Transkrip Temuramah dengan Radio Australia (ABC) berkenaan kekalahan Dr Mahathir
Last Updated 12/09/2006 8:55:11 PM
MALAYSIA: Ruling party snubs former prime minister Mahathir
Malaysia's retired prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has suffered a political blow, by failing to win a seat as a delegate to the ruling UMNO's party congress. For twenty-two years, Dr Mahathir dominated Malaysian politics and its annual congress, as party president until he retired as leader in October 2003. Now, he can't even get a place at the November meeting, after months of criticising the administration of his successor, Abdullah Badawi on a whole host of issues.
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Presenter/Interviewer: Sen Lam
Speakers: Shamsul Iskandar, Malaysian lawyer and research fellow at the Institute of Policy Research in Kuala Lumpur
SHAMSUL: I believe that's the strategy and plan for this November meeting. That's why from the very beginning, you can see that the mission is to try to stop the former premier, to be even one of the delegates in the November meeting. So I think they're very worried that Tun Doctor Mahathir will use the platform to speak out and raise the criticism level, to the current prime minister.
LAM: Do you think Tun Doctor Mahathir miscalculated, in proceeding to contest the party ballot in his home state of Kedah, for a place in the assembly, and that this loss in itself is now a humiliation for him?
SHAMSUL: Well, I believe that as a seasoned politician, he also expected that he will lose. But interestingly, his son managed to be one of the delegates. So, I think that there'll be a certain backlash of his defeat. I can confirm that when he mentioned this is a moral victory for him.
LAM: So you think it's a closely-calculated thing, that he knew he was going to lose, and therefore, he would scandalise all the other malays in his home state?
SHAMSUL: Correct, I think he expected to lose because he knows that he has created the structure in UMNO for the past twenty-two years. He knows that anybody who goes against number one, will not survive.
LAM: Well, UMNO's deputy chairman in northern Perlis state, definitely, he was upset by the outcome. Partywide though, across UMNO, do you think Mahathir enjoys any support at all? Or do you think the majority of UMNO would prefer that he just enjoys his retirement, and not meddle in politics?
SHAMSUL: Ya I thnk the majority of leaders wants him to enjoy retirement.But I cannot say that the majority of members want him to do so. This is because of the support that he has recently, where he garnered 227 votes from the 492 delegates and it is quite substiantial. Basically based on his own stronghold in Kubang Pasu. And this gives a very positive signal to those who want to go against Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi; that now, they have the option to go and get the support from Dr Mahathir. So in a way, I can conclude this is going to be a proxy war, if Mahathir wants to proceed with his own agenda.
LAM: What do you think Tun Dr Mahathir hopes to achieve though, through this constant sniping on the sidelines and in trying to gain access to the congresss, given that he no longer holds a position there?
SHAMSUL: As you mentioned earlier, he has put alot of criticism and I believe certain of his criticisms are valid. So he wants to make sure that whatever his contention earlier, he is basically on the right platform. He wants to say and he wants to tell the majority of Malaysians, "Look, we're having problems with the current premier, and these are certain problems you have to solve and rectify." I cannot say that he has alot of agendas which are very specific.
LAM: You don't think that some Malaysians might see Doctor Mahathir's moves as being self-serving that he was just upset because (Prime Minister) Abdullah Badawi had abandoned some of the schemes that he started?
SHAMSUL: I think it will NOT affect all Malaysians. It will affect only certain quarters of people inside UMNO. Malaysians under the new premier, basically they have shown their support in 2004. And whatever that Mahathir tried to bring to Malaysian politics, or to national politics, it's not concerned with issues of the people. For example, like the oil price hike, the corruption, you know? Basically, on a very specific and particular issues and they don't relate to the majority of Malaysians.