We will need to wait and hear what Kit Siang, Guan Eng and the other DAP leaders have to say first. So far they have kept silent. Will they come out with a statement praising Mahathir? Will they say what Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali said to Zaid Ibrahim, which is basically throwing him under the bus? Or will Kit Siang, Guan Eng and the other DAP leaders just keep quiet and continue to say nothing because whatever they say is never going to be the right thing to say anyway.
Three years ago in December 2014, Anwar Ibrahim said the Selangor Palace revoked his datukship because he had not defended Islam. Anwar joked that it did not matter because he still had eight more datukships anyway. So, with nine datukships, he can afford to lose one or two.
I remember a joke one senior police officer once told us. He said nowadays we need to address our prisoners, “Tun, Tan Sri, Datuk Seri Utama, Datuk Seri, Datuk, Yang Mulia, Yang Berhormat, Tuan Haji, dan banduan-banduan sekelian.” If you throw a stone into the air during an Umno assembly in the PWTC there is an 80% chance it would land on someone with a datukship.
So people are not really very impressed with datukships any more. I was once introduced to a number of Chinese underworld bosses during a party, maybe 20 or so of them, and all of them had titles. Yes, all of them were either Tan Sri or Datuk. And these are the key crime bosses of Malaysia, mind you, and I must say they are actually very nice people.
Anyway, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad knew what happened to Anwar three years ago — which is DYMM the Sultan of Selangor revoked his datukship and pulled back his award. So Mahathir knew that was going to be his fate as well.
However, before the Sultan can pull back his award, as Mahathir knew was going to happen, the old man quickly returned the award to the Palace. Then Mahathir can say his award was not pulled back but instead he returned it to the Palace.
Mahathir must always have the last word and this was his way of having the last word. I was not sacked, I resigned, would be what he wants to say. That was why he resigned from Umno on 29th February 2016 instead of waiting to be sacked like all the others. And in this latest case he did not get his award withdrawn. He returned it.
If Mahathir’s award was withdrawn then it would be a slap in his face. DYMM the Sultan would have done to Mahathir what no one else in Malaysia dared do. Now it is Mahathir who would be seen as slapping the Sultan’s face by returning the award to DYMM.
In a way it was a brilliant political manoeuvre. Mahathir slapped the Sultan instead of the Sultan slapping Mahathir like in Anwar’s case. The DAP Chinese will clap and cheer and will hail Mahathir as a hero for ‘slapping’ the Sultan.
But then the DAP Chinese will vote for Pakatan Harapan anyway, in particular DAP, never mind what Mahathir does or does not do. It is the Malay votes that Pakatan Harapan needs most. So how will the Malays view this act of Mahathir in slapping the Sultan’s face? Will the Malays also clap and cheer and hail Mahathir as a hero like the DAP Chinese?
We will need to wait and hear what Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng and the other DAP leaders have to say first. So far they have kept silent. Will they come out with a statement praising Mahathir? Will they say what Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali said to Zaid Ibrahim, which is basically throwing him under the bus? Or will Kit Siang, Guan Eng and the other DAP leaders just keep quiet and continue to say nothing because whatever they say is never going to be the right thing to say anyway.
Raja Petra Kamarudin