As things turned out, PKR, DAP and Amanah proved spectacularly unsuccessful in controlling Mahathir. He outmanoeuvred them at every turn. He pitted them against each other. He played upon internal rivalries that would have made even Machiavelli envious.
– Dennis Ignatius (Paradise Lost - Mahathir & The End Of Hope)
COMMENT | Do not go into this book, thinking that this is merely an exercise in Mahathir bashing. While the machinations of Dr Mahathir Mahathir are meticulously documented, this is also a book about the failings of oppositional political operatives in this country.
The indictment here is that Mahathir has never been able to make the kinds of political plays he has, if it was not for willing acolytes – either in BN or Pakatan Harapan – who falsely assumed they could ride his coattails and remain in power.
As Ignatius did, in his other book "Diplomatically Speaking", he draws not only on personal experience with the personalities involved, but also on sources, gained over decades of loyal service.
He is an insider explaining the arcane workings of the racial and religious politics of the establishment, to outsiders, his countrymen, who do not really know how deep the rabbit hole goes.
For instance, having served under Mahathir and having numerous interactions with former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, Ignatius makes a clear distinction between the two.
The former a meticulous note-taker, coldly intelligent, shrewd and...