Why Dr Mahathir is Pakatan’s liability in Kelantan

Source: The Malaysian Insight

IN most states, Dr Mahathir Mohamad is viewed by Pakatan Harapan as an asset to influence the Malay ground and a major challenge to the ruling Barisan Nasional.

But in Kelantan, the opposite is true.

Here, the former prime minister is seen as a liability for the opposition, and BN are more than happy to make Dr Mahathir the main platform as it seeks to wrest control of the east coast state that has been in the hands of PAS since 1990.

The reason for this anomaly: Dr Mahathir’s record of punishing the Kelantanese for supporting PAS when he was PM.

In their speeches, BN leaders have contrasted Dr Mahathir’s treatment of Kelantan throughout his 22-year reign to that of current Prime Minister and BN chairman Najib Razak.

Kelantan Barisan Nasional chief Mustapa Mohamed said it is known that Dr Mahathir used to pressure and punish the Kelantanese for their consistent support towards PAS in the three general elections.

Kelantan leaders, including the late Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, used to complain that Dr Mahathir deprived the state of much-needed federal funds.

“In the past, there were all sorts of pressure. People say the Kelantanese were punished by Dr Mahathir,” Mustapa told The Malaysian Insight.

In his visit last weekend, Najib laid out this fact by boasting about how much money his administration gave Kelantan compared with the Dr Mahathir administration.

In the space of 24 years, from 1981 to 2005, the federal government gave out RM12.07 billion to Kelantan. Dr Mahathir was the PM from 1981 to 2003.

But from 2006 to 2018, about RM14.67 billion was allocated to Kelantan. Najib started his term as prime minister from 2009, taking over from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

BN currently holds 12 seats in the 45 state assembly. PKR holds one while the rest are held by PAS.

‎A The Malaysian Insight straw poll found that more than half of Kelantan voters were dissatisfied with the PAS state government.

More than half of the 21 people interviewed said they wanted a change in the state government in GE14.

The wave of discontent is driven by poor services from the local council, water supply problems and a lack of development and paucity of jobs.

However, it is still unclear whether this backlash will translate into more votes for BN and its lynchpin party Umno as Kelantan PH is aggressively positioning itself as a viable alternative to both PAS and BN.

PH had named Dr Mahathir as PM-designate in the belief that the former BN chief is popular among older, rural voters, who remember him for transforming Malaysia into a regional manufacturing powerhouse in the 1990s.

Mustapa believes that Najib’s attitude towards Kelantan will give BN an edge in the state over PH now that Dr Mahathir has been named its PM-designate if the opposition wins federal power.

“Najib is more popular in Kelantan compared with Dr Mahathir,” Mustapa said, adding that the prime minister’s popularity will help BN win over the Kelantanese.

“Najib is open and inclusive. Even the Kelantan menteri besar (Ahmad Yakob) has said it is easier to deal with Najib compared with Dr Mahathir.

“This is how Najb and Dr Mahathir are different. Najib does not pressure, he is more open. He does not use the ISA (Internal Security Act).

“There is more freedom of expression and this makes the Kelantanese more confident in us,” said Mustapa, who was a member of the Dr Mahathir administration.

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40 Responses to Why Dr Mahathir is Pakatan’s liability in Kelantan

  1. Anonymous says:

    A The Malaysian Insight straw poll? What basis was used? Simply pull a straw to say you like or no like? What ta ….

    More than half of Kelantan voters were dissatisfied with the PAS state government? Of 21 people interviewed? Pokdo, Pokwe, Poksu? When they said they wanted a change in the state government in GE14, it meant the majority of Kelantanese want that?

    Dream on, Umno/Bn. And Malaysian Insight which now appears to favour Umno/Bn. Because AG Apandi’s wife owns majority shares in the news portal that’s run by her brother what’sthename?

    • Anonymous says:

      The last straw? That broke the camel’s back?

      The one that Malaysian Insight now seems to carry on its back?

      Because the portal is owned by Attorney General Apandi’s wife?

      • Anonymous says:

        Najib has not the courage to call for election until he is forced by circumstances. July is the latest date for GE 14 because the parliament has to be dissolved when its term expires in June. The decision by Najib to wait out the term of the parliament so that he needs not regret that he gives up power automatically when he could enjoy it to the end. This shows also that Najib knows very well that he will be kicked out in GE 14. Also he hopes that the later the GE14, the less time Mahathir will have on the throne.

