As shocking as it was, Malaysia is living a new era, where the Barisan Nasional regime run by ex-PM Najib Razak fell from its invincible perch.
Besides the roles played by PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former DPM Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia had a smarter opposition this time around.
And most of the parties that joined the opposition Pakatan Harapan crafted by Anwar made huge sacrifices in the run-up to the crucial polls.
While most of the experts and analysts were saying the Pakatan Harapan had very little chance to defeat the mighty BN, the opposition proved them wrong.
But as much as the population in Malaysia is suddenly gloating on the immense capabilities of Mahathir, the sacrifices made by Anwar’s family, his party the Party Keadilan Rakyat or PKR and the sacrifices made by the Democratic Action Party or DAP cannot be underestimated.
The social media networks in Malaysia is filled with praises for Mahathir, and this is normal after he delivered such fatal blows to the BN and particularly to Najib Razak.
Nevertheless what is even more extraordinary is the cool attitude of PKR, Amanah and even the DAP leaders and followers in the aftermath of the historic elections.
Yet, a few rowdy elements who were supporters of the Party Islam Se-Malaysia or PAS who turned into PH sympathisers have joined force some elements of Mahathir’s party, the Bersatu to campaign against Anwar.
Despite the vile campaign by these elements, Mahathir and Anwar are collaborating to push ahead the PH agenda.
For this to happen, Anwar sacrificed his own daughter’s chance to hold a ministerial post in Mahathir’s cabinet.
Mahathir altogether pushed his son, Mukhriz Mahathir, to take hold of the Menteri Besar post in Kedah. This will allow him to prove his mettle as a future minister in the PH stable.
Ipso-facto let’s get back to the sacrifices made by these people and their parties to topple the Najib regime.
Mahathir was indeed instrumental in the victory, but it is what transpired in the corridors that made this victory possible.
The PKR accepted lesser seats – sacrificing a lot of its potential wins to both the Bersatu and the Amanah (the splinter group from PAS).
Without this, it would be impossible for Bersatu and for Amanah to obtain the number of seats they won at the GE14.
This is a lesson to other countries.
A leading opposition party like the PKR sharing its winning-odds with its partners.
On the other hand, the DAP, a long-serving opposition party in the country accepted the proposals that it would not have more seats than the younger PKR and the nascent Bersatu.
This is altogether an ultimate sacrifice made by the DAP.
But it allowed Mahathir to campaign in the Malay heartlands that he had total control over the DAP and that the Malays would retain the majority in the Parliament with the DAP getting lesser seats to contest.
The DAP factor was Umno-BN’s main strategy to maintain its good run in the Malay heartlands.
When the opposition coalition announced they will go in the elections with the PKR logo, it was a recognition by Mahathir that the PKR was indeed the leading reformist party in the country.
Hence with the DAP tamed by Mahathir, the Umno-BN strategists were lost in translation. They knew then, they were on the losing end. They knew the ‘anti-DAP’ rant would not bite. This impacted the BN’s entire election strategy. The election results are sufficient to prove that point.
In like manner, Mahathir fought for the freeing of Anwar right after he was installed as the new PM.
He returned the favour to Anwar’s family for accepting him and his men in the folds of the PH. This has set another benchmark in Asean politics. That is one can forgive and forget to work together to achieve a common goal.
Not to mention that their common goal, that of the PKR, DAP, Amanah and Bersatu were to topple Najib in the first place.
Correspondingly, this is where the PAS-supporters-turned-PH and new Bersatu supporters who were Umno supporters only months ago, are wrong.
They are wrong in their anti-Anwar campaign and they are wrong to believe that Mahathir will not follow his oath of stepping down to allow Anwar to become the 8th PM of a freed Malaysia!
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