AFTER his “Malay Proclamation” gathering slated for yesterday (March 19) failed to lift off, former two-time premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad found himself in the political spotlight when he launched a fierce attack on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government.
However, netizens were mostly unimpressed as they rallied behind the unity government, hitting the country’s longest serving premier (25 years in total) with candour.
Twitter user @editdelete is not surprised with Dr Mahathir’s attitude given ‘desperate times call for desperate measures’.
“When they lose power and influence, what will they people who are desperate do? They will resort to racism or false patriotism or religious bigotry without adequate understanding,” she tweeted in a reaction to a Malaysiakini article which highlighted the 98-year-old leader’s discontent that there the purported “Malay Proclamation” event failed to see the daylight.
Dr Mahathir stated in a press conference yesterday (March 19) that Anwar’s administration is terrified of the Malay community coming together to discuss the problems they face under his reign.
In the same breath, Dr Mahathir reminded Anwar that his former party, Pejuang failed to garner enough support during the 15th General Elections (GE15) which itself is a hint that his movement is not one of a massive scale that can topple the unity government.
Nevertheless, argument by the man known as the father of the modernisation which in the past would have been regarded as gospel is now met with critical backlash online. In fact, netizens are more daring to speak up while being less forgiving than they were previously.
Another netizen with the username What is this I don’t even (@subversivepop) took pity on Dr Mahathir for being deprived of a proper platform to express himself freely.
“He seems to have forgotten the Malay Dignity Congress (held in October 2019) he spearheaded before the Sheraton Move (conspiracy). Now that he’s no longer relevant, he’s desperately trying to be relevant again by playing the race card”.
Twitter user Nur Mukhlis Noordin (@qis_mukhlis) chided Dr Mahathir that “this is not about the government being afraid of him but the people, too, are disgusted with him”.
“With all due respect Tun. we are already 2023. but Tun still wants us to sit in the old notch. The perception of Malays as poor and powerful has long been played upon. We’ve already given you a chance. We saw what Tun did. So this time let us decide ourselves,” she justified.
Perhaps Baru lesung (@Hanita2662Blues) has the darndest question for Dr Mahathir:
“I truly cannot understand why you want to bring down PMX (10th PM Anwar) who is fighting tooth and nail to eradicate corruption … Am very dumbfounded.” – March 20, 2023
Main pic credit: Utusan Malaysia