I never want to overstay my welcome for any character. I would rather people are excited by the ideas a character generates in them rather than feeling bored and wishing he would just go away.— Rupert Friend, British actor and lyricist
Strangely it feels like we have been here before. This tussle between elephants in the shape of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
No, scratch that. We have been here many times, and somehow this suffering the people are in does not seem to end.
The year was 1998, Anwar was tipped as Dr Mahathir’s successor, the latter even groomed the former for him to take up his job but that didn’t end well.
Fast forward to 2020. Anwar was the designated successor, jointly agreed by the entire Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition in case Dr Mahathir changed his mind. Anwar pushed; the good doctor ultimately resigned.
But this time, none of them are prime minister. This three-decade old saga should’ve ended with Dr Mahathir spending the remainder of his days in retirement and Anwar being a repented man upon his release.
But then again, they were brought back from the cold storage only for us to see this low-quality B-list, straight to DVD movie which our cable TV service likes to play every now and then.
And now, they are at it again. Now the fight is for who gets the chance to unseat Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
If any PH or PH Plus supporters feel that this is eerily similar to the battle against then Barisan Nasional (BN) federal government, it is not.
This time, there is no large invisible scandals, no kleptocratic authoritarian, no tyrants to blame of and no element of sympathy to a certain 90 plus year old prime minister candidate.
Instead, we have a clean government that delivers, works for the people, has little interest in petty politics, and also will be credited for steering the nation through the biggest public health crisis in recent memory.
The people took to this government, surprisingly I might add. They even gave family names like ‘Abah’ to Muhyiddin, ‘Pak Long Mail’ to Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, ‘Pak Ngah’ to Datuk Dr Noorhisham Abdullah and ‘Pak Chu’ to Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz.
We never had such thing as the people endearing themselves to our politicians in the government. The past PH government didn’t have that, I also doubt that the past BN government for donkey years had that privilege.
Of course, there are critics saying the business of a government shouldn’t be compared to that of a kampung.
But then again, one could also argue that this is a government that is completely in touch with the people — one that knows their plight and sufferings, hence the kampung comparison.
The point is, how will the Mahathir and Anwar duo pull this off? With cracks appearing in the Sabah state government, surely the intelligent thing to do is to offer the Sabah chief minister a deputy prime minister post in the PH plus government.
Talks were rife last few weeks that Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal is set to be given the deputy prime minister post, in a bid to dangle a carrot to East Malaysians in exchange for their support.
It was also rumoured that along with Shafie, there is also one deputy prime minister post, set to be given to a Sarawakian.
I know, me too. I enjoyed quite a laugh on that one, given the sheer lunacy of it all.
Come on! Only now you are thinking of attaining Sabah and Sarawak’s support? What did you do when you were in the federal government?
You can’t even appoint more than one Sarawakian as full minister, as for the other representative, who is Sarawak PH chairman by the way, could only pass for a deputy minister’s post. No joke!
One proposal is a bit more extreme by a PKR party man who is apparently the youth secretary of Selangor PKR —“What about we quit PH,” he basically said, although it might not be word for word.
Now PKR is sticking by Anwar. The party too is probably not helped by the former’s constant cryptic messages.
The latest was a photo of him pruning a bamboo tree — an apparent dig at DAP and Amanah, seen by many as him threatening to sever PKR ties with the two parties if they insist on not making him PH Plus’ prime minister.
Regardless, the people shouldn’t suffer through this protracted political scheming and fighting between elephants.
Do everyone a favour and retire — both of you.