Kadir gives Otai Reformasi history lesson on power transition

Veteran newsman A Kadir Jasin credits Dr Mahathir Mohamad for making Anwar Ibrahim the politician he is today.

PETALING JAYA: Veteran newsman A Kadir Jasin today reminded a pro-Anwar Ibrahim group pushing for the PKR president’s appointment as prime minister in May of previous power transitions the country has seen.

Noting that changing the prime minister mid-term is nothing new, Kadir said Malaysia’s first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman was forced to hand over the reins to Abdul Razak Hussein, a year after the 1969 general election.

Hussein Onn, the country’s third prime minister, handed over power to Dr Mahathir Mohamad “some three years into the parliamentary term”.

Mahathir subsequently passed the baton to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi four years after the 1999 general election, while the latter handed over the reins to Najib Razak a year after winning the 12th general election.

Otai Reformasi, which has been backing Anwar since his dramatic sacking from government in 1998, has been consistently calling for the Port Dickson MP to be made the prime minister in May, when the Pakatan Harapan government completes two years in power.

“History is always a good guide,” Kadir, who is also the special adviser on media and communications to Mahathir, wrote in his blog.

Kadir also said he did not think the “otais were in the gallery watching the Mahathir-Anwar drama unfold”.

For most of them, he said, Anwar’s story only began after he was given the boot.

“But history is older than that and is much more complicated than the shouts of ‘Reformasi, Refomasi, Reformasi’ and taking over city streets.”

He also claimed that Mahathir and Anwar know each other better than most “otais” as Mahathir did more than anybody else to make Anwar the politician he is today.

Under an agreement by Pakatan Harapan, made prior to the May 9 polls, Mahathir is to hand over power to Anwar at an unspecified date.

Mahathir recently suggested that the handover could happen after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Kuala Lumpur in November.