It is said that wisdom comes with age. But when you are 94 years old and the leader of a nation, it is either you are blessed with an overdose of wisdom or wisdom simply cannot catch up with you.
So it is with Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who carried the hopes of all Malaysians prior to the May 9 polls.
Critics said he was foolish to join hands with his nemesis Lim Kit Siang and DAP to take on the might of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government led by Umno that ruled this nation for 60 years uninterrupted.
After all, Mahathir had Umno blood in his veins. Critics said he must have lost some of his senses to join forces with his one-time deputy-turned-enemy Anwar Ibrahim, the man earmarked to be the prime minister.
What appeared to be foolishness was later proven otherwise. Against all odds and predictions, the loose coalition of political parties chaired by Mahathir showed BN the door. It was a victory to be savoured.
After Mahathir was installed as the seventh prime minister, it was often left to his “wisdom” to decide the course of the nation in consultation with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council.
But this display of “wisdom” appears to be wearing thin not only among those who voted for this government but also from within the PH coalition.
Seeds of doubt have sprung up and political intrigue between the PH partners has appeared in the open. The tiger that once ruled the nation is beginning to show its fangs.
Is this seen as foolishness? To some, perhaps. To others, that is certainly the way it is panning out to be. But no matter how you look at it, only time will tell just what the people who voted for you think. It could well be an adaptation of the emperor’s new clothes.
Critics who heaped praise on Mahathir post-May 9 are now asking whether or not a leopard can change its spots. That is a foolish question.
It would have been better to ask if there was a well thought-out plan to ride on the back of the leopard without being eaten by it.
It is something for PKR, DAP, Amanah, Warisan and the former Umno strongmen who ditched their party for PBBM to ask themselves.
That would be wisdom.
Clement Stanley is an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.