NEWS ANALYSIS BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
OCTOBER 28, 2013
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today spoke of the lunatic fringe holding sway in the country, saying that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was acceding to demands from extremists in the opposition.
However, he did not name the extremists or say what their demands were.
“We have a government that is weak because of weak support from the people, and with a tendency to accede to the demands of extremists in the opposition,” Dr Mahathir said in his Perdana Foundation office, across a lake from the prime minister’s office in Putrajaya.
“The worst part is that they make extreme demands to unseat the government who can’t get rid of whatever they don’t like. But if you think that they will then say ‘thanks, we will support you now’, you are mistaken,” said the country’s longest-serving prime minister.
In the past decade since Dr Mahathir stepped down, and even before that, the opposition had been asking for greater democracy, the rule of law, good governance, equity for all citizens and cutting down excesses.
Perhaps only the lunatics dream of such things in Malaysia.
Dr Mahathir is right of course, that the government is weak because support from the people is weak. And that is probably due to the extremists who harangue the government from the far right.
The ones who believe that Malaysia is only for the Malays, who see it as their absolute right to restrict the word Allah to only Muslims in Malaysia and who believe anything else is sacrilegious.
Witness the flip-flop over using the word Allah in Sabah and Sarawak for a dose of what extremists can make the government do.
The thing is, had Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim or even Lim Kit Siang said what Dr Mahathir said today, Umno’s lunatic fringe or shall we say Malaysia’s lunatic fringe, Umno, would have called them traitors and asked for their citizenship to be stripped.
Of course, one has to wonder why Dr Mahathir finally decided to come out today with both guns blazing at the current government. He took a longer time this time than with the Abdullah administration.
Has it got to do with his son Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir’s close loss in the Umno polls? He did say the Umno winners were victorious because of money politics.
Was the loss even bigger to him than Barisan Nasional’s loss in Election 2013, which happened despite his support for the ruling coalition. In 2008, he did not campaign for Barisan Nasional (BN) and they only won 140 federal seats but this time, the coalition fared even worse, winning only 133.
Can the BN government actually stop pandering to the extremists, as Dr Mahathir recommends, and understand the thinking of the moderates and convince them to work together to promote stability?
It only depends if the ruling coalition can determine who and where the lunatic fringe are. They should be looking at their own backyard, not across the aisle. – October 28, 2013.