When former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed and his former DPM and opposition de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim shook hands in a very carefully planned political show in court, these former enemies rattled the local politics with questions of what that handshake means.
Did one forgive the other after 18 years? Did the other forget? Is it all a wayang, or is this all a mere charade? Was one conniving? Were both conniving? Was it Machiavellian?
Now, they have decided to issue a joint statement on National Security Council Act (NSC), with both of their signatures – a very old fashioned kind of press statement on paper.
Both of them have maintained from the very first time opposition and Mahathir signed the Citizen’s Declaration that they are in it together for the sake of the country, and putting personal agenda aside.
Umno die-hards were not convinced.
Then, the leaked Anwar’s letter from prison, asking his party and opposition to be careful with Mahathir, made Umno die-hards say that they were right all along that Anwar will never accept Mahathir’s hand.
Seeing they had to push the politics to radical methods, a meeting was planned very carefully and very secretively to get Mahathir to attend court to show support for Anwar when he files a suit against the NSC.
When the handshake, jabbing, smiling and chatting scenes and videos of Anwar and Mahathir went viral, this started the chatter and Umno people were again asking what is happening.
Anwar’s daughter Nurul Nuha’s outburst in the media saying Mahathir should apologise to her father was taken as showing that not all of Anwar’s family agreed to this coming together and that Anwar may have been set up.
To further convince the opposition and Umno people, Mahathir and Anwar has now issued this press statement against the NSC, which they say must be stopped by all means, for it concentrates complete power int he hands of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the person whom both want to bring down.
In the joint presss statement, Anwar and Mahathir says:
“The NSC Act enforced by the government led by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has threatened the democracy system of the country. We see that most of the main institutions of the country such as the police, SPRM, Attorney-General and Bank Negara Malaysia have been completely controlled by him.
This Act also denies the right of those killed, whether they are officers or civilians to a post mortem to determine the cause of death. There is a big possibility of wrongdoing.
This Act has pushed aside the power and role of the Yang Dipertuan Agong and the Council of Malay Rulers in an important issue of safety and freedom of the rakyat of this country.
It is due to this crisis of the country that we together with the rakyat oppose the Act and bring change and reform for the sake of saving the rights and freedom of the rakyat and develop this country that we love.”
Mahathir had recently met the King on the issue.
One wonders whether this joint statement will further rattle Umno and Barisan Nasional.
It is obvious that these two former enemies who hold the adage that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” – despite one in jail and one being ostracised completely by the government he once led – are not sitting down to ensure that their main enemy is shaken, stirred and made to sit up and take notice of them.
One wonders what their next step will be.