PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s head will roll if he stands up to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, according to party founder Syed Husin Ali.
“I know it is difficult for him because if he does that, Mahathir will immediately kill him politically,” he said in an interview with Malaysiakini on Thursday.
This was four days after Syed Husin raised the question as to whether Anwar, together with DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang, Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, have been stymied by the prime minister.
To drive home his point, Syed Husin pointed out there was a plot to pin down Anwar as the mastermind behind the sex video scandal implicating PKR minister Azmin Ali.
“You know, Mahathir is capable of all kind of things. When the video came out, he immediately said this was a political move to bring down Azmin,” Syed Husin said.
“The police immediately said someone was behind the sex video scandal where hundreds of thousands had been spent.
“Then came the arrest of Anwar’s political-secretary (Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak in July). I think they wanted to get a confession from him to implicate Anwar,” he said.
“If Anwar is caught and convicted as the man behind the video, action will be taken against him. It would then be very difficult for Anwar to succeed Mahathir as the prime minister.
“Mahathir can say, ‘Look, I have been saying so many times that I want to give the premiership to him, but Anwar, being what he is, has destroyed himself,” said Syed Husin.
“But he (Anwar) comes out clean, that’s why he behaves (in such a way). Politics is complicated and dirty.”
Syed Husin said he drew the conclusion himself and was not told to do so by Anwar.
Despite staying on a low profile since relinquishing his post as the party’s deputy president in 2010, Syed Husin is still a member of the PKR Political Bureau and attends the party’s weekly meeting chaired by Anwar.
He is also the deputy chairperson of the PKR Advisory Board.
Syed Husin claimed to have personal knowledge that Anwar and Lim had spoken to Mahathir after the latter started acting differently to what was agreed to by the Harapan presidential council.
“From what I was informed, the four of them (Anwar, Muhyiddin, Lim and Mahathir) have never strongly voiced their dissatisfaction in the meeting,” he said.
“Maybe they don’t want to do anything that would be construed as a split within Harapan,” he said, and went on to call upon Harapan leaders to put up a strong stand in the coalition’s meetings, and even to voice out publicly if the need arises.
Syed Husin added that the same scenario took place in the cabinet meetings, where most ministers don’t voice out when Mahathir acted differently from what was agreed upon.
“In the cabinet, many are beholden to him (Mahathir)… Only a few stand up to him in the cabinet, the rest just remain quiet.
“I don’t say all of them (ministers behave like that). The majority of them do not dare to raise their voices because there are so many vested interests,” he said.
Syed Husin took the “quiet” Harapan leaders and cabinet members to task for allowing Mahathir to revert to his old dictatorial way by failing to keep Mahathir in check.
“I think it is high time they rise strongly (in the meetings) and even in public, because Mahathir keeps on doing what he likes, even by going against the decision of the presidential council,” he said.
Despite expressing disappointment with Anwar, Syed Husin still believes the PKR president is the best candidate to succeed Mahathir as prime minister.
“Can you tell me who else (can be the prime minister)? I don’t see anybody. I think he is the best person, and there is already an agreement among the parties on the issue,” Syed Husin said.
However, he noted that Anwar should not join the cabinet now as he may be duty-bound to abide by the decisions of the current prime minister.
“I am convinced now that there is no point for him joining (the cabinet). What power does a minister have (when confronting the prime minister)? It’s better to stay outside (the cabinet) and be independent (to speak his mind),” he said.
While acknowledging that Harapan had carried out some of the promises outlined in its manifesto, he pointed out the coalition could have done more.
“There are still major issues yet to be solved. The economic situation is still of great concern to the people.
“Although the government has some control in fighting inflation, the people perceive that the government has not done enough to improve the conditions. And politics is more about perception,” he said.
Syed Husin also slammed the Harapan government for not being able to abolish several draconian laws, despite being in power for 16 months. – Malaysiakini