by: Raja Petra Kamarudin
Ariff Sabri, the DAP Member of Parliament for Raub, has asked Pakatan Rakyat to treat Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as a friend. “I am saying: an enemy to an enemy is our friend. Let’s treat Dr Mahathir as such,” said Ariff.
That is actually called ‘the end justifies the means’ or matlamat menghalalkan cara in Malay, a very prudent and viable political strategy and is the practice of the United States.
During WWII, the British armed and trained the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) guerrillas to fight the Japanese — in spite of knowing that at the end of the war the CPM would use these same guns against the British.
The US supported Saddam Hussein — in spite of the genocide against his own citizens he was committing in Iraq — to fight against Iran who had declared war on the US.
The US armed and trained the Talibans in Pakistan so that they could go back to Afghanistan to fight the Russians — in spite of the extreme and fundamentalist ideology of the Talibans who were anti-West.
And these same episodes go on and on throughout history where an enemy of my enemy becomes my friend for the meantime until the bigger enemy is defeated and then we can turn on each other and try to wipe each other out.
Of course, in such situations we need to temporarily suspend principles and ethics and adopt realpolitik.
For those who do not understand what the word realpolitik means, this term was coined by Ludwig von Rochau, a German writer and politician in the 19th century. It is politics based primarily on the pursuit of power and on practical and material factors and considerations, rather than on ideological notions or moral and ethical premises. It is an approach using realism and pragmatism. Another word for it would be Machiavellian.
Pakatan Rakyat feels that the common enemy to both the opposition and Dr Mahathir is Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. Hence it is absolutely ethical and moral for Pakatan Rakyat to team up with Dr Mahathir to bring down Najib. The question of what will happen once Najib is brought down is a secondary issue and not to be discussed now. That will be sorted out once Najib has been ousted.
Lim Kit Siang has more or less proposed the same thing. Lim Kit Siang, however, does not consider Najib the common enemy. He considers the Sharia laws of Hudud as that common enemy instead. So he has proposed that Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional form a unity-government and gang up to defeat PAS’ proposed Sharia amendment bill.
Once the Sharia amendment bill is defeated what will happen next? Will Pakatan Rakyat then turn on Najib and ask that he be investigated for the many crimes he is alleged to have committed or will Najib be forgiven and everything forgotten?
I suppose if DAP can issue a statement that Najib will no longer be hounded, like what they are doing now, if Najib agrees to oppose Hudud then there may be a deal over the horizon. However, while one DAP leader wants to make a deal with Najib to defeat Hudud, another DAP leader wants to make a deal with anti-Hudud Mahathir to defeat Najib.
Very confusing this ‘agree to disagree’ doctrine of Pakatan Rakyat. They seem to agree to disagree on everything and agree on nothing, even on whether Dr Mahathir should be treated as a friend against Najib or should be made to pay for his crimes when he was Prime Minister for 22 years.
While it may be confusing as to what Pakatan Rakyat’s very conflicting stand in this whole ‘work with the enemy to defeat an even bigger enemy’ is, we know from history that Dr Mahathir is open to such ideas.
Because of his very strong anti-Chinese sentiment, Dr Mahathir lost the 1969 general election. According to Dr Mahathir, he made the mistake of antagonising the Chinese thinking that he would get the Malay votes anyway.
The Malays, however, voted for Yusuf Rawa of PAS (then called the PMIP), and to make matters worse so did the Chinese. The Chinese would rather support an Islamic Yusuf Rawa than an anti-Chinese Dr Mahathir.
Dr Mahathir never forgave the Chinese. The following year he wrote a book called ‘The Malay Dilemma’, which was perceived as an anti-Chinese book. Because it was so controversial and seditious, the book was banned and the Prime Minister ordered that Dr Mahathir be detained under the Internal Security Act.
He was saved, however, by his close buddy, the Member of Parliament for Rawang, Tengku Abdullah, who helped Dr Mahathir escape the police dragnet. The Tunku was then pressured to not detain Dr Mahathir.
Dr Mahathir, in fact, had predicted the 13th May 1969 race riots. Dr Mahathir’s critics, however, say that he actually made the race riots happen just so that his prediction could come true. Whatever it may be Dr Mahathir used the May 13 race riots to run down the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, who he said was too pro-Chinese and hence has made the Chinese extremely arrogant.
Dr Mahathir openly criticised the Prime Minister and asked for his resignation. The main grouse against Tunku Rahman was that he was giving the Chinese too much face. Later that year Dr Mahathir was sacked from Umno and spent almost three years as an independent but anti-PM politician.
After he was sacked from Umno, Dr Mahathir worked with the PMIP (now PAS) to oppose the government. He used PAS to campaign against the Tunku all over Malaysia. Soon after that the Tunku resigned as the Prime Minister and Tun Razak Hussein took over. Dr Mahathir was rehabilitated in 1973 and made a Senator, after which he turned on his old comrade, PAS.
This was not the first time that Dr Mahathir worked with the opposition to bring down the Prime Minister but we shall talk about that in the next article, so stay tuned. – Malaysia Today