September 28, 2016
COMMENT: We Malaysians must be a bunch of sentimental fools and free riders. It speaks volumes of who we are that we have to depend on a 92-year old politician to bring about change. In the first place, he created this situation by removing all his rivals like Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Tun Musa Hitam and Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim in UMNO, and second by dismantling our system of checks and balances to create a powerful Executive Branch.
It surprises me to read this piece from Mariam Mokhtar who I thought was a critic of everything Mahathir stood for. She is mistaken to think that the man will change our political landscape. He is not a Renaissance man. He is an old school politician through and through.
I hold him accountable for what he has done to our country during 22 years of his rule. Mariam mentions his Look East Policy. Well, that policy which was initiated by the LDP in Japan, and later rejected after the Asian Financial Crisis of 1988 by the Japanese people, is crony capitalism. UMNO run by Najib Razak today is a party of crony capitalists and kleptocrats.
Mahathir now advocates good governance and the Rule of Law, yet when he was in power, he destroyed our institutions including the Judiciary. The system sucks and there is no leader with the character and integrity to lead us out of the rut at this time. We are condemned to stay in a state of moral crisis for some time to come.–Din Merican
by Mariam Mokhtar
Everyone knows that former PM Mahathir Mohamad’s alignment with the opposition is the result of his failure to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak on his own steam. You may call it a desperate move, or you may call it daft. But does the rakyat have a choice?
With Malaysia in deep crisis, and the opposition’s failure to stand united, could Mahathir be our saviour?
At his recent talk in London, he said, “There is common interest between me and Anwar Ibrahim. He appreciates that the problem of the country is the PM, that he should be removed.”
He criticised Najib’s alleged lack of vision, saying, “This PM regards high income as a sign that we are developed. High income must be accompanied by high productivity. Or else we will price ourselves out of the market.
“He has revised the pay scale several times. The operating cost of the government is so big that there is not enough money left for development.
For the economy to grow, you must have the rule of law. You must have good governance.–Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad
“It is not about money alone. It is about the quality of life in Malaysia – better education, a higher standard of living and people doing research work. These are what would make a developed country. If we go by income alone, then Saudi Arabia would be a developed country.”
He called on concerned Malaysians to join the opposition “if you wish to help us overthrow this government.”
On encouraging foreign investment, he said Malaysia needed to create an environment conducive to business. “For the economy to grow, you must have the rule of law. You must have good governance.”
He reminded us that under his rule, the concept of Malaysia Incorporated was used to treat the whole nation as one big company, and added, “It is important not to abuse power” and to fight corruption.
When asked if he was untouchable, he said, “My coming here to talk is not something which the government likes. Every time I say the wrong thing, the police question me. Desperate people do desperate things.”
Not everyone is a fan of Mahathir, but Malaysians are hungry for change and many are prepared to listen to his message.
One man said, “I was sceptical at first. But I have noticed that over several months, he has given major concessions. For instance, although at first he only wanted to see Najib ousted, he said at a recent talk that Umno-Baru must be destroyed.”
Another Mahathir sceptic said, “I came with an open mind. I admit that I am not his fan but when he spoke, I thought he made a lot of sense. I found myself nodding in agreement to most of the things he said.”
Addressing the question of a candidate for PM, Mahathir said, “It is for the people to decide.” Referring to his son Mukhriz, he said, “If he can be popular enough to win elections and become PM, that is his right.”
The statement was met with applause. Was it for Mukhriz or was it for Mahathir’s magnanimity?