The Mahathir-Azmin conspiracy (Part 3 of 3)
The Third Force
It seems that when Anwar Ibrahim met Rafizi Ramli and Saifuddin Nasution late in 2013, a central theme to their discussions was to heap blame on Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim in any way that was humanly possible. Rafizi, who believed that his geniusness could help Anwar avert a jail term, floated the idea of holding a by-election to launch the PKR de facto chief into the state’s legislature. Ironically, the plan augured well with a promise Anwar had made to Lim Kit Siang back in 2012.
Remember now, Anwar once sold Kit Siang the idea that Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would contest a by-election in the event the appellate court passed a guilty verdict against him (Anwar). But not only had he no intentions of making his wife the MB, he made that promise within the presumptive framework that Khalid would stumble to a fall and pave the way for Azmin Ali to replace him.
But when Khalid was returned as MB, many jaws dropped and many eyes rolled. Once everyone regained composure, plans were quickly redrawn to accommodate Khalid’s reinstatement. Meanwhile, Rafizi picked up his robe, sought blessings from the Pope, and set out to do what God had commanded of him – to ‘take care of Anwar’. But I shudder to think that Rafizi may have somehow misinterpreted God’s message…I get the impression that God Himself had played dice with Anwar.
The months between January 2014 and October 2014
Rafizi worked out an elaborate scheme that seemed right out of a political comedy-drama – it was to begin with a by-election and end with Khalid’s ouster. As the plan was being hatched, Anwar began to move stealthily around Selangor and established secret confederacies with village elders, NGO’s and politicians. Weeks later, Langkah Kajang broke into public view when Lee Chin Cheh shocked the nation by vacating his Kajang seat for no apparent rhyme or reason.
Following the surprise resignation and weeks before nominations, Anwar offered himself as candidate for Kajang and immediately began to spew sodomy-centric rhetoric during his ‘campaign’ trails. He turned Kajang into a public courtroom and tried the government for conspiring to castrate him politically. But that failed to prevent the Court of Appeal from finding him guilty on the 7th of March 2014. Two days later, Wan Azizah was named as the Pakatan Rakyat candidate to replace her husband in the forced by-election.
What interests me here is that this time around, Azmin seemed unusually quiet and composed, and if no one else had noticed, supportive. The reasons were twofold.
First off – and believe me when I say this – Anwar had actually assured Azmin that the Palace would never agree to his wife being the next MB. And he turned out to be right – weeks later, rumours began swirling around Wan Azizah’s candidacy and already, there was talk that the ruler wasn’t in favour of her.
But there was that other reason – Mahathir had already undertaken in an agreement with Azmin to formulate a succession plan for the latter. According to the terms of the agreement, Azmin was to work his way into the office of MB in order to stave off a poorly planned assault by Anwar’s camp against the federal government. In return, Azmin was told he would be made Dato’ Seri Mukhriz Mahathir’s deputy once the latter became Prime Minister (PM).
Interesting, isn’t it? You must either think I’m nuts or had a little too much to drink. Anyway, just read on…
Anwar was yet to learn of the secret pact between Azmin and Mahathir, although by then, it had become common knowledge among party insiders that Azmin was a little too close for comfort to the ex-premier. At first, Anwar thought nothing of it and pressed ahead with plans to topple Khalid.
Not long after, Anwar began to sense something amiss when a certain PKR insider pulled him to a corner and argued that Azmin was sailing a little too close to the wind in his dealings with Mahathir. By then, Khalid had tendered his resignation, and the only thing left for Pakatan Rakyat to do was to submit the names of persons the coalition felt commanded the respect of the majority within the state’s legislative assembly.
But Anwar’s problems were just beginning – for instance, several PAS insiders informed him of whispers that Dato’ Iskandar bin Abdul Samad’s name may already have been floated to the Palace by Khalid as substitute for the post of Selangor MB.
In fact, those aligned with Khalid were long aware that the former MB had been closely mentoring Iskandar and Dr. Ahmad Yunus of PAS and was prepping them up for the coveted role. But it wasn’t until Anwar got wind that Iskandar was favoured by the ruler himself that he began to look like a guy who had just seen Mother Teresa doing the striptease.
