Awang Abdillah | March 8, 2013
Having established a legacy of fame and fortune, Dr Mahathir Mohamad is not going to stand aside and watch his work destroyed.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad is a worried man facing a mother-of-all-elections that “threatens” his 22-years of national development legacy, an extensive personal and commercial network and his personal wealth speculated to run into billions.
He is not going to take any chances.
In the aftermath of the 12th general election in 2008, Mahathir established an organisation called Perkasa whose existence is to launch the brinkmanship tactic with or without the approval of the powers-that-be.
He does not have the confidence that his successor-by-appointment Najib Tun Razak can execute radical measures to contain the rise of Anwar Ibrahim-led Pakatan Rakyat.
Therefore he has chosen to partner with Muhyiddin Yassin (Deputy Prime Minister). Together they are scheming to take on Najib before the general election. The duo will go to any and all lengths to plan radical strategies to beat the opposition using all available avenues.
Should Muhyiddin fail to dislodge Najib as prime minister and the latter refusing to take his orders, then Mahathir will go it alone.
With Perkasa as his running dog he believes he can still unleash a lethal force against the opposition. Already, Perkasa has issued warning signals to the opposition and the other races to toe the line.
These people are capable of triggering disturbances in the country compelling Najib to declare a state of emergency. As this strategy serves Najib’s agenda, too, he will take it from there.
Do or die battle
Mahathir fears his own safety and the threats to his family business empire.
With these fears egging him, Mahathir will take the general election as his personal war with Pakatan, thereby forcing Najib to step aside. It will be a do or die battle for him.
Should Najib quit, then Mahathir has three arsenals at his disposal.
Muhyiddin as his front man would then forge a reciprocal arrangement with one of the major partners in Pakatan.
In the event of a neck-and-neck contest, any minor changes towards the finishing line may have profound consequences on the contesting teams, favourable or otherwise.
With money at his disposal, Mahathir can execute his vote-buying tactic before the GE and candidate-buying tactic before and after the GE to ensure victory for Umno-BN.
If these tactics don’t work, then Mahathir will turn to Perkasa.
Being Mahathir’s brainchild, it will take orders from him. It is believed that Perkasa’s members are ready to trigger chaos in specific parts of the country and blame it on the opposition.
However, the disturbances will be a controlled and superficial one as he won’t want to jeopardise the financial market and scare investors away.
Aiming for emergency rule?
Mahathir then will instruct frontman (either Najib of Muhyiddin, depending) to declare a state of emergency to arrest and prosecute the opposition leaders for good.
Election and Parliament will be suspended and the country will then be put under the control of a National Operations Council.
Mahathir will then turn his attention to confront the might of people’s power using the full force of the police and army.
If he dares to do this, chaos and anarchy may set in.
But will the police and army act on Muhyiddin’s order? Mahathir is also constantly underestimating the full force of people’s power. If the people rise, then the whole nation could be paralysed.
The nation as such cannot be sacrificed to save one man, who isn’t worth an honest penny.
Awang Abdillah is a political analyst, writer and FMT columnist.