BANGI: Various measures by the Opposition, including ex-Premier Mahathir Mohamad, to discredit Najib Razak have only made the prime minister stronger, said a socio-anthropologist.
Prof Shamsul Amri Baharuddin said the wrong tactics of the Opposition have helped revitalise BN again.
“BN is not strong. But the wrong moves by the Opposition have revitalised BN.
“It will win a bigger majority in the coming general election.
“They tried to isolate Najib by tarnishing his name overseas. They tried to discredit Najib and 1MDB through Wall Street Journal.
“It was a bad attempt to discredit Najib from overseas. It was basically a bad move.
“A government is not dismantled via overseas channels.”
The after-effect was that Umno and other BN component parties, like MCA and MIC, threw greater support behind Najib.
“There was also stronger support from Adenan Satem (Sarawak Chief Minister).”
Mahathir’s Citizens’ Declaration this year, calling for the resignation of Najib, was another mistake, Shamsul pointed out.
“All it takes is for one or two persons to say they signed it on behalf of their cousin, and the whole signature campaign becomes questionable.”
The Opposition, including Mahathir, have attacked Najib over the debts incurred by the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund and the RM2.6 billion political donation that went into his personal accounts, urging him to resign as prime minister.
Shamsul said both the moves were a major turn in Malaysian politics as many politicians did not support the Opposition move to garner overseas support.
“We will see a revitalisation of BN. It is not because BN is strong. But the fact is the Opposition made the wrong moves and they are also weak. ”
He said Mahathir was a smart man and he had the right political strategy during his tenure as prime minister from 1981 to 2003.
“Why did he resign in 2003 and not 2004? It’s simple. He was losing Umno support.
“If he did not resign, BN would have lost the 2004 general election and he would have had to face the consequences.
“He resigned and gave the seat to someone who he felt he could control. That was Pak Lah (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi).
“He removed Pak Lah. And Najib went up. Now the problem is Najib did not go back running to Mahathir. And Mahathir felt he was no longer in control. He did not like that.”
Shamsul said Mahathir must accept the fact that he is a snake without venom.
“He, too, made a lot of mistakes. His grand plans of having locally produced cars is costing the country billions of ringgit.”