Mahathir’s New Party: A Case of Better 40 Years too Late than Never?


August 6, 2016

Mahathir’s New Party:  A Case of Better 4o Years too Late than Never?

by Mariam Mokhtar

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

It’s a shame that former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad did not do 40 years ago what he now says his new party will.

According to a report in Sinar Harian, Mahathir claims that he left UMNO-Baru because he couldn’t stand the stench of corruption. He urged the rakyat to accept his new party, which he said was formed to fight corruption. He said his new party would field only sincere candidates who would not take dirty money.

Mahathir forgets easily. It was he who set the ball rolling in the late sixties and early seventies with his Malay agenda. Later, he would reward close friends and associates with business opportunities.

While it was right to try to improve the socio-economic conditions of the Malays, it was wrong to make the mechanisms run like a never ending treadmill. What happened to the time limit, and why was there no serious evaluation of the affirmative action policies to see if they were successful or needed tweaking?

Mahathir left office in 2003, but he continued to control the levers. He tried to interfere in Abdullah Badawi’s administration, and he continues to pop up, like an annoying Jack in the Box, during Najib’s premiership.

Mahathir’s “Look East” policy took his cue from Britain’s Margaret Thatcher, despite his vow not to trade with Britain. His emulation of Thatcher’s penchant for privatisation meant that companies were annexed by UMNO-Baru nominees or his own cronies.

Mahathir’s New Party? Hishamuddin Reacts

Remember the MAS privatisation project? Where was Mahathir when MAS’ performance plummeted after he put his good friend Tajuddin Ramli at the controls?

And what about the massacre in Memali in 1985? Mahathir claimed to be away from Malaysia at the time, but Musa Hitam, who was then his deputy, claimed two years ago that this wasn’t true. We have yet to hear a denial from Mahathir.

What does Mahathir think of the stifling of the student movement and the implementation of the Universities and University Colleges Act? He was the education minister in the 1970s and he did not want students to have opinions or to criticise his rule.

The Internal Security Act was used to silence his critics, and today the nation is suffering because his successors have learned from Mahathir’s liberal use of underhand tactics. Operation Lalang and other crackdowns against dissent were a glimpse into Malaysia’s future.

All of Mahathir’s deputies have suffered the same fate. Many if not all of our institutions have been compromised and lost their independence. How dare Mahathir tell us that corruption is haram and will destroy Malaysia. If he had not corrupted the politicians, Malaysia would not be a lost paradise now.

Today, some of us reject Mahathir’s political plans, and rightly so. Mahathir feels no remorse for his previous actions, even though it was his policies which led us on to this path. Mahathir ruined Malaysia. He will certainly not pull the country out of the pit of corruption that it is in. Only the Malaysian public can do that.

Mariam Mokhtar is an FMT columnist

9 thoughts on “Mahathir’s New Party: A Case of Better 40 Years too Late than Never?

  1. Unfortunately, I have never had much respect for the writings and opinions of Mariam Mokhtar. She seems to keep lacking logic and coherence in thought. Take these two paragraphs, for example:

    “According to a report in Sinar Harian, Mahathir claims that he left UMNO-Baru because he couldn’t stand the stench of corruption. He urged the rakyat to accept his new party, which he said was formed to fight corruption. He said his new party would field only sincere candidates who would not take dirty money.

    Mahathir forgets easily. It was he who set the ball rolling in the late sixties and early seventies with his Malay agenda.”

    I’m sorry, but what does an affirmative action policy have to do with corruption? If the link is automatic, surely the US wouldn’t have a similar policy.

    “Later, he would reward close friends and associates with business opportunities.”

    To make an argument that Mahathir “rewards” close friends etc with projects, implying cronyism/corruption, surely requires at least links to support the basis of that accusation. For instance, do all his close friends etc get projects? Are all his close friends etc rich without having any talent whatsoever? If he was as corrupt as she says, surely all his friends etc would be flush. If not, why is he selective, and on what basis does he select?

    “While it was right to try to improve the socio-economic conditions of the Malays, it was wrong to make the mechanisms run like a never ending treadmill. What happened to the time limit, and why was there no serious evaluation of the affirmative action policies to see if they were successful or needed tweaking?”

    Again, what’s the link? She begins the first paragraph with two mentions of corruption, and then fails to make a cogent argument to support it. Is the NEP corrupt? Maybe. Maybe not. But we wouldn’t know it from reading this “writer’s” “opinion piece” alone.

    “What does Mahathir think of the stifling of the student movement and the implementation of the Universities and University Colleges Act? He was the education minister in the 1970s and he did not want students to have opinions or to criticise his rule.”

    Is this supposed to be an example of Mahathir being corrupt? She really needs to focus on her key message, poor thing.

    I could go on and pick on every single para she wrote, but really, I have spent far too much time already. Might I suggest journalism school. Surely it is not too late.

  2. Very true. Opposition parties that think of working with Mahathir and his crew – be careful you don’t end up being his pawn!

  3. Mariam,
    If Tun M was not the PM at all.
    please pen your thought on Malaysia’s outlook today?

  4. Watching Khairy Jamaluddin and UMNO Youth is EVEN MORE confirmation of Mahathir’s damage. They are clueless they are aiding and abetting crimes, not simply playing politics. They cannot tell the difference.

    KJ, even with all his education and training, is getting his facts wrong even. Najib and Putrajaya are NOT ” innocent until proven guilty”. Najib and Putrajaya are guilty of breaking OUR own laws, not yet proven breaking US laws. Just because our system is broken, is no claim of innocence.

    How can Mahathir ever fix damages like these? It’s too deep.

  5. Quote:- “He will certainly not pull the country out of the pit of corruption that it is in. Only the Malaysian public can do that”

    The problem is who is the “Malaysian public”? 30 million Mariam Mokhtars?

    Many of us are willing to give Mahathir a second chance, not because we believe he will right all his past wrongs, (he won’t live long enough to do that anyway), but because he is our one and only chance, (some may even say our one and only hope), to get rid of a far greater menace.

    So to all the “Mariam Mokhtars” out there, let’s just say we can at least be hypocritically thankful this old bastard is still around to do some good.

    One step at a time my friend.

  6. Malaysia as it is and remain unchanged is condemned to ruination. Even the last ditch desperate attempt by a recalcitrant old man will be futile.
    The UMNO bangsat Malays who have sold their souls to the devil have become soft, muddled, delusional and zombified beyond redemption.
    Najib would have died a political death and removed a long time ago if not for the !MDB loot that he used to buy his supporters with 1BRIM and peanuts for the machais and hundreds of millions of rinngits for the BUMNO warlords.
    One viable solution is to let the country run aground to enable the phoenix to rise from the ashes. When the time comes, will there be an emergence of a group of Malaysianised Marat, Danton and Robespierre to step forward to take charge, lead and organise the rebuilding of the country and to rewrite the constitution?

  7. /// Mahathir’s “Look East” policy took his cue from Britain’s Margaret Thatcher, despite his vow not to trade with Britain. ///

    Actually, it was simpler than that. Britain, or its newspapers, accused Mahathir of corruption. He was so incensed that he went on his usual sarcastic rant about “the West not able to accept Malaysia’s progress; that they are jealous; that they think brown men cannot govern well”. And he took revenge by instituting “Buy British Last” and also the “Look East” policy. His looking east, instead of learning from the industriousness and innovation of the Japanese; looked at how the Japanese do sweet-heart deals and how innovative they are at corrupt practices.

  8. Quote:- “I’m sorry, but what does an affirmative action policy have to do with corruption? If the link is automatic, surely the US wouldn’t have a similar policy”

    Yes, the fish cannot “see” the water it lives in, just as we humans cannot “see” the air we breathe.

    “…what does an affirmative action policy have to do with corruption?…… surely the US wouldn’t have a similar policy”

    First basic fact….the affirmative action policy in the US is for THE MINORITY, the blacks, Hispanics, etc., people who are disadvantaged in many aspects because they are the minority, meaning they have little or no control, domination over all the levers of government and commerce.

    In Malaysia the affirmative action policy is for THE MAJORITY, the Malays, who by being in the majority have control, domination over all the levers of government, the civil / judicial services and the armed forces and police. What better brew of political, administrative controls and affirmative action do you need for corruption to flourish….meaning, the Malays being the majority race in Malaysia and therefore have the greater say in all political, administrative matters and since the affirmative action policy also favors them, surely the greater bulk of financial, commercial advantages including corruptly earned benefits, wherever and from whoever exacted, would flow to the Malay majority race of the country, something which the minority races in the US could not possibly expect.

    Why is Najib able to do what he does with 1MDB, making his infamous mark as the biggest kleptocrat in American and World financial history?

    Being a member of the majority race is the power substance and affirmative action policy is the catalyst that causes or accelerates a fertile reaction that breeds corruption.

    Najib, and of course Mahathir, were just doing what comes naturally to a majority race unnaturally favored by “affirmative action”

    Show us one country, other than Malaysia, where an affirmative action policy is for the majority race.

    It can be argued of course that countries who have no affirmative action policy for any race or class of citizens are equally corrupt.

    The difference is affirmative action for a majority race which dominates political discourse has elevated corruption to such an overt degree and level that it becomes a natural course of national life and existence. Hence we scratch our heads and wonder why Najib feels no shame or remorse, but instead almost claimed that his actions in 1MDB amount to a national “duty” as he is proudly doing it for his race as personified by UMNO…..thus the subliminal “no personal gain” assertion.

  9. Don’t worry, all Malaysia needs is Wan Azizah.

    Best leader of the opposition ever.

    (Or rather, merely Anwar’s sock puppet in a tudung. Well, if so, it looks like Anwar has zero ideas left either. )

    Prepare for doom.

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