I remember my days in the Cabinet under Tun Mahathir.. As a new kid on the block the first few meetings I just watched and listened to our seniors engaging and interacting in the Cabinet....people like Ling Leong Sik, Samy Velu, Lim Keng Yik, Daim, Rafidah, Sulaiman Daud, Mohammad Rahmat, Sanusi, Najib, Anwar Ibrahim and Abdullah who was appointed slightly later after being in the wilderness for a few years to name but a few...very interesting and colourful characters...Mahathir had a team, a formidable one....we had different issues and challenges...no matter how difficult it was the party and government tackled it together....we discussed intensely and we supported him all the way.
That was the time when I felt collective responsibility was not only mentioned but practise faithfully. Anyone who went out of line Mahathir would give a reminder hard or gentle depending on the issues. Albeit it was a team. The economy grew well and political stability was intact. This allowed Mahathir to play an assertive role at the global stage and put Malaysia on the map of the world like a grand chess master...we knew who was the Captain of the ship...Mahathir had Tun Musa as his deputy under the banner of 2M but obviously there was no such thing as co-equal in the Cabinet System with a PM at the head. When Musa built up his image and try to be as good as Mahathir hell broke loose...Musa had to resign.
He resigned as Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Presiden... Mahathir brought up the crisis to the Supreme Council before formally accepting the resignation. We discussed the subject almost up to Subuh and everyone had the oppurtunity to speak..The outcome is history...but it was decided that Musa's position as Deputy President should remain intact as he was elected in this position by the party grassroots. The part and government was solid and intact with Mahathir...This was also the beginning of a split within the party and the birth of Team A and Team B. I was not in the Cabinet but in the Supreme Council..Tengku Razaleigh and Musa came together...to challenge Mahathir and his new deputy Ghaffar Baba and Anwar was the Youth Head. Mahathir and his team won by a narrow margin.
After that Mahathir consolidated the party and government consequent upon the party bring declared illegal. A new umno was born. After Ghafar Anwar with the solid support of Mahathir and his team ousted Ghafar like a whirlwind...Anwar was so strong after being deputy that he tried to take over as the number one behind Mahathir's back even though he was planned by Mahathir as the annointed successor. This created a political crisis but Anwar was ousted as he had sekeleton in his cupboard which allowed Mahathir to take action against him. But Mahathir explained at all levels of the party and government as well as the rakyat. It was tough but because the party and govt was with Mahathir the crisis was overcome at the back of the 1997/98 financial crisis. This was overcome because the party and government was with him. We went to the poll in 1999 and our Malay votes were affected but the non Malay voters supported BN and the party got two thirds majority. Abdullah Badawi was made the Deputy Prime Minister to succeed Anwar. In 2003 Mahathir after 22 years retired as PM. In 2004 Abdullah called for an election and won with the best result in the history of the country. But in 2008 when he called for the general election and with Mahathir against umno and BN the party won the election but lost its two thirds majority.
The pressure was for Abdullah to resign and handover power to his Deputy Dato Seri Najib....which he did in a smooth transfer of power....Najib formed his Cabinet with his team but he could not cover the lost ground of 2008 and in fact overall did worst than Abdullah. The opposition became very strong and the political battle became more intense. In 2014 Mahathir withdrew his support because he was unhappy with government policies. Later on with all the scandals being exposed Mahathir then campaigned all out for Dato Seri Najib to step down. This has now brought the country into a political and economic turmoil. Dato Seri Najib faced all kinds of challenges that no political leaders have faced before. He and his family being defamed and ridiculed in the most odious manner. Its not easy for any leader to take it...whilst still a PM. The perceptions on the party and government is at its lowest..we can sympathise with his problems. Let us pray to Allah that Dato Seri Najib is given the best guidance to take the option that's good for him, family and most importantly for the nation. Allah safe Malaysia.
FBSHApost@18 Ogos 2015