I begin this composition by declaring foremost that I have a very high regard for the many good things that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has done for this Country.
Among others, he saved us from an economic meltdown during the financial crisis using an unorthodox method, proving to Western economists that they were wrong to predict the opposite.
I was one of those most devastated on the floor of the UMNO Assembly when he declared he was resigning more than a decade ago.
He had just returned from an official visit to the United States not long before that and his ratings at home was at its peak. Selfishly, I thought I would be a sure candidate in the subsequent elections, having been a part of the small outfit under the late Tan Sri Megat Junid and Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis (recently deceased) that was with him in Washington. Dr Mahathir's retirement was a double whammy for me.
It took me ten years and two administrations later before I was nominated to run for a seat in the State Legislative Assembly.
In retirement, Dr Mahathir remained active when he later attacked former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the person he handpicked to be his successor, and rallied for the people to vote against the ruling coalition to see the forced retirement of Mr Badawi from office.
The public took his cue absorbing the words that came from him during his nationwide roadshows. Before that, the majority of those who were not inclined to vote BN remained indifferent and stayed home, thinking even with their votes the incumbent party would still sail through.
Well it proved otherwise in 2008 after Dr Mahathir's nationwide instigation. There was a 76% turnout on polling day and Barisan Nasional lost 5 States and the two thirds majority that we were accustomed to.
As for the general public, especially the ones who were not exactly on our side, once they've had a taste of honey, there was no turning back.
What happened in the subsequent elections (2013) proved it. After Mr Badawi gracefully exited, Barisan Nasional under the new leadership with much promise and vigour still faired worse though there was an increase in UMNO seats in Parliament.
Even with Dr Mahathir helping Barisan Nasional this time in the 2013 campaign, the people he got to come out to vote for the opposition in the 2008 elections most likely maintained their vote for the opposition and even came out larger this time with an 85% turnout on polling day.
Dr Mahathir was reported to say that he has lost faith in the government. This is the government that was actually given the mandate by the people in a free and totally democratic general elections two years ago.
Dr Mahathir alone is NOT Malaysia.
If there were internet and wifi services widely available during his tenure, with the sort of freedom of speech and expression afforded under the current administration, I doubt if the fourth Prime Minister himself may have lasted ten let alone twenty-two years in office.
There may be some legitimate issues raised by Dr Mahathir but it has been dealt with in the courts.
As far as the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is concerned, the PM has left it to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), whose members include those from the opposition party, and the Auditor General's office to come up with their findings. The PM assured the nation further that those found to have breached the law will be sternly dealt with.
We should wait for their "verdict".
So here I am challenging Tun Dr Mahathir's contention based on statistics and a 26 year experience political gut feeling, in predicting that removing Najib Razak from office before the next elections will NOT make our results better.
On the contrary, it might be as good as giving the Opposition their first taste of power on a silver platter. BN may lose more states, if not the government.
Ironically, the only time Barisan Nasional got a rousingly handsome victory after the departure of any incumbent PM in the history of Malaysia to my knowledge was when Mr Badawi took over from Dr Mahathir indicating that the people were very happy to see his back.
While We Welcome Productive Criticism And Advice From All Quarters, Counsel From A Few Out Of Self Guilt And Emotion Must Be Taken With A Large Pinch Of Salt.
We Have Three Years To Taste The Sweet Of The Fruit From The Tree That We Planted. Plucking Them Yet Again Before It Ripens Will Taste Bitter And This Time In Our Case, Cause The Tree To Be Infertile Forever More.
May God Forbid.