Who should be PM, Najib or Mahathir?


Well, I don’t know about you, but I detest losers and love winners, especially a winner who everyone said was going to die in July 2015 but did not — like I said he would not and who was the only one who said so. So I say Najib and not Dr Mahathir should be Prime Minister. And I say Najib is going to be Prime Minister for some time to come. And if you think I am wrong then start placing your bets because I plan to make a lot of money from betting with politically ignorant people.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Quite a number of readers give their feedback and offer their views through e-mails, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. — such as the one below. Some even phone me to give me their views. I suppose they feel that comments in the Blogs, Facebook and Twitter — or on the Internet in general — are merely for when you want to scold, curse and swear and not for exchanging views or debating issues. And by visiting The Ant Daily, Malaysiakini, Free Malaysia Today, The Malaysian Insider, Malaysia Chronicle, etc., you will know what I mean.

Anyway, this reader by the name of Fariq Islam (see below) has his views about what makes Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad tick. He has analysed Dr Mahathir as a master of the strategy of divide-and-rule. Dr Mahathir used the Chinese to punish Umno and then, when they did, he turned on the Chinese and blamed BN’s 2008 election ‘disaster’ for what he called a ‘Chinese Tsunami’. Fariq says that Dr Mahathir is good in ‘calculation’ and in ‘playing chess’ — meaning, I suppose, he is a master tactician.

Maybe what Fariq said can be summed up in just one word, Machiavellian. Yes, Dr Mahathir is Machiavellian. And he has demonstrated this Machiavellian streak over 50 years since the 1960s. The other thing that Dr Mahathir is: he is very predictable. You sort of know what he is going to do before he does it. And he repeats the same tactics over and over again whether it is a winning strategy or not.

Back in 1987 I asked Datuk Dr Wan Ismail a.k.a. Pak Wan (Dr Wan Azizah of PKR’s father — who was in charge of our perang safar unit) why Dr Mahathir did what he was doing. I just could not figure out that old man (whom at that time we called ‘bomoh’ — and those who were in our circle would know this). He seemed to go against every political ‘convention’ at the time and would refuse to listen to advice.

Pak Wan gave a very classic reply, which I still remember until today. “Dr Mahathir is a doctor, just like me,” said Pak Wan. “And as a doctor whenever there is something wrong we just cucuk.” So that is how Dr Mahathir solves things. He just takes a large needle and jabs you. And then he sends you away and assumes you will get cured — or die.

The last 12 months, however, have shown that Dr Mahathir’s ‘skills’ can no longer apply. Back in 1999 some of those in Anwar Ibrahim’s circle told me that Pak Wan’s strategies were a bit ketinggalan zaman (outdated). Anyway, since he is Dr Wan Azizah’s father, we were told to give him time and listen to him but no need to actually take his advice or do what he suggests.

So I continued ‘working’ with Pak Wan all through 1999 to 2004 (until I started Malaysia Today in 2004) — just like I did in 1987 right up to the time Anwar challenged Tun Ghafar Baba for the Umno deputy presidency in 1993. And I could see that Pak Wan had not kept up with the times. Pak Wan’s style was from the pre-Internet era. And 1998 was when Malaysian politics began to be played on the Internet, and even more so ten years later in 2008, as even Umno admits.

And this is more or less how Dr Mahathir does things as well. Pak Wan and Dr Mahathir are both from the same ‘old school’. So you can expect them to share the same outdated doctrine. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, however, is open to new ideas and can accept the fact that times do change so we need to change with the times.

One very crucial element in this game of thrones is you must know yourself and you must know your enemy. While Najib knows himself, plus he knows his enemy or enemies, Dr Mahathir does not know his enemies (although he thinks he does) — and he appears to not know himself as well (he suffers from an identity crisis).

And this is the trouble with an actor who has been acting in the same role for too long. You tend to forget which is the real you and which is the stage you. You confuse the real you with the stage you. You end up becoming the stage you and get confused into thinking that this is actually the real you.

So, as they would say in the west: will the real Dr Mahathir please stand up! Yes, which is the real Dr Mahathir? I think even Dr Mahathir himself does not know the real Dr Mahathir. And this more or less brings you to the boundary of being delusional. You imagine yourself as being something or someone that you are not.

Once you think you can walk on water then you become very dangerous — not only to the country but also to yourself as well. A man who thinks that out of 30 million Malaysians he is the one-and-only Malaysian who is capable enough to decide how the country should be run is downright toxic and detrimental to the country’s health. Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein, Kim Il Sung, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Chiang Kai-shek, etc., have shown us this.

The issue here is simple. Who do you want as Malaysia’s Prime Minister? Najib Tun Razak or Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad? Yes, at the end of the day it all boils down to only that: whom do you want as Prime Minister, Najib or Dr Mahathir?

Many have gone to meet Dr Mahathir to discuss the ANC (Anti-Najib Campaign). They discuss the matter of ousting Najib. But then they never sentuh the matter of who should take over once Najib is ousted. Even Kadir Jasin, Dr Mahathir’s mouthpiece, talked so much about why Najib should be ousted but when asked who should take over after that he refuses to comment.

