22 March 2016
The unthinkable is happening in Malaysian politics. Former prime minister Mahathir Mohammad and his jailed former deputy Anwar Ibrahim have joined hands in a seemingly impossible alliance to unseat Prime Minister Najib Razak. Never before in Malaysian history have such sworn enemies buried their hatchets for a common cause.
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 political storm. With Anwar still in jail, the disparate forces that opposed Najib over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (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 reinvented himself in retirement as the de facto leader of what in essence is a citizens’ revolt.
Mahathir himself described this as a ‘very strange group of people’, brought together by a common goal of ousting the scandal-hit prime minister. By calling it a ‘core group’, Mahathir is indicating that this is only the beginning of more moves to come. What could emerge down the road is still hazy. But it is safe to say that a new era in Malaysian politics is unfolding with the key players jostling for a place in the shifting ground.
… 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 23/03/2016