The Offshoots of Mahathirism: Corruption and Cronyism

February 14, 2013

The Twin Offshoots of Mahathirism: Corruption and Cronyism

mariammokhtarby Mariam Mokhtar (02-12-13) @

He (Mahathir) was a Machiavellian ruler who is alleged to have corrupted his way to the top, and became Malaysia’s longest serving Prime Minister, but will the historians have to revise Malaysian history?

Some argue that former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who ruled Malaysia with an iron fist for 22 years, should be remembered as a visionary leader and a tireless administrator. Others disagree and call him a ruthless dictator who silenced his critics and allowed corruption, cronyism and nepotism to flourish.

Tun MToday, Mahathir (left) is as divisive as ever and despite being retired, has managed to upstage the current Prime Minister, Najib Abdul Razak, many times during the latter’s tenure.

Najib could have ordered an investigation based on Mahathir’s own admission about the influx of illegal immigrants being given citizenship provided they voted for the ruling party; but Najib is more scared of Mahathir. If Najib had not been weighted down by so much baggage, he could have silenced Mahathir once and for all.

Many Malaysian housewives are familiar with the ‘Buku 555′; the four inches by three inches notebook in which they would record purchases from their travelling grocer. Mahathir is alleged to have a ‘Buku 555′, which is worth its weight in gold; it allegedly lists the wrongdoings of his cabinet ministers and cronies.

Few ministers would dare act honourably, fearful of the release of potentially explosive material which could end their political careers and jeopardise their ill-gotten fortunes.

Four decades ago, Mahathir used the Malays to further his own political the malay dilemmaambitions. He and others realised that the Malays were in deep trouble. So, out came the economic policies which were supposed to help them but which only benefited his close allies and family members.

Now, Mahathir is again using the backwardness of the Malays to urge them to vote for BN. He used emotive language such as “The British managed to conquer Malaya without losing a single soldier,” and that the Malay rulers had a hand in this.

If Mahathir’s memory was not so bad, he would have remembered his history lessons and known that the foreign invading forces had superior firepower. Perhaps the Malay rulers wanted to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. It is disingenuous and disrespectful of Mahathir to blame the Malay rulers in this flippant manner.

A few hundred years earlier, at the invasion of Malacca in 1511, the certain traders valued their trading rights more than their honour and betrayed the Malacca sultan, thus forcing him and his sons to retreat into the jungles and flee to Perak, Johor and Sumatra.

Last week, Mahathir accused the Malays of relinquishing their economic power to non-Malays. He said, “We let immigrants take over because we do not want to work and do not want to learn to do new things… we prefer to fish and plant padi.” Ironically, most of the immigrants were brought in by Mahathir in his ‘Project M’.

Dependence culture

It was UMNO which created this dependence culture and it was UMNO’s affirmative action economic policies which made the Malay less competitive. UMNO sold them the idea that the Malays were the greatest and they believed that they could achieve success, without hard work.

Najib at Psy BashToday, Najib has carried this trend of affirmative action further, by giving them cash. When will the Malay become independent of government handouts?

Perhaps, Mahathir’s most despicable act is the call for the constitution to be amended, so that BERSIH co-chairperson S Ambiga can be stripped of her citizenship. She did not admit hundreds of thousands of foreigners to our shores. Mahathir did.

UMNO does not respect diversity nor does it encourage fairness. It has reduced Malaysian politics to salacious entertainment.

Najib has appeared on television in Chinese New Year adverts dressed in Chinese costume and beating drums. In a radio advertisement, he speaks Mandarin with his son. This induced many to switch off their radios.

At Thaipusam, why did Najib not carry a kavadi and get pierced? Is the Indian vote not important? Did Najib think that doling out packets of rice to the Indians was sufficient? At Christmas, why did Najib not don a Father Christmas costume and dole out his BR1M vouchers from his sack of goodies?

It is time Najib stopped treating politics as a reality television show. If he wanted to get the public on his side, he should get a firm grip on his leadership, and punish the people who are responsible for police brutality, corruption and abuse of power.

