King Lear is playing in a parliamentary district near you.
In Shakespearean light the drama in Malaysia is so close in resemblance to the story of a King with children who give him different fortunes.
We are not talking about his biological children ( Mukhriz, Mirzan or Mokhzani) but his political children, those whose power places have been influenced by King Mahathir who is going euphemistically blind.
Anwar, Badawi and Najib were vice-presidents who suffered or benefited from the old man.
Anwar was recruited by Mahathir in quick succession he rose to the top and was already a vice-president 9 years into the party. And in 93 he got Mahathir’s blessing to oust Ghaffar Baba from his position by winning a phenomenal number of divisional nominations rendering the actual elections unnecessary. The incumbent lost even before an election.
In 1987 Badawi was in limbo after being cast away for being associated with the team B of Razaleigh that went off to start Semangat 46. Mahathir appointed him as vice-president in the Umno baru and jump-started his political career.
And after Anwar was purged from the party, he chose him over Najib for the deputy presidency.
Two men who have been handpicked, Lear’s older children, those who flattered him with love and he relented to- Regan and Goneril.
Najib then has to be Cordelia the youngest, and the one Mahathir felt did not love him enough.
So the players stack up, and now Mahathir looks on, his kingdom already handed over to his children, and all he can do is regret the decisions.
He wants Najib now, but would he have been happier if he gave Najib the throne when he could? Najib is after all never one to challenge his political master.
Najib likes all kinds of kinky and needless projects like submarines and national service , but so does Mahathir.
He does not mind his minion being profligate, what he hates is someone who apologises. And in Badawi he seeks a lack of arrogance, meaning his party is not arrogant. That Mahathir detests with a fervour unseen in any angry mob.
I actually think he would love Khairy, if he was his son-in-law instead. ( Khairy is more of Edmund of Gloucester, but I digress and become self-indulgent)
So now Mahathir is wandering blind across the Malaysian political, with a jester like Mathias Chang in tow and counts his blessings like a blog as reported by malaysiakini. The man has no way back except if Najib rises to the top.
To those who have not read King Lear dies at the end, but not before he reunites with his Cordelia (Najib).
But in this Malaysian sandiwara since Najib lacks a spine, and Badawi smiling from a distance and near, I think the real reunion would be between Mahathir and Goneril (Anwar).