Will the 3A’s (Agong, Anwar and Abang Jo) mark the end of Mahathrism in Malaysia?

A STOOL with one leg will find it hard to keep the balance unless it has a strong foundation supporting it. But a three-legged stool makes it stable to sit on.

Unless he has strong support behind him, Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim alone will not be able to carry out the task assigned to him as his destiny for the nation.

Apparently, with the installation of the Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar as the 17th Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA), Anwar may now have two additional legs that help to stabilise the nation so that it can move it to a promising greater height that the people have been praying for.

The three A’s (3As) that will make news in the next five years are Agong, Anwar and Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg or better known as Abang Jo.

All the 3A’s are outspoken and together they will mark the end of former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Malaysia and whatever legacy the twice-former premier tries to salvage for himself and his family.

End of Mahathirism, really?

Many may like to dream that nonagenarian Dr Mahathir was and is still invincible.

He was “someone” high up especially during his first premiership stint which spanned 22 years from 1981 to 2003. To some extent, many of us even thought that he had done some good for the nation in the 1990s until we realised that the money he spent on the mega projects has left a big hole in our national coffers.

His idea of privatisation has left taxpayers having to settle a lot of monthly bills every month. In fact, several of the projects such as Putrajaya with its “mega” buildings require a substantial amount of electricity to cool down the buildings.

With the high rental rates of the PETRONAS twin towers, one may wonder how much of their floor space has yielded good returns.

In the 1990s, we may have seen a boom in the construction industry but the growth was unsustainable. It took the Asian Financial Crisis (AFC) IN 1997 to expose us to reality; thereafter, the government was forced to revise Malaysia’s GDP (gross domestic product) from 8%-10% to 3%-4%.

Many of the projects such as Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Perwaja, Proton and Putrajaya which relied on public funds and the PETRONAS coffers were largely unproductive.

In the current context, it is like the huge Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations built by now-incarcerated prime minister (PM) Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak which boast huge but empty spaces that are still very much underutilised. Some of these stations should be converted to specialised retail (e.g. IT, books, pets) outlets to fetch good rental incomes.

Many question marks

Dr Mahathir (Photo credit: Getty Images)


Before he goes, Dr Mahathir has to answer many questions—for example, why did Malaysia International Shipping Corporation Bhd (MISC) make the decision to pay US$220 mil to buy the assets belonging to his eldest son Mirzan Mahathir’s container-haulage services company, Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd which was in the doldrums?

Nobody is going to believe his “I cannot remember anything now” answer.

The country has also not been told of what happened to Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli’s exposé “that he was forced to buy Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) shares at a higher than market value by Dr Mahathir”.

According to the New Straits Times, Tajuddin revealed in a seven-minute video that he was told by the then-finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin that he had no choice but to follow Dr Mahathir’s directive.

The call to investigate Tajuddin’s claim made in 2018 by Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) president Datuk Azwanddin Hamzah did not materialise after Dr Mahathir became the PM on the Pakatan Harapan (PH) ticket.

Despite MAS being in the red, many Malaysians were curious how the then government could purchase Tajuddin’s shares back at the same price that he had paid for them. Abang Jo and both Sarawakians and Sabahans who have been asking for a share of PETRONAS money would also like to know what happened to the country’s wealth.

With Agong’s consent, Anwar should initiate a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to probe this and many other issues so that Tajuddin, Daim and Dr Mahathir are given a chance to explain to the nation why the government bought back the MAS shares at the same price that Tajuddin paid for them when he bought MAS shares.

With the new Agong on the throne, a lot of Dr Mahathir’s past ghosts will return to haunt him. If the truth is not known, the nation may find it difficult to heal. A number of declassified documents by the British Government have implicated the nonagenarian’s involvement, for example, in the May 13, 1969 bloodbath.

Another RCI should therefore be set up to probe what really happened in the lead-up to the incident that left a black mark on the nation’s history.

Although many of us have been told that it was a racial riot, the truth is that while there were political clashes between the “winners” and “losers” of the country’s third national polls in and around the federal capital and Penang, the rest of the nation was still enjoying peace and harmony between the races.

Was there an instigator or maybe more than one? Did Dr Mahathir’s poison pen letter against then premier Tunku Abdul Rahman anything to do with this May 13 bloodbath? Why is Dr Mahathir till today still using DAP instead of MCA or Gerakan as his punching bag?

The nation would also like to find out whether Dr Mahathir was involved in the Memali incident that resulted in the deaths of 14 Kampung Memali villagers and four policemen.

While these RCIs take place, they should not become the sole focus of the nation. Our focus should still be on the well-being of all Malaysians and improving the economy of the country.

The finale

A lot of these questions need to be answered so that the younger generation understands how our generation has been tricked into thinking that the country was performing economically par excellence during Dr Mahathir’s reign.

All the propaganda about the bogeyman of May 13 was nothing more than the work of politicians and their henchmen who were more interested in riding on the 2R sentiments—race and religion—to achieve their political agenda.

May the 3A’s help to reset the country’s clock and collectively move the country forward to become a great nation again.

As for the former Langkawi MP who lost his deposit in the 15th General Election (GE15), his obsolescence will be gradual until the finale, when the curtain is down on him. Death is something none of us can escape. – Feb 2, 2024


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