Dr Mahathir Mohamd has called upon the people of Sabah to reject those in the ruling coalition who decided to back former chief minister Musa Aman and the Barisan Nasional in their bid to wrest control from the Warisan-led state government.
Unfortunately, the move by Musa failed because the state assembly was dissolved, paving the way for a fresh election.
But is Mahathir really the right person to make such a call? Not in my opinion and not by a long shot.
When the Pakatan Harapan government was in power, did he not welcome the Umno defectors into PPBM with open arms? I can still see the picture of Mahathir with a handful of defectors (or frogs as they have come to be known) smiling for the cameras.
It was not long after that Umno announced that lawyers were going to demand RM200,000 from all those that abandoned Umno for PPBM. That move has since been dropped now that the majority of defectors have become part and parcel of the Perikatan Nasional government who consist of PAS, GPS and the BN parties.
Mahathir simply cannot take the high moral ground now. It is ill-conceived, unimaginable and unbelievable that he has the gall to make such a call. Perhaps he has forgotten, conveniently or otherwise, that he encouraged party-hopping when he was the fourth PM of this nation.
He may have forgotten but Sabahans who saw the democratically elected PBS government collapse in 1994 because of defections to BN will never forget who the mastermind of this manoeuvre was. If there was even an iota of righteousness in Mahathir back then, it failed miserably to show up.
As the then PM, he had the power and authority to say that this was not the right thing to do and put an end to the frogging culture. He could have said that the wishes of the people must be respected, and congratulated PBS on their slim victory. But he said nothing and did nothing. Why? Simply because it was to his advantage.
Now Mahathir wants to preach to Sabahans about values and principles. I don’t see any value, credibility or integrity in that statement. Not at all. It would be better if Mahathir kept his advice for the likes of his ex-PPBM MPs who have since crossed over to PN, Azmin Ali and gang and all the other “frogs” that led to the collapse of the PH government at the federal level and various state governments.
Who the people of Sabah choose to vote for is very much their decision. They can choose to vote for a new state government that is aligned to the federal government or for a government that is antagonistic to the federal government. It will be a question of what will work in the best interest of Sabahans. It will be a question that only Sabahans can and will answer.
No need to dispense any advice when whatever you have to say these days sounds hollow and meaningless.
For better or for worse, in troubled times such as this, there can only be one winner.
Common sense and food on the table.
Clement Stanley is an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.