Overcome with panic, Anwar got PKR and DAP to agree that his wife be made Pakatan Rakyat’s sole nominee for the top job in Selangor. However, Tuan Guru Dato’ Seri Haji Abdul Hadi Awang refused to be pressured into committing lese-majesty and insisted that the ruler’s decree be satisfied. That is to say, the PAS president had every intention to submit more than one name to the Palace as it had been ordained by the ruler himself.
But God Himself must have wanted to bury Anwar badly – hardly two days after Khalid tendered his resignation, Anwar got a line from sources he consorted with that the coup plot he had meticulously planned against the government was about to be hijacked by Azmin and Mahathir.
According to these sources, Azmin and the former premier were bent on preventing the state of Selangor from being returned to BN under Najib’s leadership. Around then also, Anwar came to know that the ruler had himself approached Iskandar to ask if the latter was interested to fill Khalid’s shoes. According to a well placed source, Iskandar turned down the request without first referring to Hadi, although I am unsure if a reason was ever attached to the refusal.
With alarm bells ringing in his head like they do at a train crossing, Anwar was practically begging Hadi to agree to Wan Azizah’s candidacy. And for the first time ever, he desperately wanted his wife to be the next MB of Selangor. But it was too late – nothing that he did thereafter could have undone what Azmin had been doing beneath the shadows.
It seems that Azmin had secretly entered into a pact with Dato’ Mustapha Ali of PAS and Dato’ Salehuddin Saidin, the latter of whom is said to have helped open a door to the Palace for Azmin. The thing is, Azmin himself did not trust Anwar and didn’t think the de facto PKR chief had it in him to negotiate terms of any sort with the Palace.
And in case you’re wondering, Salehuddin is said to be among lawyers who had counselled the ruler on matters pertaining to the MB issue and Anwar’s sodomy tribulations. As the story goes, Mustapha was given the green light by Salehuddin, following which he quickly included Azmin’s name in a letter that bore a list of PAS nominees to the Palace.
As it turns out, Mustapha convinced Hadi to sign the letter just before it was due to the Palace. By then, the ruler had out rightly rejected Wan Azizah’s candidature on grounds that she was too dependent on her husband to preside over legislature.
And that more or less brought an abrupt end to a vicious cycle of intrigues, secret negotiations and political skulduggery – everything came full circle the day Azmin was sworn in as the fifteenth MB of Selangor, just the way Anwar had once promised him he would be.
But just before I end this series, here’s the million dollar question that probably is on everybody’s mind – what possible incentive was there for Mahathir to form a pact with Azmin?
I’ll let you in on a little secret – if Mahathir had his way, not only would he have Anwar castrated, he would prefer Anwar to rot in jail, and even that would not satisfy his conscience – he would get prison wardens to feed the PKR de facto chief’s remains to vultures. Yes, that is how much Mahathir hates Anwar for selling him out on a little secret he had not wanted people to know about years ago. What was that secret you say? Well, I’ll talk about it when the time comes and if opportunity presents itself.
But here’s the thing – Mahathir sprang into action immediately after it was whispered to him that Anwar had attempted unity talks with UMNO in London. The ex-premier approached Azmin and sold him the idea of becoming DPM by the year 2021, which is really what Azmin is all about – like Anwar, he has his sights set on becoming DPM – nothing less, nothing more.
And the whole purpose of the Mahathir-Azmin accord was – as you may already have guessed by now – to prevent Anwar from launching a revolt against the Federal Government. Mahathir’s fear was that Dato’ Seri Zahid Hamidi (refer parts 1 and 2) would be made the next PM of Malaysia, and that didn’t augur well with his plan – he wanted Tengku Tan Sri Razaleigh Hamzah to assume the role of interim PM to warm the seat for his son’s eventual rise to the top job.
And in case the great Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has a problem with what I have written, I challenge him – come forth and prove me wrong, in which case, he should be prepared for what may come.