Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pull down the curtain

What? Dr Mahathir has quit UMNO? Well, I would imagine that Abdullah Badawi thinks its about time Dr M did so, except that Dr M still retains a lot of influence that his latest move may lead to the dissolution of UMNO and the government. Does he love himself more than he loves UMNO? That's the question on many a lip.

Some say Dr M's latest antic is to ward off attention to the government's decision to investigate him for alleged shenanigans in the appointment of judges during his time as PM of M'sia. That is really a blot on his PM'ship. He has left the country with a discredited judicial bench for which the present government is trying to make right (I hope). Dr M first made the challenge to have him investigated 'fully' - no stone unturned - as he says that there are some things that he can 'expose'. That must have sent some of his cronies and perhaps some other political foes into a state of panic. Now he announces his resignation from UMNO, and has put out a call for everyone to do the same. Its as if he is signaling to those that  do not want their ugly linen to be exposed to follow him. Its a distraction, but one that seem to have several layers of meaning.

Actually, Dr M should just leave things be. He need not have stirred the hornet's nest. Let the newer generation fight their own battles, tackle the country's problems and manage the political landscape. He seems to be implying that the party and the country is going down the drain without him. He's 82 and has suffered a few heart attacks. Why put himself into harm's way again and suffer another, which may be fatal?

I, for one, applaud Dr M's resignation from the party. Shocked? I don't see why anyone should be. He has been doing this sort of things from time to time. There can be no surprises, need be no surprises. At his age, he should have faded away gracefully. instead, he is trying to fight his way out of retirement, which is a pity. History would have remembered him better, but I suppose the ghosts of the past would not let him alone. Whoever wants to can follow him. These people are probably the excess baggage that Abdullah Badawi is only too glad to get rid of - in this case without lifting a finger.

Ironically, Anwar Ibrahim and the opposition parties are probably the beneficiaries of the ongoing spat in UMNO.