ABC News interview: discussing Mahathir Mohamad’s bid for PM at 92 years of age and the calculations informing this choice (Photo: ABC News Twitter).
Today I gave an interview to ABC News on the current state of politics in Malaysia. I told the ABC’s Del Irani that Installing Mahathir as a Pakatan figurehead is a move full of intent, aimed at rewinding Malaysian politics back to the 1990s days of the ‘real’ Barisan Nasional – led by Mahathir and Anwar – and organised as a multi-racial coalition, not a seemingly Malay Muslim bloc.
The decision aims to neutralise voter concerns in two directions; on the one hand it reassures Malay Muslims that there is no threat against them from either minorities or Islamists in the form of PAS; and on the other, it reassures liberal and non-Muslims that there remains a political bulwark against stronger Islamisation in the future.
I also touch on Mahathir’s age and the party’s plans for succession, and the remarkable history of the Anwar and Mahathir relationship.