Dr M will have to find new game plan

Dr Mahathir will now have to find a new game plan to keep his movement relevant and alive — without derailing from its objective. — Reuters pic

PETALING JAYA, April 17 — Saudi Arabia vindicated Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak of any wrongdoing on Thursday over the RM2.6 billion deposited in his account.

“(It is a) genuine donation, with nothing expected in return and as far as we are concerned, the matter is closed,” its Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told pressmen at the summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul.

For Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the confirmation by Adel has set him back.

As Dr Mahathir has constantly attacked Najib over the RM2.6 billion donation, the revelation shows the former prime minister has been left with nothing substantial to push his agenda of unseating Najib.

Dr Mahathir will be forced to seek other issues to continue his fight as he leads the Save Malaysia movement.

At present, Dr Mahathir is out of ammunition. Parliament’s bipartisan Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had also absolved Najib over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) saga.

The Save Malaysia signature campaign, dubbed the Citizen’s Declaration and launched two months ago, seems to have lost its steam. Dr Mahathir and his supporters, including suspended Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, former Kedah menteri besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and several non-governmental organisations, are practically “begging” for signatures.

However, Dr Mahathir has always considered himself a street fighter and will not raise the white flag and surrender.

He is keen to engineer the return of his son Mukhriz into the mainframe of politics. But Mukhriz has been left in cold storage and he could face the boot from Umno. Other political parties may not open their doors to him, due to differences in political ideologies.

Even if he is accepted by the Opposition – it would be to push Najib out of Putrajaya. Mukhriz will, nevertheless, not lead the group but will be there to make up the numbers.

Mukhriz will have to brace for a tough journey ahead. Only Dr Mahathir is able to catapult his political career.

But now, Dr Mahathir is also losing his influence. He will continue to question the Saudi government’s confirmation but the three million Umno members are well aware of his motives and are reading his game plan cautiously.

As such, Dr Mahathir will now have to find a new game plan to keep his movement relevant and alive — without derailing from its objective.

The movement’s tour of the nation, featuring speakers from other parties, seems to be more interested in addressing issues that affect them — DAP speaker defending Lim’s purchase of a bungalow below market price, Parti Amanah Negara’s Mohamed Sabu touching on PAS fundamentalism and Azmin harping about PKR’s free Anwar mission.

Despite sharing the same stage with the opposition leaders, Dr Mahathir, Muhyiddin and Mukhriz are pretty much on their own. – Malay Mail Online

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