The website Lexico defines “power crazed” as a person having an “extremely strong desire for power, or irrational on account of having had power.”
When it comes to opinions on how Malaysia might presently be governed, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, 95, has more opinions than a Rudy Giuliani on steroids.
Malaysians found out yesterday that the physician tried his luck yet again, suggesting to the King that the best way forward for the country was a 1969-style National Operations Council (NOC) to run the show.
The NOC was a small council led by Abdul Razak Hussein, then a deputy premier, that led the country in autocratic fashion in the wake of racial riots after a general election in 1969. Essentially, it worked as a dictatorship, albeit in “benevolent” fashion.
And why does the good doctor feel compelled to float such a drastic proposal in the first place? Well, apparently, his team in Pejuang – a breakaway party with 5 MPs – have “some ideas” about the economy and controlling the current pandemic but cannot get them implemented as they aren’t in government.
Asked if he had suggested to the King a possible candidate that might lead the NOC, Dr Mahathir said that there was no specific person named but he did “offer his services”.
It was not unlike the old saying about cattle horns: “A point here, a point there and a lot of bull in between.”
Here’s my translation of the physician’s message: he has some ideas, no one’s listening so it’s a good time for him to return as Paramount Leader who will Brook No Dissent.
For that is what an NOC essentially implies.
This is the same politician who was against any extension of the Emergency. Now he proposes a new, and stronger, Emergency with fizz, bang and wallop.
This was the same politician who wanted Parliament to reconvene and allow the citizenry its voice. Not any more, not if he can come back as a new-look Tun Razak!
And, finally, this is the same fellow who resignedly told Bernama only two months ago that he “was too old to become Prime Minister again.”
“If I were younger, I could become Prime Minister again, but I am 95 now and I can still function and hope to advise people on what they should do … I feel I shouldn’t be the prime minister for the third time,” he said.
Our hearts bleed but you won’t hear us disagree.
Dr Mahathir talks about “giving advice” but even that harmlessly-benign-Mr. Rogers-stuff has its sinister downside: Abdullah Badawi was hounded out of office because he “did not take” the doctor’s advice and chose his own way instead.
That is the problem with Dr Mahathir right there. He thinks he has all the answers but we, Malaysians, over 24 years and a bit, know that he does not.
Good leaders leave the stage when the applause is loudest. For Dr Mahathir that moment came a long time ago, in 2003.
It’s all but gone now: you can’t reheat a souffle.