Is Mahathir the new opposition leader?


Sabah speaker poses a question to Pakatan Rakyat and asks about its shadow cabinet

(Free Malaysia Today) – Sabah speaker Salleh Said Keruak, teasing the opposition coalition about its plans to form a new federal government, has asked whether former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad was now the de facto opposition leader.

His question comes amidst a public debate about Anwar Ibrahim’s position as opposition leader and MP for Permatang Pauh in the wake of his being jailed, and about who should now hold the parliamentary position.

Salleh, writing in his blog today, highlighted a display of Dr Mahathir’s photograph by a few rally-goers at yesterday’s KitaLawan public rally in central Kuala Lumpur at which thousands turned up to show support for Anwar.

The Mahathir supporters, chanting “Hidup Mahathir”, drew a response from Parti Keadilan Rakyat members who chanted in reply “Mahathir Undur”, the rally slogan of 1990s Reformasi days. Rally marshals asked the Mahathir supporters if they remembered what Mahathir had done in sacking Anwar, setting in the train of events leading up to the present. They said Mahathir was the only one who could save Anwar now.

Salleh commented on this event, as well as Dr Mahathir’s recent barrage of criticism of Umno president and prime minister Najib Razak, especially on the financial dealings of 1Malaysia Development Bhd, one of Najib’s pet projects.

The Sabah speaker wrote: “The impression (those rally-goers) are creating is that Dr Mahathir is now behind the opposition and that he, too, wants Anwar released from jail and for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to step down. Is this the message the opposition is sending to Malaysians: that Dr Mahathir is taking over from Anwar as the de facto Opposition Leader?”