Lesson number one Malaysians learned since the turbulent end of February 2020: There are no friends in politics, and you should not trust your partners in a coalition.
Lesson number two. There are no enemies in politics because the enemies of yesterday are the friends of today.
Former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also learned the hard way. The opposition PAS and UMNO gave him full support while he was with the Pakatan Harapan.
“Everyone supports me. I feel like floating.” – Mahathir Mohamad.
FLOAT LIKE MAHATHIR?
The people who surrounded Dr Mahathir at the KL Summit where they spoke of unity, brotherhood and of not betraying one another, are now ministers in a new government. Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir is bound became an opposition member!
The love and support the PAS-UMNO showed for Mahathir gave him the impression he was to be the leader of a new government, without the PH.
He was also given full support by a break-away faction in the Keadilan of Anwar Ibrahim. Mahathir was floating with love.
But someone poked the balloon resulting in Mahathir falling in the dark alley of history. You know who is that someone.
Mahathir thought he will get the Islamists from the PAS, the Umno (his former party) and the break-away PKR faction to back him as PM.
But when he lost his bid to become PM8, he also lost the leadership of his party. He then lost the leadership of the PH and is now bound for the opposition bench.
Unless he decides to join the Muhyiddin Yassin government in some capacity in the future, Mahathir’s legacy is not looking good. Joining Umno or the Perikatan Nasional government will be the best thing he can do to save his dangerously sagging legacy.
This is a first in Mahathir’s rather illustrious political career. He is defeated by the people who floated him in a mirage of love and brotherhood that melted away in five dramatic days.
We go back to lesson number 1: Anwar Ibrahim put all his trust in Tun Dr Mahathir. He believed Mahathir will resign and hand power to him. This was to be a smooth transition of power in Malaysia.
BETRAYAL OVER BETRAYAL?
But Malaysia Baharu had a shocker in store. Mahathir quit without giving power to Anwar. Mahathir is denying that he betrayed the man who gave him the chance to become PM again in 2018.
Malaysians now understand that betrayal at the highest level is acceptable and condoned by other politicians who were planning to form a backdoor government without Mahathir.
Yes, it is a betrayal. Dr Mahathir taught the young generations that such betrayal in politics and in life is acceptable.
But Mahathir is also feeling betrayed by his party and his ‘friends’ who sidelined him in forming a new government.
Our next article in this series will be about the Pakatan Harapan and what we learned from their stint in power.