|Laman Webantu KM2A1: 4332 File Size: 5.9 Kb *|
Reuters: Risky road ahead for Malaysia's Mahathir
By Patrick Chalmers
29/4/2001 12:43 am Sun
[Penganalisa politik berpendapat membicarakan Anwar dengan
lebih pertuduhan lagi akan memusnahkan Umno dan Mahathir sendiri
kerana kehadiran Anwar di tempat awam seperti mahkamah akan
melonjakkan lagi semangat rakyat untuk terus berjuang. Ia
juga akan mencetus lebih simpati kerana Anwar kini terpaksa
berkerusi roda untuk berulang ke mahkamah. Risiko terlalu tinggi
buat nyawa Umno untuk menghukum Anwar lagi.
Pemergian Daim selama dua bulan untuk bercuti menggambarkan
ada sesuatu yang tidak kena. Begitu juga dengan hasrat Mokhzani
meninggalkan dunia koporat untuk beraksi lebih di dunia politik
sedangkan bakatnya langsung tidak ada. Seolah-olah ada jaminan
dari seseorang untuk masa depannya disana (siapa lagi agaknya?)
yang lebih menjanjikan keuntungan yang tiada tandingnya.
Isu politik wang dan kebencian yang meluap-luap terhadap gejala
nepostima dan korupsi menyebabkan beberapa strategi telah diambil
untuk menonjolkan ikhlasnya Umno (pada permukaan sahaja). Ini
diharap dapat menaikkan sedikit sokongan rakyat buatnya yang sudah
semakin berkurang itu. Keadaan ekonomi masakini menyebabkan golongan
yang terlalu kaya di dalam Umno menjadi sasaran kemarahan akar-umbi
sehingga BBM bertukar mengkritik dasar kerajaan yang tidak adil
membantu kroni. Sayangnya ahli Umno tidak mendesak mereka ditangkap
dan diadili - barulah terbukti keikhlasan diri. Kita pasti ramai
yang terkeluar - termasuk si presiden sendiri.
Risky road ahead for Malaysia's Mahathir
By Patrick Chalmers
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - certainty reigned in Malaysian politics on
Friday after one of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's sons announced
he quit his businesses and jailed former finance minister Anwar Ibrahim
prepared to face more charges.
With 10 opposition activists held under laws allowing detention without
trial and prosecutors due to consider more corruption and s###my
charges against Anwar, analysts saw a risky road ahead for Mahathir.
Delaying Anwar's court appearance on Saturday could be one way to
cool the political temperature said one local analyst.
"It's too risky. Why would they want to put Anwar back on the radar
screen? He's already locked up for 15 years."
"It's too risky. Why would they want to put Anwar back on the radar screen? He's already locked up for 15 years."
Mahathir sacked Anwar in September 1998 and he was later
sentenced to 15 years' jail on corruption and s###my convictions he
Malaysia's majority Malays remain deeply divided over Anwar's
treatment, blaming the prime minister for his public humiliation.
Mahathir, Asia's longest-serving leader after 20 years in power,
denies any irregularity, calling his erstwhile protege immoral and unfit
Anwar says he has been framed.
His court appearance would be a gift to his supporters, who could
paint it as further persecution of a man now confined to a wheelchair
due to an untreated back injury.
Mahathir, facing an opposition campaign accusing his coalition of
cronyism, has stepped up the rhetoric against members of his United
Malays National Organisation (UMNO) engaged in so-called money
That tack heightened interest in Thursday's decision by Mokhzani
Mahathir, one of the prime minister's sons, to withdraw from all his
businesses after allegations about his involvement in government
"I am stepping away from the corporate scene. I am attracting undue
attention from what the companies I am managing are doing and a lot
of it is untrue," Mokhzani said.
The 40-year-old, who is also a senior leader of the UMNO's youth
wing, said he would now have more time for politics.
Money talk also heightened speculation about the future for Finance
Minister Daim Zainuddin, whom Mahathir said last week was "tired"
and would be taking two months off.
Daim, who talked of retiring before the 1999 election, has drawn
praise at home and abroad for masterminding Malaysia's economic
progress and pulling it out of two recessions, during stints as finance
minister in 1984 to 1991 and since 1999.
But his close ties to business tycoons make him politically vulnerable
in the current climate, as UMNO tries to deflect opposition charges in
preparation for an election due by 2004.
Daim's leave taking comes as economic growth is slowing, the stock
market looks sickly and foreign exchange dealers pore over declining
foreign reserves data for signs Malaysia may change its ringgit peg
from 3.8 to the dollar. A Western diplomat said Daim's leave, little more than an absence
from cabinet meetings and most official events, suggested something
A Western diplomat said Daim's leave, little more than an absence from cabinet meetings and most official events, suggested something was afoot.
"Why announce he is taking two months leave when he is doing
eighty percent of his normal job?
"There doesn't seem to be a plausible explanation unless it is to
prepare people for his resignation in June."
The local analyst agreed it seemed likely Daim would go and
suggested Mahathir, flanked by two economic advisers, could assume
the portfolio himself.
Mahathir has held the job before, taking the reins for four months after
sacking Anwar in 1998.
Daim, UMNO's long-time treasurer, dismissed speculation his break
was anything other than routine.
"It's because people have nothing else to do ... nothing else to get excited about, so they get excited about my leave," he was quoted as saying in Friday's New Straits Times daily.