Many things went through my mind when former minister Nazri Aziz, the Umno MP for Padang Rengas, said he would support Anwar Ibrahim in the coming Port Dickson by-election.
To Nazri, this was the best way for Umno to “pave its return into government”. He was even prepared to face disciplinary action from Umno for his stand.
Nazri’s sincerity aside, is Umno facing disintegration? It would appear that Umno politicians and MPs are in politics for only one reason: to be in government. There are no principles, policies or programmes that they hold dear. The most important consideration is that they must be in the government.
To Nazri’s mind, Umno could morph into PKR with just a snap of the fingers. Is he gate-crashing into PKR? Would he declare his support for Anwar if Anwar’s victory in Port Dickson was uncertain? Would he declare his support for PKR if it were not the largest party in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition?
Why didn’t Nazri join Anwar, PKR and PH before the 14th general election to fight against Umno/Barisan Nasional (BN) like Dr Mahathir Mohamad did?
I don’t think it is so easy for someone to be thrown off a gravy train only to hop onto another one so effortlessly. But that is for Mahathir, Anwar, PKR and PH to decide.
Personally, I doubt that people can change their positions so easily, political play notwithstanding. Gravitating towards power is a sign of fortune seeking, not of genuine support.
Mahathir should share his experience during his time in the wilderness, fighting against Umno/BN. Likewise, Anwar should share with those who are his friends his experience in and out of prison over the last 20 years.
Sometimes I think this is just Mahathir and Anwar’s destiny: they must go through rough patches to become better leaders. I really hope they are in a better position now to separate the wheat from the chaff.
There is enough talent within PH for both of them to govern this country effectively and prudently. There is no need for soldiers of fortune to disrupt what they are destined to build.
TK Chua is an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.