YOURSAY | 'May Mahathir be farsighted in paving the way soon for Anwar…'
Kim Quek: That one cannot use the Umno formula to mend the damage inflicted by six decades of Umno rule is the simplest reason why Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad must go now, before too much damage is done.
I am quite sure the shrewd political observer, as well as the politically savvy within the Pakatan Harapan alliance, would have increasingly felt the urgency for Mahathir to pass on the baton.
And the difference between Mahathir and PKR president Anwar Ibrahim is that, while the former is entrapped in Umno’s racist ideology with all its traditional trappings of cronyism, corruption, abuse of power, feudalism, autocracy and raging mediocrity, Anwar had broken free of that bondage two decades ago when he founded the reformasi movement, which now is the reformist model of the Harapan coalition under the leadership of Mahathir.
And Anwar has led reformasi – which vows to eradicate corruption and racism and restore democracy – without interruption until today, and has been bestowed the title of de facto leader of Pakatan Harapan.
In fact, he would have been the prime minister today, if not for the fact that he was in prison during the 14th general election. There is no reason why Harapan’s pre-election pledge, as well as its unanimous decision that Anwar succeeds Mahathir’s interim premiership, should be revoked now.
P Pillai: This is certainly an interesting commentary (by M Bakri Musa) - the first one to actually moot an earlier change in leadership (from Mahathir to Anwar) than the much-talked-about two years.
I agree there are signs of the old Mahathir on display, maybe not completely dictatorial, but certainly intolerant and not mindful of the rakyat's aspirations.
The reluctance to reverse oppressive Mahathir-era laws is a point in question. His cabinet colleagues seem to have fallen under the spell of this magician and are toeing the line.
Fair Malaysian: This was what I was thinking, exactly. The transition of power should take place while Mahathir can oversee it, as in his absence, the transition may end up chaotic.
Mahathir has done a lot for this country and it goes without saying that, without his leadership, BN/Umno may still be in Putrajaya.
Most of us have become very fond of Mahathir. He has accomplished so much that there can be no parallel to his dedication and contribution. He deserves a good rest.
There is nothing else for Mahathir to prove, and he should oversee the transition, and Anwar will be the person to captain the ship and keep all the coalition parties together.
Anonymous_3b6c1f0c: While there is an urgent need for Harapan to find the next prime minister, neither Anwar nor Azmin Ali nor any of the others outwardly shown why they should be considered the natural successor to Mahathir.
Anwar has failed to act fairly and objectively with respect to his leadership of PKR and failed to put to rest immediately the many dubious practices in the party elections.
His use of his power to appoint state chiefs and other leaders reveal a man who is at war with the results of democracy in his party when the faction he favours loses, and is more characteristic of a man who has a siege mentality.
His every move seems to be preserving himself as the only option as prime minister and nothing else. He has not made any contribution or suggestion of note to improve the welfare of the people, only offering criticism towards his opponents.
His greatest threat is, and remains, his own protege, PKR deputy president and Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali, who has proven himself in governing Selangor and managing the diverse stakeholders in the biggest and most industrialised state.
Chuen Tick: Anwar has been renowned for giving a very acceptable version of himself to the Western world. We, the rakyat here, have been able to see him close up, warts and all, and know he is no saint.
That said, I still agree with Bakri's view that Mahathir should set off the timetable for the handover of powers to Anwar. It is part of Harapan’s agreement in the run-up to the 14th general election, and at this point in time, Anwar brings the promise of change.
Mahathir has shown he is not on the same page with regard to the change that the rakyat hoped will come about after GE14.
Anonymous 1689721435778173: Let Mahathir do what he sets out to do. And when two years is up, Anwar just takes over, period.
I am very certain Anwar will not want to be deputy to Mahathir anymore. It will bring back many painful memories to him. It’s better Mahathir is not his boss.
Anonymous_1537050742: I can't agree more with Bakri. Just as in sports, one had better retire while you are still at the peak than be unceremoniously ousted.
If he has been given 20 years to do something for his people and country and had failed miserably, another five years is unlikely to produce any result.
P Ramlee: Nonsense. We need Mahathir to hold the newly-born coalition together while making key policy changes.
We also need him to send all the corrupt crooks to Sungai Buloh. Anwar is already an elected MP, so he can jump in anytime. There really is no rush.
Lodestar: I think we need to revisit the popular notion that it was Mahathir who ensured Harapan's victory in GE14.
He was one element in a perfect storm of factors which included the unpopularity of the goods and services tax, the 1MDB scandal and Anwar's impending release from jail.
But the most important reason may have been PAS drawing the Malay vote away from Umno by contesting in practically every parliamentary seat.
Recent by-elections have shown that when PAS did not contest, its supporters very largely voted for Umno. Malaysiakini undertook an analysis and concluded that if PAS had not split the Malay vote, a coalition between the former and BN would have romped home with 127 parliamentary seats.
Anonymous_5609e49b: Excellent piece, Bakri. Many Malaysians that I have spoken to feel the same.
Mahathir has achieved what he wanted most, that is, to bring down then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak whom he had personally put up. The damage is stopped and Mahathir is the victor.
Moving forward, it is best for him to resign. Leopards don't change their spots.
Anonymous 185251439905405: Bakri hits right on the head of the nail. Unlike the late former Singaporean prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, Mahathir has not been known to have good succession plans.
This is the right time to step down and leave behind a legacy nobody in Malaysia can match, instead of trying to choose his own successor.
Anonymous 2460561488687010: I have great respect for Bakri, a self-made Malay in a foreign country who has written numerous books on Malaysia, including those on education, many of which I have read.
I also have immense admiration for Anwar for his relentless pursuit of Malaysia’s betterment. May Mahathir be farsighted in paving the way soon for Anwar's smooth succession to the premiership.
We hope and pray that Malaysia will progress and improve by leaps and bounds when that happens.
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