But the mirror never lies
Look at the bags beneath my eyes
- Bryan Claasz, ‘Forever Young - Retirement Song’
More than a few observers have noted that Dr Mahathir Mohamad's favourite song after his retirement from the office of prime minister was the Frank Sinatra hit song 'My Way'.
Corporate bodies, cronies and others wanting to make use of his name and to butter him up would invariably have the song played at events in which he was often the star speaker; and where he would oblige by speaking of the many ways in which he has transformed the country for the better.
Today though - especially since his removal from his positions in Perdana Leadership Foundation, Petronas and Proton - he has a much smaller audience to address and to speak his mind about “his way”. This is not surprising.
In Malaysia, the Maoist axiom “political power grows out of the barrel of the gun” is superseded by the one made famous by the present prime minister - “political power grows out of the cash register”.
Mahathir's shrinking audience and body of admirers is also to be expected. The expression “rats leaving a sinking ship” comes to mind. Everyday we see the various species of Rattus norvegicus in the country (poli-tikus, business-tikus, media-tikus; academia-tikus and preacher-tikus) scurry from the apparently sinking Dr M ship, with many immediately heading for the victorious Bugis ship.
Those switching sides (with or without 1MDB assistance of RM90 million in booty which, according to some quarters, has gone PAS' way) include notable frogs such as Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim. They will find the Bugis ship already overloaded with con-sultants, cronies, old guard faithfuls such as Khairy Jamaludin and new recruits who have seen the “light” such as Nur Jazlan Mohamed, former Public Accounts Committee chairperson.
They will also have to compete with ambitious wannabe leaders such as Malacca Chief Minister Idris Haron, whose startling disclosure that the United States is seeking to kill off Malays which he detects in the US Department of Justice's case in pursuit of money laundering in 1MDB has fortunately drawn an embarrassed silence from the Prime Minister's Office. But expect more of such antics from the BN's leaders and the apple polishers and eunuchs that are aboard the BN supertanker.
Perhaps the BN supertanker will turn turtle one day; such is the sheer weight of passengers and staff on its overcrowded deck, and the booty and loot stored in its hold...