Arch political rivals Mahathir and Anwar won’t be working together, why not?

WHAT happens when two veteran political leaders who have always been at loggerheads decide to work together? Usually in a political atmosphere this means an underlying motive, either for the benefit of the parties and coalition they represent or just to fish votes during an impending election.

Now, what is the scenario of one leader turning down the invitation of another to work together especially when in times like this leading up to an impromptu 15th general election (GE15)? 

Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has disappointed former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s invitation to corporate and work together ahead of GE15. 

Anwar’s reasoning on turning down Mahathir’s offer was because he felt the latter’s stance on matters is inconsistent. 

“It’s all right. We will continue to monitor (what Mahathir says). Next week, he will have a different (stance),” he was reported as saying during PH’s presidential council meeting yesterday (Oct 12). 

Anwar and Mahathir (left to right) during the good old days. (Photo credit: Cilisos)

The question of working together with Anwar was initially raised at Mahathir who expressed his desire to defend his Langkawi seat. Mahathir had initially said that the question of working together should be directed to Anwar himself. 

“The problem is he (Anwar) doesn’t want to work with me (but) I’m a very nice man,” he previously said.

The irony of his statement is one the rakyat can question. Mahathir and Anwar as far as everyone is concerned have always been political rivalries. Let’s not bring back history, we know where this is going. 

During GE14, when Mahathir and Anwar joined forces to get rid of the then Barisan Nasional (BN) Government, things went pretty well. Both seasoned politicians seemed to have buried the hatchet and worked together for the betterment of the country when Pakatan Harapan formed the Government in 2018. 

However, the PH Government didn’t last partly because of Mahathir’s refusal to hand over his reign to Anwar as prime minister in 2018. 

After which, the PH Government had collapsed leading to the Sheraton Move led by now Perikatan Nasional chairman and Bersatu President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. 

Anwar, who was Mahathir’s deputy when he was prime minister from 1981 to 2003, was sacked in 1998 before being charged and imprisoned for sodomy and corruption. 

Will Anwar instead turn around and work with Mahathir? Perhaps only if the latter gives his blessings to the former to become prime minister from the Opposition coalition, in the name of saving Malaysia from another possibility of the BN rule. – Oct 13, 2022 


Main photo credit: The Straits Times 

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