    • Anonymous says:

      The 1MDB scandal has done enormous damage to our international standing, typecasting us as a corrupt nation with weak institutions and unethical officials. Buckets of whitewash cannot alter that fact; it will take us years to live down that single act of infamy.

      However, Anifah Aman is not hard to understand. His ambition is to replace his brother as the next CM of Sabah. Hence he has to pander to MO1, and deny all the truth about the kleptocratic Umno government, of which he is a part, or should we say equally guilty party.

    • Anonymous says:

      BN-Umno should allow international observers to monitor the next national polls if the prime minister is confident there will be no room for cheating, Malaysian social media users said.

      They were sceptical with Najib Razak’s assertion “the chances of cheating are non-existent” in the 14th general election.

      Some said Najib should not take Malaysians for fools by issuing such a statement.

      They were responding to Najib’s remarks which he made after chairing an Umno Supreme Council meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “In his visit last weekend, Najib laid out this fact by boasting about how much money his administration gave Kelantan ..”

    Najib boasted in Kelantan, eh? Are you sure you use the right word, Malaysian Insight?

    If so, maybe Malaysian Insight not so friendly towards Najib, issit?

  3. a says:

    Dato Mustapa Mohamed (Tok Pa in Kelantan) said, “In the past, there were all sorts of pressure. People say the Kelantanese were punished by Dr Mahathir” . But no mention of what pressure. Either the Malaysian Insight reporting and editing was bad or Tok Pa did not know how to convince readers.

    “Dr Mahathir’s record of punishing the Kelantanese for .. their consistent support towards PAS in the three general elections.” Dr Mahathir went through five general elections during his 22 years’ rule. Was he ok in two general elections even by Tok Pa’s standard?

    Yet Tok Pa was a member of Dr Mahathir’s cabinet. He changed skin when in Najib’s cabinet? Clearly, he was talking politics. Fake news, they call it.

  4. a says:

    “In the space of 24 years, from 1981 to 2005, the federal government gave out RM12.07 billion to Kelantan. Dr Mahathir was the PM from 1981 to 2003.” Clearly, the figure given is not accurate.

    “But from 2006 to 2018, about RM14.67 billion was allocated to Kelantan. Najib started his term as prime minister from 2009. Again, the figure is not accurate – it includes 3 years under Abdullah Badawi.

    Even the wording “allocated” is also not accurate – “amount allocated” and “amount actually spent” are two different things. Projects may be delayed or even not carried out and the amount spent or “actually given” would have been less than what was “allocated”.

    There was no attempt either by Tok Pa or by Malaysian Insight to give deeper insight into the issue. No “homework” was done by either party to get more accurate figures.

    It looks like election campaigning talk where speakers say almost anything to get voters’ support. Yet election date has not been announced and no campaigning should be done until that is done.

  5. "Hidup PM baru" says:

    Dr M a hit at Putrajaya pasar malam. Crowds gathered as he moved about. More gigil lutut by the incumbent.

    Dr Mahathir Mohamad may be an enemy of the government, but he appears to still be a popular figure in nation’s administrative capital, Putrajaya.

    Scores of traders and early visitors at a night market in Precinct 2 took turns shaking Mahathir’s hand and taking selfies with him today as he did a walkabout at the market

    Putrajaya, the brainchild of Mahathir, is one of three parliament seats that he is considering to contest in the upcoming 14th general election.

    The administrative capital’s residents are mostly civil servants and their families, 94% Malays.

    Several individuals who wore what appeared to be ministerial office security passes and a government hospital nurse were among those who did not shy away from taking selfies with Mahathir.

    During his walkabout, one lady also excitedly said “Hidup PM baru” (long live the new PM), apparently referring to Pakatan Harapan’s move to select Mahathir as their prime ministerial candidate. It portends well.

    • Anonymous says:

      He didn’t have to campaign. He just walked about.

      Thank God for the response. Natural, spontaneous response.

      No 1MDB, no GST, no ballooning prices of goods and that kind of baggage.

      Good chance of Tun Mahathir winning Putrajaya. The constituency and the government based there.

  6. Dreamers, say the Yanks says:

    PAS: Kelantan-Putrajaya ties better under Najib than Dr M

    Don’t hope for PAS people to support UMNO/BN.

    The devil that they know is not better tahn the new Pakatan Rakyat that they don’t know.

