Singapore have always been keen to know what’s happening in Malaysia – especially so if it involved Harry Lee sparing partner, Dr Mahathir.
The Straits Times (not free) predicted Dr Mahathir decision to quit Umno would undermine the party and the shaky Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government.
The Straits Times notes that Dr Mahathir’s influence and political clout cannot be underestimated, and his resignation could raise Malaysia’s political risk profile among foreign investors as well as undermine an already struggling economy while ironically boosting the Opposition alliance, headed by Dr M’s political nemesis Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Umno’s worsening crisis would increase the temptation of its parliamentary representatives and those of its BN partners to switch allegiance.
The influencer papers further reiterate Dr M’s stunning move is a “sign of desperation” after “seeing the unravelling of his mixed legacy.” In this scenario, the tipping point came when the government released the findings of a Royal Commission which had investigated allegations of corruption in the judiciary.
Straits Times said that Tun Dr Mahathir had played a role in undermining the selection of the Malaysia’s judges. The report also called on the government to open fresh investigations into allegations of corruption among judges. It stands as one of the most serious indictments of Tun Dr Mahathir’s legacy,” the commentary says.