In Dr M, BN has a de facto campaigner-in-chief

By Debra Chong
The Malaysian Insider
April 05, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — Ten years after leaving office, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and some of his old Cabinet colleagues have emerged in recent weeks as the face of Barisan Nasional’s (BN) campaign to return to power in Election 2013.

The 87-year-old Dr Mahathir has become a de facto campaigner-in-chief, going on the stump with the vigour of a much younger man as BN faces what is seen as its stiffest challenge ever from the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact.

As Election 2013 moves into overdrive, Dr Mahathir has been the most visible face of the ruling coalition – apart from Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin – criss-crossing the country expounding on BN’s power-sharing formula to drum up support for Team Najib.

The former prime minister who served for 22 years has been hitting the campaign trail hard in the past few weeks to bat for Najib, the son of his former political patron Tun Razak Hussein, in a way he never had for Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who succeeded him in October 2003, as he urged Malaysians to vote in the BN if they wanted continued stability and prosperity.

“Malaysians who love this country should uphold the only concept that can work in this multiracial country—the kongsi concept,” the 87-year-old politician said in his column today in the New Straits Times daily.

“Only BN can provide this kongsi. The opposition simply cannot kongsi. A mandate for the opposition will be disastrous for Malaysia,” he added, using the Malay word meaning “sharing” in the English-language newspaper to refer to the 13-party coalition’s formula that has kept it in power at the federal level since the country’s Independence in 1957.

According to Dr Mahathir, the three opposition parties that make up the PR bloc, has attempted to replicate the BN’s power-sharing concept that has sustained Malaysia’s political and economic stability and ensured the country’s diverse racial and religious communities all get a slice of the pie.

“But theirs is not a kongsi. Theirs is a ‘pakatan’,” he said, using the Malay word meaning “pact” to refer to the PKR-DAP-PAS partnership as he strove to distinguish the two political blocs.

The three opposition parties have not registered their political partnership and as such, their candidates in the upcoming polls will be running under three different flags, unlike the BN which has a common banner—the widely-recognisable white scales on an indigo background—since its set-up in 1973 to succeed the Alliance front that brokered the country’s emancipation from colonial British rule.

“Kongsi is about sharing. Pakat is about a temporary cooperation for a certain purpose. There is no give and take. There is no sharing,” the Umno veteran said.

He said the pact was akin to a “conspiracy” and suggested that even if PR won Election 2013, the three parties would not be able to sustain its partership and work as a true coalition government to take the country forward.

“Each will pull in its own direction,” he said.

Despite his age, Dr Mahathir has been keeping a tight schedule touring every corner of the country, including across the South China Sea in remote villages in the two Borneo states of Sarawak and Sabah—the latter where a guerrilla war has been raging since February when Filipino Muslim gunmen claiming an archaic royal link invaded.

The fourth prime minister appears to be Najib’s campaigner-in-chief as he fronts the BN’s ceramah circuit to spread its power-sharing formula for stability as the world continues to be rocked by political and economic crises that have increased the number of jobless and created social unrest in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Senior members of the Mahathir Cabinet also appear to be ditching their low-public profile after retirement from the government to pitch similar messages and swing voter support for Najib.

Former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin emerged from his political cocoon recently and advised Najib to axe the deadwood from within the current Cabinet.

The 74-year-old government pensioner’s remarks appeared to be sharp criticism of the present administration, but Daim was also reported to have said that Najib was doing a “fairly good job” as the country’s sixth prime minister and was confident the BN would win the elections.

Most recently, former Works Minister Datuk Seri Samy Velly was reported declaring himself a “winnable candidate” to stand for elections although he lost his Sungai Siput federal seat by a substantial 1,821-vote majority to political greenhorn and socialist Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj in Election 2008.

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 7:21 am

    His son is the 13th richest person in Malaysia and is getting contracts worth millions (about RM800 millions?) from Petronas. That is why he has to make sure BN wins, otherwise Anwar will cancel his son’s contracts if PR wins!

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 7:26 am

    Looks like he is working very hard for his son??!!

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 7:27 am

    Looks like he is working hard for his son!

  4. #4 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 8:34 am

    Hindraf should take note of Samy Vellu’s quick retraction of ‘winnable candidate’..If Najib can still crack the whip with MIC, do they believe Najib would risk creating chaos with MIC so many factions by giving Hindraf what they want?