  7. The Ape says:

    I merely aped Dr M’s monkey business, says Nazri

    Brushing aside Mahathir’s views on the Visit Malaysia logo, he says …

    • The Ape says:

      Even BBC weighed in on the “hideous” The Ape’s logo –

      Malaysia defends ‘hideous’ tourism logo despite criticism
      BBC News

  8. KEPALA BAPAK DEPA says:

    Malaysian Digest twists Lim Kit Siang’s statement, “If Dr Mahathir cannot help create a wave of change among the rural Malay voters for the GE14 in the remaining 100 days, then no other political leader can accomplish this ‘Mission Impossible’” by putting in their headline, “‘Mission Impossible’ For Dr M To Win Support Of Rural Malay Voters – Kit Siang”.

    Kepala Bapak Depa with twisted tongues.

    What LKS wrote in his blog was clear: “We have two formidable challenges: firstly, to sustain or even increase the voter turn-out and electoral support for political change in the GE14 as compared to GE13.

    “Secondly, a more uphill task to ensure that there is a political tsunami in the rural areas to match the political tsunami in the urban areas.

    And the blokes don’t even know that the “Mission Impossible” referred to in films etc has always been successful and heroic acts. “Hidup PM Baru,” kata depa di pasar malam di Putrajaya.

    • Anonymous says:

      Malaysia’s Mahathir Says ousting Najib is on the cards
      ‘Your enemy’s enemy is my friend,’ says former PM on uniting opposition

      Nikkei staff writer

      Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad speaks to The Nikkei on Jan. 29.

      KUALA LUMPUR — Mahathir Mohamad insists there is a real possibility of a new government coming to power when Malaysia goes to the polls later this year.

      • THE DR MAHATHIR FACTOR says:

        Rural support for Pakatan surges after Dr Mahathir named as PM candidate

        http://www.todayonline.com/world/rural-support-pakatan-surges-after-dr-mahathir-named-pm

        Support for Pakatan Harapan (PH) in rural areas has grown after the opposition pact named Dr Mahathir Mohamad as its candidate for prime minister.

        PUTRAJAYA — Support for Malaysia’s opposition pact Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the country’s rural areas has grown after it named Dr Mahathir Mohamad as its candidate for prime minister, according to a recent study.

        Institut Darul Ehsan (IDE) chief executive Mohammad Redzuan Othman said most of the respondents from its recent survey agreed with the decision because of the former prime minister’s experience in leading the country for 22 years.

        “But the people want to see what he can offer as an alternative to Barisan National led by Najib Razak,” Dr Redzuan told The Malaysian Insight.

        “Apart from that, the support has increased because he is deemed as the only (one) who has the most courage to attack Najib in Malaysia today,” he said.

        Following the announcement of Dr Mahathir and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as PH’s choice for the top two posts on Jan 7, IDE sent a team of researchers across the country to gauge people’s sentiments on the selections.

        “.. what’s interesting is 80 per cent who can’t accept Dr Mahathir said it is because of his age. For those who accept Dr Mahathir as prime minister, it’s because of his experience administering Malaysia.

        “Those who accept him is because of his experience, those who don’t is because he is an old man,” the vice-chancellor of Universiti Selangor (Unisel) said.

      • THE DR MAHATHIR FACTOR says:

        DR MAHATHIR FACTOR IN BERSATU

        “Although he is old, he could still deliver a 41-minute speech at the PH convention. A 92-year-old man can’t talk that long, usually even those who are 50 years old can’t do that.

        “Age is associated with infirmity but it doesn’t apply to Dr Mahathir,” the former Universiti Malaya’s Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMcedel) director said.

        Bersatu, Umno’s splinter party, also managed to garner more public support, especially in rural areas, because of Dr Mahathir, he said.

        “In our survey, we asked questions like what do you think of Umno? And they said Umno is the ruling party. What do you make of PAS? They said PAS is fighting for Islam.

        “When we asked about Bersatu, they said it’s Dr Mahathir’s party. It means they know (about the party), it shows the party’s trademark. It sticks in their minds.

        “Without even thinking, they can answer that. Bersatu is Dr Mahathir’s party. They don’t say it’s Umno’s splinter party or ‘Parti Bunga Raya’.

        “There are many options but the top answer is Dr Mahathir’s party. It means Dr Mahathir has his strength in rural areas.”

        Because of Umno’s uninterrupted rule of Malaysia since Merdeka, it is vital for PH to have a strong and influential figure in their fight to bring down the ruling coalition, he said.

