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A strange twist in the Abdullah-Mahathir clash: who is “Iblis” – Mahathir or Kok Lanas Abdullah, Ibrahim Ali and Matthias Chang?
by Lim Kit Siang
There was firstly the resort to the language of “Iblis” by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, raising eyebrows all round as to its implications, not only about who was being referred to, but the tone, standard and quality of public discourse.
Speaking to a gathering of civil servants in Kuantan on Thursday, Abdullah said he had little time for those who spread rumours and indulged in slander, but even less tolerance for the “devils” who whisper evil thoughts into the ears of the people.
This is what Malaysiakini reported:
implementing the projects, he said, there were certain quarters behaving
like "demons" who tried to disrupt development efforts as they felt they
were smarter than others.
In the last two days, a new line emerged to separate Mahathir from his “instigators”.
As UMNO Youth deputy leader Khairy Jamaluddin said at the Baling UMNO Youth delegates conference yesterday, Mahathir “might have sincere intentions in raising certain issues of late because he was speaking in the interest of the nation”, he concentrated his fire on “certain parties who are out to instigate and influence Dr. Mahathir into launching his attacks against the current leadership”.
Three names have surfaced so far as Mahathir’s “instigators” – Dollah Kok Lanas (former New Straits Times group editor-in-chief, Ambassador to United Nations and political secretary to the third premier Tun Razak, Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad), former Pasir MAS MP Datuk Ibrahim Ali and Mahathir’s former political secretary Matthias Chang.
These new twists raise many new questions. Have Mahathir become so senile that he could be led by the nose by Dollah Kok Lanas, Ibrahim Ali and Matthias Chang?
Who are the “iblis” being referred to – Mahathir or Dollah Kok Lanas, Ibrahim Ali and Matthias Chang?
There had been two diametrically opposed responses to the Prime Minister’s TV3 interview on Monday night to answer his critics, viz:
If Khairy concedes that Mahathir was acting in the national interest in raising various issues, then he must respect and accept Mahathir’s response that the Prime Minister’s TV3 interview raised more questions instead of giving answers.
Or was Mahathir “instigated” by the “iblis” to respond in the manner that he did?
Is the “iblis” vocabulary and imagery marking a new import into Malaysian public discourses under Islam Hadhari?
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman