Monday, August 14, 2006

Malaysia- Serious wayang happening!

(Wayang- Indonesian/Malay for "show" or "play")

From: (Ex-journalist Mr. Seah Chiang Nee's website)

Mahathir cheered

He's given hero's welcome when he strikes at the seat of Abdullah Badawi's power.

Reuters.Aug 13, 2006

Former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad took his attack against Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to the seat of power, the ruling party, yesterday - and found plenty of support for his criticisms.

Members of UMNO, which dominates government and can make or break prime ministers, gave Mahathir a hero's welcome as he arrived to speak at a divisional party meeting at a golf club outside Kuala Lumpur.

More than 100 of the party faithful chanted "Hidup Mahathir" (Long live Mahathir) in Malay as the 80-year-old arrived for the meeting behind the wheel of a Porsche Cayenne sports utility with his driver in the passenger seat.

"For two years I've been quiet," Mahathir told the UMNO division, which had gone ahead and invited him to speak despite veiled warnings by the party's leadership not to do so.

"Now let me speak, a small chance to be heard. If you don't want to listen, you can always close your ears," he added before going on to recite his various criticisms of the government.

Mahathir, who stepped down after 22 years of power in late 2003, feels betrayed by his hand-chosen successor, Abdullah, because the latter has shelved several major projects that Mahathir had hoped would continue into his retirement.

Mahathir has accused the government of lacking "guts" and of selling out Malaysian sovereignty over a recent decision to scrap Mahathir's plan to build a bridge to neighbouring Singapore.
It was clear that many of the party rank-and-file who turned up to hear Mahathir were also not happy with the government.

"I don't believe in him any more," said elderly UMNO party member Noor Azmi, brandishing a photo of him with Abdullah. He said he was a distant uncle of the premier.

"Not only me, but the majority of the rakyat (common people) too. UMNO is more than just blood. It's about Islam, the Malay race and the country."

Mahathir's decision to take his criticisms into the heart of UMNO threatens to sow dissent and division within the ruling party at a time when Abdullah is widely expected to be gearing up for an early election, perhaps in the second half of next year.

There are no moves inside the party to dethrone Abdullah, but any grass-roots support for Mahathir's criticisms could pressure the prime minister to alter the course of fiscal policy and return to the Mahathir era of major state projects. (Reuters)

Meanwhile Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak reiterated his full backing for PM Abdullah yesterday, saying "I will not abandon ship."

He said he was amazed by the attitude of the prime minister and expressed his undivided support for Abdullah.

"I will be the best deputy possible as well as the best supporter of the prime minister," he said during a public function. "I will stand by him and weather the storm together until the end.

"Just because there is a storm brewing, don't think I will abandon the ship."

In other developments reported in malaysiakini: -
* Mahathir asked government leaders to swear on the Quran together with him on whether the Malaysian government had made the offer of sand and airspace to Singapore.
* Mahathir also said he had no plan to form a splinter group of the party but would continue to pick on leaders who had gone astray.
* Former DPM Anwar Ibrahim said Mahathir's credibility was at stake if he did not name those cabinet ministers whom he claimed to be corrupt.Aug 13, 2006

My comments:

Hi friends,

Not a day passes without some news about Mahathir. Mahathir this, Mahathir that!

I feel like an eavesdropper. Forced to listen to the domestic spats of quarrelsome neighbours.

The "shouting matches" and clanging of "broken dishes" are becoming terribly annoying! And the plot thickens each day. It's akin to an international version of our own Everitt Road soap opera. (Everitt Rd Saga: A long-running domestic quarrel between some neighbours which is severely testing the patience of our courts' judges)

Who wants to hear about the skeletons in the cupboards and who needs to see all the dirty linen being exposed to the whole wide world! If I had my druthers, I'll rather mind my own business!

But then, Malaysia is no ordinary neighbour. What happens there may have repercussions for us! So I just keep my ears and eyes open!

The possible outcomes seem predictable.

1.Mahathir wins and Abdullah Badawi loses. Inconvenient for us.
2.Abdullah Badawi wins and Mahathir is kept somewhere where he can cause less harm. Malaysia and the region gains from political stability. We are not unhappy.
3.Everybody loses- endless quarreling and no one knows who is really in charge. Bad, very bad.
4. Everybody wins- kiss and make up (again). Deja vu? Vaguely familiar- read this story before.

Anyway, I am an outsider. So, I should just shut up! ( but keep ears open)


Dr. Huang Shoou Chyuan (the kaypoh)

Re: My previous post on Sg-Malaysian relations

Addendum (16.8.06) Mahathir vs Abdullah: The battle heats up
I have linked this article from S'pore Institute of International Affairs which some of you may find interesting.

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