January 21, 2018
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To prove that Mahathir’s deal with Pakatan Harapan is not about Mukhriz, he will have to be given a state seat to contest. If Mukhriz is given a parliament seat to contest then we know this whole thing is about Mukhriz because he needs to be a Member of Parliament to become Prime Minister. It was about Mukhriz in 2004. It was about Mukhriz in 2009. It was about Mukhriz in 2013. And it is still about Mukhriz today. And here we have Pakatan telling us it is about reforms and change. 

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER 

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Mahathir reigned from Umno in mid-2002 but took 15 months to leave while he hammered out his agreement with Abdullah regarding Mukhriz

When Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced his resignation during the Umno annual assembly in mid-2002 there was a 15-month transition before Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over as Prime Minister on 1st November 2003. During this 15-month transition period Mahathir and Abdullah sat down to hammer out the terms of their agreement. According to what Mahathir said in 2006, the agreement concerns what Abdullah would do once he takes over as Prime Minister. And amongst this list of terms and conditions included Mukhriz.

Mukhriz was supposed to contest the Umno Youth Deputy’s post in 2004 and Abdullah was supposed to help him win it. However, Abdullah’s son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, also contested that post so Mukhriz was forced to withdraw. Instead Mukhriz contested an Umno Youth Exco post and garnered the highest votes. But if Mukhriz had contested the Umno Youth Deputy’s post against Khairy he would have lost.

Abdullah did not tell his son-in-law to make way for Mukhriz and that cost him his PM’s job

Mahathir said Abdullah had reneged on his agreement and hence had to be ousted. Khairy was an obstacle to Mukhriz’s rise up the Umno ladder and Abdullah did not rein in his son-in-law like he should have. Mahathir ‘made’ Abdullah Prime Minister and in return Abdullah was supposed to help Mukhriz climb the Umno ladder. Instead it was Khairy and not Mukhriz who was going up.

When Najib Tun Razak took over as Prime Minister in 2009 it was also based on the same terms – that Najib would help Mukhriz climb up the Umno ladder. But in the party elections that same year Mukhriz lost the contest for the Umno Youth leadership. Instead, yet again, Khairy won while Mukhriz got third place after Khir Toyo.

It was Najib’s job to make sure that Mukhriz climbs the Umno ladder and when that did not happen Mahathir turned on Najib

Mahathir had just about enough of these broken promises and the constant failure of his son to win a post in the party. For five years Mukhriz had to suffer defeat after defeat. To punish Abdullah for this, in the 2008 general election Mahathir worked with the opposition to help them win 82 parliament seats and five states. Mahathir was going to make sure that in the 2013 general election Barisan Nasional was going to do worse than in 2008 unless Najib agrees to a deal.

Mahathir would support Umno and Barisan Nasional in the 2013 general election on three conditions. First would be Najib appoints Mukhriz the Pengarah Pilihan Raya Kedah. Then he would have the power and sole discretion to decide on the candidates list. Next, if Barisan Nasional wins Kedah, Mukhriz would be made the Kedah Menteri Besar. Finally, Najib must ensure that Mukhriz wins an Umno Vice President’s seat during the party election later that year.

Mahathir and Najib made a deal regarding Mukhriz just before the 2013 general election 

The first two were within Najib’s power to decide so he delivered those demands. As for an Umno Vice President’s post, that was out of Najib’s hands because it was up to the delegates and members to decide. So Mukhriz did not win an Umno Vice President’s post and this made Mahathir really mad.

For more than ten years Mahathir’s support has always been conditional – conditional upon Mukhriz’s political career and future. Whatever agreement is reached must include Mukhriz as part of the equation. That has always been and always will be. So what has Pakatan Harapan agreed regarding Mukhriz to get Mahathir’s support for the 14th general election later this year?

The deal that we are being told is Mahathir will be the interim Prime Minister and Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail the Deputy Prime Minister until Anwar Ibrahim can take over as Prime Minister. But where is Mukhriz in this entire scheme of things? Mahathir will never make a deal unless it includes Mukhriz. So, while Pakatan Harapan is telling us about all sorts of things, they are remaining silent regarding Mukhriz.

Mahathir the interim PM or Wan Azizah the interim DPM depends on what happens to Mukhriz in GE14 later this year

Is Mahathir going to be the interim Prime Minister or is Wan Azizah going to be the interim Deputy Prime Minister? That question will be answered once we know which seat Mahathir and Mukhriz are going to contest in the coming general election. Mahathir will have to contest a parliament seat to become the Prime Minister. But if Mukhriz is also given a parliament seat instead of a state seat to contest then we will know that Mukhriz is part of the equation.

To prove that Mahathir’s deal with Pakatan Harapan is not about Mukhriz, he will have to be given a state seat to contest. If Mukhriz is given a parliament seat to contest then we know this whole thing is about Mukhriz because he needs to be a Member of Parliament to become Prime Minister. It was about Mukhriz in 2004. It was about Mukhriz in 2009. It was about Mukhriz in 2013. And it is still about Mukhriz today. And here we have Pakatan telling us it is about reforms and change.

 



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