Sunday, 16 December 2012


Dr M Okay With PM's Performance and Rosmah's Profile.

A Kadir Jasin @ The Scribe A Kadir Jasin

I would not dare claim that I am right all a long, but I have repeatedly said in this blog that the Prime Minister’s wife can have as high a profile as she likes if she ventures into politics and wins a sit.

Now the former Prime Minister, (Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had said about the same thing. The media quoted him as saying that Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak 's wife, Rosmah Mansor, has the right to have as high a profile as she likes.

"There is no standard format to fill in if you become the wife of the prime minister. You can be as prominent as you like," he said, adding that Rosmah also had the right to rebut allegations made against her in her biography.

Dr Mahathir was asked on whether he thinks Rosmah's profile is too high compared to former prime ministers' wives.

On the same day that he made the comment on Rosmah, he was also quoted as saying that he was not practising double standard by supporting Mohd Najib now and opposing (Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, when the latter was Prime Minister.

"(There's) no double standard. If somebody doesn't perform, I will campaign, against anybody," Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying.

"Whether he's my nominee or somebody else, I will campaign if somebody does not perform and in my view, Pak Lah didn't perform," Dr Mahathir said.

Asked whether his answer meant that he was satisfied with Najib's performance, he responded, "Yes, I'm satisfied."
Being the prime minister's wife already provides her enough prominence. It is not necessary to seek more prominence and definitely not at the expense of the taxpayers' funds.”
Being the prime minister's wife already provides her enough prominence. It is not necessary to seek more prominence and definitely not at the expense of the taxpayers' funds.”

So, in one go, Dr Mahathir reaffirmed his endorsement of the Najib-Rosmah partnership, which, I am sure, will be read differently by different quarters.

Take for instance, what a debater in Malaysiakini’s Yoursay forum, who goes by the pseudonym “Little Giant” had to say:

“Going by protocol, the prime minister's wife has the right to have a high profile. But it is not right of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to say that Rosmah Mansor can enjoy as high a profile "as she likes".

As for me, I still feel that my argument in the posting entitled “Perdana Menteri Wanita: Kenapa Isteri PM Tak Boleh?” on Jan. 16, 2011 is valid and I think the Barisan Nasional should seriously consider putting her up as a candidate in the coming general election.

I am not being cynical. Going by reports and pictures in the media, Rosmah is popular and has her own followers and following. When elected, she has every right to decide and assume whatever profile she desires as long it is within the limit of law and propriety.

As for Dr Mahathir endorsing Mohd Najib, I am not surprised that he is doing it openly and publicly. But what also matters is what he says privately.

If Dr Mahathir does to Mohd Najib what he did to Abdullah in the run-up to the 2008 general election, the consequences would be dire for the Prime Minister, the BN and Umno.

Granted that Mohd Najib is a lot stronger and more capable than Abdullah, he does not, however, enjoy Abdullah’s image as “Mr Clean” and “Mr Nice Guy”. Mohd Najib is more controversial than Abdullah.

Meanwhile, in the eyes of many, including those in the opposition camp, Dr Mahathir is as influential today as he was during the 2008 general election. 

He could still move votes. So Mohd Najib and his retinue of advisers and special officers must be careful not to offend the patriarch and his sympathisers.

It may not be all about altruism though. Dr Mahathir nurtured and protected Mohd Najib because Mohd Najib’s father, (Tun) Abdul Razak Hussein, nurtured and protected him. Now Dr Mahathir has a son, Mukhriz, who is in the political arena and, as the saying goes, one good deed deserves another. Wallahualam.
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