    Hindraf is deluded and already wasted the opportunity for real change – all because they can’t keep their personal drama in check. Its one thing for the followers to indulge in personal drama – real leaders don’t resort to it unless they are desperate and they know its usually too risky..

  5. #5 by worldpress on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 8:37 am

    He is an enemy of Malaysia 1st Prime Minister

  6. #6 by Sallang on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 9:26 am

    “The three opposition parties have not registered their political partnership and as such, their candidates in the upcoming polls will be running under three different flags, unlike the BN ”

    ROS refused to register the Pakatan coalition, to make them appear not-united. NO?

    Sharing or ‘kongsi’, Yes.
    But, its RM500 for you, millions for me.
    If the Malays in Malaysia cannot understand this arithmatic

  7. #7 by Sallang on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 9:33 am

    by yhsiew on Saturday, 6 April 2013 – 7:26 am

    Looks like he is working very hard for his son??!!

    At age 87, and he is still doing it, or scared he may lose all? He is already worth US44 billions. No?

    Its time we have to work for our grand children by changing the tenant in Putrajaya.

  8. #8 by chengho on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 9:39 am

    every where father and son , son and wife and father in law and daughter in law , but that is the fundamental of democracy . But some people wanna create dynasty

  9. #9 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 9:42 am

    Mahathir is right about one thing – EVEN billionaires need help – billionaires like him and his children. Fortunes made by the likes of Mahathir – can dissappear very quickly. Fundamentally they are uncompetitive, they can’t renew themselves because they never really build it, they stole it. Over the course of 10-20 years subject to natural competition, it can all unravel and dissappear very quickly.

    Its CHIEFLY why he is the chief-campaigner..

  10. #10 by Winston on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 10:06 am

    UMNO/BN = Devils’ Party

    Speciality: Corruption, Irresponsibility and Opaqueness.

    PR = Angels’ Party

    Speciality: Competence, Accountability and Transparency.

    So, between the two, who will you vote for in GE13?

    It’s a cinch!!!

    Isn’t it?

  11. #12 by Winston on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 10:11 am

    So, this putrid Devil of all devils and his ilk still thinks that there are Malaysians out there who hanker for UMNO/BN to go on scamming and scandalising this country.
    If there are, then these people must be:
    1. insane
    2. brain dead
    3. cronies
    4. masochists
    5. mercenaries
    6. hare brained
    7. no brainers
    Hopefully, there are few, if any, such Malaysians out there!!

  12. #13 by Dap man on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 10:41 am

    Dr M is the most hated character in the country. Yet there are some dummies who look up to him.
    The sight of him will make normal people to ditch BN.

  13. #14 by PR123 on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 11:31 am

    During Dr M 22years reign as PM, being corrupted to the core has stolen billions from the country’s coffer amassing wealth beyond means for his family and politically well connected cronies. He fears losing all the ill-gotten wealth stashed in overseas account.

    Dr M is devilish, cunning, hypocrite & racist. He is constantly bashing opposition esp. Anwar with persistent arguments & attacks devoid of logic.
    He is the conspirator of Sodomy to unlawfully put Anwar in jail, hoodwinking the people and lots more of evil deeds. He desperately wants BN to win, to plunder more for his family, milking Malaysia dry and its people struggling hard to survive.

    He is now panicking and completely doom & gloom fearing his accumulated wealth will be gone once PR take over Putrajaya.

  14. #15 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 11:35 am

    MonsterO’mamak quite obviously is fighting hard to keep all his wrongdoings and all his ill-gotten gains under cover for a further five years.

  15. #16 by mickeytiger2006 on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 11:41 am

    This Mamak is the greatest fraud, liar, dictator, corrupted and racialist leader who has an self-interest in prolonging an equally corrupted govt. Now is the time to vote out this very very corrupted and evil govt. For the sake for our children and future, give the opposition a chance to prove for 5 years to change this nation into a totally different society where everybody lives in harmony, with a peace in mind and in a very conducive environment for a very rich and progressive lives. Vote wisely!

  16. #17 by Loh on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 12:50 pm

    Mamak has forgotten that it was to show hatred against him that people gave AAB the votes to prove that Mamak was most unpopular. Now people are reminded that they should show their hatred to Mamak again and to defeat Najib, who is in Mamak’s pocket.

