09 March 2016
Malaysia’s rambunctious politics has entered an even more unpredictable phase with political foes Mahathir Mohamad and jailed Anwar Ibrahim joining hands to unseat Prime Minister Najib Razak and push for systemic change. Where will all this lead?
The unthinkable is happening in Malaysian politics. It is triggered by the deepest political crisis the country has ever known, at the centre of which is Prime Minister Najib Razak. Forced by a common desire to end the turmoil by unseating Najib, two bitter foes – former premier Mahathir Mohammad and his jailed former deputy Anwar Ibrahim – have joined hands in what has long been thought an impossible alliance.
Aptly described as a sea-change in Malaysian politics, never before have such sworn enemies buried their hatchets for a common cause – and never before had that been a joint cause celebre to sack a sitting prime minister. By launching his rainbow “core group” of concerned citizens of various political stripes and leanings to “Save Malaysia”, Mahathir has once again thrust himself into the eye of the storm to redefine the political landscape. In the same vein, with Anwar in jail, all the disparate forces that have aligned themselves against Najib over the 1MDB investment fund scandal have finally found someone of stature to rally around in a marriage of convenience. It is ironic that the man who crushed the opposition while in power has remade himself in retirement as the de facto leader of what in essence is a citizens’ revolt.
… Yang Razali Kassim is a Senior Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 10/03/2016