The Mahathir Stand-off


The inimitable political blogger RPK has just given us his take on the great game that is being played out in Malaysia`s dominant political party, UMNO. He has called ita three corner fight between Najib, Mahathir and Razali. While `fight` is not a good metaphor for the inscrutable  exchanges of Malay politics,  I can not help deepening this analogy by invoking  my `stand-off` allegory … and extending it to other aspects of the the Malaysian scenario. “You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend.” Blondie says to Tuco, explaining that he had unloaded Tuco`s gun the night before, …”Those with loaded guns and those who dig … You dig!” This whittling down of the three-way is just like Mahathir`s gambit for the upcoming Kuala Kangsar bi-elections. He wants his allies in the Pakatan Harapan opposition to stand down, allowing a two-way between his nemesis, UMNO and the Islamic PAS. Many are incredulous as PAS`s stand is anathema to Mahathir`s own and the likleyhood of its collusion with UMNO before the shoot-out and alliance with UMNO in the aftermath are by no means low. It seems that  it is high stakes, as usual, in this Mahathir Stand-off and there is no such thing as a three-cornered fight! One of the guns must be neutralized before the big gundown.

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