Saturday, 2 February 2013

Mahathir – arrogant until the bitter end

Mariam Mokhtar
 | February 1, 2013
Mahathir must be fearing the worst. He has never visualised any party other than Umno in Putrajaya.
If one could smell fear, then those around former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, his family, BN politicians and their cronies, would need strong stomachs to deal with the overpowering stench.
When a person is running scared, he turns on his attackers or finds another person to take the rap. Mahathir has done both.
As we enter the final stages of the run-up to GE-13, Mahathir has lost none of his sarcasm. Only the most loyal of his sycophants will still receive him as warmly as before. He has become an outcast of 97% of the population.
In the preceding months, Mahathir has remained cocksure and taken pot shots at the opposition. He did not believe that the opposition could deliver their promises; nor would he accept that BN has neglected the rakyat, for the last 56 years.
You would expect a former PM to have some respect for the rakyat; but Mahathir derided them when he said that they could not appreciate political debates because of their immaturity and that they were too emotional to rationalise.
He said, “This is not America, but even in the US, debates only serve to expose how stupid the candidates are.” Might this explain the preponderance of Umno candidates’ refusal to debate their opposition counterparts?
Mahathir’s rhetoric is an indication of his internal fears. In the previous weeks he has shown his trademark arrogance and egotism. The sudden adoption of a defensive position shows an agitated mind.
His remarks about the opposition are revealing, “They will take action against people who were not friendly, or they think were not friendly to them,” and he voiced his fears about being arrested by the incumbent government.
This climb-down is unprecedented. Mahathir has never adopted this tone before and to talk about being arrested is unheard of. Mahathir’s lack of confidence is telling. This is again shown by his tacit mention of a “Pakatan-controlled Federal government”.