YOURSAY | ‘Clueless and egotistical, Mahathir has become the biggest millstone around Harapan’s neck.’
Kural: Having anticipated a loss in the Tanjung Piai parliamentary constituency won by his own Bersatu representative in the last election is quite akin to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad acknowledging his inability to remain as champion in the hearts and minds of those who favoured his party and the Pakatan Harapan coalition just over a year ago.
Apparently, the loss is due to voters’ displeasure with Harapan leaders for compromising on principles and convictions professed during last year’s general election.
In short, the blame is not on the founding mission and objectives of Harapan, which was favoured by a historical victory, but the subsequent floundering and ineffectiveness in governance.
Straight Talk: Mahathir expected to lose the Tanjung Piai by-election by no more than 2,000 votes? How did the prime minister arrive at that figure?
His thinking must be: “Bersatu has a Malay candidate, I attended the Malay Dignity Congress and our man is the Johor menteri besar, so the Malay voters won’t abandon Harapan even if the non-Malay voters do. Many Chinese voters will still stand by Harapan because PAS is now with Umno/BN.”
However, Harapan’s, and more precisely Bersatu’s, huge defeat shows that the voters simply have no more respect for those who, instead of inspiring them, have disappointed them in more ways than one.
Hearty Malaysian: Mahathir needs to be honest with himself and admit that he has lost touch with the rakyat and lost the plot with the overestimation of his own popularity. Bersatu is a small party but wants to be Umno 2.0.
Among Mahathir’s anti-popular decisions include not sanctioning the Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu for his irresponsible speech in Tanjong Piai, attending the Malay Dignity Congress and not condemning the racist speeches delivered at the event, using khat to gain brownie points among Malays, and refusing to deport controversial Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik back to India.
He still has one last chance to maintain his dignity – by handing over the prime minister’s post to someone willing to reform the country as the majority of the voters in GE14 had wished for.
OMG: Mahathir did bring progress to the nation after 1990 but at great costs in a misguided attempt to secure votes of Muslims.
He did craft a good strategy for toppling former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak in 2018. But he has proved unable to adapt to new realities as shown by the series of backpedalling fiascos, and his obstinate boosting of Bersatu by giving a disproportionate share of cabinet posts to his party’s MPs.
GE14 has no lessons to teach Harapan today. To confront GE15, Harapan has to map out a new strategy or risk being kicked out.
Muruga: The best chance for Harapan to make an impact in the 2021 Sarawak state election is by having PKR president Anwar Ibrahim at the helm.
If Mahathir remains as prime minister then, we will see more of what happened in the Tanjung Piai polls.
Raikonen: I think Malaysians should have respect for Mahathir. Without him, BN would probably remain as the government of the day.
That said, Mahathir should consider handing over the premiership based on the Harapan agreement.
If he fears being a lame-duck prime minister, then there is no need to declare the timeline for the handover. He should instead step down immediately.
The rakyat will always be indebted to Mahathir for helping to dislodge Najib and BN from Putrajaya.
Falcon: It is time for the nation's leadership to be handed over to the person who commands the support and confidence of the majority in Parliament. It is time for Mahathir to quit and spend quality time with his family.
It is not tenable for Bersatu to masquerade as the lead party in the Harapan coalition when it neither has the MP numbers nor support to hold that many cabinet positions as it currently does.
Hanafiah Puteh: Shameless Malaysian politicians should learn from their British counterparts. When one’s service is not needed or when unable to meet the expectations of the people, resign.
There is no point in clinging on to something when one is not qualified or has lost the majority’s support.
Dear Prime Minister, the nation needs to move forward. Just resign.
Anon Two: Clueless and egotistical, Mahathir has become the biggest millstone around Harapan’s neck.
Last Train To Malaya: The biggest mistake that Bersatu is currently committing is playing the race card by trying to be more Umno than the real Umno itself.
In the Tanjung Piai by-election, Bersatu and its candidate, Karmaine Sardini, were not only unable to attract Umno supporters, they also lost the “fence-sitting” Malay votes.
The worst part was that even the non-Malays, who had wholeheartedly supported the Bersatu candidate in GE14, abandoned the party this time. Harapan needs to rein in Bersatu’s antics or risk defeat in GE15.
Bright Morning Star: The by-election result was a resounding thumbing of noses at Mahathir and his policies. Despite the clear writing on the wall, he wants to do a "detailed, serious and honest assessment" of what went wrong.
It was indeed a referendum on his leadership. The voters in Tanjung Piai spoke on behalf of the Malaysians who supported Harapan in GE14.
They want him to go now and let Anwar take over as the next prime minister.
Surely, there's no dignity left if Mahathir refuses to step down soon. He is not indispensable. He needs to go before destroying Malaysia totally.
Sarawak 4 Malaysian: Surely, with all the feedback from the grassroots, Mahathir would have known that the defeat would be quite bad. But just in case he did not get it prior to last Saturday’s election, Tanjung Piai voters made sure he got the message now.
I wish to thank Mahathir for saving the nation at a time when the rakyat needed him to make a comeback. But no thanks for destroying it a second time.
The Himalayans: If Mahathir had announced his resignation prior to the by-election, I believe Harapan would have won with a 2,000-vote majority.
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