92 year old, gnarled and weathered old and retired Mahathir Mohamad, the country’s Prime Minister from 1981 to 2003, has been elected Malaysia’s Prime Minister again after having been sent to his dotage fifteen years ago.
Unusual. But more surprising is his electoral path to victory: he allied with Anwar Ibrahim, who was his deputy prime minister in the 1990s, before Mahatir jailed Ibrahim on trumped-up sodomy charges.
The Sydney Morning Herald calls it “Incredible.”
This one caught me napping. Has Mahatir returned to politics in order to pave the way to power for a colleague-turned-rival whose career he publicly and very intentionally ruined? Why?
The SMH reports:
“The prime minister-elect has promised to stand aside for Anwar (who is serving the final days of a jail term on specious sodomy charges) to become prime minister.
Mahathir confirmed the plan in the early hours of Thursday morning.
“‘We will work on his [royal] pardon, once he is pardoned he will be eligible to become prime minister.’
That would take place as soon as possible, he said, though Anwar would first have to win a seat in Parliament again.”
Is this whole thing for real? I’ve always understood that Anwar Ibrahim has been in jail for much of his adult life because of a mean-spirited political vendetta by Mahatihr.
This is all out of left field, to lay a useless American baseball analogy over Malaysian politics. Clearly, your correspondent hasn’t visited KL for too long.