Instead, he protects those who are guilty. No one has been made accountable, no one has been sacked, and no one has been shamed.

When Mahathir said that BN had to win a two-thirds majority in GE13, he was issuing a warning to Najib and to the greater public, especially the Malays. Najib had to remind the Opposition not to create chaos should it lose the general election and yet, at press conferences, when he was asked if BN would agree to a smooth transition of power to the winner, Najib would not comment. He would just walk out and abruptly terminate the session.

Whatever the outcome of GE13, Mahathir already has a musical named after him, ‘Tun Mahathir’. Dance routines and songs depict his life from his childhood to his premiership; it is more of a fairy tale than a musical. None of the corruption, cronyism and nepotism which flourished under his rule, are featured.

According to the Petronas blurb, the Twin Towers which dominate the KL skyline are supposed to symbolise modernity and a progressive nation. They are supposed to be the brainchild and inspiration of Mahathir and T Ananda Krishnan. The outline of the towers resembles the letter ‘M’ for Malaysia.

Who knows, one day, some sycophant might say that the ‘M’ stands for Mahathir and they will be renamed the Mahathir Towers. How awful it would be if, every time we see the twin towers, we were reminded only of the twin evils of corruption and cronyism.

40 thoughts on “The Offshoots of Mahathirism: Corruption and Cronyism

  1. So embedded is Dr Mahathir in our national PSY-che that we including prolific writer-columnist Mariam Mokhtar continue to discuss his politics, legacy of Mahathirism and mannerisms. He personally refuses to fade nicely because he feels that he has the right to protect his baby, Modern Malaysia. He is his own Oppa Gangnam Style.

    People say he is senile, but I disagree. I think he is sharp as ever. His “saya dah lupa” when questioned is a convenient ploy to stop probing, He, in fact, knows exactly what he wants to do and has the resources to get it done. For example, he is pushing Najib for a 2/3rd majority in GE-13, but he knows that it is mission impossible for our Prime Minister (if we use what happened in Penang as a barometer) to meet that target. Could it mean Najib’s days are numbered (?).

    Najib could do better than his predecessor with a strong endorsement from voters in GE13, but he would not get 67% of the seats in Parliament. Why? Voters realise that the country needs an effective opposition as check and balance. But a strong mandate should be enough to stay in power. The question is what will Najib do once he has own mandate. Status quo or change? –Din Merican

  2. I was with Dato Dr Affifudin Omar last night and I asked him about Najib.He said Najib is too weak and listen too much to his wife Rosmah.He has to go.If he love the Malay and UMNO,he should resign before GE 13.

    Tun mahathir active role to campaign is a liability to Najib and UMNO.People are not stupid.I think he really worry if Anwar become a PM.

  3. Whatever it is Dato is right. We want an effective opposition to check on the government. But that opposition is BN.

    Dear Malaysian, BN has to go if you love Malaysia. BN is nothing but money. Should we give them the 2/3 majority. Everything will be status quo and Malaysia debts will continue to rise because money has been corruptly used to fund the election. Come GE14 again money will be an instrument to gain votes.

    By the way things are going on. We Malaysian are all corrupted. We received BN money and voted for BN because we are paid. So, what is so different between BN and Malaysian. These cycles will only degrade Malaysia into a third world nation which Malaysia will never get out.

    The butt must stop at GE13 or Malaysia is doomed. If we cannot remove a corrupted BN then we will never remove anyone. The ball is not with BN or the oppositions but all Malaysian. The fate and future of our home Malaysia rest upon Malaysian, not BN, not the oppositions. So, PLEASE WAKE UP.

  4. The graves are full of remains of people who could not imagine the world without them. Even with them gone, the sun still rises dutifully in the mornings and we still put on our pants one leg at a time.

    Mahathir will be just part of history. Mahathir is scared of his own ghost, and the prospects of more skeletons falling out of the cupboard. At the most, he will leave behind a mixed legacy. Mahathir is just too frightened of Anwar.

    Anwar is one of the only few who can stare at Mahathir straight in his eyes and not blink first. His incarceration for six years in prison away from his loved ones and in the confines of metal bars with not even the basic of amenities as we know them toughened him up.

    Najib is trapped in his Rosmah’s sarong and, I suspect, his so-called media advisers and consultants and political strategists would have to defer to her, too. Rosmah has her own agenda. Look at the way they have been introducing the son, Norashman, around. Forget about Mahathir’s undisguised dream of positioning Mukhriz. Another five years of Najib will put an end that.

    My vote is for Pakatan Rakyat to take over. That change is the only way this country can move forward. Otherwise, we will see more of the same.

  5. Throughout his 22 years in power there had been chunks of Malay support becoming resolutely anti-Mahathir at the various times when they found Mahathir being the person utterly bereft of any decency and conscience for his extraordinarily dastardly acts to Tunku, the Memali folks, Salleh Abbas and then Anwar Ibrahim.

    Unfortunately there had never been big enough chunks and since then any turn of public acceptance of him is but long overdue.

    Now coming at the heels of Sabah RCI and perhaps the calling to account for his past at/after GE 13, Malaysia will get to know the devil of him and will get to decide what place in national history shall befit him or where will be his grave that shall not be the National Mausoleum.

  6. Can more cronyism and corruption be expected since more black gold is discovered over last 2 years; off and on shores. Saliva are drippings now that our reserve are up. So we keep pawning our youths’ futures?

    Again, the fight within Msia will be over who gets to govern our black gold. The seeds of Ismael are greatly blessed but squandered.

    The seeds of Isaac as blessed as well and governed. US energy self-sufficiency has revised nearer 2014 with new extraction technologies for oil shale. Additionally, the US has gone deeper space; asteroid mining for manufacturing in in space. That way no need to bring knock downs to assembly in space. The Japs started JIT. The US now JIT in deeper space. Space stations construct will escalate. Frontiers are smashed further.

    This is how treasures advanced humanity instead of squandered.

    Is this the new Babylon arising?

  7. Well said, Rightways. He is no different from communist, points to the form and forget about the roots. Hence, just able to showcase the shinning skeleton to the world and let the inner part rot beyond repair.

  8. “Najib has appeared on television in Chinese New Year adverts dressed in Chinese costume and beating drums. In a radio advertisement, he speaks Mandarin with his son”

    That’s what most dictators did towards the tail end of their rule when they realised that the people are not with them any longer. Trying very hard to please the rakyat but its too late.

    As for Mahathir, he is definitely not senile. He speaks with fork tongue like he had always done while in power. God is answering the late Dato’ Fadzil Noor’s prayers that Mahathir’s life is prolonged to see the damage he had done to the country.

  9. What is our dream? Corruption and cronyism?

    “Our job as Americans is to restore that basic bargain that says if you work hard, if you’re willing to meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead,” Obama told workers at the Linamar Corp. in Asheville, N.C.

    Corruption we know its meaning but cronyism can be looked at as RESPONSIBLE CRONYISM…………..not that of semua sapu by those entrusted to distribute. What then is distribution? Distribute to those who qualify with bona-fide expertise and governance. Who then determines bona-fide? can bona-fide be circumvented? Yes ! how ? greasing !

  10. apanama is also all form and little substance lah. Plus to disown his own southern indian pendatang father, Mr Kutty? Seriously?
    Or maybe he has gone selective-senile & deny his southern indian heritage or he is ashamed of it?

  11. This Mamak is think that he is above the law. Come on, this country is not North Korea or Cuba. This nation does not only belongs to him. Therefore, this Mamak should be hanged long ago!

  12. the mamak is not senile, the twin towers are supposed to emphasize his potency and to show that he is not suffering from E.D.!

  13. Vic:- blogger……in your penultimate message with regard to Malaysians being corrupted for accepting election money from BN at this time, I would think that we are talking what you called “chicken feed” compared to those robbing millions of tax payers money all these years. I think all should be paid more as the money belong to Malaysians. Stupidity falls on those not applying for the RM1,000.00 on two separate payments.

