his cronies. never seen such egoistic and arrogant nut in my whole life. Let him crow till the cow comes home. No time for this old ***** ****. let the rakyat move on and improve ourselves globally in all aspects.

Juan Taman
Juan Taman
21 May 2008 9.10pm

TDM is a sad old man. He has squandered all the respect and praise he has earned from the people locally and internationally. When he was the PM he did well in modernizing Malaysia. There is always a danger when a person has been in NO 1 position for too long (22yrs).There is this problem of reconciliation and adjustment when retiring to be an ordinary citizen.He seems to have suffered this “attention syndrome” which has been bugging him since 2003.He claimed that no one in UMNO would talk to him.He could face another great disappointment this time when other BM… Read more »

raj raman666
raj raman666
21 May 2008 7.37pm

i am watching my koi fish and wondering whether this tun able to fish the malays or not.

If he succeed to catch the malays for his so called ketuanan melayu,bad luck for us,but if he fails goodluck for the nation.

rajraman666.The wayang of Malaysia for Malaysian in the making.whether its a blocks buster depending which fish mahathir catch.

21 May 2008 6.32pm

Fellow Malaysians, go out and make a donation to help the cyclone-ravaged people of Myanmar and the earthquake-devastated people of Sichuan.

The accumulated good accrued will rid Malaysia of all the evil perpetrated by the evil doers. The universal law of cause and effect in action

21 May 2008 5.28pm

when mahathir plays the race card, there goes an uproar over racist sentiment of dr m. but when hindraf and bloggers who lament and badmouthing Malays and their religion, they’re heroes of equality. pure hypocrisy.. asking for equality but keep b!tchi!ng about other races; that’s so ‘liberal’… oh by the way malays aren’t the only bumis, there goes baba&nyonya, mamak and the orang asli. those who JUST migrated to Malaysia outta nowhere are nonbumis during last century..

21 May 2008 5.02pm

Sorry Anil have to disagree

Yes Mahathir is a w***er but

The more things change, the more they stay the same

In another year, Malaysian politics, politicians and the people will be back to their old miserable ways.
PKR will be no different to BN, Najib will be PM and the Altantuya case will be a distant memory