February 21, 2016
Mahathir’s Obsession with Malayness (Ketuanan Melayu) destroyed Vision 2020–Mamakism and Mediocrity have taken over
by Boo Su-Lyn
Former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam predicted the failure of Vision 2020 and blamed this on the man who envisioned the goal, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Musa, who was once deputy to Dr Mahathir, accused the country’s longest-serving prime minister of undermining the ideal by removing potential leaders and of retaining and training followers instead.
“It is ironical that Dr Mahathir’s vision is now certain to fail because of Dr Mahathir himself,” Musa said in a speech at the commemoration of the 113th birthday of Malaysia’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, organised by the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) here last night.
“Brilliant as he was, he forgot that in order to succeed, he needed to train leaders at all levels, but most important, political leaders. But his personal leadership record shows that he did away with all potential leaders, one by one and in groups, and retained and trained followers.And it is mostly these trained followers that had taken over the leadership of the country now. These trained followers are dedicated and loyal to whoever sits at the very top,” he added.
Musa lamented the state of affairs in Malaysia, saying that Vision 2020, Malaysia’s goal to be a developed nation in four years’ time by 2020, was now “falling apart bit by bit but with alarming speed”.
He said the current administration did not seem concerned about the state of affairs in the country.
“The only strong signals emanating from the leadership that show any sign of worry are the threats coming from them of ‘tightening’ selected security legislation, as well as legislation that seem to be aimed at free speech and the press, with some allegedly even constitutionally questionable,” said Musa.
The former Deputy Prime Minister did not give specific examples. However, human rights activists have recently expressed concern over the National Security Council Bill, the Sedition Act 1948 and proposed amendments to the Official Secrets Act 1972.
“In an open democratic, liberal, moderate country, the government could only be sustainable provided it is led by genuine democrats,” said Musa, who resigned as Deputy Prime Minister in 1986 due to “irreconcilable differences” with Dr. Mahathir.
“Once the leadership tries to restrict and control thoughts, behaviours and expressions, the autocrat thrives. And, when a leader imposes himself and demands unquestioning loyalty accompanied by loss of respect of good governance, human rights and the rule of law, as well as not being considerate of the people’s welfare, the ugly head of dictatorship appears,” Musa added.
Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad forgot that his Ultra-Malay Nationalism made the Malays Lazy so that they will remain dependent on UMNO and its corrupt leaders. According to Economists Dr. Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Dr. Terence Gomez, Mahathir invented Malay crony capitalism. His policies were a huge success in creating a rent seeking Malay polity. Both Prime Ministers, Badawi and Najib, were the product of his policies. Now he has the audacity to complain. Too late and that is our national tragedy. We have not heard any Malaysian complain about Tunku Abdul Rahman’s leadership and character. This is because the Tunku was a Prime Minister with compassion and integrity who had no problem with his identity. –Din Merican
Vision 2020 was announced by Dr Mahathir when tabling the Sixth Malaysia Plan in 1991 and its objective of transforming Malaysia into a developed nation remains part of the current administration’s goals.
Dr Mahathir said last June that he did not expect Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s administration to achieve Vision 2020, claiming that the government was focusing too much on using per capita income to measure development.