    Generally, government pay out such incentives at this time only to show BN care for the people after five decades under the BN rule when the political wind is changing. Corruption will fall into the black hole of abyss if enforcement is not strictly adhered in accordance with the law. Malaysians can never get used to such staggering scale of betrayal when we put our trust on a political party to run the country.

  14. It seems that Yong Teck Lee at his wits end with his dismal effort of getting big seats from Pakatan now wanna pull Pairin over to opposition. Yong has done it before in 1990 resulting PBS joining the opposition coaliation against Madhater. That oppo coaliation headed by Razaleigh

    What the hell Najib trying to do with the foreign incursion by pinoys? Dealing with them! Through negos……OMG

  15. The BN has built the foundation for the future of Malaysia. Unfortunately when that future arrives those responsible for it will not be there to see what they have done. Even if they or their children are there they will will be seeing it all in the comfort of their wealth.

  16. Pairin was manipulated by BN when he won the state election when he intended or contemplating pulling Sabah out from the union. He was given a Deputy Chief Minister’s post without a strong voice in running the state. Yong Teck Lee has his wits if he could get Pairin to join the opposition in view of the fact that Pairin still have a strong Kadazan support in Sabah. At that time, many Kadazan leaders left PBS to form their own political party. The problem in Sabah gives rise to many political problems that will enable BN to wrest control with too many teething problems among the Sabah political parties over seats for the coming election.

  17. Hello Tan Sri Khalid, we know they want to do you in. May your prudence be ever blessed over Selangorians. In your good hands we trust wholeheartedly.

    Oh God please pour good rain into this man-made drought state and btw also blast those water concessionaires with justice.
    Khalid said he would ask the central government to speed up the process.

    “I have written to Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui about the state’s intention to restructure the state water industry but there has been no reply,” Khalid said. “Therefore, I will inform him again because this is not a normal takeover. It involves three parties (Syabas, the Federal Government and the state),” Khalid said after chairing the state exco meeting yesterday.

    In 2009, the state government made a bid of RM5.7bil but was rejected by water concessionaries.

    A subsequent offer of RM9.2bil was made last year and rejected by Puncak Niaga and Syabas.

    Meanwhile, Khalid said a meeting among Pakatan Rakyat leaders this week would discuss the dissolution of the Selangor legislative assembly.

    The Mentri Besar had earlier said the state assembly would be dissolved after Chap Goh Mei, which falls on Feb 24, even if the Federal Government had still not called for elections.

  18. The reason why Najib won’t take military action against the militant Pinoys because it would lead to the militants to tell the illegal citizens being told to vote against UMNO/BN.

  19. Implosion of MyKad arising from Mahathirism.

    Is the Philippine claim of sovereignty over Sabah phantom, or reality?

    ‘Now as regards the Sabah cession � of course, the cession by the Sulu refers only to parts of the East Coast you know � the question whether the cession agreement was a lease or an outright grant is really just a matter of semantics. What must decide is the wishes of the people.’

    Sabah, despite our prime minister’s declaration that it is one of the poorest states in Malaysia, is actually rich. This is probably one of the reasons why it is so tantalising.

    It is rumoured that Sabah’s oil reserves are as big as Kuwait’s. Besides, we have substantial mineral deposits such as coal, gold, etc. apart from our huge natural tourism potentials. Diving haven Sipadan alone brings in RM50 million a year. Yet this island resort is only the tip of the iceberg of our tourism assets. So Sabah is a pricey catch.

    The Philippine government knows full well the futility of pursuing the claim through the legal channels; but they will pursue it nonetheless for various reasons.

    Tens of thousands of their citizens flooded the shores of Sabah. The rebellion in the south could have been instigated as a ruse for their citizens to leave; and to our disadvantage the UN has granted a number of them refugee status. By now their numbers could be at a ratio of one to one to the locals.

    Judging from the newspaper reports, a number of them have also been charged for possession of fake identification papers. This is a clear indication that they have been attempting to acquire Malaysian citizenships by hook or by crook. Are we sure that our security safety net is foolproof?

    By international convention, these people could become citizens of Malaysia naturally if they are not repatriated. Hence, they could take part in future elections.

    The implication of this is grave, because the possibility of them standing for elections and winning is not a figment of an imagination. Then their motherland could agitate for a referendum; and the result is a foregone conclusion.

    In the heat of the 1985 and 1986 riots in Sabah, these Filipinos were heard to say openly that Sabah belonged to the Philippines. Their leaders certainly believe so.

    The question of their claim on Sabah and the issue of illegal immigrants have been plaguing Sabahans for more than three decades now; yet there has been no solution in sight.

    Among the reasons cited for the inability to stem the influx is the long coastline. Plausible this may be; but considering the time factor, the problem still smacks of something less desirable for the future of Malaysians living in Sabah.

    Commenting on the Philippines’ claim on Sabah, Historian Dr James Ongkili could not have made a more poignant reminder for us to ponder upon when he said in his book, Modernisation in East Malaysia 1960 – 1970:

    ‘… the Philippines has been flogging a dead horse and Malaysia has been too hesitant to bury the carcass, while Sabah has had to bear the stench’.

  20. I heard that Dr M was sold on the Twin Towers project and design because he was told that it represented the letter ‘H’ for Hasmah(Siti) and also that it would be the symbol of his love for her…along the lines of the Taj mahal…!
    (The letter H is because of the interconnecting bridge)
    Trust the psychopaths for coming up with such drivel…

  21. There is a concerted Mahathir bashing by the cyber media. Simply because Mahathir is the strongest among all the Umno leaders. Attack yang kuat untuk melemahkan parti. Tapi percayalah Mahathir tetap gagah berdiri.Otak still baik dan tak lupa.

  22. “People say he is senile, but I disagree. I think he is sharp as ever. His “saya dah lupa” when questioned is a convenient ploy to stop probing”

    In the hands of an experienced counsel, under a simple cross examination he would be made to reveal the truth. He cannot not answer “I don’t remember” without destroying his credibility. You impeach the witness who is less than forthcoming with his answers, what do you have? His entire testimony will be thrown out. Refusing to answer would be in contempt of court. So far he was able to escape with the cooperation of a friendly judge and advocate. It is not supposed to happen that way.

  23. If he pleads memory loss, then show him the documents to refresh his memory. If he still cannot remember then the document itself is read to court and becomes evidence. If he remembers then the document is not evidence but his testimony. That’s Evidence 101.

  24. mariam,

    i have to disagree on your point wrt twin tower to be renamed as mahathir – it should be apply named as such. No, it is not to make it awful – it is to symbolize the wastage, the utter decadance and hedonistic nature of the man….

    for all the supposedly visionary capacities of the man reputedly possesses, i just fail to understand his thinking based on the initiative he has taken… the twin tower, klcc, klia, msc; yes, functionly we need them but as we can see there is and never was any synergy, no holistic thots – its like he was on a mission akin to a… a pharaoh? to build monument that could last for ages so that he can be remembered and revered?

    but its all hardware with no software….so we now have budget that is 80% Opex based…we know what happen next…

    which is why, i believe, whenever anwar says that he will “forgive but not forget” wrt to chedet – it cause chedet to have sleepless nights. for if it were to happen that way when-if anwar is in power – it will ensure that anwars’ legacy will be enhanced in comparison to chedet when they both are gone. they both realise this. no matter how big or how grand chedet hardware is… in the end, it will just exponentially exposed his vanity if anwar were to do just that (forgive but not forget- uhm,ill gotten gain if proven will be returned, ofcourse) – that is what drives chedet now… his legacy,which he is himself is destroying it now whatever good that he had done – oh, how ironic.

  25. Mahathirism is a two edged sword.

    In the 90s, our Civil Registration database system underwent 4-5 years reformed supposedly following the Danish model whereby each person is an account in the bigger HR system.

