Ramasamy: “Does the PM understand the Malay mind?”

A FORMER DAP leader has raised the question if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was reading, not reading, or misreading the Malay political mood.

Former Penang DAP deputy chairman Dr P. Ramasamy said if the Prime Minister is misreading or not reading the Malay political mood then it is “only logical to assume why he needs to save his long-time friend”, UMNO’s embattled president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi from the “ignominy of criminal prosecution”.

“The decision to grant a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) to Zahid has come with a huge political cost.

“The question is how come Anwar, having been immersed in politics for so long, could have condoned the DNAA for Zahid considering its inflammatory political consequences,” Ramasamy said in a statement today (Sept 20).

For the record, Anwar had defended the DNAA as the constitutional prerogative of former attorney-general (AG) Tan Sri Idrus Harun, insisting that he had no role in interfering with the judiciary or advising Idrus about what had to be done.

“If Anwar wanted to save the unity government and go for at least one term, then he must have clearly misread the Malay mind. However, knowing Anwar very well, this might not be his nature of politics,” the former Perai assemblyman mused.

“Therefore, it is more appropriate to term Anwar as ‘Machiavellian’ because there is much more to Anwar than the mere idea of saving Zahid or UMNO.”

According to Ramasamy, UMNO’s support is crucial for the stability of the present unity government, and the criminal prosecution of Zahid would have brought about not just the collapse of UMNO but the unity government as a whole.

“In this regard, it cannot be said that Anwar is not misreading the Malay political mood but reading the mood to stay alive and relevant in politics,” he reckoned.

“I think Anwar is reading the Malay mind but whether he is reading it correctly seems unclear. He wants to be the prime minister for more than one term.

“He knows that Zahid’s DNAA is only for the short-term stability of the unity government. If Anwar is relying on short-term political stability, then it can be said that he is not reading or misreading the Malay mood.”

Political stability

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (Pic credit: Sadiq Asyraf/Prime Minister’s Office)

However, Ramasamy noted that Anwar being a “political animal” wants to “go beyond the confines of UMNO”.

“He knows very well that UMNO with its present leadership is an immense liability for the unity government and he badly wants to escape this political entrapment. In other words, he is reading the political mind of the Malays,” he noted.

“Anwar wants a prolonged period of stay in office, and this requires the badly-needed Malay support which have gone over to the opposition side. It is not just about the green wave but it’s just that the Malays don’t want to waste their time with the party riddled with corruption and its embrace of the DAP.

“Yes, Anwar knows about Malay thinking about politics and why they have chosen to abandon the unity government.”

Ramasamy reckoned that for obvious reasons, Anwar might want to go along with UMNO even at the expense of granting a DNAA to Zahid.

“But then, Anwar knows that the future of the Malays is definitely not with UMNO, Pakatan Harapan (PH) or the unity government,” he added.

“The question is when and under what political circumstances does Anwar want to reach out to the Malay forces in the opposition if he has not already done so.

“Can we just say that Anwar’s close reading of the Malay mind means, among other things, that he might abandon just UMNO but also DAP for long-term political stability in the country’s politics?” – Sept 20, 2023

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