On Sunday, exactly last week, Tun Dr Mahathir appeared at Sungai Besar to attend a make shift academic colloquium on 1MDB organised by DAP.
Three days later, it was responded with Arul Kanda appearing in a forum together with National Civics Bureau (BTN) director-general Datuk Ibrahim Saad and Bukit Aman’s Counter Terrorism deputy director Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay present.
But, 1MDB is not the subject of this posting. Let us layoff any comment till a posting on it. Waiting out for a certain development.
What is interesting was Tun M's press conference after the "colloquium". He said the two by-elections, which was meant to replace two MPs that died in a helicopter mishap, is a referendum on Dato Najib's leadership.
Obviously, this is contrary to his seldom mentioned view during his premiership that the people's referendum on leadership is only every five years.
The public and interest groups should not complain or criticise too much his administration. Express through the ballot box during the general election.
He has recently had a change in view. The manner he is saying it was as though he never said those words. Is he suffering from amnesia?
If he does, how will his class action lawsuit against Najib be made out in court?
Although he is macho enough to refuse to answer investigating police and will only answer when charged in court, he has a strange illness to forget in court proceeding and Royal Commission hearing.
Joceline Tan wrote about Tun M's interview and mentioned "he did not look pleased when asked what if Umno wins both seats on June 18" [read here].
It was the same PC Tun M was calling those defending Najib or in other word, those not supporting him as "pemakan dedak (chicken feed)"
Hishamuddin was reported by FMT to have "sneered at Tun M's referendum". He said reporter should now asked him back of his position now.
Actually, sources at the then Sungai Besar PC was saying Tun M was asked but he did not response to a question on the implication should UMNO end up winning both by-elections.
Instead he gave the reporter an angry stare.
Talk among reporters was that a pesky reporter pursued him but still no response.
Must have refused difficult questions from reporters he assumed as Najib supporter and another pemakan dedak
Hmmm ... he should have done something about the low pay of reporters during his time instead of childish reaction of belittling them.
Now that the by-elections are over and ...
... UMNO won. Not only that, the victories were overwhelming and beyond all expectation ...
If the votes for PAS and PAN were combined, BN would still get away with a handsome majority.
Will Tun M admit that the referendum has turned out for the converse and it could be interpreted as rakyat is for Najib?
At least, one former supporter think so here. The one on his left in blue striped shirt.
On top of that, the areas Tun M visited did not give their votes to his candidate of choice i.e. from Mat Sabu's PAN party.
The Sekincan Chinese overwhelmingly voted BN over PAN or decided not to come out to vote. [Read The Mole here]
Pro-DAP portal, The Heat highlighted Tun M as one of the reason Chinese vote shifted to BN. An extract below:
An analysis showed that while BN got the Malay votes in hand, it managed to attract the Chinese votes this time round. The reason may be the rebellion of the Chinese in the two constituencies against the way the opposition played their campaign.Referendum for Najib
Amanah and PAS failed to attract Malay votes, while Amanah which the Chinese seemed interested in, was surprised that it did not get much from the community, to the extent one of its leaders blaming the Chinese for being bought over by goodies. Even Amanah's candidates for both constituencies were orginally from there, they did not live there.
Amanah’s insistence to play up the racist rants to remind the Chinese that BN hates them - especially in Sungai Besar backfired. For one, Umno man Datuk Jamal Yunos had months before (even before the deaths of the former MPs), been shaking the hands of the Chinese and sought bigwig Umno leaders' help for the release of the Chinese fisherman arrested in Indonesia.
He had even adopted the son of one of them, and he was working hard to better his image among the Chinese, for he was a local businessman who depended on the Chinese fishermen and his racist outburst had burnt him bad.
Thus, when billboards of ‘Cina Babi’ came up which was once said by Jamal (who seemed to have mended ties with the Chinese), it did not go down well with Chinese voters. Amanah, which had just moved into the neighbourhood did not realise the situation, and further, their candidate, although from Sungai Besar, did not live there.