    This should be the source of our Electoral roll.
    From this database, a person is either alive or dead. The IC is tied to all things including banks, KWSP, driving license, passport, property titles etc etc.
    as Msian now know their passport and driving license are tied to their MyKad so an address change is generically effected across.Msian can now obtain their Birth Cert in standardized version and no more hand written.

    OTOH….. this is also a wonderful database to recycle MyKad ! Think about it.

    The PRC has a more advance system that can instantaneously validate a person’s profile on a hand held computer accessing cloud database. This logic isn’t too difficult to trace Phantom voters or illegal MyKads

    Does Pakatan know how to validate voters in our NR system?
    If so. does, it have access?

  26. The truth about Mahathir is slowly but surely emerging.Its a pity that the guy much revered not too long ago is fast becoming the most hated man in the country.Bangkai Gajah mana bisa disembunyikan.

    The only regret is that it has taken too long a time for the people to realize it.Too much damage done to the country.

    No one in Mahathir Umno Baru can lead Malaysia without inheriting Mahathir corrupt and manipulative ways.

    The only option available is to kick BN out let others to lead.

    Pakatan is the only hope now.

  27. that mamak realised very early that the gullibility and superficiality of the rural malays could be used by him to stay in power to enrich himself and his family. he also made the innocent government functionaries corrupt in order to keep them as pawn for his doings.
    what amazes me is that in spite of all the revelations a large portion of the malays still don’t see the crook in him. what bigger crime than treason must he commit before he is brought to court? Malay sial boleh. the person pulling the crowd is not Najib but that mamak.
    without doubt the bigger crowd puller is Anwar and the NGO’s of Malaysia. is it enough to win the GE, against the mighty civil service, police and military? definately not.

    you don’t need a foreign country to invade and destroy our one and only nation, all you need is to give UMNO and its psychotic bootlickers MCA and MIC another five years.

    all you need is love….for your country and your countrymen…please vote for what is good for all of us rather than for what is good for a small section of the society. divided we will fail miserably!

  28. Even Subky Abdul Latif says, in his article in the Malaysian Insider, that PAS is not going to abandon DAP and vice versa. This is a sign that even the Malays are warming up towards Karpal Singh instead of Mahathir and are willing to abandon Mahathir to the dogs. What a shindig this might make !

  29. What Mahathir did was executed a very flawed solution to a difficult problem of majority underdevelopment. The solution was possible firstly because our country was very blessed in a number of ways including simply dumb luck but also because he took away our democratic rights or being autocratic BUT also willing to make practical compromises which is a Malay tradition.

    Mahathir may have been accused of being not Malay and but the truth is part of his success IS BECAUSE he IS MALAY. If he had been more ideological like Indian or Arab relations he would have failed like those places fell behind us.

    He is now more unMalay than he has ever been believing its that part that makes him successful and the Malay part that is the reason for his failures. He could not be more wrong. The truth is Mahathir could not be successful if he was NOT Malay first and foremost..

  30. Confrontasi II – a possible treason conspired by Madhater?

    Illegal MyKads in EMsia will every be thankful to Madhater, that we now know on hindsight as their strength can legalize a referendum of contention on the 1963 points. Then by hook or crook the whole of sulu sultanate will simply wade across and take Sabah and prepare for confrontasi II. WTF are we going to do?

    HK was legally leased to UK for 150 yrs. Deng Xiao Peng order was ‘return home’, period. If the Philippines fight to say Sabah was illegally taken away by the rebels of that time, now the rebels occupation preludes a ‘return home’ by force, WTF had Madhater done that made it easier with MyKad.

    Looks like Sabahan have to learn tagalog.

  31. UMNO and the likes of Dr Mahathir are going all over Malaysia trying to sell their outlandish ideas of “Ketuanan Melayu” and dreams of changing history of Malaysia. They are trying to inject more ‘opium’ into the Malay minds, but this time UMNO bigiwigs are also addicted to what they are selling too.

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