By Aathi Shankar
ITâs an open secret that DAP backs Anwar Ibrahim to succeed Tun Mahathir Mohamad as the countryâs 8th Prime Minister (PM8).
Of course every now and then the DAP permanent supremo Lim Kit Siang sings praises to commend Mahathir and his policies.
He also doubles up his role as Mahathirâs attack dog to constantly hammer former PM6 Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Umno.
But he is just performing his routine political wayang kulit (shadow play).
Who wonât when one knows that any wrong move upsetting the almighty Mahathir will send his son to the court to face various corruption charges.
Hence Kit Siang, his son, and cronies will have to play to Mahathirâs gallery while the rest of DAP pursue their agenda to install PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar as PM8 in May 2020.
That was supposedly the deal that Pakatan Harapan (PH) brokered with Mahathir before they all ganged up to successfully knock Barisan Nasional (BN) of its perch in Putrajaya in the 14th General Election (GE14) on May 9, 2018.
PM7 Mahathir was supposed to relinquish his position two years after GE14 to pave way for Anwar to take over the federal government.
PH and its supporters trumpeted this during their pre-GE14 campaign.
Whenever the question was asked to PH and its supporters on the possible return of hardliner Mahathir, Malaysians were repeatedly fed with the promise that the nonagenarian second premiership would not last long.
âIt will only be for 2 years. Then Anwar will take over.
âFor now we ride on Mahathir to capture Putrajaya first.â
That was the lines roared by PH and supporters during their campaigns across the country to assuage fears among skeptic Malaysians on the imminent return of Mahathirism.
But Mahathir and his cronies are now claiming that the deal to hand over reins to Anwar was not a definite agreement, no time frame fixed.
Mahathir is plotting to make sure the PM8 is one of his choices, and many political observers agreed that âthe person is not Anwar.â
Strangely the Lim Dynasty, that rules the roost in DAP, Anwarâs key backer, is being quiet about it.
A PH insider said that the Lim Dynasty had been muted by corruption probes that may implicate Guan Eng.
His previous stint as Penang Chief Minister (2008 â 2018) could have many skeletons in the cupboard, said a source close to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
MACC investigation on the tunnel scandal, the bungalow-gate scandal and several land deals that took place during Guan Engâs rule in Penang may have immured the Lim Dynasty politically.
Guan Eng is Kit Siangâs son and heir apparent.
The father will not want his son to face corruption charges, shattering his dream to install Guan Eng as future DAP supremo.
So Kit Siang has to sing Mahathirâs tunes.
One can notice that Kit Siang was so quick off the blocks to back Mahathirâs plan to introduce Jawi calligraphy for Bahasa Melayu subject.
However, other DAP leaders, like party national chairman Tan Kok Wai, have strongly opposed it.
Kit Siang backs Jawi while his party opposes it.
DAPâs vote bank is dominantly Chinese.
In GE14, 95% Chinese are said to have voted for PH heeding to DAPâs call.
With strong Chinese backing, DAP won 42 parliamentary seats.
BN was wiped out in Chinese dominated areas.
Such is the influence of DAP over the Chinese community.
The Chinese community never wanted Mahathir, preferring Anwar.
They backed Mahathir because of DAPâs promise to make Anwar PM8 in May 2020.
Now the DAP has to deliver.
But how is the party going to deliver it when Guan Eng walks on a tightrope?
Kit Siang has been neutralized and forced to play the role of bridesmaid to Mahathir because of MACC probes on Guan Eng.
Short Of Numbers
For Anwar to have the numbers to oust Mahathir, he will have to secure the backing of BN, PAS and parties from Sabah and Sarawak, besides DAP and Amanah.
But Amanah, originally a Malay-Muslim based subsidiary of DAP, is learned to have leaned towards Mahathir lately.
Umno and PAS have declared they would not work with DAP.
Moreover, PAS has declared that the party would back the 94-year-old Mahathir to complete his full term as PM7.
It looks like a Catch 22 situation for Anwar.
The situation would murkier for Anwar if the Chinese community decided to back Mahathir on certain conditions.
To the Chinese, Mahathir or Anwar is not their problem.
Business and education are the two most important issues.
So long Mahathirâs regime can take care of their paramount interests, Chinese will back him.
That will release DAP from its burden to deliver Anwar in 2020.
Eventually, DAP could happily settle with Mahathir and dump Anwar.
DAP will readily throw Anwar under the bus to safeguard the party and Chinese interests.
Anwar will be dismally short of parliamentary seats to become PM8.
The numbers simply will not add up, hence forever PM-designate.