LAST_UPDATETue, 17 Jul 2018 10pm

Will ‘Repented’ Mahathir Be Able To Keep His Word If Pakatan Wins GE14?

Exactly a month ago on February 20, 2018, just weeks before the launch of Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told Berita Harian that the coalition would not be able to fulfil all their pledges should they win the 14th General Election (GE14).

The former premier also claimed the opposition are not bound by their statements if they are unable to implement any of the pledges described in their 60-point election manifesto.

Despite declaring that their 200-page document which promises to create a better Malaysia in terms of the economy, race relations, strengthening of government institutions, foreign affairs and good governance, among others, is not a populist manifesto after its announcement, a Kwong Wah Daily report and translated by Malaysian Chinese News questioned if the people should really believe in Mahathir’s empty promises.

“Isn’t it just a skit to lure those willing to be hooked?” the report questioned.

When Mahathir pointed out that toll rates in Malaysia were cheap and necessary last January, it clearly contradicted Pakatan’s plan to abolish all toll plazas should they become the ruling government. Yet, in the opposition’s manifesto, they once again promised the abolishment of all toll plazas in the country.

“Do you believe it? Please remember that the highway tolls are Mahathir’s political legacy from his 22 years in power. Only in Najib’s time that we see efforts to gradually abolish the toll plazas,” the report further stated.

And while the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman had earlier announced a two-year term as prime minister would be good enough for him, however nothing is set in stone, as Kwong Wah Daily likened the situation to that of DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng when he became Penang Chief Minister.

“He announced that he would only go for two terms. His party colleague Teh Yee Cheu had tried to move such a motion in the state assembly but was put down repeatedly.

“Mahathir said he would be the prime minister for two years. Who can guarantee that? Will there be a split when the time comes to resolve the issue?” wrote Kwong Wah Daily.

Plus, who could write-off the fact that in desperate measures to challenge the ruling government, Mahathir is willing to do anything, even admitting he was ready to contest under the Chinese-dominant DAP party last week – completely dismissing his grassroots members altogether.

Talk about chiding ‘Melayu mudah lupa (Malays easily forget)’, “Now we have a repented Mahathir who in the words of DAP had been a dictator guilty of corruption and cronyism, are you bold enough to make a bet again?” especially after a disintegrated Pakatan Rakyat, was the final question posed by the daily.