By Francis Paul Siah

To Mahathir and Muhyiddin, the majority of Malaysians are not interested in your tit-fot-tat over a meeting. We have enough of both your treacherous politics.

Everyone has an ego. That is a fact. Even a saint has an ego, if you wish to acknowledge that.

However, the negative impact of ego comes in different dimensions. There will be serious repercussions if it occurs at the seat of power, when leaders in control wield (or abuse) power in the fashion dictated by their ego. They are likely to harm many and even wound the soul of the nation badly.

For ordinary folks like the majority of us, the negative impact or the hurt inflicted is minimal and less painful. For example. I’m not likely to hurt many people or a cross section of the population should my ego get the better of me.

Seriously, there have been times when I have great difficulty in understanding why our leaders, including leaders at the top like former prime ministers Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Muhyiddin Yassin, have such huge egos even at the tail end of their long illustrious careers.

I would have expected them to let go of their self-importance and not be that status conscious at their level and age. But no, as events this past week had shown. The big ego of our top leaders was in full glare.

On April 1 (no, this is not an April Fool’s joke), Dr Mahathir claimed that Muhyiddin had met him, asking him for his support to become prime minister again.

Dr Mahathir, being Dr Mahathir, also used the opportunity to spite his former protégé the way he knows best against those he has a strong dislike for.

Backstabber

He called Muhyiddin a “backstabber” and expressed puzzlement as to why Muhyiddin wanted to meet him when the Bersatu leader had “backstabbed” him.

“I did not know what to say to him. I stepped down from the prime minister’s post because of what Muhyiddin did. He backstabbed me. The person he backstabbed isn’t even dead yet,” Dr Mahathir had said.

Wow, at 97, our grand old man is still as proud as ever. I believe he still thinks that he has the power to decide who should be prime minister today. His ego, his self-importance is still intact.

But we know better. I don’t understand why Dr Mahathir still has to meet this fellow or that fellow to discuss politics. What else can he do?

In fact, I believe that many of us prefer Dr Mahathir to retire gracefully from the political scene and give this nation some peace and closure from Mahathirism. His active involvement in the nation’s political life since GE14 in 2018 has brought nothing but chaos to the country.

Not surprisingly, Muhyiddin was not prepared to take the salvoes from Dr Mahathir lying down. Of course, he has his ego too.

“What? It was others, including Dr Mahathir who pursued me. I was not the pursuer; they were,” Muhyiddin fired back.

Here, I have a question for readers. Do you really care who asks to meet who first?

Mahathir or Muhyiddin? Who Cares

Whether it was Dr Mahathir or Muhyiddin? Is it something of concern to you? What is so important about this Dr Mahathir/Muhyiddin meeting?

Hear this from me. With due respect to our two former prime ministers, let me tell you both the honest truth. I don’t care whether the two of you met or not because it does not make any difference to the political equation in the country.

Why? Sorry but I have to bust your ego. Both of you and your respective parties, PEJUANG and BERSATU, are irrelevant. Your parties and your candidates have been rejected by the people as the Malacca and Johor elections have indicated. I do not see how your parties, under your leadership, are able to make any headway in the coming GE15.

I’m not sorry for stating this but I would suggest that Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin seriously listen to the voices of the majority of Malaysians. Their political career is over.

Only their ego is telling them otherwise.

Return To Power

It is because of these two, with their big egos dictating how they should lead, that gave UMNO/BN the opportunity to make a return to power.

Come GE15, it’s not difficult to predict the runaway winners because those whom we have placed our hopes and trust in during GE14 have let us down.

We are now stuck at the politicking mode, with the politicians largely focused on their own political fortunes, all with their oversize ego in tow.

Ego is the enemy of good leadership, so it has been said, so it is the sad truth. – New Malaysia Herald

Editor’s Note: This article was first published in the New Sarawak Tribune. We publish it here with permission. The views expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of New Malaysia Herald. Feedback can reach the writer at [email protected]

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