If Mahathir is allegedly trying to bring down the government of Najib, then isnâ€™t this a coup?
Sometimes, leaders can be so silly. Najib Tun Razak, Malaysiaâ€™s prime minister, alleged to be the victim of a plot to oust him is desperate to cling on to power. Bizarrely he has done nothing to repel the attacks. He will almost certainly weaken his own position.
The bile must rise in Najibâ€™s throat each time he reads allegations that former PM Mahathir Mohamad is plotting against him. If Najib were to arrest Mahathir for undermining his rule, his popularity rating which has dipped will soar to 97% overnight. The nation will be solidly behind Najib.
When groups of people like Perkasa react against Mahathirâ€™s arrest, Najib should arrest them too.
Najib has the power, why does he not use it? Mahathir did, when he was PM. He used his sweeping powers to silence his detractors. In situations which could damage his career he would direct from behind the scenes whilst his deputy took the flak.
Of course Mahathir denies all allegations of plotting against Najib. Didnâ€™t he claim that Project IC in Sabah was not his doing? Didnâ€™t he say that he did not pull the trigger in the Memali incident? Didnâ€™t he neuter the students (in 1975), with the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA)?
If Mahathir is allegedly trying to bring down the government of Najib, then isnâ€™t this a coup? So, where is the IGP? Najib should use the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) to lock-up Mahathir.
The â€śAllahâ€ť debacle which has its roots in Mahathirâ€™s time is like a runaway train. It has caused rifts in society, wrecked the nationâ€™s economy and will destabilise the region.
Mahathirâ€™s legacy is two-fold. First, he bestowed Umno Baru with the 4 Rs; race, religion, royalty and the rural masses, to control the rakyatâ€™s behaviour. Second, he must ensure that his family line continues. Time is running out for Mahathir as the second part is yet to be fulfilled.
Najib is partly to blame for the Allah fiasco. At the last Umno Baru General Assembly he said that he would defend Allah for the Malays. This Malay clearly forgot that after GE-13, he became prime minister of a multiracial nation, not just the Malays.
Najibâ€™s silence has damaged him further and given more ammunition to Mahathir, never mind his rivals, the Opposition party. A leader does not shun difficult situations. Are Najibâ€™s advisers in the pay of his enemies?
Najibâ€™s silence made things difficult for his family. Frustrations with Najibâ€™s lack of leadership meant that the rakyat focused their attacks on his wife, the self-styled â€śFirst Ladyâ€ť of Malaysia (FLOM) and his children.
Think back to last October when Justice Zawawi Salleh delivered his verdict on the Allah debacle. He said that the Muslims and Christians would be confused if The Herald continued to use Allah in its publication.
The irony is that one word, Allah, which means God, has caused divisions amongst Godâ€™s creatures.
The other irony is that the word Allah is not Malay in origin. What if the Indians decided to recall many of the Sanskrit words on loan to the Malay language? What if the Tamils, Portuguese, Dutch, Hokkien and English did the same?
When Justice Zawawi and Umno Baru Malays said that ordinary Malays would be confused, these men are accusing ordinary Malays of being imbeciles. They are also accusing ordinary Malays of being easily manipulated.
They are also admitting that religious teachers are useless, because their charges would be confused by one word in a Malay bible.
Donâ€™t these Umno Baru Malays know that several thousand Malays including the children of Sultans, were educated at Mission schools but have not become Christians? Nor have the children of Umno Baru politicians, who were sent to boarding schools overseas, become Christians.
Ordinary Malays should question why Umno Baru is propagating the theory that Allah in a Malay bible will confuse the Malays.
The problem is that the Malay mind has become lazy, after decades of brainwashing by Umno Baru, a trend started by Mahathir. Ironically, Mahathir is the one who was confused about his origins and took out his angst on Malaysians.
Mahathir used to blame the failures of his government on Zionist conspiracies, the CIA, the west; anyone but himself.
There was a time, decades ago, when Malays were intelligent, articulate, reasonable, and believed in meritocracy.
Mahathir successfully changed many Malays into lemmings who are happiest when they are told what to do. They have also become deeply paranoid, lost the ability to rationalise and think for themselves.
Where is the proof?
Last week, former Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad said that the Allah row was a new tactic to convert Malays to Christianity. This former judge has acted irresponsibly. So, where is the proof?
When various religious men claimed that Malays were being proselytised with solar bibles or being baptised en masse, in churches, why did the authorities not demand proof of these conversions?
How many Malays were converted – one, 10, hundreds or thousands? Why were the ordinary Malay rakyat silent?
Demand proof or tell Jais, Mais and Jakim not to create unnecessary problems. Or are ordinary Malays afraid of the bullies?
Yesterday, in order to calm the tension arising from the Allah issue, Najib met Malay NGOs and told reporters: â€śWe may have difference of opinions but we shouldnâ€™t widen the gap between us. We can have differences, but we should not be divided.â€ť (sic.)
What does Najib mean? Why canâ€™t he speak simple English? Najib has only added to the confusion, and tension.
To save his own skin, Najib must act quickly to save the country, rebuild community bridges and find real solutions to problems. If not, he will be ousted from his job.
Mariam Mokhtar is a FMT columnist.