KUALA LUMPUR: Amanah MP Khalid Samad today assured critics that Dr Mahathir Mohamad cannot extinguish the torch of reform even if he wants to as the other leaders in Pakatan Harapan (PH) will see to this.
The Shah Alam MP added that Mahathir was no longer the same man who once wielded power as prime minister, therefore there was no need to fear him leading the nation again.
In a blog post, he responded to those who continue to question a prospective PH government led by Mahathir.
Quoting Yale University political scientist James Scott, Khalid said citizens of any dispossessed and disenfranchised nation would often have to resort to the “weapons of the weak” to get their voices heard.
“When robbed of any meaningful chance of change, such as the right to a free and fair election, they may resort to various means to get their voices heard,” he said, alluding to why the opposition had accepted Mahathir’s leadership.
Khalid also laid out several reasons why Mahathir could not do as he pleased this time around, if he were to become prime minister.
For one, he said, the opposition coalition was not as naive as before.
He said at PH meetings and sessions, everyone was given a chance to speak, and that Mahathir would listen intently, with the decision-making process marked by consensus.
He said while Mahathir’s party, PPBM, might have a chance to compete in 52 parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia, PKR was close behind with 51, while DAP and Amanah had 35 and 27 seats respectively.
Khalid said another reason why Mahathir would not have free rein was the presence of 56 parliamentarians from Sarawak and Sabah.
He added that forgiveness and the spirit of live-and-let-live were vital to any multiethnic political system, as anything less would destroy the entire structure.
“This, in a nutshell, is how Malaysia should work. And it is also a reflection of the weapons of the strong, with Tun Dr Mahathir enabling PH, and PH in turn empowering him. And again, to a limit.”