A few years ago, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad pleaded to the members of Barisan Nasional to oust its President, Najib Razak as the Prime Minister of Malaysia. According to Tun, Najib was a liability to the party; that retaining him as its leader would eventually result in the downfall of the party as the ruling government of Malaysia.
Looking at how things were in Malaysia, I must say that I agreed with Tun. But I also knew that it's just wishful thinking. It is not in the tradition of Barisan Nasional; or rather, not of its members, to oust its leaders. The very few that did try to speak up against the leaders of Barisan Nasional would very swiftly be reprimanded and quite often banished from the party.
The tradition of the party was such that it is very, very rare that anybody would challenge the top positions. Such tradition may be a good thing; and it can also be a bad thing. In the hands of a truly capable and honest leader, it's helpful to have the unconditional support of its members. But in the hands of an incapable leader, the party would gradually lose its popularity, and there's nothing that its members could do about it.
That was basically why the rakyat had no choice but to vote against Barisan Nasional. Truth be told, I'm not a very big fan of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He was—and still is—without any doubt a very capable man. But I am a realistic person, and although I'm sure that Tun is as sharp as ever at 93, I would have much preferred a younger person to fill in the shoes of the Prime Minister of Malaysia. I suspect Tun feels the same too, but he had no choice. The fact that we were left with no choice but to vote for a 93-year-old man, who had 15 years ago gone into retirement, back into office, speaks volume about the political situation in Malaysia.
Then the designated person in line after Tun Dr Mahathir is Anwar Ibrahim. Many of my loyal readers since years ago would know that I'm not a big fan of his too. I am one of those people who are convinced that he is guilty of the crime that he was accused of. Furthermore, I also see some—but not very many—politicians in Barisan Nasional as capable people and truly deserved to be given the jobs that they were doing. At the same time, I also have many friends whom were directly or indirectly linked to the Barisan Nasional. These are good people—very capable people.
Yet despite all those, we were left with no choice but to opt for the opposition, simply because that was the only way to oust the incapable leaders of Barisan Nasional. There was just no hope for the members of the party to do it themselves; we, the rakyat, had to do it for them. So it was essentially a case of "all or nothing". The rakyat eventually chose to vote all out of office.
Truly amazing that Tun Dr Mahathir foresaw all this years ago. I had expected that Tun would easily win in Langkawi, of course. But to cause the entire Barisan Nasional to fall? It had seemed like there was just no way that Barisan Nasional would ever fall. Well, at least it's beyond my wildest dreams that I'd live to see it actually happening.
So now we embark on a new chapter for Malaysia. I'm hoping that Tun can do his magic to make Malaysia great once again. Keeping my fingers crossed.