Thursday, April 10, 2008

Who Will Be Malaysia's Next Prime Minister ?


Are Malaysians caught up in the past and the future, forgetting the present ? Are Malaysians caught in a time warp ?

Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, Malaysia's 4th Prime Minister, whether we like it or not, represents Malaysia's past. All his deeds, or to some, his misdeeds, when he was prime minister, were all done in the past. Although he is indeed an icon of Malaysia's public life, he does not represent the present or the future. Just like whatever benefits derived from his leadership is enjoyed in the present, anything he has done that must to be corrected must also be done in the present.

Abdullah Badawi, Malaysian's 5th Prime Minister, represents Malaysia's present. We may not know how long this will be, but he is still the current prime minister - he must deal with the present.

But instead of focusing on the present, Malaysians like dwelling on the past and speculating on the future - who will be the next prime minister. This has been going on since Dr. Mahathir Mohammad's tenure - then, Malaysians were guessing as to who will succeed Dr. Mahathir Mohammad. Whilst many names were suggested, Tengku Razaleigh and Anwar Ibrahim were the favorites. But then, unexpectedly, Abdullah Badawi succeeded Dr. Mahathir Mohammad.

In attempting to predict the future, Malaysians like to device theories, not based on political analysis, but on myths.

For the simple minded, the classic RAHMAN theory, named after the country's first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, became very popular. The theory simply states that RAHMAN is an acronym for the names of the prime minsters of Malaysia:

R - Tunku Abdul Rahman
A- Abdul Razak
H - Hussein Onn
M - Mahathir Mohammad
A- Abdullah Badawi
N - ?

Thus, following the RAHMAN theory the next person in line should be a person who's name starts with the letter "N". Those who believe this theory will quickly say that the next in line should be Najib Tun Razak, the current deputy prime minster. However, some people joked that the "N" stands for Nurul Izzah, Anwar Ibrahim's 27 year-old daughter who recently won the Lembah Pantai parliamentary seat.

When Dr. Mahathir Mohammad was prime minister, many Malaysians believed that the letter "A" after the letter "M" in RAHMAN, represented Anwar Ibrahim, who was then the deputy prime minister. Well, now we know that was not meant to be, then.

Now, as Anwar Ibrahim's Pakatan Rakyat has won a very convincing victory in the recent general election, he is seen as the prime minister in waiting and people have conceived another acronym to represent the prime ministers of Malaysia - ANWAR:

A - Abdullah Badawi
N - Najib Tun Razak
W -Wan Azizah (Anwar Ibrahim's wife and current official leader of Pakatan Rakyat)
A - Anwar Ibrahim
R - (Tengku) Razaleigh Hamzah ? Dr. Rais Yatim ?

Some people even suggest that the "R" stands for Raja Petra Kamarudin, a political analyst whose political blog Malaysia Today, played a significant role in the outcome of the recent general election.

Ok guys, what do you think ? RAHMAN or ANWAR ? or post your own acronym theory...
Please post your comments let us know what you think.


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