Sunday, April 6, 2008

The story where Mahathir calls AI PM of Israel


When Mahathir lashes out at Anwar, will it catch fire?

Tun Dr Mahathir at the Perkim annual general meeting on Saturday. -

Picture by Choo Choy May for The Malaysian InsiderKUALA LUMPUR, March

31 � The fight to drag Anwar Ibrahim into a political mud-fight began

yesterday when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad went back to his playbook of

1998 and accused the de facto opposition leader of being a stooge for

foreign powers.

Unlike 10 years ago, Anwar is not likely to be perturbed by this

attack. He will not take the bait and will dismiss his one-time mentor

as someone whose relevance to Malaysia has passed.

Anwar knows that he does not need to get into a street fight, as he is

viewed by many Malaysians as the man who is ushering in a new dawn for

the country while Dr Mahathir is seen as part of the old landscape.

Also, Anwar does not need to score points with Umno or convince them

of his fitness to lead. If anything, it is Dr Mahathir who has to

audition for their support as he sets about to force a change of

leadership in Umno. It was vintage Mahathir yesterday. He described

Anwar as "a man of many parts", someone with a forked tongue.

"When he talks about Islam, Muslims will think he's a champion of

Islam. When he is with the Jews, the Jews love him.. When he is with

the Muslims, the Muslims love him. When he is with the temple groups,

they love him too.

"Everybody loves him. He is a convincing orator� If the Malays are

willing to kowtow to the foreigners, then they can choose this

person," he said during a question-and- answer session after he opened

the annual general meeting of Persatuan Melayu Tanjong (Penang Malays

Association) here yesterday.

When someone in the audience wondered whether Anwar stood a chance to

be the next prime minister, Dr Mahathir suggested that he would make a

"good prime minister of Israel". This was not a shot in the dark as

the former PM knows that Muslims here have great animosity with Israel

over that country's handling of the Palestinian issue.

When the former prime minister sacked Anwar Ibrahim from the party and

government 10 years ago, he repeatedly accused his one-time prot�g� of

being a lackey of the West, especially the United States. But the

difference between then and now is as stark as night and day.

This was evident at a recent seminar on the elections at Universiti

Utara Malaysia.. Among the panelists were Penang deputy chief minister

Dr P. Ramasamy, PAS politician Mujahid Rawa and deputy minister

Saifuddin Abdullah.

Saifuddin had a tough time getting his points across as he was booed

consistently by the young audience.

Dr Mansor Mohd Noor, a political analyst who was in the hall, said:

"There has been a change in the political environment in West

Malaysia. Malaysians want to know about the vision of this country.

Any attempt at character assassination or personal attacks will not go

down well with the public. The focus is on integrity, good governance,

just policies. If you cannot articulate all this, then your relevance

is limited.''

He noted that voters, including Malays, were upset that the Barisan

Nasional attacked Anwar a few days before the polls as an

untrustworthy politician.

"Many people believe that he was the wronged party in 1998 and had 6

years taken away from him. Calling him a foreign agent will be like

selling an old newspaper. And not a credible one," Dr Mansor.

Still, he believes that Tun Mahathir is attempting to show the Umno

rank and file that only he has the fire in the belly to take on Anwar.

His pitch � though old and out-of-date with many Malays � could find

support within a party searching for a leader to stop the seemingly

unstoppable march of the Anwar-led opposition.


Daripada Abu Umarah iaitu al-Bara' bin 'Azib radhiallahu anhuma, katanya: "Kita semua diperintah oleh Rasulullah s.a.w. untuk melakukan tujuh perkara, iaitu meninjau orang sakit, mengikuti janazah, menentasymitkan orang yang bersin, menolong orang yang lemah, membantu orang yang teraniaya, meratakan salam dan melaksanakan sumpah."

(Muttafaq 'alaih)

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