With Pakatan Harapan now stuck at an impasse for their prime minister candidate, perhaps it is time to ask this question — does it have to be either of them?
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been vying for the post of prime minister since 1997/98, and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants the post as part of some form of vindication, to make the country right — something he couldn’t do in 22 years and an additional 22 months.
For myself, the constant fight between the two will only cause further detriment to the coalition itself. After all, it was this very topic of who becomes prime minister, when will Dr Mahathir hand over the post to Anwar that triggered the whole collapse in the first place.
It did not make things any better when the King got involved and both Amanah and DAP pledged support for Anwar rather than Dr Mahathir, which split the interim prime minister’s support for a unity government and led to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin being appointed premier, subsequently forming government.
As such, perhaps Malaysians and even foreigners looking at this will ask this question – isn’t it time that these two retire to an advisory role and let the next generation of political leaders take the lead?
It isn’t exactly a surprise if we bring up Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s thirst for power as the reason for his whole cartel and why he decided to abandon Anwar for a chance to eventually become prime minister. After all, he learned from Anwar’s rebellion against Dr Mahathir during Reformasi that sometimes waiting for a leader to retire takes too long.
In fact, that statement applies even now.
So with these two and their deep rooted rivalry, can we look at someone else to lead Pakatan Harapan to a victory?
Can we start looking at the younger leaders who will bring in a united youth vote rather than the depressive argument of race as Dr Mahathir continues to espouse by saying the coalition needs a Malay party?
After all, isn’t the youth vote less fractured by race and gender in comparison to their older counterparts? Wouldn’t this focus on youth leaders allow the debate to then move on to topics such as the economy, jobs, cost of living, housing and such?
So, perhaps suggesting leaders who are not eligible to withdraw their EPF accounts should be considered by all factions within the Pakatan coalition, if there remains a coalition right now.
Pakatan lawmakers should be reminded — whoever you choose, you will have to sell to the 14 million plus voters out there. If you somehow win a no-confidence vote and the King allows you to form government, you will need to somehow ensure that your administration caters to the young, including the 18-year-olds who will be automatically registered by then.
Putting new leaders up now with both Anwar and Dr Mahathir as advisors, will set a good example and boost the faith of the young voters in Pakatan being a choice for the younger generation. That in itself will set you up for another term of governing if you play your cards right.
So perhaps the two old men should not view this idea as an “insulting” one and consider the need to think beyond their own wants and needs, and what is good for the coalition, the voters and the country.