The same goes for many others such as Mukhriz Mahathir, Shafie Apdal, Khairuddin Abu Hassan, Matthias Chang, Ibrahim Ali, and many more (the Special Branch and MACC officers included). They all talk about ousting Najib but they never touch the subject of Najib’s successor. For that matter I, too, have personally posed this question to Dr Mahathir but he refused to name the person who should take over once Najib is ousted.

And the reason is elementary, my dear Watson. The man who will take over once Najib is ousted would be Dr Mahathir himself. Dr Mahathir is going to be the new Prime Minister of Malaysia. Whether he is going to rule by proxy is not the issue. The issue is he is the one who is going to rule…period.

People get confused between reigning and ruling. They think both are the same. Both are actually quite different. You may have one but that does not mean when you have one then you automatically have both. It is like what we spoke about earlier regarding political position versus political power and how having one does not mean you have both.

Dr Mahathir is not interested in reigning. He knows he needs to be a Member of Parliament to reign. Anyway, he is too old to reign. Even His Majesty the Agong reigns but that does not mean His Majesty also rules. The one that rules is Parliament, or those that control the majority seats in Parliament. So better to rule than to reign if you cannot have both at the same time.

But then is Dr Mahathir the right candidate to replace Najib and to rule Malaysia? Well, the last 12 months have shown that Dr Mahathir is a spent force that still applies old school politics in trying to gain power. Dr Mahathir lacks moral ethics (as has been so his entire career) and he applies the Machiavellian doctrine of the end justifying the means and an enemy of an enemy is my friend (which is why DAP and Pakatan Harapan love him so much).

Of course, Dr Mahathir said he is just being pragmatic and that Malays should also be pragmatic like the Chinese and not be too emotional and feudalistic. That is another way of saying Malays should not be too principled and must be prepared to do whatever it takes to get ahead. And this doctrine of Dr Mahathir already reveals what stuff he is made of.

And Najib knows this very well. He could read Dr Mahathir like an open book. Everyone has certain strengths and weaknesses so you should know your own strengths and weaknesses and also that of your enemies. In short, you need to do a SWOT Analysis so that you know both yourself and your enemy.

And this is what Najib did. He audited his ‘Political Balance Sheet’ plus that of his enemies. He evaluated the assets and liabilities of both himself and his opponents. He got rid of his liabilities and capitalised on his assets. And then he made his moves. And when he moved he did not shout and scream like those from the ANC or Pakatan Harapan. Najib stood tall, walked softly, and carried a big stick. And he exploited his enemies’ assets and used their liabilities against them like how a Taichi master would.

And that is the main difference between Najib and his adversaries. Najib is a chess-master, mathematician and strategist. And because of that Najib caught all his opponents with their pants down. They did not know what hit them. One day they were celebrating what they thought was their victory and the next day their head was on a silver platter. And, more importantly, Dr Mahathir, the man who would be Prime Minister, was one of those in this group who thought he had won only to find out that he had been decapitated without even seeing Najib’s sword strike his neck.

So Najib proved to be the better politician in the end. And Dr Mahathir proved to be a failure after all. So, I ask you once again, who should be Prime Minister, Najib or Dr Mahathir?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I detest losers and love winners, especially a winner who everyone said was going to die in July 2015 but did not — like I said he would not and who was the only one who said so. So I say Najib and not Dr Mahathir should be Prime Minister. And I say Najib is going to be Prime Minister for some time to come. And if you think I am wrong then start placing your bets because I plan to make a lot of money from betting with politically ignorant people.


Dear Raja,

I am a loyal reader of your articles and would like to voice out my opinion on the following statement:

The bottom line is: in 2006 Dr Mahathir told Malaysians to punish Umno by voting opposition in 2008 so that the Prime Minister can be ousted. In 2016, Muhyiddin is telling Malaysians to punish Umno by voting opposition in 2018 so that the Prime Minister can be ousted.

Actually, the truth was that Dr Mahathir told Malaysian Chinese to punish UMNO. He was a master of “divide-and-rule” tactics. He knew well that if all Malaysians opted for the Opposition, and changed the Government, he would be in trouble. He was the cause of Anwar being in jailed. Do not think that Anwar will let him stay comfortably if the Opposition comes to power?

So, he was good in calculation and in playing chess. If all Malaysians, including Malay and Chinese, went for the Opposition, and BN lost, he would be in trouble. If only the Malaysian Chinese went for the Opposition, and BN still won, but with a very slim majority, that would be a great excuse to call for Pak Lah to step down. And, of course, he made it grounds for the further division of the Malays and Chinese and for blaming it on the ‘Chinese Tsunami’ and so forth.

Therefore, Dr Mahathir chose the latter strategy and successfully forced Pak Lah to step down — and the Chinese being made to bear the blame for not sustaining BN’s two-thirds majority in Parliament.

The poor Chinese were once again manipulated and victimised in this political game!

Najib is wise in introducing and advocating the 1Malaysia concept. But administratively it is failed because of his subordinates such as Ismail Sabri, Shabery Chik, Jamal and Tajuddin, who continuously made racist statements to hurt the Chinese community. We wish the PM realises this fact and be a good PM for all Malaysians.


Fariq Islam