07 September 2016
Leaders of Malaysia’s ruling UMNO party say the unscheduled meeting between former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad and his nemesis Anwar Ibrahim on Monday (Sep 5) lacked sincerity.
Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi described the meeting as a desperate political move by Dr Mahathir to try and unite a fragmented opposition after he failed to unseat Prime Minister Najib Razak.
“This is a political meeting without any sincerity,” he said. “It’s driven by desperate circumstances because (Mahathir) needs the opposition parties to come on board to support him.”
For almost two decades, the political feud between Dr Mahathir and his former number two Anwar, whom he sacked for sexual misconduct, has dominated Malaysian politics. Not surprisingly, many Malaysians were stunned when both men shook hands on Monday for the first time after 18 years.
… “It is to be expected that UMNO leaders will react by shooting it down,” said Yang Razali Kassim, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). “But don’t underestimate the seriousness of Mahathir’s move. If he and Anwar hit it off this time, UMNO and BN (Barisan Nasional) will be in for some troubling times.”
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 07/09/2016