What a wild ride it’s been for the last few weeks. Just when it looked like victory was assured for Perikatan Nasional (PN), Barisan Nasional (BN) came out of the gate with a wild card. Alas, it all ended with Pakatan Harapan (PH) clinching a seemingly miraculous win with Dato Sri Anwar bin Ibrahim becoming the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia!
Regardless of what side of the political aisle you’re from, you have to admit that we’ve seen some of the most exciting moments in Malaysian politics and that this year’s election will be remembered as one of the defining events of Malaysia’s 2020s. So as the year winds down to an end and the holidays are near, we figured that now would be an excellent time to have some comic-book film fun.
From our dear Datuk Seri Najib “bossku” Razak to the latest kid on the block, Anwar Ibrahim, we’re matching five of the most recent Malaysian prime ministers to characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) based on their personalities and tenure. Please note, this is all done in the spirit of fun so don’t take it so seriously lah. If you think your guy is Steve Roger’s Captain America, you are more than welcome to do so!
1. Datuk Seri Najib Razak (Loki Laufeyson)
Nowadays, when you hear the name Najib Razak, it’s hard not to immediately think of the infamous 1MDB scandal and the beginning of the end of BN’s dominance over the Malaysian political landscape. Whether you think he’s innocent or guilty, there are two things you can’t deny: the man loves the spotlight and he is a massive troll! While in the midst of a corruption trial, this guy takes to social media to profess his love for Super Rings! He’s even decided to try his hand at acting with his debut in an RTM drama show called “Tunjang”. In spite of his shady past, the man even has followers who refer to him as “bossku” (my boss) and he’s become something of a meme legend! Oh, and when our latest PM was sworn in, Najib congratulated him with a meme. This cheeky man.
Much like Loki from the MCU, Najib lives for the controversy and while the man’s finally behind bars, his legacy as a trickster and a troll lives on. Like we said, whether you love him or you hate him, you gotta admit that the guy has got style!
2. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Nick Fury)
Not unlike, the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has played the role of a unifying force for multiple political rivals and parties to work together for a common end over the years. For an unprecedented 23 years, Mahathir was the top man of BN, made up of parties like the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) and a host of other parties. Also like Fury, Mahathir wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty in service of what he thought was the greater good. By far the most controversial thing this man has ever done, something that still affects us to this day, is his creation of the Internal Security Act (ISA). An act that has suppressed criticism against his administration and became a dangerous weapon.
Yet in spite of this, the man would return in 2018 to lead the charge against the very party he once led. Calling upon the forces of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), the Democratic Action Party (DAP), Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Parti Amanah Negara (AMANAH), the United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO) and the young Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA) to assemble! Mahathir sure does love crossovers.
3. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (Thanos)
In 2020, with one fell swoop (or finger snap), Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin changed the course of the country, ending PH’s short reign after collecting the political factions of BN, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Bersatu, Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) to form PN. Together with his allies, Muhyiddin managed to form a new government and Malaysia with just one move – the Sheraton move.
And while PN has been through some ups and downs due to some disagreements with BN, Muhyiddin made one hell of a comeback this year in Malaysia’s 15th General Election (GE15). If you thought “Avengers: Endgame” was long, try sitting through six days of agonising waiting to find out who won. Much like Thanos in the film, just when victory seemed certain for Muhyiddin with his claims of 112 statutory declarations (SDs), it was all snatched away with Anwar claiming a win. It certainly was a tight race with PN winning a strong 73 seats to PH’s 83 seats. Muhyiddin and his coalition made for a strong adversary to PH, and that is certainly worth noting.
4. Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob (Iron Fist)
Hey, remember Danny Rand, also known as the Iron First, from Netflix’s Marvel series “Iron Fist”? No? Well, we don’t blame you, he’s a pretty forgettable character, which is essentially how we’d describe the next PM on our list: Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob. Much like Iron Fist in Netflix’s “The Defenders”, Sabri is best known in association with other more popular figures. Look, he was PM for less than a year and besides coining the term “Keluarga Malaysia” ( which is not nearly as catchy as Najib’s “1Malaysia” slogan), we honestly don’t remember much about him. He played his role and left the stage. The End.
5. Datuk Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim (Doctor Strange)
While Anwar probably hasn’t exactly claimed to have enough numbers to be PM as many times as Doctor Strange has told Dormammu that he’s come to bargain, he certainly does have the patience and tenacity of the Sorcerer Supreme. Seriously, the man has waited 25 years to become PM. Now, that’s a superpower in itself! He’s been jailed twice and lost a chance to be PM in 2020 due to Mahathir keeping his seat warm just to have Muhyiddin land right on it. Still, Anwar didn’t give up. He played the long game and suffered through many obstacles to lead the PH opposition to victory!
In a way, PH is stronger than ever with Bersatu out of the coalition. He now has the mandate of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and the support of nearly every political coalition in his unity government, except for PAS and PN. Strange knew the price of victory would not come cheap and endured being blipped out of existence for 5 years. Anwar could definitely relate to that with his lengthy periods in prison. Now, at last, he’s beaten the odds and now stands as the Perdana Menteri Supreme of Malaysia!