Malaysian democracy has been overtaken by dynasty, and only relatives of senior politicians enter politics. True, doctors and engineers too encourage their children to take to their profession. But there is a difference. Children of doctors and engineers have to pass exams. They do not inherit their degrees from their parents.
Politicians’ wards have no such barrier to overcome. They land up from some American or British university and immediately become “somebody” of a political party built by hundreds of party workers. The second in command, who has expectations of becoming the next leader, is unceremoniously dumped. Needless to say, the sons and daughters win the election. Dynastic succession has become the biggest threat to Malaysian democracy.
Familiarity of the clan is a starting point in making many choices. One of the parameters we use in making choices is based on birth. While the poor and illiterate are easily swayed away, others are blinded by race and religion and other narrow considerations. Dynastic politics is a malady we have to learn to live with.
We find sons and daughters and even son-in-law following the path of their fathers or father-in-law, illustrious or otherwise, in all walks of life. Their success largely depends on their calibre and performance.
Najib Tun Razak is the son of the second prime minister, Tun Abdul Razak; Hishamuddin Hussein Onn is the son of third prime minister, Hussein Onn; Mukhriz Mahathir is the son of fourth prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad; Khairy Jamaluddin the UMNO Youth Chief is the son-in-law of fifth prime minister, Tun Abdullah Badawi; Penang chief minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng is the son of DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang while Karpal Singh’s both sons, Gobind and Jagdeep Singh, are elected representatives; Nurrul Izzah is daughter of Anwar Ibrahim; PAS Youth deputy chairman Nik Abduh is the son of PAS spiritual advisor Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat and the list goes on.
The practice of dynasty politics exists in both the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.
Now Mahathir is trying hard to get his son Mukriz Mahathir to take over as deputy prime minister of Malaysia and then to become prime minister. To reach that goal, Mahathir wants his son Mukriz to first takeover as Menteri Besar of Kedah, Mahathir is selling this idea to Kedahans and that they have to first topple the Pakatan Rakayat government come GE13. So, let us give Mukhriz Mahathir a chance and pronounce a judgment after UMNO wins Kedah, if it ever wins.