        “That’s why Dr Mahathir is the most qualified person to be named as the prime minister candidate.

        “He is the attraction wherever he goes, in Felda or other rural areas.”

  9. Anonymous says:

    Happy Thaipusam to all Hindus.

    The Indian community are a forgotten lot. They are only remembered before elections, enticed with promises galore because they could be the mini king makers in crucial marginal seats.

    All the promises and plans are neatly shelved soon after the elections are over and the Indians are left with the crumbs that no one else wants. And they have short memories when a RM50 note is slipped into their hands.

    Today, the socio-economic situation of this community is sliding faster than the promised can be made and broken. It’s hard forget the good times. Even harder the bad times.

    So I urge all Indians to see the light and opt for change in GE14.

  10. Anonymous says:

    JANGAN UNDIROSAK

    Tun Dr Mahathir said, “The campaign is an attempt to prevent young people from voting. Normally, young people will not vote for BN and will vote for the new party. The campaign says that there is no difference between Pepsi and Coca-Cola.

    “… there are a lot of differences.

    “And in my time, (I didn’t) set up 1MDB or stole money. So, between me and Najib, there is no similarity. Between PH and BN, there are also no similarities,” said the “prime minister-designate” during a press conference at the Bersatu head office in Petaling Jaya today.

    • Nasty Umno says:

      Mahathir calls on Malaysian voters not to fall for UMNO ‘ploy’ by spoiling votes
      Channel NewsAsia

      “UMNO is looking for victory by misleading the people, by taking away their right to vote in the election, by saying there’s no difference.”

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ti: Malaysia cheated if Dr M is PM again
    The Star Online

    But what does the bloke Ti know. He cheated all the time. Including saying the above.

    And he has never been anything for 22 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      And veteran politician Tengku Razaleigh said, “Many hurdles ahead for Mahathir”. The Straits Times

      Again, what does the man know. He has told Tun M he has retired from politics, now 81 years old. But he may have said that in a sincere manner. If so, ok.

      Of course, “If his party wins the majority of seats in the election then his name can be put forward to be prime minister if the Opposition wins.”

      But he is not certain, saying only “unlikely” – “If another Opposition party wins big, however, Dr Mahathir is unlikely to get the full support he needs from coalition members.

      But good that he said, “But then again I do not know how they function.” He was talking at a press conference at the G25 public forum “Reforms for a Progressive Malaysia”

  12. Anonymous says:

    I’m not proud of Malaysia – that’s why I’m not leaving
    COMMENT | We owe it to the hardworking people before us to realise a nation where everyone has a place.
    James Chai

    You should leave. I agree with Najib saying it in Kelantan. If you are not proud of this country, go find a place elsewhere, you should not stay here.

    But I agree with the Muslim NGO chief who said if you don’t respect the Constitution, leave.

    The Constitution is the highest set of laws in the country, all other laws emanate from it. If you don’t respect it, you don’t respect the laws of the country. Scram. Pronto.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Since participating as a panellist at the “Undi Rosak: Kau Nak Apa Sebenarnya?” forum on Jan 25, Maryam has reported about being attacked online in the form of doctored images, deeply sexist comments and accusations that she was “paid by BN” on social networking site Facebook.

    Served her right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maryam must accept that her views is detrimental to democracy.

      No reason to seek protection just because you are a lady. Be open to be criticised because you are helping BN.

  14. Calling A Spade A Spade says:

    Samy Vellu: Mahathir a good leader, a good man

    He served 21 years out of 22 years Tun M was PM.

    Well done, Samy. You are an honest man, calling a spade a spade.

  15. Oh yeah? says:

    Najib: No room for cheating in elections with current system.

    Oh yeah?

  16. PAS Not Lovey Lovey With UMNO? says:

    PAS veep alleges Amanah ‘conspiring’ with Umno to wrest away K’tan

    Amanah K’tan chief refuses to comment, says he will issue a response after receiving legal counsel.

    K’tan Umno denies conspiring with Amanah against PAS

    No collusion between state’s Umno and Amanah to topple PAS in GE14, says minister Mustapa Mohamad.

    Ye ke, Tok Pa?

    • Anonymous says:

      Azmin Ali is still lovey lovey with PAS, for fear of losing his MB position to Bersatu or Amanah candidate because people are tired of PKR in Selangor.

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