Mahathir is about to trigger a shockwave Anwar may never recover from (Part 9)


Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen

The wind of speculation is blowing hot air once again. Everyone seems to have a theory or other regarding a closed door session Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had yesterday with Members of Parliament (MPs) and leaders from PPBM. Some insist that the Prime Minister is desperate and is on a ‘head-hunt’ to collect supporters. Others say the meeting was the calm before a storm that is about to rage soon after Hari Raya Haji.

Which is which?

The latter, of course.

Do you honestly think I was spinning yarns? When I told you I had fake Statutory Declarations, did I not publish them? When Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s cyber team spread rumours about him becoming Prime Minister two days after the Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting, did I not tell you it was hogwash? Did I not say hours before Anwar’s Port Dickson retreat that Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali and his cohorts would not turn up?

Ok, so Mahathir is going to do something. But what?

Finish Anwar off, of course.

First, he will reshuffle the Federal Cabinet and drop a couple of DAP ministers and (or) deputy ministers. His biggest dilemma isn’t that he lacks support to pull off such a stunt. He’s simply trying to figure out if it would be wiser to replace Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail with a Muslim MP from DAP or if he should pick someone who isn’t from the DAP. But that’s all part of his Plan A and B (and C, D, E, F, G, etc) which we will get into much later.

For now, one of the options he’s considering is to appoint ministers from the Federal Opposition, i.e., PAS and UMNO. There is even a theory that he may consider pulling someone who isn’t attached to a political party or isn’t an elected representative into government by first appointing that person as a Senator. Why, it could even be your butcher or that guy you bumped into in the toilet last night. Jokes aside, the reshuffle is bound to raise eyebrows and will touch off a bitter power struggle that will end before you can say ‘semburit’.

Yes, the reshuffle will be the beginning to the end of Pakatan Harapan as we know it.

How did Mahathir suddenly get majority support?

Who told you it was sudden?

Mahathir is a Machiavellian and master illusionist. If you think you have him figured out, and if he finds out about it, he’ll fuel your conviction to kingdom come by pretending to be in the predicament you imagine him to be in. Many in UMNO and DAP actually believed that they had him cornered. While the DAP was able to keep its mouth shut, Anwar became overconfident and wouldn’t stop yapping about his ‘numbers’. That allowed Mahathir and Bukit Aman to tap into some conversations involving PKR, DAP, UMNO and MCA leaders.

The tapping gave away several plot points related to a move to topple Mahathir and allowed the old man to maneuver himself accordingly. Occasionally, he would call this leader or that leader and pretend to want to enter a deal. Many took this as a sign of desperation and were convinced that he was cornered. The whole thing ballooned into a ‘confidence bubble’ that convinced Anwar he had the numbers. It was this bubble that drove Anwar and his men to collect signatures and prompted some of them to forge Statutory Declarations.

So it was all planned?

From day one.

Like I said, Mahathir went into the 14thgeneral election with eyes wide open and knew what he was up against. He knows Anwar like the back of his palm and how the latter tends to get overexcited and overconfident towards the finishing line. And when Anwar gets overexcited and overconfident, he stops thinking and starts acting foolish. So the name of the game was to shift Anwar’s gaze towards the finishing line by getting pro-Mahathir MPs to whisper support for him. The whispers were so effective in fuelling Anwar’s confidence that he never once stopped to see what Mahathir was up to.