1996 – Pop star M. Nasir gets boycotted by state owned media for being kurang ajar or kasar towards the sitting Prime Minister in asking, audaciously, “Siapa Mahathir?”
2004 – Esteemed Malaysian cartoonist Lat launches his 27th book titled titled Dr Who?!: Capturing the Life and Times of a Leader in Cartoons. Epitomizing the notion of halus, Lat was able to get Mahathir himself to launch the book. Surely, the latent reference to M. Nasir’s earlier question was heard by Malaysians even at the time!
2020 – M. Nasir’s alleged insult has now become a genuine question on every Malaysian’s mind! Who is he really? What does he stand for … does he stand for anything beyond Machiavellian self-interest?
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad continues to reiterate his promise to make way for Anwar Ibrahim to take the reins of Power in Malaysia. Malaysiakini reports that he said, “I have made a promise and we keep our promises. … but if a candidate is rejected by the Dewan Rakyat, he … cannot become prime minister” When asked whether he would consider serving out a full term if support from the Dewan Rakyat increases, Mahathir is supposed to have smiled and said, “I don’t know”.
“You’ve waited 20 years, extending six months doesn’t actually matter,” Anwar is reported to have told Reuters, expressing confidence that the Pakatan Harapan coalition allies would stand behind him, as they have stood behind Mahathir.
“If there’s a request to go back to parliament, of course it can be done, but PH has the majority right now. Even those who are not in PH, some would support the PM of the day. I also have been given that assurance. They support Mahathir as the PM, and they will continue to support me when I assume the premiership.”
The 12th series in the Koboi Project, ‘Dari Pusat Tasek”, consists of a pair of photographs titled Naan Anaiyttal and Rockin Cowboy taken in Kampung Indian Settlement, Batu Caves and on West Broadway, Mount Pleasant, Vancouver, respectively. Naan Anaiyttal presents the Koboi standing before a hoarding of 12 meter cutout of formerly jailed Deputy Prime Minister and Parti Keadilan leader, Anwar Ibrahim. The Koboi stands gesturing forwards and upwards with a green skinned mango in his right hand. The cutout was initially erected around the 2008 election but taken down in the context of political controversy and fears that the structure would be vulnerable to weather conditions. It was put up again for the 14th general election which took place in May 2018. The Koboi photograph was taken in 2018. Naan Anaiyttal is title of a song from M G Rmachandran’s hit film Enga Veettu Pillai (1965). MGR was of course to become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the song has populist and egalitarian theme. Anwar Ibrahim, in turn is, however tenuously, in line to be the next Prime Minister of Malaysia.