Chinese then decided they had forgotten the bygones and they did not want anymore of this, thus they buried the hatchet and voted for Umno, to teach PAS and Amanah a lesson not to repeat racism even if it was said by others.
And the opposition too did not address the local issues, in constituencies where people worked hard for a living. Instead, they used it to champion their own grouses - with PKR’s Rafizi using the by-election to highlight the PM’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s abuse of her privileges and lambast 1MDB - which to many voters there is something that happened at the federal level. To them, these issues are something which they feel do not affect them directly, so is of no real concern.
While former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad used it as a platform to talk about the Citizens’ Declaration, which is not much of interest to voters in places like Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar.
And PAS used it to champion their hudud and Islamist agenda. While DAP bigwigs came in with groceries and showed that they were no different from those who were buying their votes, but can DAP sustain the buy-out? Better to be bought by BN and be sustained, as BN was the government and they had money.
Amanah on the other hand was seen as just a splinter party of PAS, and although it received quite a number of votes more than PAS, it failed to its boasts that it will take over PAS. It claims it is no more seen as a mosquito party with such results, but the truth is, Amanah got sympathy votes.
While Umno and BN parties worked to promise goodies to the locals and the locale. Najib himself made a couple of trips and promised better things to come for the constituencies such as the RM43.5 million Manong bridge (which is a big thing for Kuala Kangsar residents) and a university, as well as rice and cash.
Umno worked hard to ensure that the local issues were addressed - and knowing fully well, it is all about bread and butter, dished out that very thing - bread and butter, to the extent of Najib announcing a Raya bonus for all civil servants.
Never mind if he was being dragged in mud for financial scandals, appeasing the voters was all the BN cared about and which BN knew had always been the best way to get votes, and it worked.
Unfortunately, the opposition tried to do the same - appeasing the voters with bread and butter, but voters knew that this goes against the very essence of the opposition - thus they decided to vote BN. A case of better the devil that you know.
Asking again: will Tun M admit the referendum has turned out for the converse and be interpreted as rakyat is for Najib?
PM has issued a statement and condemned Tun M. Full statement below:
PRIME MINISTER NAJIB RAZAK HAILS LANDSLIDE ELECTION WINS
1. I am grateful to the people for putting their faith in Barisan Nasional again. As a mid-term government being targeted by unprecedented politically-motivated slander, we are especially humbled that we received such landslide results. Our official majority in Kuala Kangsar was 6,969, compared to 1,082 in the 2013 general election; and 9,191 in Sungai Besar, compared to 399 in 2013.
2. Tun Mahathir Mohamad turned the elections into a referendum on my leadership. He campaigned for his former enemies in the opposition, dishonourably smearing his own party with crude language and claiming to speak on behalf of the people. But this betrayal was motivated by personal interest, not the national interest.
3. Now, with these two huge majority wins, and BN’s landslide 72 out of 82 seat Sarawak election win last month, the people have shown their confidence for and trust in BN. They rejected Tun Mahathir's lies, they rejected his unworkable coalition of former enemies, and they rejected the incoherent opposition - partly because of their alignment with Tun Mahathir.
4. I would like to thank all the BN machinery, well led by Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. BN succeeded because we worked as a team. We prevailed, and, if we continue to work tirelessly for the people and remain united, we will always prevail.
5. As long as I am Prime Minister, the interests of the people will come first. We will deliver on our promises to them. My priority will continue to be the economic welfare, social wellbeing and security of all Malaysians.
PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE18th June 2016
Ouch ... there will be no council of elders then. So what say Tun M?
Tun M will not admit of being defeated, especially when he is on a scorch earth strategy to burn everything he stood for till his wishes are met.
Forget the notion he is there doing Najib a favour to disrupt the opposition. He does not do others' bidding.
Since he is used to giving his view and not used to losing, even an argument, allow him to say his last word.
After all, he could only give an angry stare ...