  17. #18 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 1:18 pm

    /// The 87-year-old Dr Mahathir has become a de facto campaigner-in-chief /// – this is a fatal mistake on the part of BN. The kiss of death. Looks like Mahathir, in his last days, is doing all Malaysians a huge favour by driving voters away from BN.

  18. #19 by SENGLANG on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 1:24 pm

    If those who wear the mask and shouting royalty and even minister to the governing body running away from paying taxes not be call traitor? who else is qualify to call a traitor? Are you saying those ask for clean election traitor of the country?

    We know many are hiding their moneys and wealth at secret off shores banks. These are also people who claimed to love the country so much. We have son of PM Ministers etc who have ambush much of the country wealth but the same Tun is saying how much he and his family have contribute to the country?

    Now is the time to make reverse.Use your vote to do so.

  19. #20 by chengho on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 2:00 pm

    Vote for BN, vote for stability and prudent in multiracial country like Malaysia , where on earth you guy can find a place like Malaysia , so fair with all section of community even to the minority . Come to Uncle Sam land of opportunity , do you think they are fair like Malaysia , you must be joking.

    • #21 by Noble House on Sunday, 7 April 2013 - 2:17 am

      Why the need still to make a living in Uncle Sam country? Come smell the hibiscus then. You’ve got to be kidding, mate!

  20. #22 by dawsheng on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 2:11 pm

    It’s hardly surprising. Guess who’ll be screaming for the state of emergency when the “kongsi” broke into pieces.

  21. #23 by dawsheng on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 2:23 pm

    “Kongsi is about sharing. Pakat is about a temporary cooperation for a certain purpose. There is no give and take. There is no sharing,” the Umno veteran said.

    Give me RM10,000 and I’ll start considering whether or not to believe you are sharing. As far as I know, there’s no sharing. The sharing stop somewhere among the “multi-racial” BN politicians. If there’s any kongsi in BN, then it must be “kongsi gelap” made out of a bunch of bloodsuckers.

    • #24 by kg on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 4:01 pm

      guess chengho must be a member of this kongsi gelap

      • #25 by kg on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 4:03 pm

        guess how many times this chengho guy get his RM500 in a year?

  22. #26 by john on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 3:07 pm

    From the horses (MaMak’s) mouth, ONE devil we know in personification. He only speaks to the moron, no brainer, syiok sendiri depan the naive audience. A smartalec, smartars@, a recalcitrant -branded by the Ausie,,, RETURN ALL THOSE BILLIONS TO THE RAKYAT ! and Shut the “F” up !

  23. #27 by SENGLANG on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 3:31 pm


    The more the explanation the more stupid they become.

    Why they find a need to explain. There is absolutely no necessary to offer any explanation as the action speak more than any words.

    Be focus folks!!! Time to change and focus your mind. Time to vote and vote it right.

  24. #28 by Winston on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 9:08 pm

    Looks like the bigger the scum, the more ardently they will try to put off their comeuppance!
    But this time the weight of the whole Malaysian electorate is against them!
    They also know what’s in store for them this GE.
    That’s why they are at their wits end trying to ward off the inevitable.
    They are not only grasping at straws.
    But thin air as well!!!

  25. #29 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 7 April 2013 - 1:55 am

    Najib and Geng needs all the help he can get – even from the DEVIL himself.

  26. #30 by Noble House on Sunday, 7 April 2013 - 2:00 am

    A vote for UMNO/BN is a vote for Mahathirism. A mandate for Pakatan will be good for Malaysia but disastrous for Mahathir. He knows very well what that means. Obviously, the old man is looking desperate but lost none of his usual satire.

  27. #31 by monsterball on Sunday, 7 April 2013 - 8:27 am

    When Mahathir said Malaysia needs more Ibrahim Ali….tells all Malaysians what he is.

  28. #32 by monsterball on Sunday, 7 April 2013 - 8:33 am

    Chengho thinks USA is the best…and why not….washing dishes and earning more than a qualified Accountant in Malaysia.
    Please stay there forever and don’t have false dreams…that Najib can help you.

  29. #33 by kg on Sunday, 7 April 2013 - 1:07 pm

    Poor chengho, suggest you let go some of your unsatisfactory emotions in Jibby of Madey blogs. See if you get hantam kao kao there.

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